Welcome to the online home of Tim Challies, blogger, author, and book reviewer.

Tim Challies

Challies on FacebookChallies on Twitter

God's Will For Your Life

Today I am continuing this short series on knowing and doing the will of God. In the first part of the series I laid a foundation of God’s complete sovereignty over the universe and in the second part I sought to show that God is speaking to us today and how God is speaking to us today. Today I want to progress to showing that God is speaking to you today and revealing his will for your life.

God Is Speaking To You

We have looked to the Bible and seen that today God speaks to us by his Son, through the Holy Spirit, in the Bible, and that apart from this, he makes no promises to speak to us in other ways. This means that if we want to know the will of God for our lives, we need to turn to the Bible since that is where God has promised that he will speak to us.

If you look to the Bible to seek God’s will for your life, what will you find? You will find that God is speaking to you. He is speaking to you about his will for you, for your life. You will find verses like 1 Thessalonians 4:3 which says, “This is the will of God, your sanctification.” There is God’s will for you in the big picture. He wants you to be sanctified. He wants you to be holy. His will is clear! Just one chapter later we are told, “Rejoice always, pray without ceasing, give thanks in all circumstances; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you.” God wants you to be thankful in all things, he wants you to rejoice in all things, he wants you to pray about all things. In other words, he wants you to be constantly aware of his sovereignty and to be constantly in communication with him, submitting your whole life to him.

There are all sorts of other passages like that. This is not the place to look at them all, but even if we did, the message would not change. The consistent message is this: God’s will for you is that you would live like a Christian, like a person whose life has been transformed by his power. God’s will for you is that you would seek to imitate Christ and that more and more you would serve as a greater reflection of Christ, prayerfully submitting yourself to him and his sovereignty. That is God’s will!

What you will not find? You won’t find the Bible saying, “You should marry this fine, Christian girl instead of that fine, Christian girl.” You won’t find the Bible telling you, “Go ahead and buy the Honda and I will bless you” or “Don’t buy that Toyota or I’ll remove my hand of blessing.” You will find lots of principles and lots of wisdom and lots of clear guidance on how you can honor God. But you will see that God does not reveal his secret will to you and he does not reveal his complete will for you. He guides you and he guides me and all of us in the same way and with the same words. The will he reveals for you is the will he reveals for me.

Some people are disappointed by this, but they shouldn’t be. They should be thrilled! You need to see that there is a lot of joy in understanding that God is not going to tell you whether you should marry this girl or that girl. He will do better. He will tell you that if you are going to marry, you need to marry a member of the opposite sex who is a Christian. That is all the direct guidance he is going to give you. He has spoken to you through the Bible and said all he needs to say on the matter. He wants you to choose who to marry, as long as she meets those basic criteria.

He won’t speak from the sky. Instead, he’ll do something far better. He will let you make a choice and promise to be with you regardless of what you choose. Not only that, but he will love and support you and bless you, because what you do is in accordance with his revealed will as he has given it in the Bible.

Do you see the freedom this brings? Now we are free from worrying about whether or not we are marrying just the right person; we don’t need to worry that we’ve married the wrong person. We simply look at the basic principles God has given us and do what honors him and know that we are doing his will. People who always feel the need to hear from God on every decision often live their lives in captivity to doubt and to circumstances. “I decided to enroll my children in the local Christian school and the very next day I received a homeschooling catalog in the mail. Is God trying to tell me something?” Don’t look to the catalog, look to the Bible! And regardless of how you educate your children, God is going to bless you because you are not defying his revealed will in the Bible.

And really, do you want to have to base your decisions on trying to read into circumstances and feelings and open and closed doors? There is no security in that. It is far better to look to the Bible which is fixed and firm and unchanging and authoritative and let the Bible instruct you. God never demands that you interpret circumstances and make decisions according to them. Instead, we are to look to the Bible as our rule for all matters pertaining to life and godliness and make our decisions on that basis.

We have seen that God guides us and that God’s will is that we live like Christians—that we live like people who have been transformed by the power of the Holy Spirit and who are now seeking to live in the ways that honor him. In the final part of this series I want to show you how you can actually go about making decisions that will honor God. When it comes right down to choosing this or choosing that, how can you know what God would have you do?