How to Walk in God's Will
Ephesians 5:15-17 Look carefully then how you walk, not as unwise but as wise, making the best use of the time, because the days are evil. Therefore do not be foolish, but understand what the will of the Lord is.
These are the days of the beginning of the end. The time we are living in is like no other. God has chosen you and I to be alive at such a time as this, where we are on the precipice of the end of life as we know it.
This is no time for Christians to be lazy, sleepy or complacent. We are here to fulfil God’s purpose and we must never take that lightly.
Esther was chosen by the Lord to stand up to the king at the appointed time. She had to be willing to risk her life, to give everything she had in order to do what was right for the Jewish people.
Esther 4:14 For if you keep silent at this time, relief and deliverance will rise for the Jews from another place, but you and your father’s house will perish. And who knows whether you have not come to the kingdom for such a time as this?
The interesting point here is that the Scripture says that first of all Esther had a choice as to whether she would do God’s will, or her own. And if Esther chose not to follow through with what God had asked of her, then His will would still be fulfilled, but God would’ve used someone else.
Proverbs 19:21 Many are the plans in the mind of a man, but it is the purpose of the Lord that will stand.
Esther would not have been the one to be blessed with the ability of fulfilling God’s will, because it is a blessing to be used by God. Also we see that if Esther didn’t speak up at this time, then she and her household would suffer the consequences. This verse exposes the fact that when we willingly go against God’s will…when we stray from God’s path, we are causing our own misery, bringing sorrow upon our own lives by taking our own path that was not chosen for us by the Lord.
1 John 2:16-17 For all that is in the world—the desires of the flesh and the desires of the eyes and pride in possessions—is not from the Father but is from the world. And the world is passing away along with its desires, but whoever does the will of God abides forever.
So we see a clear picture here of how God has a particular purpose for people’s lives, and His purpose will be fulfilled no matter what. He chooses certain people for certain works, but if one decides to reject God’s call, then He will use someone else. This illustrates God’s sovereignty, along with His unfailing love towards humanity.
The Scriptures declare that those who do the will of God are His people.
Mark 3:35 “For whoever does the will of God, he is my brother and sister and mother.”
We even read in 1 John that those who do not do the will of God are of the world, and are passing away along with the world and its desires.
1 John 2:17 And the world is passing away along with its desires, but whoever does the will of God abides forever.
This unmasks an unmistakable characteristic of the believer; those who are genuinely born again will no longer want to do the things they used to want (selfish pleasures and sinful pursuits), but having a new heart of God (Ezekiel 36:26), they now want to please Him with their life and yearn to do the will of their Heavenly Father.
Romans 8:5 For those who live according to the flesh set their minds on the things of the flesh, but those who live according to the Spirit set their minds on the things of the Spirit.
How can we know what God’s will is for us?
When we not only read, but study, receive and apply God’s Word in our life, we are being transformed because it renews our mind in His ways. It is only then that we will be able to have the discernment to know what the will of God is for our lives, because His Word shows us how to live holy lives in Christ Jesus with the help and guidance of the Holy Spirit.
It’s important to note here that we can have acres of biblical knowledge, be reading the Word daily and have the ability to recite many Scriptures from the top of our head, however if we don’t allow that knowledge to change our heart, it will be like a seed falling on thorns.
Matthew 13:22 As for what was sown among thorns, this is the one who hears the word, but the cares of the world and the deceitfulness of riches choke the word, and it proves unfruitful.
The religious Pharisees were experts in knowing the law of Moses, however neither their knowledge of the Word, nor the law could save them. They needed to receive truth when it walked right in front of them—the Word that had become flesh. But because they only had the Word in their mind and not in their heart, they rejected God’s only Son—bringing condemnation upon themselves.
It’s not enough to know the Word of God—we need to submit our lives to it.
So let’s be careful to not only know the information, but to receive and apply it!
Romans 12:2 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.
The more focus we have on this world and the things in it, the further away we are from God’s will.
