God’s Will

Bible Study 

God’s Will 

“Do not be foolish, but understand what the Lord’s will is” Ephesians 5:17 

Most of us, either openly or secretly, struggle with finding God’s will for our lives. Sometimes we long for an audible voice giving us directions or telling us the answer. One problem with waiting for His voice is we do nothing, just in case we might go against His will. But what if we already know His will? What if He has clearly revealed His will for our lives?  

First, let’s strip away theological meanderings, traditional liturgy, and false expectations. Let’s prepare the soil of our hearts and minds for a new crop; plow up the crusty surface of misunderstandings and misconceptions to receive His direction; to know His will. Lo and behold, bits and pieces of this deep mystery (or so we think of it) rise from His written word, the book of absolute truth…there all the time! 

  1. Romans 12:2  Don’t copy the behavior and customs of this world, but let God transform you into a new person by changing the way you think. Then you will learn to know God’s will for you, which is good and pleasing and perfect. 
  2. 1 Thessalonians 4:3  God’s will is that your lives are dedicated to him. This means that you stay away from sexual immorality
  3.  1 Thessalonians 5:16-18  Rejoice always; pray without ceasing; in everything give thanks; for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus. 
  4. Ephesians 5:15-17  Be very careful then, how you live, not as unwise but as wise, making the most of every opportunity, because the days are evil. Therefore do not be foolish, but understand what the Lord’s will is. Do not get drunk on wine, which leads to debauchery. Instead, be filled with the Spirit. Speak to one another with psalms, hymns and spiritual songs. Sing and make music in your heart to the Lord, always giving thanks to God the Father for everything, in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ. 

We should be encouraged and relieved to know that God has revealed His will to us through the Bible. As believers we are prepared to walk this walk and know His will for our lives. We are also instructed to pray for each other to understand God’s His will for our lives, according to the following verses: 

       5.   Colossians 1:9  For this reason, since the day we heard about you, we have not stopped praying for you and asking God to fill you with the knowledge of His will through all spiritual wisdom and understanding. 

      6.    Ephesians 1:15-17  For this reason, ever since I heard about your faith in the Lord Jesus and your love for all the saints, I have not stopped giving thanks for you, remembering you in my prayers. I keep asking that the God of our Lord Jesus Christ, the glorious Father, may give you the Spirit of wisdom and revelation, so that you may know him better. 

“Here then, are three keys for knowing God’s will. The first is a yielded body, the second a separated life, and the third a transformed mind.” William MacDonald, Believer’s Bible Commentary. 

Our Heavenly Father has done everything to prepare us to live according to His will. He has given us all we need to follow His direction. We are saved, forgiven of all sins, filled with His Holy Spirit and armed with the Word of God. As we pray, fellowship with other believers and read His word, we will understand His perfect will for our lives. 

Regarding daily decisions, sometimes God wants us to make our own decisions, trusting in Him to prepare the way. If God does not want us to go or do something, He will do everything to let us know. As followers of Christ, ours is a life of faith: “For we live by faith, not by sight.” 2 Corinthians 5:7 

Anxious and Uncertain

Strange how life presents itself to us. New schools, friends, jobs. All the while, we look for satisfaction and happiness. Occasionally we find it. It lasts for a short while. Obstacles and problems seem to wait around each corner. You find a job, buy a car, meet a friend or two, fall in love. And then, your job ends (company closes or you get fired), girlfriend thinks your best friend is cuter which brings the end to a friendship and a sweetheart. Contentment has eluded you once again. All of a sudden your world collapsed and took away your hopes for the future. To top it off, your car was stolen. Who would steal a car like mine? Maybe leaving the keys in the ignition was to blame.

Expecting life to satisfy our needs and bring contentment is an illusion. Life as we know it presents human efforts minus the life-changing redemption of Jesus Christ. Faith in Christ brings absolute forgiveness, all sins washed away, contentment through our faith.

According to the apostle Paul, “God blesses those who patiently endure testing and temptation. Afterward they will receive the crown of life that God has promised to those who love Him.” Book of James, chapter 1, verse 12.

Determined!

“So, my dear brothers and sisters, be strong and immovable.”  1 Cor. 15:58 

How do we remain steadfast in our faith when our lives seem to fall apart? Sitting in church, surrounded by people of like faith, singing songs of worship to God and listening to the encouraging words of other believers, our faith seems reasonable and steadfast. Yes, we proclaim, we will overcome and be victorious. Glory to God! 

But then, later in the day or perhaps the following day, our problems begin to creep back in and slowly weaken that victory we proclaimed. What will I do? Where is God in the midst of all this? 

Deeper and deeper we fall, grasping for a handhold that speaks of God and His promises to provide and care for us in every situation. Where is the light at the end of this very dark tunnel? There must be an answer. 

There is. The answers are all waiting for us in the Bible. Unfortunately, when we focus on the problems mounting all around, our feelings take over and guide us down a path of discontent, fear, insecurity, doubt and frustration. We want God to give us a break and solve the problems— even though we may be the cause. 

Perhaps living in a time when everything seems possible, every want seems likely to be fulfilled and every person seems promised to have it all, confuses and derails our faith in Christ. However, the Bible has warned us that our lives will have suffering, trials, and enemies for the sake of our faith in Christ.  

2 Peter 3:13  But we are looking forward to the new heavens and new earth he has promised, a world filled with God’s righteousness. 

Ephesians 6:10 Finally, be strong in the Lord, and in the strength of His might. Put on the full armor of God, that you may be able to stand firm against the schemes of the devil. For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the powers, against the world forces of this darkness, against the spiritual forces of wickedness in the heavenly places. 

