KNOWING GOD’S WILL
BY: STEVE McVEY
“Pray for me to know God’s will,” Brent said. “I have three job offers and I’m not sure which one I’m supposed to accept. I don’t want to miss God’s perfect will by taking a job I’m not supposed to have,” he continued. “Please pray that the right choice will become very clear to me soon.”
Brent was a close friend of mine and I knew that he had a sincere desire to glorify God in the decisions he made in his life. Yet I could see that he was experiencing real anxiety over which choice to make in this matter. He had been without a job for almost three months, but now he had three offers, all coming within days of each other. The irony of the situation was that he had seemed more relaxed during the months that he had no job offers than he did when he had three. Any of the three sounded good to me, but his concern over picking the right option made him tense.
Brent needed to understand how to apply grace to the decision-making process. When grace rules a person’s life, his perspective changes on everything. He begins to understand that every detail of life flows from his relationship with God. Grace means that God does it all. We simply receive from Him, cooperating with the Holy Spirit by trusting Him moment by moment. To walk in grace doesn’t mean that we are passive in matters of daily living. To the contrary, it means that we act in confidence, resting in the fact that it is God who will initiate, perpetuate, and consummate His plan for our lives.
Many Believers fall short of the joy God intends for them because they fail to understand how His grace acts on our behalf to bring to pass the wonderful plan He has for us. God has an awesome plan for your life. It isn’t a cookie-cutter plan, either. He designed a special agenda that was uniquely created just for you. One of the greatest joys in life is knowing that you are experiencing the very purpose for which you were created. Fulfilling the will of God is not some elusive goal that can never be reached. It is possible for Christians to enjoy the experience of knowing that we are in the very center of God’s purpose.
Do you want to experience the joy of confidently knowing and doing the will of God? Then it is important to understand the difference between a legalistic approach to God’s will and resting in Him through the grace walk. To a legalist the will of God is about doing. He believes that it is his responsibility to find and fulfill God’s specific plan for him. He is often sincere, yet his perspective actually cheats him out of the greatest benefit associated with God’s will. The greatest blessing in experiencing God’s will is the joy of experiencing God Himself! Yet the legalist is so focused on making the right choice that he usually misses the intimacy God intends for him to enjoy. This Christian believes that he has a job to do for God. Because of this drive to do something, he often makes a better church member than Christian. The only problem with the things he does is that God is nowhere to be found in his activity. That is a serious problem. The starting point for understanding the will of God must be grace. Space in this article will not permit fully dealing with how grace points the way toward experiencing God’s will, but consider the summaries of these key points. (A complete discussion of these truths is included in chapter seven of my book Grace Rules.)
1. The will of God is Jesus.
Before we can properly relate to the what of God’s will, we must properly relate to the Who of His will. The will of God is not primarily a plan, but instead is a Person. Jesus Christ is the will of God. When one rightly relates to Him, doing the will of God becomes the natural result of our union with Him.
Many Christians behave like deists. A deist basically believes that God created the world, fueled it up like a car, and then stepped back to watch it run its course. Deism recognizes very little personal interaction between God and His world. Its perspective implies that God has empowered the car (earth) to run, and now it’s up to man where he drives it. Of course, most Christians would contest such a view. We believe that God is very much involved in the detailed events of this world. Yet many Christians act like a deist when it comes to God’s will. They look for God to show them His will so that they can then go out and do it.
2. We are to seek Him, not a plan.
The propensity toward seeking the right path presents a subtle danger. It places the responsibility on us to figure out God’s will. Where grace rules, man is the recipient of good things and God is the Giver. So under grace, it isn’t the Christian’s duty to find God’s will, but rather God will reveal His will to the one who rests in Him. A person ruled by law will pursue God’s will with sincerity and yet never be confident that he has discovered it. One who enjoys intimacy with Jesus will know it without struggling to find it.
3. We can’t miss God’s will when we are abiding in Christ.
If Satan can’t paralyze us with fear about moving forward in God’s will, he will try to make us think that we have missed it. Maybe you have made choices only to later wonder what went wrong. You prayed about the choices. You evaluated them and then made your decision. Then things turned sour. Does this mean you missed God’s will? No. Psalm 37:23 says, “The steps of a man are established by the LORD.” God did direct your steps.
When events don’t unfold in the way you want or expect, it simply means one thing: God has a different plan. You aren’t out of His will, but are discovering that His will is producing results you didn’t expect. Never second-guess God’s will after you have acted in faith.
4. When we are abiding in Christ, we can pick a spot and run!
Imagine yourself standing in the center of a large field with an unobstructed view of the horizon in every direction. To the west you can see the ocean. To the east you see a beautiful mountain range. To the north is a lush wooded forest. Looking south, you see a beautiful lake shaded by overhanging trees. As you look, you see many small points on the horizon. Those points represent your choices in life. You can go to any one of them; many look interesting, others don’t. Which point should you choose? If you are trusting Christ within you, the answer is easy. You can choose any place you desire. Of course, it’s important that you are enjoying an intimate union with Jesus at the time you make your choice. In other words, don’t act independently of Him. Trust Him to guide your thoughts, and then make your decision!
Have you selected the point on the horizon to which you want to go? Then run! Run there as fast as you can. Run with excitement and joyful anticipation. When you reach the spot you have selected, do you know what you will find? Jesus will be standing there. You’ll see His arms outstretched toward you, and He will be laughing with joy. “Come on!” He will say. “Run! Run! I’ve been waiting for you to get here! This is exactly where I wanted you to be!” “Lord!” you exclaim. “I’m so glad You’re here! No matter what this place holds for me, I know the Father’s purpose will be done because You drew me here and will be with me at every moment. ”When grace rules your life, you’ll experience the joy that comes from knowing and doing God’s will. You don’t have to be afraid. Trust Jesus and go forward in faith. As you abide in Him, He will keep you in His will at every moment. He is God’s will, and you are in Him. Don’t worry or struggle. Relax and simply rest in Him because grace rules!
© Lifetime Guarantee Ministries [published: 1998-11-01]
These articles are written for your spiritual growth. Copying, printing, and distribution are encouraged. Thank you for crediting Lifetime Guarantee Ministries and our website (www.lifetime.org) as the source.
Copyright, 2003, used by permission. Steve McVey, Grace Walk Ministries, www.gracewalk.org
KNOWING GOD’S WILL [Steve McVey] 1