Jesus said in:
John 7:17 “If anyone’s will is to do God’s will, he will know whether the teaching is from God or whether I am speaking on my own authority.”
Jesus’ statement in this verse is very distinct. He is saying that those who want to do the will of God will know and believe Jesus is who He says He is. Likewise, once we know that Jesus is the Son of God who came to take away the sins of the world and save us, we will subsequently hold tightly to His teachings through His inspired written Word and will treasure its contents and apply the whole counsel of God in our own life, with the knowledge that the Word that was made flesh is Jesus.
Romans 8:14 For all who are led by the Spirit of God are sons of God.
Throughout the Scriptures we can form a solid ground in knowing that the Lord wants His children to walk according to the Spirit and not the flesh (Galatians 5:16), thereby signifying that in order for us to walk in God’s ways, we need to examine our own lives up against God’s holy Word to check whether we truly are living for His purpose and not our own.
One indication is when you are living according to the Spirit, you will be hated by the world and persecuted.
1 Peter 4:1-2 Since therefore Christ suffered in the flesh, arm yourselves with the same way of thinking, for whoever has suffered in the flesh has ceased from sin, so as to live for the rest of the time in the flesh no longer for human passions but for the will of God.
The flesh is to be denied in order for the will of God to be truly made known. With His help alone we can accomplish this, which then puts us in the perfect position to be used mightily by the Lord as a completely willing vessel.
2 Timothy 2:21 Therefore, if anyone cleanses himself from what is dishonorable, he will be a vessel for honorable use, set apart as holy, useful to the master of the house, ready for every good work.
We can see that everything lines up perfectly; once we let go of our own selfish passions and are willing to do what God wills, we then cleanse ourselves of dishonour and are set apart, holy servants who are useful vessels for His Kingdom.
So what if you know what you should be doing but don’t do it?
God gives us a daily choice as to whether we will live for Him or not, and to constantly choose to live for ourselves to the point of living in habitual sin would have to lean us towards the imperative question of asking ourselves whether we really do know the Lord. However there are those who know Jesus, yet they have not let go of their carnal ways and therefore are stunting their own growth by holding on to the things of this world (1 Corinthians 3:2)…stifling the Spirit. God will not force you to do His will – He will give you a gentle push in the right direction (John 16:13), which often is the difficult decision to make, however He will not enforce His way and therefore the choice is left up to you. God desires willing servants.
Romans 8:7-9 Because the carnal mind is enmity against God: for it is not subject to the law of God, neither indeed can be. So then they that are in the flesh cannot please God. But you are not in the flesh, but in the Spirit, if so be that the Spirit of God dwells in you. Now if any man have not the Spirit of Christ, he is none of his.
You cannot be in the Spirit if God does not dwell in you.
When God dwells in you, you have the ability to choose to walk according to the Spirit and no longer in the flesh.
To know what you ought to do and to not do it is sin (James 4:17). He who knows God’s will is expected to adhere to it.
Luke 12:47-48 And that servant who knew his master’s will but did not get ready or act according to his will, will receive a severe beating. But the one who did not know, and did what deserved a beating, will receive a light beating. Everyone to whom much was given, of him much will be required, and from him to whom they entrusted much, they will demand the more.
Let’s not be among those who bury their head in the sand and refuse to obey the Lord. Our hearts are open and exposed to God – He sees all and He knows all. And the most important thing your Creator is looking for in you is a willing heart. Just like David who was the youngest of his brothers (1 Samuel 16:11), yet he was chosen by God because he had a heart for God.
With a heart for God, David’s desire was to do ALL God’s will.
Acts 13:22 ‘I have found in David the son of Jesse a man after my heart, who will do all my will.’
Man looks at the outward appearance – but the Lord looks at the heart! (1 Samuel 16:7)
May our hearts always be ready and willing to be used of God every day, where we let go of the flesh and hold fast to our Lord and Saviour – eager to do His will for His glory! Hallelujah!
Colossians 3:23 Whatever you do, work heartily, as for the Lord and not for men.
— By Jenny Ayling