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# 08367 :  What is God's will for me?


Most genuine Christians at some point in their lives’ journey might have wondered what God’s will on their lives is. In fact, Bible encourages us to seek God’s will irrespective of what stages of life we are at. To do this well, we need to have the proper understanding of the subject of God’s will in its entirety and various aspects of it as detailed in the Bible.

One cannot truly understand what the Bible teaches about the will of God or find out God’s will for us, if we do not first recognize some key aspects of God’s nature.  For example, we must understand that God is sovereign and immutable (unchanging).  We also need to understand that He is omnipresent, omniscient and omnipotent.  A failure to understand these fundamental aspects of God’s nature or character will lead to misunderstanding of the different aspects of God’s will as revealed to us.  


When we study about God’s will we see three different aspects of it.  The first aspect of it is known as God’s decretive, sovereign or hidden will.  This is what we refer to as God’s ultimate will.  This aspect of God’s will come out of the recognition of God’s sovereignty and the other aspects of God’s nature. When theologians refer to this aspect of God’s will, they are acknowledging the fact that God sovereignly ordains everything that comes to pass.  In other words, there is nothing that happens that is outside of God’s sovereign will.  This aspect of God’s will is seen in verses like Ephesians 1:11 where it tells us that God is the one “who works all things according to the counsel of His will” and Job 42:2; "I know that You can do everything, And that no purpose of Yours can be withheld from You.” This view of God’s will is based on the fact that because God is sovereign, His will can never be frustrated, and we can be sure that nothing happens that is beyond His control.

Examples of God's decretive or hidden will include James 4:15; {‘If the Lord wills, I will do.’} 1 Corinthians 4:19 {if the Lord allows I will come to you}; and Matthew 11:25-26 {You have hidden these from the wise and the intelligent and had revealed to the infants.} Such verses further explain this aspect of God’s will.


God’s sovereign will does not imply that God causes everything to happen but acknowledges that because He is sovereign He must at least permit or allow whatever happens to happen.  Again, understanding this aspect of God’s will is found in the fact that God is both omnipotent (all-powerful) and omniscient (all-knowing).  By acknowledging these aspects of God’s character alone, it becomes evident that if God is indeed omnipotent (all powerful) as the Bible clearly teaches that He is, then nothing could happen that would be outside of His control.  This aspect of God’s will acknowledges the fact that even when God passively permits things to happen, He must choose to permit them because He always has the power and right to intervene and either permit or stop the actions and events of this world.  Therefore, insofar as He lets things happen, He has “willed” them in this sense of the word.

Let me explain how this would affect our daily lives. If someone purposes in his or her mind to harm me or my family, unless God allows that to happen, it will not happen. Or, if I am stricken with a deadly disease, unless God allowed that to end my earthly life it will not achieve its purpose. This would give us the encouragement to pray for protection and deliverance from such things on a personal, family, church or universal level. Our prayers will be answered according to how God had ‘willed’ in His eternal counsel and ultimate wisdom. Our prayers could effectively bring God’s attention to our plea and He could readily grant us deliverance. Because of this we have the hope and boldness to pray for the most intimate and personal needs, without worrying whether something is in God’s will or not. God will do the best for us.   


While God’s sovereign will is often hidden from us until after it comes to pass, there is another aspect of His will that is plain to us.  That aspect is what is known as His perceptive or His revealed will.  As the name implies this aspect of God’s will simply acknowledges that God has chosen to reveal some of what His will for us is in the Bible through His holy law and the multitude of commands that He gives us to obey.  The perceptive or revealed will of God is God’s declared will concerning what we should do or what God commands us to do. For example, because of the revealed will of God we can know that it is God’s will that we do not steal, that we love our enemies, that we repent of our sins and that we be holy as He is holy.  This aspect of God’s will is revealed both in His Word as well as in our conscience, through which God has written His moral law upon the hearts of all men.  The laws or commands of God as found in the Scripture or in the heart are binding upon us; therefore, we are accountable when we disobey them.

