Wednesday, June 15, 2011

What Is and Isn't God's Will?

Have you ever asked God what His will is for your life? I do; I ask Him quite often. I think most Christian teenagers want to know where God wants them to go to college and who God wants them to marry. We inquire God, begging Him to know "His will for our life." But what if we're asking the wrong questions?

Scripture clearly defines God's will for our lives. 1 Thessalonians 5:16-18 says, "Be joyful always; pray continually; give thanks in all circumstances, for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus." And Romans 12:2 says, "Do not conform any longer to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is—his good, pleasing and perfect will."

It's God's will for us that we should always be joyful; that we continuously pray; that we give thanks in all circumstances. It's His will that we renew our thinking and be different from the world. When we think of "God's will", we mostly think of His step-by-step plan for major events (such as marriage and college) in our lives. But Scripture says different. The Bible says "God's will" is really how He wants us to live. Paul talks about God's will as something He wants us to do or how He expects us to act.

As Paul wrote in 1 Thessalonians 4:3-6a, "It is God’s will that you should be sanctified: that you should avoid sexual immorality; that each of you should learn to control his own body in a way that is holy and honorable, not in passionate lust like the heathen, who do not know God; and that in this matter no one should wrong his brother or take advantage of him." It's God's will that we should be sanctified, that we should be sexually pure, and that we shouldn't wrong other Christian or take advantage of them. This is God's will for us. When you want to know what God's will is about which college to go to, or who to marry, or when to have kids, or whether or not to move across the country for a job promotion, or where to go to church, etc., look to see if that path lines up with what Scripture says. If you feel the peace of God about it, go. If not, don't. If you're picking a college, ask questions like, Can I serve God the best here? Is this school's atmosphere one that wouldn't distract me from God? Is this the best place for me to learn, grow, and serve God? If you want to know if a certain woman is your future spouse, ask, Can I serve God better, or worse, with her by my side?

Be careful to not desperately grasp at signs or dreams when deciding which path to take. Nothing is more important than staying within God's will. Choosing the wrong path or choosing the right path for the wrong reasons will lead you down a sinful path that you do not want to take.

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