As an avid reader, I have to careful how many times I turn to books about the Bible or about God, instead of turning to the Bible, God's Word. (I am not saying that there aren't some wonderful Christian books out there that can challenge, encourage, and strengthen each one of us in our Christian walk. However, we all have to be careful that we aren't substituting reading these books for reading the Bible...But I digress...)
All of this leaves me to ask myself, "What is the will of God?"
In my studying I found out that the main Greek word that is used to for the will of God is thelema which means a determination, choice, or inclination. Often this word is translate into desire, pleasure, or will. It occurs 64 times in the New Testament.
Here are a couple of examples:
- Paul was an apostle of Christ by the will of God (1 Corinthians 1:1, 2 Corinthians 1:1, Ephesians 1:1)
- Our sanctification (1 Thessalonians 4:3)
- Giving thanks in all circumstances (1 Thessalonians 5:18)
- Doing good (1 Peter 2:15)
- We are to filled with "knowledge of [God's] will through all spiritual wisdom and understanding" (Colossians 1:9)
- We receive God's promises when we "hand done the will of God" (Hebrews 10:36)
- Sometimes God's will is for us to suffer for doing good (1 Peter 3:17, 1 Peter 4:19)
- God hears us when we ask for things in accordance to His will (1 John 5:14)
- We are to understand what the Lord's will is (Ephesians 5:17)
- God's will is good, pleasing, and perfect (Romans 12:2)
The more I think about it, I have asked the wrong question. I think the right question is, "What is God's will for my life?" What is that He wants me to do in life? (If you are beginning to wonder if I am having some crisis in my life, the answer is no. I have just been thinking and reading a lot, which can both be very dangerous.)
It can be easy to become bogged (not blogged) down with these questions. Even as I have been thinking through this whole idea, it seems that this is one big circular discussion. I may even be more confused now than when I began. I think the goal is to pray, stay in the Word, seek godly counsel, and wait on God's answer.
Other's thoughts on God's will:
"I find doing the will of God leaves me no time for disputing about his plans."
"I want what God wants, that why I am so merry."
-Saint Francis of Assisi
"To walk out of His will is to walk into nowhere."
"There are no disappointments to those whose wills are buried in the will of God."
-Frederick William Faber