Serious stuff - but first, a light-hearted introduction.
Three guys are discussing which is the greatest invention of all time. One claims it’s the airplane; the second claims it’s the computer; and finally the third guy says, “I think it’s the Thermos.”
The other two look puzzled and ask why.
“Well, it keeps hot things hot and cold things cold.”
They’re still puzzled.
“How does it know?”
And that may be how some people feel about finding the will of God for their lives. Or more accurately, how God’s will would find them! Well, He just knows. Inherently. That’s why it’s called God’s Will.
As our opening gambit, let’s agree that God knows what’s good for each one of us. Essentially what He gives would be nothing but the very best. So, we can cast all our cares on Him, for He cares for us.(1 Pet 5:7) Oh, how deeply He loves us. From here to the moon and back? Surely so, and even further still.
Rest assured God has all the computational power and algorithms to tailor-make His will for each person. His will and purpose for you are made-to-measure. Just for you. It fits just right. How reassuring that He knows the end from the beginning, and everything in-between. Wisdom will watch over you (Prov 4:6).
Now, an insight from a biblical hero. Arguably, he was a hero who became a zero, then re-emerged as a hero – but you can figure that out for yourself. Joseph could categorically state: “As for you, you meant evil against me, but God meant it for good, to bring it about that many people should be kept alive, as they are today.” (Gen 50:20 ) His life pivoted at thirty – when appointed to lead from the second chariot, so to speak. Anyway, God was with him each step of the way (39:3). That’s precious.
We know it wasn’t all easy-peasy for him. He had been sold into slavery by his very own brothers. He had been scammed by Potiphar’s wife. The prison client whom he interpreted a dream for totally forgot him for all of two years, leaving him stuck in his imprisoned state. Yet, the pieces of the puzzle were designed to fit together.
This side of heaven, we may see in a mirror dimly and know only in part (1 Cor 13:11-12). But that’s enough, for faith takes up the slack. We have enough of a glimpse to reckon, “Could there be anything greater than this?” What an honour and privilege to be part of it all! Just imagine: this is God’s great and glorious will made invitational. Unfortunately, there are some who want a glimpse of God’s will, only to see if it fits into their will.
Joseph was an early example of “all things work together for good” (Rom 8:28). He learned to see God’s hand in the good times and the bad. We can be tutored similarly. (Of course, there will always be some who prefer something more substantial like a burning bush or Balaam’s talking donkey for directions.)
It’s plainly revealed in His Word. What does God want? “He wants us. All our service for God must flow from those two commands to love (Mk 12:30-32), or it is not real service; it is fleshly effort. And Romans 8:8 says that those who are ‘in the flesh cannot please God.’” (gotquestions.org)
We have taken step one: believe in Jesus as Lord and Saviour (Phil 2:9-11). And hence, we are distinctly saved and have become His disciples.
Next, abide in Him and grow. We pursue Christ-likeness, becoming more and more like Jesus, yes, “conformed to His image” (Rom 8:29). A lifelong quest. We have become pilgrims on an upward Journey. We order our lives so as to be totally available for His leading: regardless of time, season, convenience or circumstances. Though on earth, we keep re-calibrating our minds and affections to things that are above (Col 3:2).
The upshot of doing His will? To receive those gracious words from the Master: “Well done, good and faithful servant.” (Mt 25:21).
Finding the will of God and letting the will of God find us. Eager and willing.
We’re good to go.
Dr Andrew Goh is the editor of Impact magazine.
VOL. 45 NO. 4 of IMPACT Magazine
A LIVING SACRIFICE ... Our reasonable service? by Corné J Bekker
RIGHTEOUSNESS, PEACE, AND JOY ... Kingdom living in troubled times by Lai Kai Ming
WHEN THE THREADS OF LIFE SEEM KNOTTED ... Trusting God's faithful Weaving by Eugene Low
MISSION MAVERICKS ... God's gift or man's folly? by Peter Teagle
VACCINES, VACCINATIONS AND WORRIES ... Responding to some common misgivings
~ An interview with Dr Zhong Youjia ~
GOD'S WILL ... In line or off track?
~ The IMPACT Panel Responds ~
ARE THERE ONLY 144,000 SAINTS? ... Numbers and Revelation by Anthony Lee