Tuesday, May 20, 2014

The Number 1 Question Christians Want to Know. What Is God's Will for My Life?

God's will for your life is clear from Genesis to Revelation

When you Google "God's will for my life," you get 170,000,000 results. I didn't have time to read them all, but you can be sure there are plenty of differing opinions about the answer.  I don't presume to know any more than the next person about the subject, but I'm going to tackle this issue from the broadest sense for this post. Then, in another post, I'll come at it from the narrow perspective.

God's will for your life is the same as it is for my life and for every other Christian. It is the same in the New Testament as it was in the Old Testament. If there was ever a case of folks missing the forest for the trees, this is it. When you finish, please let me know if you think I've completely missed something in the comments section that follows.

1.  God wants you to have the best possible life on earth.

Once you get your arms around this, it is life changing. Other religions have gods who punish them or do deals with them or they must do crazy actions to please their god. While our God punishes unbelievers, there is no time where believers are punished. We may do crazy things in an attempt to please God, but He never requires or suggests we do so.  Quite the opposite. And we can't negotiate with God.

The Bible says:

Deuteronomy 4:40
Keep his decrees and commands, which I am giving you today, so that it may go well with you and your children after you and that you may live long in the land the LORD your God gives you for all time.

1 Kings 11:38
If you do whatever I command you and walk in obedience to me and do what is right in my eyes by obeying my decrees and commands, as David my servant did, I will be with you. I will build you a dynasty as enduring as the one I built for David and will give Israel to you.

Isaiah 3:10
Tell the righteous it will be well with them, for they will enjoy the fruit of their deeds.

Exodus 15:26
He said, "If you listen carefully to the LORD your God and do what is right in his eyes, if you pay attention to his commands and keep all his decrees, I will not bring on you any of the diseases I brought on the Egyptians, for I am the LORD, who heals you."

Jeremiah 7:23
but I gave them this command: Obey me, and I will be your God and you will be my people. Walk in obedience to all I command you, that it may go well with you.

For the New Testament you need go no further than the most famous sermon of all time, the Sermon on the Mount, where Jesus tells us who will be blessed. And blessings will flow to those who are humble, repentant, meek, seeking righteousness, and pure.

Simple, straightforward.  God wants us to do things that will be of benefit to our own bodies, to our own emotional health, and to our own souls. These same actions will be the best possible for the community as well. God's will for us clearly starts with our living a blessed life on earth.

Knowing that God's will is that you have a blessed life should cause you to get much more serious about following His commands. Let me ask you, do you ever drink Drano? Do you have a taster check out the canned peas before you eat them? You trust the instructions and the makers of these products. We humans don't trust our maker that way.

2.  God wants us to love Him and love others

You knew that! In combination with God's desire that you live the best possible life, the greatest commandments must lead to that blessed life if you follow them. God's commands are not for the purpose of helping Him out or making Him happy. They are a love letter written to you so that you will do well. 

What are you doing about learning how to love God? Is it part of your plan for today? This week? This year? Do you know what it means to love others? What are you doing to become better at that?

So it is God's specific will for your life that you follow the two Greatest Commandments.

3.  God wants you to be a disciple

Do you think that becoming a disciple is optional? Do you know what it takes to become a disciple? Can you list the items Jesus said it would take to be a true disciple? Jesus spent the greatest portion of His time of ministry taking 12 men and making them into disciples. If He saw it as being that much of a priority, my guess is that His will for your life is that you become a disciple.

That would mean:
  • Obeying Jesus
  • Taking up your cross and following Him
  • Giving up everything, even family 

4.  Jesus highest priority for us is that we make disciples

Once again, I'm suggesting that there is no mystery to God's will for us.  Jesus has given us many specific directions for ways that we can be fruitful in this life. But we all agree that one of those items stands above the others. We call it the Great Commission.

Most Christian I talk to are very confused by what the great commission says. It does not say go and make converts. It does not say go and convince people to try church. It says make disciples. You can't be a disciple until you have decided to accept the gift of the Gospel and follow Jesus as Lord. That is a work only the Holy Spirit can do. We are called upon to tell others, and that is certainly a high priority. But the highest priority is to make disciples. To be more specific, we need to help those who are already professing Christ to do those three things above. If they are failing to do those three things or desiring and making decisions designed to move towards those things, they are not true disciples and they are likely not saved.

You therefore can know God's will. He wants you to help folks that are slipping away from the hope of heaven. In many cases they are slipping away because no one nurtured their growth after being planted. You see, thousands come to Christ every week, but as we pointed out in this post, maybe only 10% of folks who accept Jesus are headed for heaven. Not my words, but the words of J. Vernon McGee.

God's will for your life? Have a blessed life, love God and others, be a disciple, make disciples.
If you do these things, I maintain that God's very specific will for your personal life will be made known. You won't have to ask, because you'll be too busy doing it. And because you have been faithful in these things, He will be chasing you down for new assignments.

Did I leave anything out?

ps My new book, God Called - He Needs Your Decision! speaks specifically to these issues, and gives a pathway to becoming a true disciple. Check it out at Amazon

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