The Life of a Disciple: Knowing God’s Will

I can tell you exactly what God’s will is. Ready? Love God. Love others. That’s all. Do it. Seriously. I think we think all wrong about God’s will. I relate God’s will to His unchangeable character. His will, His heart’s desire, is not going to change, because He doesn’t change. However, His plans do change. That’s something different. (For instance, Moses prays and God decides against a course of action; see Exodus 32:9-14.)

God’s will, His heart desire, is for you to be saved. He desires that everyone be saved.

1 Timothy 2:3-4 This is good, and it is pleasing in the sight of God our Savior, who desires all people to be saved and to come to the knowledge of the truth.

2 Peter 3:9 (BSB) The Lord is not slow in keeping His promise as some understand slowness, but is patient with you, not wanting anyone to perish but everyone to come to repentance.

That’s God’s heart. That’s who He is. That’s why He does the things He does. His heart motivation is always love. “For God so loved the world…” He set this whole thing in motion because of His love for us.

That’s what He’s working toward. You may want to be “used” of God, but He wants you to be His. He’s more interested in your being than your doing. Focus on the being and let Him work out the doing. How do you focus on the being? Give yourself over to God. Don’t be selfish. Fellowship with the Father and with the Son through Bible reading and prayer. Soon we’ll talk about some other ways of fellowshipping like singing and meditating on God’s word. Trust God to bring about what He wants for you to do.

Philippians 2:13 (NIV) For it is God who works in you to will and to act in order to fulfill his good purpose.

He knows how to move you into position and into His plans. I pray and ask that I will fulfill all the good works He has planned for me, that I won’t leave any undone. But I don’t ask for a list so that I can go do them. He does the work. I just give myself to Him to use as He accomplishes it all.

How did I know that God wanted me to start EP? I didn’t. I didn’t start EP. I had no idea of what it would become. I just had it in mind that I was wasting all the lessons I was making up for my kids by removing them each weekend to make more for the next week. I wanted to save myself the effort of having to redo the lessons for my next kid who would be learning the same thing. I started putting my own kids’ lessons online to make my life easier. I did make the decision to write it in such a way that others could use it. I mean, if I was going to go through that effort, maybe someone else would find the lessons useful. They did! I never bought advertising for EP. The Lord did it. He “built the house.” One way He did that was by convicting me about selling the homeschool materials I was making even before EP. I felt I should give them away instead. By the time I got to making EP, I already had the conviction that I must give it away for free.

Let God build your life. He’s way better at it than you. We want to know this mysterious “will of God.” Why? So we can then go do it ourselves! But He doesn’t want us running off and accomplishing. He wants us to be with Him.

Yes, there are decisions to be made at times. Ask Him to guide your decisions. Wait on Him. Expect that He will guide the decision through revelation or circumstances or some other way. He’s infinitely creative. He can figure out how to get you where He wants you to be.

When we started at a new church just after Christmas one year, I was eager to help out. I knew I was capable of doing many things. I struggled with not volunteering for lots of things, but the Lord kept restraining me. That wasn’t what my time was for. But certainly, I was supposed to be DOING something, right?

The next January, after not getting involved for a year except for some Sunday school subbing, I joined in the church-wide Bible reading group, reading through the One-Year Bible on an app. At the end of each day, there’s a place to respond to the reading. Well, I love the Bible and I love talking about the Bible, and I enjoy writing about the Bible, so I wrote some response to the reading every day.

It may have been mid-February before the Lord opened my eyes to what He had done. Here I was giving a teaching to a section of my congregation daily. That’s a responsibility and a privilege. Not only that, but I was getting to speak into the leadership, including the pastor, each day. I started taking my role seriously and asking the Lord to give each lesson. I have no power to change lives; I just offer myself to Him each morning. The Lord does the work of creating the impact of His word through me.

The point there was that I didn’t get some revelation first of what God wanted me to do. He just led me to it quite naturally since reading the Bible and writing about the Bible are what I do for fun. 😊

I remember being in Istanbul and talking with my husband as if we didn’t know if we’d ever set foot in America again. Three weeks later we were back in America. The Lord has His ways. Don’t make plans. Make friends with God. I remind myself frequently, “I don’t need to know that. I just need to know the Father.” I don’t need to know all the plans. I don’t need to know the future. I just need to know my Father. I can trust Him. I surely can trust Him.

Lesson Point: Be God’s. Don’t try to do for God. Offer yourself to Him to put in you “to will and to act in order to fulfill his good purpose.”

Challenge Question: Have you surrendered your will? Are you trying to accomplish for God? Do you volunteer for everything without waiting on God to move you into where He wants you?