Our God has loved us and saved us from our sins. He has given us his best – His only begotten Son, Jesus Christ. In our life in this world He has given us richly all things to enjoy (1 Tim.6.17)
He is not a stern father who does not understand us, nor a dotting grandfather who pampers us. He wants us to be happy, but this happiness should not be governed by what happens in our lives.
The blessing of God makes us rich and He does not add any sorrow with it (Prov.10.22). But even the honey given by the world is mixed with sand, and the peace it gives evaporates like the morning dew. God does everything according to the counsel of His own will. But He always has our best interest in His mind. He always does well to us, and He is always capable of doing it also.
We have our own plans and ambitions, but he asks us to surrender this to Him. It is to give us something better. The cost is will worth paying. Rabindranath Tagore in his Gitanjali (song offering) writes:
“I had gone a begging from door to door in the village path, when they golden chariot appeared in the distance like a gorgeous dream and I wondered who was this King of kings!
My hopes rose high and me thought my evil days were at an end; and I stood waiting for alms to be given unasked and for wealth scattered on all sides in the dust.
The chariot stopped where I stood. Thy glance fell on me and Thou came down with a smile. I felt that the luck of my life had come at last. Then of a sudden Thou did hold out thy right hand and say, ‘what has thou to give to me?’ Ah, what a kingly jest was it to open thy palm to a beggar to beg! I was confused and stood undecided, and then from my wallet I slowly took out the least little grain of corn and gave it to thee.
But how great my surprise when at the day’s end I emptied my bag on the floor to find a least gram of gold among the poor heap. I bitterly wept and wished that I had had the heart to give thee my all”.
If only we can surrender our all to Him! The exhortation of Paul is very timely: Therefore do not be unwise, but understand what the will of the Lord is (Eph.17).
God knows the future. He declares the end from the beginning, and from ancient times things that are not yet done. His counsel shall stand and He will do all His pleasure (Isa.46.10). He has always thoughts of peace and not of evil for us. He wants to give us a future and a hope) Jer.29.11). He wants us to direct us (Ps.32.8).
God is capable of doing us good. His promises are not empty words. No one can stay His hand. He is the sovereign ruler of the universe, and has the ability to do whatever he wills (1 Chr.29.11-13). He is limited only by his own choices i.e. He will do only what he has purposed. He will not do anything that is against his own character. He is not limited by circumstances. Neither the power of nature or of any of the created beings can stop him. There are no accidents as far as the Lord is concerned (Prov.16.33). The mistakes that others commit do not frustrate his plans. Other’s evil intentions do not cancel his purposes (Gen.50.20).
We do not know the future. We do not know what would happen tomorrow (Prov.27.1). Therefore it is not possible for us to direct our lives. In the Garden of Eden Adam tried to run his own life and what dire consequences ensued! “Thus says the Lord: Cursed is the man who trusts in man and makes flesh his strength, whose heart departs from the Lord. For he shall be like a shrub in the desert, and shall no see when good comes, but shall inhabit the parched places in the wilderness (Jer.17.5, 6).
We cannot trust our plans. We may be sincere. We may be reasonable. But unfortunately we don’t know everything and even if we know we are not always able to perform what we want. We cannot even control our own passions (Jer.10.23). Life independent of God is senseless. Satan may promise freedom, satisfaction, self-realization etc. but he cannot and will not perform what he promises.
But God works according to His clock. He does not hurry and he does not delay (2 Pet.3.8, 9). If His timings seem too slow for us, it is better for us to wait and examine ourselves.
He may bring trials in our lives. But He never tempts us with evil (Jas.1.12, 13). When God tests us it is always to bring out the best in us. Job’s testimony was “When he has tested me, I shall come forth as gold” (Job.23.10).
The key to know the will of God is our willingness to do it (Jn.7.17). He does not make known his will to us to satisfy our idle curiosity. As a child of God it is your privilege to know what the will of God is and surrender yourself to it.
How to know the will of God?
The Bible gives us certain general guidelines concerning this. It is the will of God that all should be born again (2 Pet.3.9; 1 Jn.2.17). Our sanctification is the will of God (1 thes.4.3-7) It is the will of God that believers be filled with His Spirit (Eph.5.18) It is the will of God that we be thankful always (1 Thes.5.18) It is the will of God that we suffer for well doing (1 Pet.3.17) It is the will of God that we trust Him (Prov.3.5, 6) It is the will of God that we be productive (1 Pet.2.15; Eph.2.10)
But in each specific situation also we can understand the will of God. For this we need to: Study the word. His will is revealed in His word. “The entrance of His word gives us light (Ps.119.130). Pray to the Lord. He answers prayers and makes known his mind to those who ask Him. “Ask and it shall be given” Is the promise of God. If any of you lack wisdom, let him ask of God who gives to all men liberally, and upbraids not; and it shall be given him (Jas.1.5). Listen to godly counsel. In the multitude of counselors there is safety (Prov.24.6; 11.14). Look for favorable circumstances. God works from both ends together as He alone can do it. The steps of a good man are ordered of the Lord (Ps.37.23). The Lord did order the steps of the two spies that Joshua sent to the house of Rahab in Jericho unerringly and also He did prepare Rahab to receive them (Josh. 2.1-14). When He opens the door no man can shut it and when he shuts it no man can open it (Rev.3.7).
When anything you desire is according to the Word of God, in prayer God gives you peace concerning it, and godly counsels agree with it and you find the circumstances favorable, then you can be assured that it is the will of God for you.