Beyond the Basics
Growing up, I thought of God as a distant ruler, kind of like a Gamemaker. I knew his word gave instructions for how to live life how he desired, but I failed to see beyond basic right and wrong. Over the years, he’s shown me that he desires so much more than a life of basics.
“I came that they may have life and have it abundantly.” (John 10:10)
A life beyond the basics involves knowing God’s will in an increasingly intimate way. God wants us to know his will. What a powerful revelation! He wants us to know what he wants of us.
“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.” (Romans 12:2)
God gives us these instructions, so we can know his desires. As we chose to follow him over the world — our culture — and as we allow the Holy Spirit to lead and guide us, our thinking is renewed. This renewal brings discernment, which simply means we show good or outstanding judgment and understanding of what God desires.
Knowing God’s Will Takes Effort
Read Romans 12:2, above, again. Do you see the effort — the testing — required to know God’s will? When we put forth this effort, we confirm our choice to make following him a priority. Actually, we make him the priority of our lives. In essence, we acknowledge the importance of knowing God’s will.
“For whoever does the will of God, he is my brother and sister and mother.” (Mark 3:35)
Knowing God’s will is important because it means we’re part of his family. Being part of the family of God is the starting point for knowing God’s will.
Begin With the Gospel
While our efforts do matter and significantly impact our knowing God’s will, they in no way earn anything for us. They simply reflect our choice to make Jesus Lord and Savior. Knowing God starts with Jesus. Repenting of sin and trusting Christ as Lord and Savior is the only door leading to knowing God’s will.
“Jesus said to him, ‘I am the way, and the truth, and the life. No one comes to the father except through me.’” (John 14:6)
If you want to know God’s will, open the door. Pursue Jesus. Choose to follow him over the world. Be led by his Holy Spirit, and let your mind be renewed. With Jesus as Lord of your life, with the price for your redemption paid by his blood, you can move fully and confidently into the activity of knowing God’s will.