How do I know that I am doing the will of God?
Do I want to do the will of God?
These are simple yet the most difficult questions for me to answer.
Attempting to answer the first question, I began to look at verses that cited people who choose to do the will of God, for example;
In John 4:34 Jesus said, My food is to do the will of him who sent me and to accomplish his work.”
In Galatians 2:20 Paul said, “I have been crucified with Christ. It is no longer I who live, but Christ who lives in me. And the life I now live in the flesh I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave himself for me.”
The following are more verses that touch on the will of God:
1 Thessalonians 5:18 – give thanks in all circumstances; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you.
1 Peter 2:15 – For this is the will of God, that by doing good you should put to silence the ignorance of foolish people.
Romans 8:27 – And he who searches hearts knows what is the mind of the Spirit, because the Spirit intercedes for the saints according to the will of God.
1 John 2:17 – And the world is passing away along with its desires, but whoever does the will of God abides forever.
Ephesians 6:6 – not by the way of eye-service, as people-pleasers, but as bondservants of Christ, doing the will of God from the heart
Romans 12:2 – 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.
Here are some other verses that were implicit on what the will of God is:
Proverbs 2:5 – then you will understand the fear of the Lord and find the knowledge of God.
Matthew 6:33 – But seek first the kingdom of God and his righteousness, and all these things will be added to you.
Matthew 22:37-40 – And he said to him, You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind. This is the great and first commandment. And a second is like it: You shall love your neighbor as yourself. On these two commandments depend all the Law and the Prophets.
It has to do with the heart of man first, to seek His kingdom, then the deeds should follow suit. Sounds rather straightforward and not something that requires much reasoning or discussion to understand.
The second question is much harder for me to answer. Do I want to do the will of God?
It is so easy to stand and put up your right hand to take an oath of allegiance or pledge loyalty to a country or cause you believe in. To stand and say I will do the will of God is about the same. It’s easy to say it but will it be true? Will it stand the test of time? Will I succeed and remain true to the call and not waver or falter? Seriously, I do not know and cannot guarantee that I will or will not succeed when put to the test. I can say I am willing and want to be true to God no matter what but when put to the test, will I be like Peter who denied Jesus, or like Thomas who doubted even when Jesus was right in front of him?
Already, I find myself wavering when uncertainty strikes over what lies ahead, be it career, finance, family or relationships. Fears and anxieties are not far when such times arise and I get all shaken up, often depressed and pessimistic in conversations or outlook on life. One thing good out of this is that I get to see the real side of me, my true colours. How I turn myself around by the decisions I make at that time will also reveal my heart’s desire or condition. If I am a coward or a fraud, it will show. If courageous or faithful, it will show too. It is not through the outcome of events but made known perhaps by conscience or when one choose to reflect on the true intent.
I realised that seeking God’s favour and pleasure do not come naturally to me and that is telling on my current heart condition. The song lyrics come to mind, “My heart is a stone and it’s chipping away, every piece that goes is making me OK.” but what really cheers me on is what God can do for and to me, “I will give you a new heart and put a new spirit in you; I will remove from you your heart of stone and give you a heart of flesh.” Ezekiel 36:26 NIV. Thank you Lord for your unfailing love and mercy upon me.
I pray the following verses for my heart to be true:
Psalms 139:23-24 – Search me, O God, and know my heart! Try me and know my thoughts! And see if there be any grievous way in me, and lead me in the way everlasting!
Psalms 51:10-12 – Create in me a clean heart, O God, and renew a right spirit within me. Cast me not away from your presence, and take not your Holy Spirit from me. Restore to me the joy of your salvation, and uphold me with a willing spirit.