Week 14: Seek and Do God’s Will
In the previous lesson, we saw
that living for Christ is the goal and duty of all believers. True conversion
is marked by a total submission to the Lord’s will.
The apostle Paul left us a
compelling testimony. As soon as he became a believer, he asked, “What shall I
do, Lord” (Acts 22:10)? The Bible tells us that from then on Paul became a
changed man. Actually, he shocked every one who knew him in Jerusalem because instead of rounding up
Christians and throwing them into jail, he began preaching about Christianity
and risked being thrown into jail. He gave up a life of privilege; and where
previously he had moved in the social circles of the rich and famous, he now
became a poor evangelist, carrying the Christian message to unfamiliar places
in distant lands where its people had never before heard about Jesus.
Before our conversion, we used to
set our own agenda. We decided what we wanted to do. Now, like Paul, we need to
ask, “What shall I do, Lord?” In other words, we should learn to respect God’s
will for us in our lives (cf. Jas 4:13-15). He is now the Lord of your life.
Let him set your agenda. We must factor in God’s will when we make even
seemingly insignificant choices in the course of our everyday lives. The
choices we make, from morning ‘till night, do shape who we are, in one way or
another. Some choices help us. Some choices hurt us. But the believer must add
to these considerations the fact that these choices will help or hurt our Lord
Jesus Christ. Will the choices we make today bring shame or glory to his name?
While God’s commands are clearly
written in the Scriptures, we often still need to seek God’s will when making
choices in life. There are many choices for which the Bible does not give
specific instructions, such as where to live, what major to choose, what career
path to take, etc. And more often than not, God does not tell us what to do in
a vision or speak to us in a voice. He leaves it to us to make responsible
decisions. So how are we to know what truly pleases
the Lord? This lesson will offer you some principles and guidelines in making
decisions in life.
Some Basic Principles
Does It Conform to Biblical Principles?
God has revealed his will to the
human race in the Scriptures. In making decisions, we should not even consider
anything that is contrary to the teachings of the Bible. While some commands
are very specific (e.g. “do not eat blood”), many others are more general. For
example, God revealed his will through the prophet Micah, “He has shown you, O
man, what is good; And what does the LORD require of
you But to do justly, To love mercy, And to walk humbly with your God?” (Mic 6:8). In this example, justice, mercy, and humility
become our guide in making decisions.
Does God Come First?
Our choices reflect our
priorities in life. Esau’s choice for the red stew over his birthright showed
that he despised God (Gen 25:29-34; Heb ,17). Oftentimes, decisions in life boil down to choosing
between our wish and God’s wish. If God is important to us, our choices will
allow us to put in time and energy in the work of God.
Does It Bear Good Testimony for God?
Is there a verse in the Bible
that says we should not be rude drivers on the freeway or nasty customers in a
store? Not really. But the Bible says, “whether you eat or drink, or whatever
you do, do all to the glory of God” (1 Cor ; 1Pet ). Will God be glorified if people find
out that the rude driver or the nasty customer is a member of the True Jesus
Church? Our conduct says a lot about who we are. Imagine hearing a cuss word in
the parking lot. You look. It’s someone with a Bible. Or you hear yourself
threatening to quit – again – because for the fifth night in a row, your
supervisor has assigned you to lock up. These are choices a believer must make
carefully. We are the Lord’s witnesses. Let’s make choices to glorify his name.
Does It Benefit Anyone?
In the same passage where Paul
talks about doing all things for God’s glory, he wrote, “All things are lawful
for me, but not all things are helpful; all things are lawful for me, but not
all things edify. Let no one seek his own, but each
one the other's well -being. (1Cor -24).
He concluded this passage with these words, “just as I also please all men in
all things, not seeking my own profit, but the profit of many, that they may be
saved” (1Cor ). Like
Paul, who restricted his freedom for the benefit of others, we should also be
considerate of others’ needs in our speech and conduct.
Be Determined to do God’s
Some people seek God’s will with
the wrong motive. They have already made up their mind what they want, but they
just want God to confirm and justify their wish. This is not the right way to
seek God’s will. Only if we are “transformed by the renewing of our mind” can
we “prove what is that good and acceptable and perfect will of God” (Rom 12:2).
