If you are a believer in Jesus Christ, whether you've been walking with Him for many years or are brand new to Christ, it should be the pursuit of your heart to say, "God, I want to know what you want my life to be. I want to walk with you for all of my days. You promised that in Christ, I am a new creation. I want to walk in this new life." Psalm 40 calls David “A man after God's heart.” He wasn’t perfect, but he had an inherent nature in his heart to say, "God, I want you. I want your will. Even if I've gone off on a crooked path, I want you to bring me back straight. I want to be the person that you created me to be."
Do you feel in your heart that life has something more for you? God planted that there. If you're a believer in Jesus Christ, you have the presence of God's Holy Spirit, who is always whispering. Scripture says the Spirit of God is groaning within you, that you and I would agree with Him on the divine purpose of each of our lives. In Psalm 40, David says, "Behold I come. In the scroll of the book, it is written of me. I delight to do your will, O my God. And your law is within my heart." God asks us to do things that are far from delightful. Sometimes, His request even produces an aversion in our spirit. There has to be something that overrides that reaction within us. We can choose, "God, I delight to do your will. I'm putting a higher law over the law of my own heart." The Bible tells us to forgive our enemies. That's tough. While we may think some actions are unforgivable, the Lord tells us, "Forgive as we are forgiven."
Christ’s Law Written in Our Hearts
When Christ’s law is in our hearts, we yield our future to God's hands. Anyone in Christ is a new creation. "The old things are passed away, behold, all things are new." When I came to Jesus, I thought, "Is that possible? I want to change, but I don’t (Romans 6-8). With Christ as my Savior, the Holy Spirit comes as the answer. The power of God takes up residence inside each one of us. He speaks to us through His Word and by the power of His Holy Spirit. We are born again by the Spirit of God. We become the person that He intended us to be, and we start walking in the way that He intended. We acknowledge that we're set apart once we belong to God through Christ. We're called to a journey where Jesus Himself will glorify His name in and through each one of us. Father, glorify that self. “O God, not my will, but thine be done.”
In Luke 6:46, Jesus speaks some hard truths to His followers. "Love your enemies, do good to those who hate you." I've battled with this; I know you have. We all know how hard it is to do good to those who hate us. Jesus says, "Bless those who curse you." Do something good for them. He says to pray for those who despitefully use you. Pray that God will bless them, change them, and help them. "Whoever strikes you on the one cheek, offer him the other." I'm not good at that. Luke 6:30 says, "Give to everyone who asks of you." Verse 37 says, "Don't judge and you shall not be judged." Jesus finishes by saying, "Forgive, and you shall be forgiven." He turns to the crowd and, in verse 46, says, "But why do you call me, 'Lord, Lord.' And you don't do the things that I say?"
Some people say, "He gives me a sense of peace. He gives me a sense of well-being. Who wouldn't want an assurance that Heaven will be our home when we die?" Many people follow Jesus for different reasons, but only sometimes out of obedience. Some tend to embrace Him wholeheartedly but then back away. “I like my old life better,” they say. “What's so wrong with going to a club on Saturday night anyway? I'll be in Church on Sunday morning.” Hebrews 6 says, "Lord, I delight to do your will, and your
law is written within my heart." The writer of Hebrews cautions the crowd: "Don't play games with the Holy God; it’s dangerous. He has stretched out his hand and offered us eternal life and abundance in this world." He says, "But beloved, we are confident of better things of you, yes, things that accompany salvation." I am confident that we want to do His will. As a young believer, I prayed, "God help me understand your Word and help me obey it when you speak to me."
God’s Two Wills
I have two definitions for the will of God. One, there's a common will, and two, a specific one. The first is clearly revealed, spoken in the scriptures, available, and commanded of everyone who follows Jesus Christ. In 2 Timothy 2:15, Paul the Apostle says to his disciple Timothy, "Be diligent to present yourself approved to God, a worker who does not need to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth." This means a worker who will not be triumphed over in this life. Many people try to walk with God based on emotions, and that can be a great thing. Thank God for our feelings, but they won’t keep us in God’s house. We have to get into the Word of God and study.
