Often people making major decisions in life will ask the question, “I wish I knew God’s will in this situation.” Our Lord gave us a prayer that helps direct our attention to knowing His will for our lives:
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.
Give us today our daily bread.
Forgive us our debts,
as we also have forgiven our debtors.
And lead us not into temptation,
but deliver us from the evil one.
— Matthew 6:9–13 (emphasis added)
How can we seek and know God’s will in a situation? According to Scripture we are to do the following:
- Look to His Word
- Seek the wise counsel and support of other mature believers
- Evaluate the circumstances (Is God making certain things obvious)
- Trust in God who will “make us to know”
- Focus on the purpose God has given to each of us
- Keep an eternal perspective
Is accepting God’s will always easy? No! Before His crucifixion, even Christ struggled with the issue of accepting God’s will to die on Calvary’s Cross for the sins of mankind. In Mark 14:35–36 we read, “Going a little farther, He fell to the ground and prayed that if possible the hour might pass from Him. ‘Abba, Father,’ He said, ‘everything is possible for you. Take this cup from me. Yet not what I will, but what you will.’”
Was Jesus trying to get out of what was before Him when He prayed, “Please take this cup of suffering away from me”? No, but He was expressing His human emotions — His aversion to the pain, torture, and suffering that would be the result of His obedience to God’s will. Accepting God’s will isn’t always easy. We struggle with our fleshly nature to control and manipulate while knowing that God’s will is always perfect.
In His prayer before the Cross, Jesus was aware of what doing the Father’s will would cost Him, but He also saw beyond the horrible experience of crucifixion and recognized that this was part of the plan since the beginning of time. He would take on the sins of the entire world to bring us eternal life. His death would give us life.
Anything worth having costs something, but sometimes that cost is difficult for us to handle. Seek God and His purpose for your life. Relax in knowing that He loves you and has the perfect solution to each of your concerns.
What decision do you have looming over you right now? Take that matter before the Lord in prayer. Look to His Word and to other followers of Christ for guidance. And remember, just because we follow God’s will, doesn’t always mean that things will turn out pleasantly. So, keep trusting Him!
Jim Grassi, D. Min.