If we had joined a group of people dedicated to protecting our city against enemy foes who promised to destroy all of us, we would prepare for the impending battle. There would be classes teaching everyone how to stand firm against the foes. We would be prepared to possibly give our lives for the cause. We would take it seriously, keeping an eye to the horizon, ever-watchful, ready to fight at a moment’s notice.   

The fact is, we are in spiritual warfare, facing the enemy of our soul, Satan, who desires to destroy everything good. Without our faith intact, we are defenseless to defeat our greatest arch-enemy. Since he cannot take away our promise of eternal life, he can make us useless with fear, discouragement and despair. This is war and we are in the fight of our lives. Even so, God is now and will always be victorious over Satan. 

Isaiah 41:10  Fear not, for I am with you. Do not be dismayed. I am your God. I will strengthen you; I will help you; I will uphold you with my victorious right hand. 

As followers of Christ, that should be our attitude no matter the circumstance.  With Jesus as our Leader and Savior, we should not back down, allow fear to rule, feel inferior or hopeless. “He did not give us a spirit of fear, but of power and love and a sound mind”-1 Timothy  1:7. 

Jesus, Himself, as he was facing certain torture and death, prayed, “Father, if you are willing, please take this cup of suffering away from me. Yet I want your will to be done, not mine.” ~Luke 22:42

The Lord’s Prayer

“Forgive us our trespasses as we forgive” Matthew 6:12

We’ve seen it in movies, read it in the Bible as well as other books. And we have recited it from memory over and over again. We’ve learned what has come to be known as The Lord’s Prayer. Reciting these few verses can bring comfort and take away fear. However, reciting the Lord’s Prayer over and over can become a meaningless repetition we send up to God hoping He hears and will rescue us from our desperate situation.

Without doubt, the most commonly spoken version of this prayer is as follows:

“Our Father, who art in heaven, hallowed be thy Name, thy kingdom come, thy will be done, on earth as it is in heaven.

Give us this day our daily bread. And forgive us our trespasses, as we forgive those who trespass against us. And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil. For thine is the kingdom, and the power, and the glory, for ever and ever. Amen.”

This model prayer was given by Jesus to his disciples as he taught them how to pray, warning them against uttering vain repetitions, “Don’t babble on and on as people of other religions do.” He then reminds them that, “Your Father in heaven knows exactly what you need even before you ask Him. Pray like this:”

If you are like many people, you may worry about how to pray, what to say because you’ve heard impressive prayers spoken by well known pastors and teachers. Regarding this concern, we simply have to read Romans 8, verses 26-28.

Notice now that Jesus includes forgiveness in His model prayer. Verse 12 says, “And forgive us our trespasses as we forgive those who trespass against us.” Then, immediately following the prayer, He continues in verses 14 and 15, “If you forgive those who sin (modern word for trespasses) against you, your heavenly Father will forgive you. But if you refuse to forgive others, your Father will not forgive your sins.”

Is your head spinning? Are you concerned about those who’ve sinned against you that you have not forgiven? Perhaps you’re holding a tiny little grudge. After all, they were completely in the wrong (as we forgive those who sinned against us). How did the Lord answer Peter?

Matthew 18:21 ~”Then Peter came to him and asked, “Lord, how often should I forgive someone who sins against me? Seven times? No, not seven times,” Jesus replied, “but seventy times seven!”

Luke 17:4 ~”If another believer sins, rebuke that person; then if there is repentance, forgive. Even if that person wrongs you seven times a day and each time turns again and asks forgiveness, you must forgive.”

Jesus died for our forgiveness. It is essential we extend that forgiveness to any who sin against us. 

Ephesians, Part 5


“The words I have spoken to you are spirit and they are life.” John 6:63

Ephesians Chapter 1

5 God decided in advance to adopt us into His own family by bringing us to Himself through Jesus Christ. This is what He wanted to do, and it gave Him great pleasure.

Millions of pages have been written about the “meaning of life,” the “deep secrets of life.” And yet, in two succinct sentences, God’s Word (the Bible) has given us the answer. Well, maybe, we ponder. But it can’t be that simple, can it?

An old story goes like this, “Once upon a time, there was a hiker out to see the wonders of his world. In his adventures he came to the edge of a great crevasse and wanted to see just how deep this mighty gorge was. So he came closer and peeked over. He couldn’t quite see to the bottom. He leaned closer, then closer. “Just one more inch,” he thought and leaned out a bit farther.

He fell!

Miraculously his hand caught a bit of scrub brush growing out of the wall. He was saved. But was he? He was at least ten feet from the top. He called out, “Is anyone up there? Please help me!”

Then a voice said, “This is God. I can help.”

“Oh thank you, God. What shall I do?”

“Let go of the bush.”

“What?”

“Let go of the bush.”

The man thought a few seconds then said, “Is there anyone else up there?”

As desperate as we are to find peace, as obviously broken and confused our lives become, when we call out for help and God says, “Let go of your life and give me control,” we, like the hiker, say, “Is there anyone else up there?”

Deep in our secret-most thoughts, we all know Someone created the world. It’s not possible that billions of years ago two planets collided (without exploding into nothingness), cooled for a few million years and became earth with its perfect, life-sustaining atmosphere. No. It was God.

Romans Chapter 1

19-20 For the truth about God is known to them instinctively; God has put this knowledge in their hearts. Since earliest times men have seen the earth and sky and all God made, and have known of his existence and great eternal power. So they will have no excuse when they stand before God at Judgment Day.

Funny how we all share a common trait: The stubbornness of giving God, the creator of our world and lover of our souls, control of our lives. I can’t speak for you but before I gave God control, my life wasn’t exactly picture-perfect, humming smoothly along.