What Is God's Will...  

Posted by Matt

...and how do I know it's Him talking and not just me?

Man, this is what's been chewing my brain up for weeks now. I mentioned a while back that I'd listened to a podcast by Andy Stanley of North Point Church and that I'd pass on to you what I found so moving and compelling about what I found God saying to me through him.

Warning: this is a longer blog post, but I really think it's worth it.

God's drop-kicking people's brains and hearts through speakers like Andy Stanley--and I think it's great that we can pass on and share God's Word and what He's laying on our hearts to others. We talked a bit about this material this past week at the high school small group at Avalon.

So...my notes based off of "Finding God's Will: Part 1" from Andy Stanley.


As Christians, we learn the language of Christians: "Blood of Jesus," "Dedicating my life to God," "Called to ministry or missions," etc.

One thing we often hear Christians say is that we just want to know "God's will." What does that mean, what does that look like, and how do we really find out what God's will is?

"Will" is essentially God's wishes or plans. What God wants. In the Bible, you can find three basic categories of God's "will."

1. God's Providential Will: this is what God wants and will do, regardless of your faith, your prayers, or your desires. For example, God's decided that, PROVIDENTIALLY, He was going to create the Heavens and the Earth. He didn't take a vote. He didn't need us to pray for it to happen. Some things, God simply says, "Hey. I'm going to make such-and-such a thing happen.

2. God's Moral Will: this is the general behavior and mentality God wants you to have as you live your life. Again, you don't really have to pray much about what God wants you to do here. He lays it out in the Bible, for the most part, and you don't really need to pray, "God, should I cheat on my test? I just want to know your will, God. Please tell me." You already know, or can easily find out what God's will is there.

3. God's Personal Will for Your Life: THIS is the one we're interested in because it's the plan for what we think will create some sort of magical Christian lifestyle of harmony, success, holiness, and zen-like Oneness with God. Let's break this one down:

a. This will look very different from person to person.
b. God probably won't reveal to you His Personal Will for Your Life without your being acquainted with His Providential and Moral Will. Chances are, if you don't know God and His character and His ideas on how a Christian should lead his life in a general way, you're unprepared and won't understand /accept God's Personal Way--it won't make sense to you.
c. God doesn't reveal His will for your life just so you can consider it. He's not offering you an OPTION--He's offering you His WILL. If you aren't broken or lost enough to commit to action on God's Personal Will, you're not ready to receive it, likely enough.
d. God probably won't (read "HIGHLY UNLIKELY") reveal His Personal Will regarding your question through an audible voice, lightning from the sky, or some cryptic vision given to you through some rearrangement of letters on a billboard. You'd probably pay more attention to the wonder of it, than the actual message--God wants to draw you close and get you to listen to Him--that's why the Holy Spirit is often described as a "still, small voice."
e. Hey, I'm not saying God won't or can't shout, but just like your own Earthly Father, He'd much rather get through to you without having to shout.

In working out what God's Personal Will for you, you need to pray, read your Bible, and go to church...become friends with and close to other Christians. God will reveal Himself to you through those channels.

What's most important to God, however, is not that you are doing a THING or executing a PLAN, even if it's in His name. God told David that he couldn't build the temple, even though David was ready, willing, and able. God's not interested in the things you can do for Him nearly as much as the relationship He has to offer you.

Essentially, God loves it when you are lost, broken, and in need of answers, because in that time of need, you pray more, listen more, spend more time in the word than you do when you're comfortable--and THAT'S when God really gets your undivided attention.

A friend of mine put it this way, "Love God more than anything else. Make Him your first priority. If you do that, you can probably do whatever you want, because by then, God will have aligned your desires with His."

Questions and Verses for Consideration:

1. What's an example of God's Providential Will (i.e. What has He promised to do, no matter what)?

2. What's an example of God's Moral Will (i.e. What are some of God's general thoughts on how Christians should behave and act)?

3. What is an area in your life where you know you need to seek God's Personal Will for you?

4. What steps do you need to take in order to be prepared for God to show you His will for your life?


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I'm just a suburban guy. I wish I were hardcore, I wish I were tougher, I wish I listened to cooler music, I wish I weren't a lush, I wish I had big muscles, cooler hair, and some rad tattoos, I wish I were smarter, cooler, and sexier, I wish I knew how to play guitar. Instead, I'm just a band geek, power-nerd wannabe, WoW gamer, 30 year-old dad and husband. I play french horn, I read the Vampire Chronicles as well as the Chronic-WHAT?!-les of Narnia, I like movies, but not all the snobby-artsy ones I'm "supposed" to see, and a good meal to me is Miller Lite with chicken patties topped in barbecue sauce. ...oh...and I have a big mouth.


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