Saturday, March 22, 2014

2 Essentials for Being in the Center of God's Will

Many people consume themselves with the topic God's will. The Bible does emphasize what it looks like to be in the center of God's will, though this will not help someone who wants to know who to marry or what job to take. Here are two biblical truths about being in the center of God's will.
God’s Will for Eternal Life in Christ (John 6:40)
“For this is the will of my Father, that everyone who looks on the Son and believes in him should have eternal life, and I will raise him up on the last day.” 

So first, God’s will is to save a people for himself through the gospel

The gospel: [lit. good news] God has a plan to rescue sinners from his wrath. Every human is born in sin and under the judgment of God. Only Jesus Christ can save you from God’s wrath. The good news/gospel is that God has sent him to take your punishment on the cross--to be your substitute--to die in your place so you can be forgiven, find freedom from sin and eternal life in heaven.  

Yet there is a crucial word in this passage that some can miss: believe. The text says nothing about having Christian parents or growing up in the church. It simply says “believe.”

It is the same message that the apostles preached in Acts 10:43 “everyone who believes in him receives forgiveness of sins through his name.” 

So the first essential of being in the center of God’s will is to believe in Christ. Personal faith in Christ is essential. Do you have this? Have you personally turned from your sin and trusted in Jesus Christ? Are you a believer? 

God’s Will for a Holy Life (1 Thess 4:3)
“For this is the will of God, your sanctification...” 

God’s will for his children is this: “be sanctified” (that means be holy, set apart for God).

In case there is any confusion about what that looks like, the verse gets a little more detailed “that you abstain from sexual immorality.” 

If Paul’s day was sexually chaotic, ours is probably just as much if not more. Our culture has such a casual attitude towards sex and I don’t need to spend time trying to convince anyone of that. But God is looking for people who take holiness seriously. To be at the center of his will means to take holiness seriously. That is the second essential aspect of being in God’s will from the Bible. 

Yet often many people consume themselves with trying to find the right career path or right spouse to try to be in the center of God’s will.

But the Bible puts the emphasis in a different direction: believe in the gospel and pursue  a holy life. That is what being in the center of God’s will looks like. 

Again, these are essentials to being at the center of God’s will. The topic of God’s will is broad and there is much to consider with decision making and seeking guidance, like career and marriage. I would recommend the book Just Do Something by Kevin DeYoung for answers to those topics. 

Finally, one of the most important aspects of being in God’s will is to make it a regular part of our praying, which Jesus taught us to do:

“Your kingdom come, your will be done on earth as it is in heaven” (Matt 5:10).