Learning God’s will

Do you know God’s will for your life? Shoot, forget your life. Do you know God’s will for today? Or for this hour?

Sometimes knowing God’s will is an hour-by-hour, minute-by-minute kind of thing, but no matter what His will is for you or for me, it’s something that we have to be taught, according to today’s verse, Psalm 143:10.

10 Teach me to do your will,
      for you are my God.
   May your gracious Spirit lead me forward
      on a firm footing.

God’s will isn’t some etheral, abstract concept floating around in the void waiting to be claimed by the person who seeks it. God’s will is a concrete, sensible sort of action that you can wrap your head around. There’s nothing vague or fuzzy about God. He is always clear, He is always concise, and He is always certain.

If the instructions you’re getting from God seem confused, you might what to check your source.

We aren’t born knowing God’s will. And God’s will isn’t like lightning that suddenly strikes us one day and we realize that we haven’t been doing God’s will.

We learn what God’s will is through Scripture and through biblical instruction. And, honestly, we learn God’s will over time spent not doing it, even though deep down we already know what it is.

The Bible says that I am to love God more than any other person in my life. I am to do everything to the glory of God, as though I were working for God and not for people. I am to honor my parents and love my enemies. I am to be thankful for troubles and difficulties in my life because they work patience.  I am to trust God, that He will work out everything in my life for my good and His glory, whether my current situation already be good or whether it be frustrating. I am to share my faith with other people who don’t believe, not as a Bible thumper but as someone who was one hopeless who has found peace and joy in Christ. I am to use my gifts and talents for God.

This is God’s will for my life. These things never change. And no matter where I’m living or what church I’m going to or what job I have, none of these things will vary.

I had to be taught these things, especially because half of them don’t make sense. Half of them–well, all of them–wouldn’t occur to someone naturally because they go against what normal human existence expects.

I learned these things through my own Bible study and through the teaching I received from my parents and my pastor and my authorities at church. And once I learned these concepts, the Holy Spirit was able to explain to me or to reveal to me how I could live them in my own life.

The Bible is a living book, and it would be a living book just because God breathed its content through its authors. But what makes it so extraordinary is the Holy Spirit, Who explains what the Bible means and how we can apply it to our lives. That’s why Scripture makes so little sense to unbelievers. If you don’t have the Holy Spirit in your life, the Bible seems like foolishness.

Once we know God’s will, the practical everyday concepts God has told us to live, the Holy Spirit can lead us with certain steps forward. Because if we know how to live, we can live. If you know what you’re supposed to do, you can take the next step.

Now, will you always be able to see the results of that step? No. Will you always be able to see what you’re walking on? No. Will it always feel like the right step? I wish it did, but it doesn’t always. No matter how desperately we want to do God’s will, everything He tells us to do will still be contrary to our fallen human nature. So honestly, doing God’s will rarely feels right. But at the same time, you’ll know it’s right.

And when you know something, that makes all the difference in the world. Because if you know God will catch you, no leap of faith is too great.

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