God’s Will

Published by DonDavidson on

My 5th book, which I hope to publish later this year, will be about faithful Christians throughout history. One of the chapters will be about Jeannette d’Arc (better known to us by the English version of her name, Joan of Arc), a simple peasant girl whom God used to change the course of French history. After leading the French to several victories over the English, she was captured and put on trial by the English for heresy. And this was perhaps her finest moment.

At one point in her trial, she was asked if she was in a state of grace, free from all sin. This was a trick question, for a “yes” or “no” answer would necessarily lead to either an accusation of arrogant pride or an admission of sinfulness. Joan amazed everyone with her reply: “If I am not, may God put me there; if I am, may God keep me there.”

I advocate a similar maxim for today’s Christians: “If I am in God’s will, may he keep me there, and if I am not, may he put me there.”

Doing the will of God—in other words, doing what God wants us to do—should be the goal of every Christian. Jesus told us to pray that “Thy will be done.” (Matthew 6:10) His parable in Matthew 21:28-32 teaches that we must do God’s will and not merely give it lip service. In Mark 3:35, Jesus says, “For whoever does the will of God, he is My brother and sister and mother.” And in Gethsemane, Jesus gave us the ultimate example of submission to the will of God when he said, “Father, if You are willing, remove this cup from Me; yet not My will, but Yours be done.” (Luke 22:42)

While it is sometimes hard to know exactly what the will of God is, you won’t be far off if you try to always obey the two great commandments, which are found in Matthew 22:37-40:

And [Jesus] said to him, “ ‘You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, and with all your soul, and with all your mind.’ This is the great and foremost commandment. The second is like it, ‘You shall love your neighbor as yourself.’ On these two commandments depend the whole Law and the Prophets.” [1]

Then to make sure there was no confusion, Jesus added in John 13:34: “A new commandment I give to you, that you love one another, even as I have loved you, that you also love one another.”

Love. That’s the key. But of course, it’s not always easy. When someone insults us, or mistreats us, or hurts us, then loving them—treating them with kindness, treating them the way we would like others to treat us (Luke 6:31)—is often the last thing we want to do. And it’s even harder to love them if they do one of those things to someone we love.

Yet that is what Jesus calls us to do, for that is the will of God.

So let us constantly pray, “Father, if I am doing your will, please help me continue to do so. And if I am not doing your will, please show me what I need to do in order to do so.”

[1] Jesus was quoting Deuteronomy 6:5 and Leviticus 19:18.


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *