Where is the will of God?
“Not everyone who says to Me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ will enter the kingdom of heaven, but he who does the will of My Father who is in heaven will enter” (Matthew 7:21).
This passage makes it clear that God’s will should be paramount to us. We want to be among those who do the will of the Father in heaven. We want to be in that heavenly kingdom. The only way that we can know is we are pleasing Him is if He has somehow told us what pleases Him. We cannot just read His mind. We cannot presume to know what He wants. He has to tell us if we are to know what He thinks.
The beauty of this earth is amazing. The mountains, valleys, oceans, rivers, trees, flowers, and all that comes with it testify to an intelligent and benevolent Creator. The Psalmist declared: “The heavens are telling of the glory of God; and their expanse is declaring the work of His hands” (19:1). God has revealed Himself in nature, and we are without excuse if we do not see this: “since the creation of the world His invisible attributes, His eternal power and divine nature, have been clearly seen, being understood through what has been made, that they are without excuse” (Romans 1:20). Paul stated that God “did not leave Himself without witness, in that He did good and gave you rains from heaven and fruitful seasons, satisfying your hearts with food and gladness” (Acts 14:17). Nature is a witness to God.
Yet nature alone does not answer the question, “Where is the will of God?” While we can see the witness of God through His creation, this is not the same issue as the revelation of His will. Knowing that God is, and that He is powerful, is not the same as knowing what He wants us to do. The fact is that we could go out to the mountains, sit at the breaking waters of the oceans, and spend hours marveling at the stars, but none of that will tell us His will for our lives. We cannot just “commune” with nature and expect to know what pleases God based upon some feeling we might get from looking at nature’s beauty.
The will of God is in the mind of God. Through creation, God demonstrated His power and divine nature. We can gather from this that He is powerful, benevolent, and awesome, but we cannot know His will unless He communicates His mind to us. This is the purpose of His special revelation. This is the reason for Scripture.
Paul made this very point. Faith must rest not upon the wisdom of men, but upon the power of God (1 Corinthians 2:1–5). God’s wisdom has the power to save, not man’s. Yet the only way to know God’s wisdom is through His special revelation: “Things which eye has not seen and ear has not heard, and which have not entered the heart of man, all that God has prepared for those who love Him” (v. 9). What God has prepared for those who love Him must be told, not assumed. For all the power displayed through creation, God’s will did not enter the heart of man until God revealed it through His Spirit (vv. 10–14). No one knows the thoughts of God except His Spirit, and the Spirit revealed God’s will “so that we may know the things freely given to us by God” (v. 12). Paul’s point through this is that “we have the mind of Christ” because He has revealed His mind to us through the inspired Scriptures.
God’s will for us, then, is found in the Scriptures, the revealed word of God. We encourage everyone to enjoy the creation of God. Smell the roses, marvel at the stars, and stand in awe of the mountains. However, to know God’s will for your life, study the Scriptures and devote yourself to practicing what He desires. The Scriptures are profitable for teaching, reproof, correction, and instruction in righteousness. They are completely able to adequately equip us to do everything God wants (2 Timothy 3:16–17). The Scriptures can build us up and prepare us for the inheritance that God will give to His faithful saints (Acts 20:32). Let the word be implanted in your heart, for it has the power to save (James 1:21; Romans 1:16).
Paul reminded Timothy of the importance of the Scriptures:, “You, however, continue in the things you have learned and become convinced of, knowing from whom you have learned them, and that from childhood you have known the sacred writings which are able to give you the wisdom that leads to salvation through faith which is in Christ Jesus” (2 Timothy 3:14–15).
“Let the word of Christ richly dwell within you” (Colossians 3:16). This is God’s will for us all.