“I will…I will…I will…I will…”
I will – a conscious and voluntary choice.
I will – a set determination.
I will – a promise of action.
I will – a submission to a request.
Verse ten of Psalm 9 says, “They that know thy name will put their trust in Thee.” So:
I will – praise Thee – no matter the circumstance, for I know thy greatness.
I will – show thy works – for you have done great things for me.
I will – be glad and rejoice – for the confidence I have in You and in Your Word.
I will – sing – my whole heart will break forth so that all will hear - “How Great is Our God.”
What is the choice of your “will”?
“…this is the will of God in Christ Jesus concerning you.”
I Thessalonians 5:18
I Thessalonians 5:18
This is His appointment. His pleasure. His decision for you. His will. There are several verses with this phrase: “the will of God”. In each case they demonstrate his plan. Let’s look at a few.
Here in I Thessalonians His will is that we are to be thankful. “In everything give thanks…” Our attitude toward the events of life is prescribed by God to be one of thankfulness. That is a tall order. The happenings of life aren’t always something we understand or appreciate, but God’s will is that we receive the good and the bad with an attitude of thanksgiving. To look beyond the trial to see His hand of support, comfort, and activity in all that comes our way.
I Thessalonians 4:1-7 says “…how ye ought to walk and to please God..” The will of God is bound in the way we walk and live. We are to be walking/living to please God by choosing to keep our lives clean and holy.
I Peter 2:15 says the will of God is that we would live before the lost world in such a way that our good deeds will leave them silent. God wants us to shine as lights for Him by the way we treat others.
Amazing how easy it is to find the will of God when we consider even these few direct commands from God’s Word. The hard part is doing them.
Have you ever considered God’s will to be so involved with how you live? Ask yourself: Am I living inside the will of God according to these verses? Why or why not? What do I need to amend in my life to come into alignment with the will of God?
“…Thy will be done…”
Most people know this phrase. It comes from what we call The Lord’s Prayer. But few of us stop to consider what this means and the implications that come from praying this prayer.
Thy will be done? In all things? Or, only if it works best for me?
Thy will be done? Really? Are we honestly ready to allow His Will?
Thy will be done? Scary? Can we open ourselves to what that might mean?
Jesus had this attitude. He came to do God’s will only. The Apostle Paul had this attitude. He gave himself to God’s will. King David was a man with this attitude, even though he faltered.
Jesus said, “For whosoever shall do the will of God, the same is my brother, and my sister, and mother.”
So there is a link between the will of God and our relationship with Him. Doing God’s will is a sign of our relationship. Having a relationship means a willingness to please and a desire to advance the other person.
Praying for God’s will to be done is one way we can express this relationship. We might not know the ultimate consequences to this open-ended request, but we can know that God’s will is supreme and always the best option. It might not always look like the best option at the moment, it might really challenge our faith and scare us, but we must admit that God’s will, in heaven and on earth, will take place. It isn’t fate, but providence. It isn’t chance, but planning. God has it all figured out! We need to just agree with Him.
Where do you stand? Can you trust in the sovereignty of His will? Can you honestly pray this prayer – Thy will be done?
“…what is that good and acceptable and perfect will of God…”
Romans 12:1,2 is a call for our dedication. We are asked to give ourselves totally to God. This is called our “reasonable service”. Then we are challenged to a transformation of mind that will bring us into line with this good, acceptable and perfect will of God.
The will of God is good. This is a moral quality in a positive way. We, too, will be good if we are inside God’s directive will. This is the call to character, integrity, and kindness of heart and action.
The will of God is acceptable. This is a quality of being pleasing. We will be pleasing if we are acting out God’s will. Good deeds, patience, and love will proceed from our lives.
The will of God is perfect. This has the idea of mature and finished, or of full age, completed. We will be mature Christians if we continue in God’s will. We will reach the end of life knowing that we are complete in Him and His will has been completed in us – our reasonable service has been done.
“It is God that worketh in you both to will and to do of His good pleasure.” Philippians 2:13
It takes submission to God’s will and God working in us to complete His will. The end result is a Christian who not only knows how to live within the will of God, but also appreciates the beauty and security found there. And God calls this – reasonable service!
Where are you? Can you see God working in you? Are you yielding or resisting?
“…if any man will come after me…”
“If any man would wish to, or decide to, follow me”, Jesus says, then there is a price to pay. “He must deny self, take up his cross and choose to follow.”
Now we turn to look at the will of man. We are free moral agents. We can choose to follow, or choose not to follow. It is our choice.
The same form of this word, “will”, is used in other Scriptures. II Timothy 3:12 says, “Yea, and all that will live godly in Christ Jesus shall suffer persecution.” It is a choice to live a godly life. Persecution is not the choice, but the result.
Romans 7:18 says, “For I know that in me (that is, in my flesh), dwelleth no good thing: for to will is present with me; but how to perform that which is good I find not.” This tells me that the choice to live godly will not only face persecution from without, but also struggles from within. The flesh does not like our choice.
However, John 17:24, Jesus’ prayer for his followers, says, “Father, I will that they also, whom thou hast given me, be with me where I am; that they may behold my glory…” So Jesus has a will of his own, and that will is set for our reward and success.
We make a choice to follow Christ and may be faced with opposition, but Jesus also made a choice. He chose to give himself for us and has gone to prepare a place for us so that we can be with him.
What choice have you made? Do you know him? Have you chosen to take up your cross and follow him? It is His will that you do so – He did the same!