“The most essential education for our youth today to gain, and that which will fit them for the higher grades of the school above, is an education that will teach them how to reveal the will of God to the world.”
Messages to Young People p. 172
Im struck by the strong language used in this quote. It refers to the most essential education – something that can be learned, that is more valuable than any other form of education. It leads me to ask this question: How can we learn to reveal the will of God to the world?
Before we answer that, there are two other questions we must address:
- Does God want us to know His will?
- How can we know the will of God?
“Therefore do not be foolish, but understand what the will of the Lord is.”
God definitely wants us to know His will, He also wants us to understand it. When we start to understand something, and when we see the value of it, we automatically start to put it into practice!
So how can we know the will of God?
“Do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewal of your mind, that by testing you may discern what is the will of God, what is good and acceptable and perfect.”
Paul is saying here, that when we are transformed by the renewing of your mind, we can know the will of God. Lets talk about renewing the mind for a few moments. Why do we need renewing of the mind?
Every day, our brains are filled with messages from many different sources. Roadside Billboards, Facebook Advertisements, News, Emails, TV Shows, Texts from a friend, Books, etc. There are so many things going on in the world around us that our brains need to process; and whether we recognize these things or not, they are still happening in our brains. We are constantly in GO mode, ready to quote our favorite movie, or sing our favorite songs.
How often are we ready to share the love of God? To give an encouraging hug to someone who feels down? Are we thinking of others? Are we thinking about what God’s will is?
I think this is why Paul says that our minds need to be renewed. We are so often distracted by everything happening around us that we don’t focus on our mission as Christ followers.
Do you remember King David? Before he became a king, he was a shepherd. I imagine David spent hours sitting in the countryside just meditating on the love of God. I mean, just look at the number of songs he wrote in the book of Psalms! David understood what it meant to be still, and to know that God IS. David understood the importance of spending time with God, and allowing His mind to be renewed.
“I delight to do Your will, O my God, And Your law is within my heart.”
Here’s the most beautiful part:
“This is the covenant that I will make with them after those days, says the Lord: I will put My laws into their hearts, and in their minds I will write them.”
God works in us! Here’s how Paul says it:
“Therefore, my beloved, as you have always obeyed, not as in my presence only, but now much more in my absence, work out your own salvation with fear and trembling; for it is God who works in you both to will and to do for His good pleasure.”
There is an emphasized working together with God here, we have to do something ourselves so that God can work in us right? If we never spend time in God’s Word, how can we expect God to put His Word in our hearts? In college I used to wish that if I slept with my Anatomy textbook as a pillow the information would just seep into my brain by osmosis. Unfortunately, it doesn’t work that way with textbooks, or with God’s Word. We have to spend time reading the Word daily. When we do this, God transforms our minds, and helps us to see His will. We begin to discover what God’s will in our own personal lives is.
Its not enough to simply know the will of God though, Jesus said:
“Not everyone who says to me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ will enter the kingdom of heaven, but the one who does the will of my Father who is in heaven.”
We must take action to carry out the will of God.
“You see, it is God’s will that by doing what is right and good you should hush the gabbing ignorance of the foolish.”
1 Peter 2:15 (Voice)
God promises to write His laws in our hearts and minds, what laws are these?
“Jesus answered him, “The first of all the commandments is: ‘Hear, O Israel, the Lord our God, the Lord is one. And you shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, with all your mind, and with all your strength.’ This is the first commandment. And the second, like it, is this: ‘You shall love your neighbor as yourself.’ There is no other commandment greater than these.””
- To love God – practicing obedience in following His will.
- To love others – putting ourselves aside and being willing to sacrifice for others.
I want to share with you an example of how Jesus lived out the will of God. It was a result of His loving God, and loving us, that He showed the world what the will of God was.
Just before Jesus died on the cross, He went to the garden of Gethsemane to pray…
“He went a little farther and fell on His face, and prayed, saying, “O My Father, if it is possible, let this cup pass from Me; nevertheless, not as I will, but as You will.”
Again, a second time, He went away and prayed, saying, “O My Father, if this cup cannot pass away from Me unless I drink it, Your will be done.””
Matthew 26:39, 42
Jesus knew the will of God was for Him to die, and so to show the world, He surrendered to God’s plan and died on the cross. Without actually going through it himself, He could not have shown us God’s will. Jesus followed through with God’s plan, even though it wasn’t exactly what He wanted, He did it because He loved God, and because He loved us.
Jesus came as a Son to point people towards the Father. He came to show us what it means to be a son or daughter of God. He came to show us that it is essential for us to know the will of God, and to take action to follow God’s will in our lives. When we live out God’s will, we reveal God’s will to the world.
We show others what it means to be a son or daughter of God.
We become more like Christ.
“”For I know the plans I have for you,” says the Eternal, “plans for peace, not evil, to give you a future and hope”—never forget that.”
So then you ask, “what is God’s will for me?” We’ve seen what the Bible (God’s living Word) has to say. Have you taken the time to listen to what the Spirit has to say?
“And when they had prayed, the place where they were assembled together was shaken; and they were all filled with the Holy Spirit, and they spoke the word of God with boldness.”
Being filled with the Spirit means God starts to cultivate boldness in us. Confidence to share that whatever experience we are having with Him is powerful, worth sharing with anyone who will listen.
“So first and foremost, I urge God’s people to pray. They should make their requests, petitions and thanksgivings on behalf of all humanity.”
1 Timothy 2:1
“Rejoice always, pray without ceasing, give thanks in all circumstances; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you.”
1 Thessalonians 5:16-18