In 1 Thessalonians 5:18, it says, "In everything, give thanks, for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you." Notice the word “everything.” A thankful life is a great one. Nothing is by chance in the Christian life; you are where you’re supposed to be. God gave you the body you're supposed to have. Don't try to change what He is doing in your life. In 1 Thessalonians 4:3–7, it says, "For this is the will of God, your sanctification. That you should abstain from sexual immorality, that each of you should know how to possess his own vessel." Vessel means body. "In sanctification and honor, not in passion or lust, like the Gentiles who do not know God. That no one should take advantage of and defraud his brother in this matter because the Lord is the avenger of all such, as we also forewarned you and testified. For God did not call us to uncleanness, but to holiness."
The second will of God is His specific will: our calling. God asks people to do all different kinds of things for His Kingdom. When we want His Word entrenched in our hearts, then our calling becomes clear. In Luke 22, the specific will of God came to Jesus. Verse 41 says, “He was withdrawn from them about a stone's throw, and he knelt down and prayed, and he said, ‘Father, if it is your will, take this cup away from me. Nevertheless, not my will, but yours be done.’” We don't think of Jesus Christ as having a will of His own, but He did. He was not only fully God. He was fully man. The Bible says, "He was tested in all points like as we are, yet without sin." Jesus prayed, "O Father, if it's possible, take this from me. But nevertheless not my will, but thine be done." There's a “my will” in Jesus' prayer. We assume He was a hop, skip, and jump right to the cross and into the tomb, but this isn’t true. The human side of Him had a will. He didn’t want to suffer or be separated for any space and time from His Father, suffer God’s wrath, go to the cross, or be rejected by man—there’s a reason He just wanted to live a normal life.
Allowing God’s Will to Embrace Us
The battles we fight are very similar to those of Christ. Remember, Judas kissed Jesus. Jesus could have easily pushed away God’s will and said, "No, I'm not doing this." The battle He had to fight was to allow the will of God to embrace Him. The specific will of God might not be our first choice. When I was invited to NYC in May of 1994, I didn’t even want to come. My wife accepted David Wilkerson’s
invitation for me. When David asked me to stay and help him, the Lord spoke to me. I asked, "God, do you want me to do this?" He said, "Yes." God gave me five reasons, which I wrote down. By the whisper and power of the Holy Spirit, I left a church at home in revival and brought my family to a place I didn’t want to go to. I don't regret a day of it. What a great journey this has been.
Jesus said to His people, "Why do you call me Lord, Lord, and do not do the things which I say." He didn't say that to them to condemn them. He's asking them to do all these things that are impossible to do, apart from the inner strength that God gives. Jesus says, "Don't call me Lord if you're not willing to do the things which I say." He gives a reason: "Whoever comes to me and hears my sayings and does them, I will show you who he is like. He's like a man building a house who dug deep and laid the foundation on the rock. And when the flood arose, and the stream beat vehemently against that house and could not shake it, for it was founded upon the rock." We live in days of floods and streams. We're in a season of upheaval where there's a Christ revulsion. "Ye shall be hated by all nations for my namesake." He warned his disciples. He told us that these days were coming.
As the Apostle Paul said, Jesus wants us "Having done all to stand." We must not be overthrown by the adversities in life but learn to give thanks in all things. We must not be taken down by the cursing and criticizing of the enemies of the people of God because we've learned to pray and blast those who curse and criticize us. God, give us the grace to obey what we know so that when things come against us that we can't defeat in our strength, the strength of God will already have found a residence inside of us. Young Christians, you're going to face some storms, difficulties, trials, and accusations. It won’t be easy, but the promise of Christ is if you obey, you will delight yourself in the things He speaks of you. If you let Him change you from the inside out and make you into the person that only He can be, when the storms come, you will not fall. "Your house will not even be shaken." You'll be standing on Christ Jesus.
David the Psalmist said, “He also brought me up out of a horrible pit, out of the miry clay, and set my feet upon a rock, and established my steps. He has put a new song in my mouth—praise to our God; many will see it and fear and will trust in the Lord.” It’s a song of stability that's in the heart of those who know where we're going. We know who God is. We will stand one day at the throne of God, throw our crowns at the feet of Jesus, and say, "Only you could have given us the strength to be the people that you call us to be." Please give us the grace to do what you're asking.
What is God asking you to do right now? Start there, do that, and then look at the next thing and say, "What are you asking me to do next, God?" Trust Him for His strength. He wouldn't ask you to do anything you couldn't. He asked you to do it because He knows He can through you. When we learn God’s will for all people, He opens our hearts to our calling. We say, "Behold, I come. In the scroll of the book, it is written of me. I delight to do your will, O my God, and your law is within my heart."