We know, by clear statement, that salvation pleases God. He has made full provision in the blood of His Son for all who believe, and 2 Peter 3:9 reminds us that God is not willing that any should perish. We know that the sanctification of believers is God's will, seen in 1 Thessalonians 4:3. Chapter 5, verse 18 of that same epistle declares that the will of God is for us to gives thanks in everything. In Peter's first letter Peter reminded us that when Christians are submissive to the laws of the land, God's will is accomplished in that it silences the ignorance of foolish men (2:15) He then contrasts the will of God in direct opposition to the lusts of man in 4:2.
So, apart from these very clear directives, how are we to know the will of God? My spiritual mentor, Dr. Wendell Heller, always taught me that the will of God and the Word of God were synonymous. What a blessing that has been to me through the years! I John 5:14 teaches me that I can have confidence if I pray according to the will of God, therefore, I find great blessing in praying according to the Word of God.
In light of these thoughts, it is clear that we can know the will of God by knowing the Word of God. God is pleased (it is His will, it glorifies Him, if fulfills His purpose) when we become more and more like Jesus Christ.
Jeremiah 29:11 and Romans 8:28-29a give us the parameters for understanding God's working in our lives. "For I know the thoughts that I think toward you, saith the LORD, thoughts of peace, and not of evil, to give you an expected end." "And we know that all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to his purpose. For whom he did foreknow, he also did predestinate to be conformed to the image of his Son. ".
In the light of those truths, we can well see that the will of God is defined by that which pleases Him, glorifies Him, reflects the character and nature of God in our lives as declared in His Word and as demonstrated by Jesus Christ, in the flesh. Remember, according to Hebrews 1, He is the express image of the Father. As we imitate the Son, through the power of the Spirit, we please the Father, and accomplish His will.
Understanding how to determine the will of God is critical in our making sure we think theologically (biblically) rather than emotionally (humanly). It is critical in both our walk and talk in being careful that others see and hear Christ in us, not we, ourselves. He has made us new creatures in Christ at the time of our salvation. Positionally, we stand perfect before God, wrapped in the robes of righteousness. Practically, old life-long sinful habit patterns become decreasingly faded away, and the things of God become increasingly vibrant in our thoughts, actions and words.
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