What Is God’s Will?

How can we know what God wants us to do? Are there any reliable clues to His will for our lives? Certainly! Here are a few basic ingredients: - Suffering: “For to you it has been g ranted on behalf of Christ, not only to believe in Him, but also to suffer for His sake” (Philippians 1:29). “Therefore, since Christ suffered for us in the flesh, arm yourselves also with the same mind [purpose]” (1 Peter 4:1). Note: We are not to suffer for doing wrong, but for doing what is right (1 Peter 4:15-16). - Sacrifice: “I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that you present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable to God” (Romans 12:1). - Self-denial: “He who does not take his cross and follow after Me is not worthy of Me” (Matthew 10:38). “If any one desires to come after Me, let him deny him self, and take up his cross, and follow Me” (Luke 9:23). - Sanctification. “This is the will of God, your sanctification: that you should abstain from sexual immorality” (1 Thessalonians). Any sex before or outside of marriage cannot be God’s will for us, nor any intimate relationship with anyone other than one’s spouse if we are married. - Service: “As each one has received a gift, minister it to one another, as good stewards of the manifold grace of God”(1 Peter 4:10). “Through love serve one another” (Galatians 5:13). “Let each of you look out not only for his own interests, but also for the interests of others” (Philippians 2:4). - Submission: “Therefore submit to God. Resist the devil and he will flee from you” (James 4:7). “Therefore humble yourselves under the mighty hand of God, that He may exalt you in due time, casting all your care upon Him for He cares for you” (1 Peter 5:6-7). - Satisfaction: “In everything give thanks; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you” (1 Thessalonians 5:18). Now we see why Jesus told us to pray, “Your will be done,” for none of these attitudes and actions come naturally to us. We need the grace of God to know and do His will. Here also we have the perfect example, however. In the Garden of Gethsemane, facing such horrible physical, mental, and spiritual pain that we cannot even imagine, Jesus prayed, “Nevertheless, not as I will, but as You will” (Matthew 26:39). God heard His prayer, and He will hear ours, so let us pray daily, “Your will be done.”