– Francis Chan
Knowing God’s Will
You will never know God’s hidden will until you obey His revealed will. In other words, you cannot know God’s will for your life until you obey God’s will in your life, and you can know His will because the Bible tells us plainly what it is. When people ask me “what is God’s will for my life,” I say, “For this is the will of God, your sanctification: that you abstain from sexual immorality, that each one of you know how to control his own body in holiness and honor not in the passion of lust like the Gentiles who do not know God” (1 Thess. 4:3-5). The will of God for our lives is to live in holiness, not a life of perfection but certainly abstaining from any sexual immorality, which includes of the mind (Matt. 5:28).
Finding God’s Will
Paul writes in Romans 12:2, “Do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewal of your mind, that by testing you may discern what is the will of God, what is good and acceptable and perfect.” If you have your mind renewed by having the mind of Christ (2 Cor. 2:16), you’ll then be able to “discern what the will of God” is for your life, and that will “is good and acceptable and perfect” for you! Don’t you want that!? Another part of God’s will doesn’t even need to be discerned, and that’s to “give thanks in all circumstances; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you” (1 Thess. 5:18).
Obeying God’s Will
Jesus said, “If you love me, you will keep my commandments” (John 14:15), or show Jesus you love Him in the way you live. The Apostle John made it clear that “everyone who believes that Jesus is the Christ has been born of God, and everyone who loves the Father loves whoever has been born of him. By this we know that we love the children of God, when we love God and obey his commandments. For this is the love of God, that we keep his commandments” (1 John 5:1-3a). John is saying that the acid test for profession is obedience.
Follow the Will of God
Following the will of God is following God. Just as the disciples “left everything and followed him” (Luke 5:11b), we must leave our old lives and everything in it behind and follow Him. It will be costly. You may lose some of your closest friends, some of your family members, some offended co-workers, or even those of your own household. Peter wanted Jesus to know what it had cost him in following Him by saying, “See, we have left everything and followed you.” Jesus said, ‘Truly, I say to you, there is no one who has left house or brothers or sisters or mother or father or children or lands, for my sake and for the gospel, who will not receive a hundredfold now in this time, houses and brothers and sisters and mothers and children and lands, with persecutions, and in the age to come eternal life’” (Mark 10:28-30). That’s worth following, isn’t it?
Glorifying God Is His Will
If we follow all the principles in the previous paragraphs, then we are fulfilling God’s will for our lives. Part of our being created was so that God would be most glorified in us. Isaiah wrote long ago, “Everyone who is called by my name, whom I created for my glory, whom I formed and made” (Isaiah 43:7), meaning that we and even the universe were created for His glory (Psalm 19:1), so we should glorify God in our bodies since we were “bought with a price. So glorify God in your body” (1 Cor. 6:20).
One thing we know for certain is that God will assure our success in accordance with His plan, not ours. No success may ever come if we’re not obeying the will of God. With obedience come many blessings.