God shows his will to those who fear him (Ps 25:12). He instructs those who
depend on him and humbly submit to him. If we have a sincere desire to carry
out his will whatever the cost, God will surely guide us in our
Find Answers in the Bible.
This doesn’t mean that we
randomly flip the pages of the Bible when we need to make a choice and expect
God to give us the answer. To be able to effectively put God’s word to use, we
need to be familiar with the Scriptures. If you make the commitment to read the
Bible and study God’s Word, you will get to know God and understand his will.
The word that you have hidden in your heart will often help you make a right
choice (Ps 119:11).
Rely on the Holy Spirit.
Jesus promised that the Holy
Spirit will teach us and help us (Jn ). He reminds us of God’s word
and enlightens our hearts to understand the Scriptures. Often, when we seek
God’s will, the Holy Spirit helps us recall certain teachings in the Scriptures
that are relevant to the situation. He also gives us the wisdom to know how to
apply the teachings. If need arises, the Holy Spirit can even speak directly to
us and let us know what to do (cf. Acts 16:6-10). As a personal counselor, the
Holy Spirit is by us all the time. We just need to ask him for instruction.
Learn as You Go.
Remember that when you are faced
with a choice, you need to make the effort to choose. Make the right judgment
based on the principles and guidelines mentioned above. God’s guidance often
becomes clearer as you start to act. Spiritual wisdom and the knowledge of
God’s will come with constant practice of God’s word (Heb ; 2Pet 1:5-8). Always consider the outcome
of your choices and examine whether God has taught you anything in the process.
Look at the experiences of the people in the Bible, who serve as our example
and warning. Listen to the testimony of others who have been through what you
are going through. If you humbly seek God’s will and trust his guidance in all
your ways, God will make your paths straight (Prov
Write down other guidelines that
have worked for you.
Write down new ideas that could
work for you.
The apostle Paul became a changed man after he
believed in Jesus. T/F
Why should we respect God’s will?
What does God’s will have to do with our
You need only seek God’s will for (a) major
decisions (b) minor decisions (c) in all decisions (d) when you feel like it
(e) none of the above.
The best way to seek God’s will is to wait for
God’s voice or some special vision. T/F
List at least 4 principles that will help you
seek God’s will every day.
Why is it a good thing to hide God’s Word in
Jesus promised that the Holy Spirit will help us
do God’s will. Briefly describe how this promise came true for someone who was
living in Bible times.
God reveals his will to those who sincerely want
to obey his will. T/F.
It is God’s will that believers everywhere
become a good testimony. What does this mean to you?
has recently graduated from her undergraduate university and is beginning to
worry about her future. She doesn’t know if she wants to pursue graduate
studies in her undergraduate major, apply to business school for a business
degree, or begin working right away. Feeling very confused, she begins to
wonder what God’s will is. She really wishes God would give her some kind of
divine revelation. But God seems very quiet. Carrie asks her closest church
sister what she should do about her confusion. The sister encourages her to
“pray for God’s will.” One morning, right after her prayer, the phone rang. A
company has offered a job. The only drawback is that she needs to work on
Saturdays. But she though, “Well, they called me right after my prayer. It must
be God’s will.” So she decided to take the job. Do you think Carrie made the
right decision? How would you know if her decisions were in line with God’s
Charlie is thinking of settling down. Knowing
that he should seek God’s will in his choice, he prays and asks God, “Lord, you
know the kind of girl I like, big eyes, tall, and slim. Please help me find a
girl that meets my criteria. I don’t know who she will be or when I will meet
her, but I trust in your will. I know that when the right time comes, you will
bring her to me, and I’ll know that she is the right one.” So Charlie waits for
God’s answer. In the meantime, some brothers and sisters in church try to help
him with finding a suitable spouse. He turns them all down because none of the
candidates meet his requirements. Is this the right approach in seeking God’s
will? How should Charlie change his mentality and criteria?
Think about a situation where a
person might be confused about God’s will for them. Write down the
characteristics or qualities that you feel could give you the ability to see
God’s will better.
Do you see any of the same
qualities in yourself? Ask God to develop these characteristics in your life
Think about a situation where a
person might be confused about God’s will for them. Write down the
characteristics or qualities that you feel would hinder you from seeing God’s
will for you.Do you see any of the same qualities in
yourself? Ask God to weed out these characteristics in your life.