Sunday, 1 March 2015

Knowing God's Will

Pauls prayer for the Colossians was that they would have the knowledge of Gods will (Col. 1:9-10). There are three possible options with regard to the meaning of Gods will. One is Gods secret will, his purpose for everyone and everything. Paul does not expect any of the Colossians to get access to Gods secret will because God will not share these details with others.
The second option is Gods specific will for us as individuals. Some Christians are eager to discover what role God has for them and assume that they will be given infallible confirmation. So they pray about their career, or marriage, or house, and often expect to receive specific answers, when usually what provides answers in such areas involves common sense. Dont get me wrong. I am not suggesting that we should not pray for specific matters.
So if it is not Gods secret will or his specific will, what will does Paul have in mind? I would suggest it is Gods revealed will found in the Bible.
The Bible mentions several responses that God wants from us, and these responses will involve conformity to his will. In Romans 12:2, Paul informs his readers, Do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewal of your mind, that by testing you may discern what is the will of God, what is good and acceptable and perfect. Our minds, therefore, have to be informed before we can know Gods will.
Another detail given in Gods Word is a principle that covers all our behaviour Paul instructs the Thessalonians, For this is the will of God, your sanctification: that you abstain from sexual immorality (1 Thess. 4:3). We should not engage in any thoughts or actions that hinder sanctification.

And there is his other reference to the Thessalonians concerning Gods will: Rejoice always, pray without ceasing, give thanks in all circumstances; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you (1 Thess. 5:16-18). 
If anyone asks about knowing Gods will, reminding them of the three details mention here by Paul is a good start.

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