The Tulip Driven Life Podcast

Wednesday, January 16, 2013

How Can I Know God’s Will?

By: Nathan Fox

Colossians 1:9-12

God’s Will- Specific or Not
The topic of God’s will is one that is spoken about often, but very rarely addressed on a specific level. The answer for that is this: God has a specific will for your life that no blogger (like myself) could tell you about. I am not going to try to tell you EXACTLY what God’s will is in this blog, but hopefully by the end of reading this you will see some traits and habits that we can extract from Scripture that certainly line up in the will of God. My hope is that after reading this what we have covered will at the very least urge you to understand that knowing God’s will is not attainable for humans on a specific level (in terms of where to live, what food to eat, etc.), but it is accessible on a general level through His Word. We would always be wise to turn there first to understand somewhat what God’s will for our life is.

God’s Will Defined by Paul
The first thing (and ultimately the thing upon which the rest of the verses draw from) that I want us to take a look at is in verse 9. In it, Paul says this: “I do not cease to pray for you, and to ask that you may be filled with the knowledge of His will in all wisdom and spiritual understanding.” How interesting that Paul specifically mentions God’s will in this verse, and requests that we be filled with it. Now I don’t know exactly what manner he wanted the Colossians to grow in the knowledge of the will of God, but I do know this for us: reading the Bible is a perfect way to grow in God’s will! Why is this? Look at the end of verse 9 again as it mentions wisdom and spiritual understanding. What better book to read than a book steeped with wisdom such as the Bible, and a book prone to grow our spiritual understanding? In short, we can take from this that one of the definite commands that God has for us in our lives is that we engage in His Word on an active basis, and by doing so we will grow in our understanding of His will for our lives.
But it’s not just reading God’s Word that defines the Christian. Certainly it is in God’s will for our lives, but I thoroughly believe (as does Paul it seems) that God commands something more from us. This is where verse 10 becomes handy to look at. Paul says this in Colossians 1:10: “that you may walk worthy of the Lord, fully pleasing Him, being fruitful in every good work and increasing in the knowledge of God.” God’s will isn’t that you just know Him more through His Word; He also expects that you walk worthy of Him! We talked about this last week in the blog, and spoke on how what we believe will ultimately bear fruit in our own lives. Knowing God on a more intimate basis will lead to a life lived for His glory, and this pleases Him. This is His will for our lives!
As if this was not enough for us to grab and digest, Paul goes on to highlight something else that certainly lies within the revealed will of God: we are to live victorious lives using the power that only He could give. Look at verse 11 in chapter 1 as it says this: “strengthened with all might, according to His glorious power, for all patience and longsuffering with joy.” Patience here implies something to wait on, and longsuffering implies a continuing circumstance that isn’t exactly to our liking. But joy, that is a bold term, and can only be found in the knowledge, work, and power of Jesus Christ. It is His will that we live victorious lives because of what He (and only He) can do for us. We are strengthened with a divine power that is incomprehensible, and it is indeed God’s revealed will in this verse that we should live as such. Our knowledge and labor for Him should produce joy in our lives, and in doing so will produce joy in our Father’s eyes as we rest in His will for our lives.
Lastly, God expects us to live thankfully for all that He has done for us (which as you can see above, He has done much by giving us His Word, the ability to live for Him, and the divine strength to overcome life’s toughest challenges). Verse 12 of chapter 1 says this: “giving thanks to the Father who has qualified us to be partakers of the inheritance of the saints in the light.” God certainly wants us to live lives of gratitude for what He has done for us. We are partakers in the light (Jesus Christ), and God has qualified us to Himself, and for that He deserves our uttermost praise and thankfulness. Even more so, from the good times to the bad times God deserves our thankfulness for any time with Him. There is no bad moment in life if Jesus is your Savior. Oh yes, days can be rough, but all else pales in comparison to Him, and to know Him is life itself and everything else is subordinate. For that He deserves the ultimate praise, and with that we are truly being obedient to the will that the Father has for us.

My Challenge
This challenge is not complex, and is in fact very simple: what part of God’s revealed will are you not living in? Do you read His word and soak up the knowledge that only the Bible can provide? Do you live a life that pleases Him, and do you fully walk in His will with your actions? Do you have a hard time enduring the tough days, or does every bad day pale only strengthen your love for Him as you realize that you are a partaker in the light of the world if you have been saved? Lastly, are you thankful for any of this? Has God done enough to earn your praise, or do you just feel content enough to think that it didn’t cost Him the highest price? I beg you on this last point that you pray to God and thank Him for Jesus every single night. By doing this and these things, you certainly are living in God’s Will. You might not specifically know what tomorrow holds, but you know where to turn (God and His Word), what to do (live a life of Holiness), how to endure, and who to thank.

Let me know if you have any questions on this topic. All of us that contribute to this blog would love to work alongside you as answer the questions that you have about anything related to our Jesus. 

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