“He who does the will of God abides forever” 1 John 2:17
When people speak of the “will of God” they sometimes speak as though it were mystical and almost unknowable or that it is limited to the Ten Commandments. In some instances there may be a little truth in this but the Bible is jam packed with details concerning the will of God.
There are some very clear statements in the Bible concerning knowing the will of God, like: “For this is the will of God, your sanctification” and “In everything give thanks; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you” (1 Thessalonians 4:3; 5:18).
Every command that God has given is an expression of His will and every description of the Divine Nature is an expression of God’s will concerning our attitudes and behaviour. Every description of the sinful nature also describes for us that which is not the will of God.
The difficulty may be that we are not interested in an intimate relationship with Jesus Christ and holy living but only in what He can do for us. How mercenary is that? We would like to know other kinds of details, like career path, marriage partner, role in the church or ministry in the church. There is nothing wrong or unspiritual about wanting God’s will for these areas of our lives and we should seek His leading but we will not discover His will if we are not interested in Him as a Person.
One of the first things I learned about driving buses is that one cannot see where the bus is on the road by looking ahead. That only tells me where I am headed. Where I am is seen by also looking in the two rear view mirrors at the white lines painted on the road and/or curb.
The Bible gives us the forward view so that we can set our course but we must regularly check our rear view to observe where we really are in our walk with the Lord. This does not mean we go on a “witch hunt” for sin but make an honest and genuine appraisal of how we are travelling. If we are deviating off course we are better off noticing it sooner rather than later.
There are many aspects of the will of God that are not specifically given in the Bible. We may only see His will in hindsight. Oswald Chambers wrote, “The disciple who abides in Jesus is the will of God, and his apparently free choices are God’s fore-ordained decrees.”