God’s will for our lives is not a secret we have to uncover. It’s not a mystery we have to unlock, or a pattern we have to decipher. In fact, God is abundantly clear about His will for our lives in His Word.
And rather than hunting for mystical answers, interpreting dreams and impressions, or parsing the inclinations of your heart, God has called His people to discover His will as laid out in the pages of Scripture.
In his sermon, “Taking the Mystery Out of Knowing God’s Will,” John MacArthur helps listeners do just that. Working through the Bible’s statements about the will of God, he identifies six directives the Lord provides us in Scripture. In summary, God wants His people to be saved, Spirit-filled, sanctified, submissive, suffering, and thankful. And when all those priorities are in place, John explains that making decisions in line with God’s will could not be easier:
If you’re saved, Spirit-filled, sanctified, submissive, suffering and thankful—you ready for this? Do whatever you want. Do whatever you want. Marry whoever you want. Go wherever you want. Work wherever you want. Choose whatever you want. You say, “Whoa. Are you sure?” Absolutely. Because if this is true of your life, guess who’s controlling your wants. Do whatever you want. People say to me, “Why did you come to Grace Church?” I wanted to come. There wasn’t [anything] mystical. I didn’t hear voices in heaven. Did I know all this would happen? No, I just came here because I wanted to come. I said, “That’s a good place. They want me. Nobody else wants me. I want to go.” It wasn’t like I had a lot of options. Still don’t. People say, “How did you decide to decide to marry Patricia?” That was easy. I wanted her and no one else. And I said, “God, that’s the one I want, right there. And I believe you’re controlling my wants.” You say, “I need a verse for that. That’s way out there.” I’ll give you a verse. I know, you’re used to getting a verse.
Here’s the verse. Psalm 37:4, you ready for this? “Delight yourself in the Lord and he will give you the desires of your heart.” That doesn’t mean He’ll fulfill yours, it means He’ll plant His. You delight in the Lord—saved, spirit-filled, submissive, all of those things—you delight in the Lord and He will plant His desires in your heart.
Why am I in the ministry? Because I wanted to be. Why am I at Grace Church? Because I wanted to be. Why do I go here and do that? Because I want to. And I just want to make sure that the wants that are coming out of my heart are the reflection of the desires that God would have for my life. And so if I follow what I know to be God’s will, then what I don’t know to be God’s will is simply a matter of following desires that God has planted in my heart because I’m delighting in Him.
I find great comfort and relief in those words; I hope you do, too.
God’s will is not a mystical path to discover and rigorously follow. If we’re living the lives He has called us to live, it couldn’t be more simple. If the priorities of our hearts are His priorities, our desires will naturally line up with His will for our lives.
To watch or listen to “Taking the Mystery Out of Knowing God’s Will,” click here.