God’s will. These are two words that are tossed out of my mouth fairly often. People ask me, “What school will you go to? What area do you want to work in? Are you going to move away from home? Will you do this or that?”
And right on cue, without a thought, I’ll confidently reply, “I’ll do whatever is in God’s will for me.”
But sometimes, when I’m not around people, I start to wonder. “What school will I go to? What kind of job will I have? Where will I live? Will my dream job ever be real? Who will I marry?”
Suddenly, “God’s will” is a terrifying, gaping hole. The words are not full of confidence, but instead are surrounded in shadows.
I think that’s typical for us as humans. We love to bury ourselves in questions, hopes, doubts, fears and dreams. As believers, we learn to ask, “God, is this in Your will for me?” When we don’t hear anything, that turns into, “God, just reveal what You’ll do for me. I know You’ll take care of me, but just tell me how already.” We only ask God about our future school, job, house, spouse, and before you know it, it sounds like we are kind of treating God like a game of MASH. Is He just someone we rely on to give us the perfect American dream… Then what? Does His will for us just end?
While I do believe that it’s crucial to talk to God about these parts of our lives, I would venture to say that there is still more to God’s will. So when I stopped listening to worldly questions, and started listening to Him, guess what I found? He has already revealed beautiful parts of His will for us… His word is full of promises and desires for US. Here are some to start:
1. It is GOD’S WILL that we would know Him. 2 Peter 3:9 tells us about a Savior who is patient with us, not wanting (or willing for) anyone to fade away, but instead, He wants us to come to Him and repent. He wants us to stay with Him forever. He WANTS us to bring our mistakes to Him. He wants to sit at the end of your bed, and listen to YOUR stories. He wants to just be with you, with all the pressure off. He wants us to know Him intimately.
2. God wants to fill us. In Ephesians 5:17, we are warned us about filling ourselves with wine and getting drunk, and Paul instead invites us to be filled with the SPIRIT. Maybe wine isn’t your thing. But then what is it for you? What is that thing that consumes you? That makes your speech different? That makes your actions different? That thing that when people see you, they recognize that it’s in you?
Whenever this separation is replaced with the Spirit, it’s the SPIRIT that consumes you. It’s the SPIRIT that makes your speech different, your actions different, and it is the SPIRIT that people see and recognize that in you… God wants to fill us.
3. God wants us to suffer for Him. 1 Peter 4:19 tells us that those who suffer according to God’s will should commit themselves to God’s will and continue to do good. Again in Philippians 1:29, we are told it’s been “granted” to those who believe and suffer for His name. We get to suffer for HIS name! Okay, so that may not exactly be appealing. But think about it like this: We KNOW the final score. We know He is working for our GOOD. We know this will all end in GOOD for those who love Him, and now that we know that, we GET to go through trials for Him. We get to go through the trials with Him! If our goal in life is to be like Him, then this suffering is just what we will need and want.
Finally, one of my favorite parts about God’s will: It is GOD’S WILL that we will not only know Him, but that we will be known BY Him. We can know who He is, we can talk about Him, but if He doesn’t consider us a friend, none of that matters… People will say, “Jesus, did we not prophesy in your name, did we not perform miracles in your name?” We can do everything and anything for Him, but if Jesus replies, “I never knew you,” what would it all be for? (Matthew 7:22) He wants us to be known by Him…
Even though God’s will for the MASH details of my life have not been revealed, though I don’t know where I will live in a year, what job I will have one day, who my future husband will be, I do know that He has already given me beautiful promises. One of the best promises? His will for me isn’t ending anytime soon.
So let’s search for Him. Let’s see what He has already revealed to us. Let’s wonder with Him. He has asked us to focus on what He has already told us, so let’s listen. We will never know what is on the other side of our obedience until we follow Him. Let’s keep seeking His will and His heart. He always promises to be found.
Dalilah Negrete is a political science major at Baylor University.