Will that I will know God's will, or something like that

He looked at me in all seriousness and said, "I honestly believe it was God's will for me to leave my wife and kids to be with her. She makes me happy, happier than I've ever been in my life. When I'm with her, I feel fulfilled, as if the missing pieces of my life have suddenly been put into place. God wants me to be happy, right?"

Pretty cringe-worthy statements there, huh? Maybe you're thinking that there is no way in the world God's will is for someone to get a divorce because he's in love with another woman, and I am right there with you. But the problem we all face at some point is that we struggle to know what God's will is in the first place. Truth be told, the foundation of our desire to know God's will isn't too far off this guy's desire to "upgrade" his choice in wives - we want God's will to benefit us. In other words, we know what we want and we hope and pray that God will rubber stamp it for us, hence making His will conform to our will.

When it comes right down to it, how many of us can even define what God's "will" even is? And what if what we believe God wants for our lives contradicts the truth that we find in the pages of the Bible? Can we still find ways to force it into our lives and justify it?

These questions are not meant to disparage anyone, but rather to start the thinking process. I believe we all want to know God's will for our lives, yet finding out exactly what His will is can be a lot like picking perfect NCAA brackets. It's a lot harder than it looks. Over the years I've wanted to know what God's will for my life was in very specific areas:
  • What job will I one day have?
  • Who will I marry?
  • Where will I live?
  • Will Wake Forest ever be good in basketball again?
But is that all there is to God's will, just wanting to know the who/what/where/why/how of our own lives? Doesn't that limit the scope just a bit? Yes it does. God's will belongs to God, not us, and so He is the focal point. We become the gracious beneficiaries of His eternal and perfect desires and plans, not the arbiters of how we want things to go.

The Sermon on the Mount in the book of Matthew is perhaps the most well-known and studied teaching session of Jesus. In this passage He unpacks so many nuggets of goodness that we could feast on it for weeks on end without ever getting enough. And in this amazing section of truth, Jesus actually addresses God's will for our lives, yet perhaps not in the cut-and-dry way that we would prefer.

In Matthew 6:9-13, Jesus teaches us what has become known as The Lord's Prayer, a template for how we can approach God through the discipline of prayer. In verse 10 He reveals this gem:
Your kingdom come, your will be done, on earth as it is in heaven.
From that brief statement, we learn a ton about what God's will is - and isn't - and how it applies to our lives. We see that God's will exists in heaven and heaven is a place where God resides. Therefore, God's will is perfect, because God is perfect. His will is driven by His very nature and character, which means that His will will always glorify who He is and never point to sinfulness. As a result of these truths, we can know for certain that God's will in our lives will always involve those things that bring glory and honor to Him above all else.

This understanding may not answer the question of specifically whom you are going to marry one day, but it does tell you that whomever you pursue as a spouse should be one whose life honors God above anything else. 

And from this you may not find the specifics to where you will one day work or live, but you can be assured that whatever occupation you choose or destination you call home should be done so to glorify God above all else.

College in the future? Consider how best you can glorify God in your choice of higher education.

On and on we could go, but I think that you see the trend here. Perhaps the greatest area of God's will that we need to grasp is that God's will is all about His will and not simply what we want for our lives. God is good - all the time - and inside His perfect will lies His perfect plans and ways that often fall beyond our scope of understanding. 

God wants what is best for us. He is not a capricious God who wants to dash our hopes and dreams. After all, He is the one who gave us the ability to hope and dream in the first place! But we will only truly begin to discover God's will when we earnestly seek after Him from the get go. You wanna know God's will for your life? Then seek to know God, the designer and executor of His perfect will. Seek first His kingdom, and all these things will be added unto you (Matthew 6:33).

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