God’s will from the New Testament
A few weeks ago we examined how to know God’s will through the Old Testament and what the characteristic of his will are. In our first step of examining the scriptures about God’s will, we found that it is: perfect, peace seeking, best for us, sovereign through to triumph, creates a yielding heart in us, cannot be thwarted, his will tolerates sin for his own glory, and spiritual warfare is our call of duty. Today we are going to focus in the New Testament.
Beyond these characteristics identified above of his will found in scriptures, we learn the will of God is directed in purpose. Galatians 4:3-4 tells us, “So also, when we were underage, we were in slavery under the elemental spiritual forces of the world. 4 But when the set time had fully come, God sent his Son, born of a woman, born under the law,…” 2 Peter 3:9 further hones this point in saying God does not will anyone to enter into hell, but wants humanity to repent. God’s will is for the lost to be found. The sheep who are astray, to return. This is the purposeful direction of the Father’s will. Jesus declared, “Repent, for the kingdom of heaven has come near.” in Matthew 4:17. He went right to the point of the purpose: redemption. This purpose was stated by the Father in the very beginning. Redemption has been the plan. In Genesis 3:15 the Father declares a Messiah will come to repair the brokenness. Then the Messiah said of his own purpose, “By myself I can do nothing; I judge only as I hear, and my judgment is just, for I seek not to please myself but him who sent me.” in John 5:30. The author of Hebrews recalls Psalms 40:6-8 in Jesus as the Christ by saying, “Behold I have come to do your will…” in Hebrews 10:5-9. This is Jesus making this statement. He was here to do the will of the Father by saying, “Repent!” The will of God was and is to bring redemption to a fallen creation. Jesus is the Christ, the Messiah, the one who fulfilled the Father’s will of making redemption possible. Want to be about doing the will of God? Share the Gospel of Jesus Christ and make disciples through teaching new Christians.
There is yet more to the will of God. As a Christian, we have very specific directives of how to be in the will of God. First, we are to live sacrificially. The Apostle Paul says, “Therefore, I urge you, brothers and sisters, in view of God’s mercy, to offer your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and pleasing to God–this is your true and proper worship. 2 Do not conform to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is–his good, pleasing and perfect will.” Romans 12:1-2 Did you see it? We are to live sacrificially in this world. Not being part of it, but living among the world. That’s what Jesus did. John 1:14 says, “The Word became flesh and made his dwelling among us.” The will of God is that we live out 1 Peter 1:15-16 by doing 1 Peter 2:11-12. Here is what I mean, we are to be holy: 15 But just as he who called you is holy, so be holy in all you do; 16 for it is written: “Be holy, because I am holy.” We grow our holiness by abstaining from sin: “11 Dear friends, I urge you, as foreigners and exiles, to abstain from sinful desires, which wage war against your soul. 12 Live such good lives among the pagans that, though they accuse you of doing wrong, they may see your good deeds and glorify God on the day he visits us.” This is fulfilled by seeking the Kingdom as THE priority in our lives, according to Matthew 6:33. In that pursuit we are to focus on “…whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable–if anything is excellent or praiseworthy–think about such things.” Philippians 4:8 This is part of us praying, “your will be done on earth.” It is through us. Deny yourself to know and live in the will of God. “We are praying that we and others might be the means whereby God’s purpose might be accomplished: that the justice and peace of God’s kingdom will become a reality in peoples’ lives.” Unknown Author
Secondly, the will of God is for us to be grateful. In 1 Thessalonians 5:18 we read, “give thanks in all circumstances; for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus.” Being thankful shapes us into a proper understanding of who we are and who God is. We are to give thanks. For what? For salvation, creation, breath every day, eternal life…make a list. To be in the will of God we must be a grateful people.
The scripture tells us more ways to be in the will of God, but for now pausing at the point of being grateful for God, who he is and what he is doing, is an appropriate point to rest and reflect. Prayerfully contemplate these thoughts of God’s directed will for redemption of his creation and his will for us to be holy as he is by living sacrificially as we carry out his purpose in redemption. There you will find yourself in the will of God.