Finding the Will of God?

Posted: December 20, 2008 by Matthew Hussey in Uncategorized

“You know that the rulers of the Gentiles lord it over them, and their high officials exercise authority over them. Not so with you. Instead, whoever wants to be great among you be your servant, and whoever wants to be first must be your slave-just as the Son of Man did not come to be served, but to serve, and to give his life as a ransom for many.” –Matthew 20:25-28

“Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy and my burden is light.” –Matthew 11:28-30

I had just been reading through another one of my books, and it was talking about what it means to be in the will of God. One thing that struck me as very significant is the very blunt difference between the two “masters” of these passages. In the first passage we get an idea of what the masters of the earth look like: coming over the top and exercising author over people. For people who have earthly masters, it is relatively simple to obey: you must simply do whatever they tell you to do. But Jesus demonstrates for us a different kind of master, a “Son to Father” but also “Friend to Friend” partnership that mimics Jesus’ relationship with God. I think that having this intimate relationship is what it means to be in the will of God.

I don’t think that God calls people to do things, as much as he just calls them to Himself. Certainly the relationship we have with God is much more important that the actual things we do. Or how can we go out into the world to preach faith in Jesus if we are not living a lifestyle that demonstrates faith in Him? But as God reveals himself to us, and we grow in faith and trust of Him, we can’t help but act in the will of God. There are no more condemning “responsibilities,” such as “do this or else you are not in the will of God.” That is how our earthly masters do things. Jesus does not give us burdens we are not able to carry, nor does he force us into serving Him, it’s always about building a greater relationship.

People sometimes seek out the will of God from an “earthly masters” perspective, and it has a great and terrible affect on our thinking. We have come to the conclusion that being in the will of God is all about the things we do, but this is not so. We keep asking God tell us the specifics: where to go and what to say. “Please God, reveal your will to me,” we often pray. But what is there that needs to be revealed? The will of God is not really an action, it is a relationship: a state of being that leads to an action. When we focus solely on growing our faith in and knowledge of God, and when we learn to walk with Jesus every moment of every day, then we can’t help but to serve Him and to love others.

God is actually pursuing us to build a relationship, and we keep asking Him to tell us what to do! He desires relationship, and we are trying to work our way into heaven! All he desires is intimacy and companionship. This is the most spectacular part: because God is actually pursuing us into that deeper relationship with him, and not just to do “bigger and better things,” there is an awesome freedom in Christ. We have been called “friends” of Christ, and we are now partners in the Master’s business of building His kingdom. And still I don’t think it’s the building of the kingdom that God wants us to focus on. It’s too easy to get so wrapped up in preaching and teaching that we don’t take time to build our relationship with God and with others. It’s possible that ministry could even become another idol. But that is not what God wants from us either. He wants us. He wants us and nothing else.

One last tidbit of a thought for anyone who is struggling to find the will of God in their lives right now… Before you start asking the specific questions about God’s will for your life, like where to go to college, or what to do with your life, or how to better minister to others, think first of your relationship with Him. Are there any sins that have prevented intimacy between you and God? Do you spend time with the Father learning and growing in knowledge of Him? Do you have a hunger to pray and read your Bible? Do you have a hunger to see others know God the same way that you do? It could be that God does have something very specific for you to do, but we get so wrapped up in finding our own ways to serve God, that we don’t stop to actually listen to what He has to say! Spend some time in quiet listening, and forsake every idol that has come before our relationship with God. Do this daily until you can start to hear His voice speaking into your life. It is my hope that when the people of God are finally in tune with Him, we can no longer tolerate sin in our lives, nor the injustice and perversion of our culture, nor the suffering of people all over the world. Our hearts will no longer be cold hard stones, but God says “I will give them an undivided heart and put a new spirit in them; I will remove from them their heart of stone and give them a heart of flesh. Then they will follow my decrees and be careful to keep my laws. They will be my people, and I will be their God.” Then we can declare with the Psalmist: “Give thanks to the Lord, call on his name; make known among the nations what he has done. Sing to him, sing praise to him; tell of all his wonderful acts. Glory in his holy name; let the hearts of those who seek the Lord rejoice.” –Psalm 105:1-3

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