The Will of God (Part 2)

Published by DonDavidson on

Last week I showed that the “will of God” is that we love him and obey him by trying to do what he wants us to do. But how do we know His will so that we may do it?

Let me make two points in that regard.

First, there are certain decisions that do not require us to know the will of God. A preacher I knew used to say, “I don’t need a word from the Lord to know which brand of toilet paper to buy.” There are just some things that are not important enough for God to care about. I think he would be fine with whatever decision we make.

But second, there are some things God cares about very much—and you will find those things spelled out in the Bible. For example, we know that the will of God is for us to obey those two great commandments in the Law—to love God with all our heart, mind, soul, and strength, and to love our neighbor as ourselves. It is also the will of God for us to obey the new commandment Jesus gave us in John 13:34-35: “I am giving you a new commandment, that you love one another; just as I have loved you, that you also love one another. By this all people will know that you are My disciples: if you have love for one another.”

Some things in God’s word are very clear, like where Paul says that we should rejoice, pray, and give thanks to God. Or the prohibition of adultery, which is condemned in both the Old and New Testaments.

So if you think God wants you to do something, test it against his word, because God will never tell you to do something that is contrary to his word. As John says in 1 John 4:1: “Beloved, do not believe every spirit, but test the spirits to see whether they are from God, because many false prophets have gone out into the world.”

Of course, if we are to obey God’s word, we need to study the Bible so that we know what God’s word says, and what it doesn’t say. And notice that I said “study,” not merely “read.” I recommend that you buy a good commentary or two, to help you understand not only what God’s word says, but what it means, because the meaning is not always crystal clear. Take notes, like you would for a course you were studying (computers are wonderful for helping you take and organize notes). And get familiar with a Bible search engine, such as, that allows you to search the entire Bible for key words or phrases—like “the will of God”—so that you can see what it says about a subject in different verses, different books, and different contexts.

Now what about those important, life-changing decisions for which there seems to be no clear answer in the Bible? I’ll talk about that in my next blog entry.


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