From the Rector: Knowing the Will of God

With all the connections we have to information it still seems the most important connection eludes us.  There’s no way to Google “God’s will”.  We pray and sometimes get no answers.  We are diligent in having a daily quiet time, but often our search of the Bible gives us the specific direction we want.  Knowing the will of God can be an exhausting business…. or maybe not.

When Jesus taught us to pray, it was in very simple intentions of the heart.

“This, then, is how you should pray:
“‘Our Father in heaven,
Hallowed be your name,
Your kingdom come,
Your will be done,
On earth as it is in heaven. 

Matthew 6:9-10

To know God’s will in this sense is to find yourself in Him- “May Your Name be holy…May Your Kingdom come and Your Will be done..”  Now when we look at that it’s easy to feel like we are giving up on our own needs and just capitulating to some general will God has for the universe.  Many of us feel God has better things to do than listen to our individual needs.  It’s an issue of worship- whatever you love, serve and obey.  Can you really know the will of God while ignoring the strong undertow of your own will?  This struggle is an invitation to an honest talk with God.  What if you were to tell God, in detail, exactly what you want?  Would He be shocked?  Would He punish you?  Would He reject you because you didn’t say what He wanted to hear?  Fears like that keep us away from the Good Shepherd who longs to lead us.  Honesty with God opens up all kinds of good things in us and with God, even if the truth is painful.  Once we get our will out before God, it’s a little bit easier to leave it there.  And once left, we can at the same time find a deeper trust in God’s will, however unknown it might be in the present moment.

So Jesus told them, “My message is not my own; it comes from God who sent me.  Anyone who wants to do the will of God will know whether my teaching is from God or is merely my own. 

John 7:16-17 (NLT)

Jesus is the one we can go to for the will of God because he is the will of God.   Nothing Jesus said or did was contrary to the plan and purpose of His Father.  Notice the emphasis Jesus places on the readiness to obey God?  He doesn’t say “anyone who wants know the will of God”, but “anyone who wants to do the will of God.”  Are you ready to do the will of God or do you want to evaluate it for 30 days as the commercials say?   If you’ve already decided Jesus is who He says He is, you can say “yes” to His will even before you know it.  His love infuses you with a trust deeper than you could make in your own will.

In this present economic climate, the following is a reassurance of God’s presence.

Keep your lives free from the love of money and be content with what you have, because God has said, “Never will I leave you; Never will I forsake you.”

Hebrews 13:5

Why can we be free from the craving for financial security and abundance of possessions?  Because God has given us Himself in Jesus Christ.  His presence is with us through His Holy Spirit who is our Advocate and Comforter.  And His will can be trusted over our own.

The point is this:  It will do us no good to know the will of God if we don’t know Him.  To know Him is to love Him, trust Him and find our rest and reassurance in Him.  That’s the function of His Spirit given to us at Pentecost- to be our Advocate, Guide and Comforter.

Trust in the LORD with all your heart;
do not depend on your own understanding.
Seek His will in all you do,
and He will show you which path to take. 

Proverbs 3:5-6 (NLT)

The Peace of Christ be with you.


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