January 19 – God’s Will – God’s Word and His will

Read Psalm 40:1-17

In this devotional series, we have already examined some of the specific expressions of God’s will.  We have seen that it is God’s will that all be saved.  It is His plan that His children live a life set apart from sin . . . especially sexual immorality.  His will is that our moral character demonstrated in submission to authority will eliminate accusations from outsiders.  These are just a handful of the clearly stated expressions of God’s will.

But now, let’s change the camera angle from telephoto to wide angle.  Let’s ask ourselves the more general question, “How might we go about discerning God’s will?”  The psalmist offers us insight.  In Psalm 40:8, he says:

“I desire to do your will, my God; your law is within my heart.”

Two key insights give us a good starting point.

  1. My willingness – The author genuinely desired to do God’s will.  That is important, and, surprisingly, it is not a given.  As you seek to know God’s will on an issue, are you really willing to do what He asks of you?  Many of us seeking God’s will approach the process with our own preferences and reservations.  It is as if we are willing to do His will as long as He doesn’t ask us to ____________.  Depending on the issue something different may go in the blank.  As you seek God’s will, are you eager to do it no matter what it might be?
  2. God’s word – The psalmist seems to almost draw an equal sign between God’s will and His word.  Indeed, God expresses His will through His word.  Without asking God to somehow speak uniquely to us in a spectacular new way, we must see if He has already spoken clearly in His eternal word.  This will require a sincere effort to study the Bible.  It necessitates that “His law is deep within our hearts.”

Is there an issue about which you are seeking God’s guidance?  Begin by surrendering to God.  Are you really willing to do what He wants; no strings attached?  Continue, then, by searching God’s word.  Has He spoken about the very question you have?

Steve Kern

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