Most Christians approach knowing God’s will as some great mystery to be solved, using the latest materials available for a pretty price at the local LifeWay store. While Bible study materials are definitely a great assistance in furthering your Biblical knowledge, they alone will not “crack the code” when it comes to understanding God’s will for their lives. The most important source we can use in learning God’s will is…the Bible. I know that may seem so 16th Century, but it does work.
In John 7 we find Jesus teaching in the middle of the Feast of Tabernacles “and many of the Jews marveled, saying, ‘How does this man know letters, having never studied?’”(v.15). First understand that in the 1st Century, the word “letters” could mean the actual characters of the alphabet or Scripture. In this case, the Jews are referring to Scripture.
“Jesus answered them and said, ‘My doctrine is not Mine, but His who sent Me. If anyone wills to do His will, he shall know concerning the doctrine, whether it is from God or whether I speak on My own authority. He who speaks from himself seeks his own glory; but He who seeks the glory of the One who sent Him is true, and no unrighteousness is in Him.’” (John 7:16-18)
The “secret code” to discover is in the middle of that passage; it is verse 17. Jesus said, “If anyone wills to do His will…” In today’s modern “It’s all about me” church, that is a mighty big “If.” For me to understand God’s will for my life, for me to understand Biblical principles, I have to want to…not desire to grow as a Christian…I have to desire to do God’s will. Notice Jesus didn’t say to know God’s will; He said to do God’s will.
Well Brother Dave, how can we do God’s will if we don’t know His will? You know His will.
God’ will for your life is the Ten Commandments, and please do not try to tell me that the Law no longer applies to New Testament Christians. If you believe that, go back and study Jesus’ words. I’m sure even Thomas Jefferson knew better than that.
God’s will for your life is Jesus’ summation of the Ten Commandments known as the Greatest Commandment, and the second one that is like it.
God’s will for your life is the Great Commission. We are to witness to every person God gives us opportunity.
If our will is aligned with God’s will, then the spiritual fruit produced from obeying the above list of God’s will shall be present in our lives.
Jesus didn’t leave us with just the teaching during the Feast of Tabernacles; He also gave us a more pointed teaching at the Last Supper during Passover. He told the Disciples:
“Jesus answered and said to him, ‘If anyone loves Me, he will keep My word; and My Father will love him, and We will come to him and make Our home with him. He who does not love Me does not keep My words; and the word which you hear is not Mine but the Father’s who sent Me.’” (John 14:23-24)
I have a confession to make; I am really uncomfortable with Jesus’ teaching in that passage. I don’t like thinking that my disobedience to Christ is a sign of my lack of love for Him. I somehow have convinced myself that I can love Christ while at the same time disobeying Him. The truth is, at that moment I love myself more than I love Jesus, that is why I willingly disobey Him.
It all comes down to my personal will. What will I choose to do today? Will I choose to obey or will I choose to satisfy me? In his excellent commentary on the Gospel of John, Dr. Elmer Towns writing on today’s passage from John 7 informs us:
“In announcing the heavenly origin of His message, Jesus first emphasized the need for His listeners to willingly listen to Him…Jesus is saying that ‘if one is willing to do,’ if his or her moral purpose is in harmony with God’s will, then that person will come to know the true origin of Jesus’ doctrine. The yielding of self-will to the will of God is the key that unlocks spiritual discernment.”
There it is right in front of us. The key to unlocking spiritual discernment is yielding our self-will to God’s will. If what I purpose in my heart to do for the Lord is in harmony with His will, then I have true spiritual discernment.
The secret then is not so secret; in fact it is quite simple. However, conforming my will to God’s will is not always that easy.
It’s just a matter of what I consider is more important in my life; me or God.
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Copyright © 2014 David Jeffers