1. “What is God’s will for my life?”
What devout person has not asked a question like this?
Often asked even pertaining to mundane things like one’s career, where to live, etc.
-- How can we live in harmony with the will of God?
2. Paul mentioned his desire to live in harmony with God’s will...
As he made plans to visit his brethren in Rome
As he prayed regarding such plans - cf.
-- He sought to “find a way in the will of God” to come to them
What Is the Meaning of “Will”?
Like a prism, the word will reflects many different sides.
• When making a choice, you are communicating your will.
• The word will is also used to express the desire or mandate of someone having authority.
(God reveals His will.)
• Another meaning of the word will carries the idea of having a disposition to act according to one’s desired goals.
(A child may be born with a strong will.)
• Further, by use of your own will, you can exercise power and control over your own actions or emotions.
Hunt, J. (2008).
Biblical Counseling Keys on Decision Making: Discerning the Will of God (p. 2).
Dallas, TX: Hope For The Heart.
[Paul’s comments provide an opportunity for us to consider some thoughts related to the will of God, especially on how to determine God’s will for our lives.
It might be of benefit to first review some...]
I. FACETS OF GOD’S WILL
A. GOD’S PROCLAIMED WILL...
1. God has made His will known in many respects - e.g., 1 Th 5:18; 1 Pe 2:15
2. This He has done through revelation
By sending inspired prophets in the past - He 1:1
By sending His own Son - He 1:2
By having the Spirit guide the apostles - Jn 16:12-13; e.g., 1 Co 14:36-37
3. It is this proclaimed will of God that we must do to be saved - cf.
God’s Perfect Will
— God has an ideal plan.
— God’s plan is pleasing and good.
EXAMPLE: God’s perfect will is for everyone to repent of sin and for no one to perish.
“The Lord is not slow in keeping his promise, as some understand slowness.
He is patient with you, not wanting anyone to perish, but everyone to come to repentance.” (2 Peter 3:9)
Hunt, J. (2008).
Biblical Counseling Keys on Decision Making: Discerning the Will of God (p.
Dallas, TX: Hope For The Heart.
-- God’s Perfect Will or Proclaimed Will is essential to know, God has revealed it through Scripture - 2 Ti 3:16-17
B. GOD’S PROVIDENTIAL WILL...
God’s Prevailing Will
“Many are the plans in a man’s heart, but it is the LORD’s purpose that prevails.”
— God’s plans cannot be thwarted.
— God’s ultimate purposes are achieved because He is sovereign.
EXAMPLE: God’s prevailing will is to grant full forgiveness and a home in heaven to all who repent of their sins and trust in Jesus Christ as their Lord and Savior.
“I know that you can do all things; no plan of yours can be thwarted.”
1. God acts providentially in our lives, as implied in our text - cf.
Ro 1:10; also Ro 15:32
2. For such reason we are to pray regarding our plans - cf. James 4:13-15
3. Our requests are answered as it may suit God’s will - cf. 1 Jn 5:14
-- We may not have certainty as to what is God’s providential will for us
C. GOD’S PERMISSIVE WILL...
2. God’s Permissive Will
“Since they hated knowledge and did not choose to fear the LORD.”
— God permits each person to exercise free will … in opposition to His will.
— God is ultimately sovereign over all that He permits.
EXAMPLE: God’s permissive will allows everyone the option of choosing right or wrong, spiritual life or spiritual death, being blessed or being cursed.
“All have sinned and fall short of the glory of God.” (Romans 3:23)
1. God allows things to happen that are not necessarily according to His desired will
He permits people to sin and even hurt other people
He is not pleased, and will one day render judgment - Ac 17:30-31
He is able to fulfill His own will, despite such rebellion - cf.
3. God permits people to do things that are indifferent to Him
There are some matters of indifference to God - e.g., Ro 14:5-6
Likewise, some decisions we make might not really matter to God
-- Thus not all choices please God, nor are they necessarily required by God
What are three facets of God’s Will? 1. Proclaimed/ Perfect Will; 2. Providential/ Prevailing Will; 3. Permissive Will
[With these thoughts in mind, let’s now consider some thoughts on...]
FINDING GOD’S WILL
A. FOCUS ON THE PROCLAIMED WILL OF GOD...
1. I.e., study diligently to learn what God has revealed
If you don’t embrace and practice the revealed will of God...
b. ...what difference does it make to seek areas of God’s will unknown to you?
2. The value of focusing on the proclaimed will of God
We will not be ignorant of what is essential for us to know and do
We can avoid choices that are clearly contrary to God’s will
B. SEEK ADVICE FROM OTHERS...
1. Discuss your alternatives with older, mature Christians - Pro 11:14; Pro 11:12:15