That Perfect Will

As God’s children, we desire to know the will of God for our lives; we want our lives to count for God; we long to be living in His perfect will. How do we find this? how do we know what His unique will is for us as individuals and in spiritual community?

Is knowing God’s will a matter of being still and listening for His voice? the “leading of the Spirit” to guide us and show us what to do? Are we to look inside ourselves for good feelings triggered by potential activity? or thoughts appearing in our heads or hearts telling us to do or not do this or that? This sounds spiritual enough on the surface, but Scripture disagrees: God’s way is quite different.

To find God’s will for our lives, God says we need to be transformed by the renewing of our mind: we are to prove what is His good, and acceptable and perfect will by changing how we think about Him, ourselves and the world. (Ro 12:2) We need to stop listening to what others are saying about how to find and follow God, about how to live life; we need to stop following their lead, stop thinking like the world and aligning with its philosophy. (Co 2:8)

We all start out thinking the wrong way about God, about ourselves and others, even life itself, so our way of thinking needs to be cleaned up, fixed, corrected. The carnal mind, the natural way of thinking, is largely opposed to God and His ways, at enmity with Him (Ro 8:7), broken. What seems right at first glance (Pr 14:12) is ultimately the way of Death. (Ro 8:6) To be free, we align our thinking with God’s, with Truth itself. (2Ti 2:25-26) God calls it repentance. (Lk 13:3-5)

This should be expected, really: God should be more interested in who we are becoming than what we happen to be doing along the way. We can’t very well do God’s work if we aren’t becoming more and more like Him. It’s all about the heart: the core of who we are, seated in our mind, how we think, which drives how we feel and what we do. (Pr 4:23)

To renew our mind, to have a sound mind, we must discover where it’s misaligned with God’s Way and ask God to help us correct it. This is how we cleanse our way, by paying attention to where we’re deviating from God’s Word. (Ps 119:9) It’s why we’re hiding God’s Word in our heart, memorizing and meditating on Scripture, constantly recalibrating ourselves with His Word.

As we get our mind right, our thoughts, beliefs and inclinations, as well as our emotions will follow and align with God’s; then our behavior will tend more toward godliness (1Ti 4:7), honoring God and bringing Him glory rather than grieving Him. (Ep 4:30)

As God transforms us more into His image, we begin to realize God’s will for us is to become holy (1Pe 1:13-16), partakers of His holiness (He 12:10), that we may stand perfect and complete in all the will of God. (Co 4:12)

A desire to do great things for God may in fact be a desire to be recognized and rewarded by God, ultimately rooted in a spirit of self-exaltation rather than a desire to serve God and please Him. It turns out God measures greatness, not by our exploits and achievements before Him, but by our obedience to Him – to Torah. (Mt 5:19)

As we’re seeking to be transformed more and more into His image (2Co 3:18), into the likeness of Christ, seeking to obey and honor Him in all we do, God will be working in us to will and to do according to His good pleasure (Php 2:13), and we will find ourselves in the will of God, right where we belong.

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One thought on “That Perfect Will”

  1. This is not to discount the fact that God may indeed speak directly and unmistakably to us as He likes. In my experience (and I think this bears out in Scripture), this is the exception rather than the rule, and is often in the context of a major course correction, or when a specific course of action is not apparent via wisdom and/or intuition and experience. When God does speak in this way, it is unmistakably clear: we will know it is God speaking without any hesitation or reservation. We don’t need to still / quiet ourselves or train ourselves to hear God speak.

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