Understanding this aspect of God’s will acknowledges that while we have the power and ability to disobey God’s commands, we do not have the right to do so.  Therefore, there is no excuse for our sin and we can’t claim that by choosing to sin we are simply fulfilling God’s sovereign decree or will.  Therefore, that even though Judas was fulfilling God’s sovereign will in betraying Christ, just as the Romans who crucified Him were, their sins were no less evil or treacherous and they were held accountable for their rejection of Christ. (Acts 4:27-8) When God permits us to break His perceptive or revealed will, we should not think of it as having His permission to sin.  His permission allows us the power to sin but does not give us the right to do so.  Even though in His sovereign will God allows or permits sin to happen we are still accountable to Him for that sin.


The third aspect of God’s will that we see in the Bible is God’s permissive will or what might say as God’s will of disposition.  This aspect of God’s will describes God’s attitude and defines what is pleasing to Him.  For example, while God takes no pleasure in the death of the wicked it is also clear that He most surely wills or decrees their death.  This aspect of God’s will is revealed through many verses of the Scriptures that indicate what God does and does not take pleasure in.  For example, in 1 Timothy 2:4 we see that God “desires all men to be saved and to come to the knowledge of the truth” and yet we know that God’s sovereign will is that “No one can come to Me unless the Father who sent Me draws him; and I will raise him up at the last day.” (John 6:44) Examples of God's perceptive or revealed will include Ezekiel 18:3; [The soul who sins will die] Matthew 6:10 [Thy will be done]; 7:21 [Not everyone who says to me Lord, Lord…but the one who does My will]; Ephesians 5:17 [understand the will of the Lord]; and 1 Thessalonians 4:3. [This is the will of God for you – your sanctification.] We can add 1Timothy 2:4 and 2 Peter 3:9 to this category as well.


If we are not careful it can become easy for Christians to become preoccupied or even obsessed with finding the “will” of God for our lives, but if the will we are seeking is His secret, hidden, or decretive will, then we are on a foolish quest. Another dangerous path is often followed by some in usurping on to God’s knowledge of His hidden will and making predictions or utter ‘prophesies’ thinking that they have certain special ‘gifts’ to do so. These are foolish attempts because God has not chosen to reveal that aspect of His will for us.  What we should seek is to know the perceptive or revealed will of God.  The true mark of spirituality is when people desire to know and live according to the will of God as revealed in the Scriptures, and that can be summarized as “be holy for I am Holy” (1 Peter 1:15-16).  Our responsibility is to obey the revealed will of God and not to speculate on what His hidden will for us might be.  While we should seek to be “led by the Holy Spirit” we must never forget that the Holy Spirit is primarily leading us to righteousness and to being conformed into the image of Christ so that our lives will glorify God.  God calls us to live our lives by every word that proceeds from the His mouth.

Living according to His revealed will should be the chief aim or purpose of our lives. Romans 12:1-2 summarizes this truth as we are called to present our “bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable to God, which is your reasonable service. And do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, that you may prove what is that good and acceptable and perfect will of God.”  To know the will of God we should immerse ourselves in the written Word of God, saturating our minds with it and praying that the Holy Spirit will transform us through the renewing of our minds so that the result is what is good, acceptable and perfect—the will of God.


  1. Since God is sovereign and His ‘sovereign will’ is hidden from us we have the boldness and the biblical mandate through the pages of the scriptures to pray for all our concerns and needs without worrying about the outcome.
  2. God’s ‘revealed will’ instructs us to strive to live a godly, spiritual & profitable Christian life. God had promised great reward for those who fulfil His various commands to us.
  3. Understanding the ‘will of God’s disposition or His permissive will’ helps believers to trust in God for everything. He will bring ‘all things together for good to those who love God

Tom Johns -

Post by : tomj  View Profile    since : 2 May 2018

Reply by : George P. Koshy   View Profile   Since : 7 May 2018 4:12:10 PM Close

Dear Readers,

I am bringing this thread forward, in the hope that some of you may contirbutes for a meaningful discussion.

Shalom Malekim!!!


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