What is God’s will meaning? It means God has a plan for the world and us. Yet God has a specific will for you as well. Are there things we need to do to know what His Will is for us?
Let’s dig in and find out.
Understanding God’s Will
God is sovereign and is in control over all things. He created the earth and the heavens and was present at the beginning of time. The end of time will not be a surprise to God. He knows this too.
God knows what is happening worldwide and hears each person’s cries for help. Because He is our omniscient, or all-knowing, God, He can hear all people simultaneously!
O Lord, you have searched me and known me! You know when I sit down and when I rise up; you discern my thoughts from afar. You search out my path and my lying down and are acquainted with all my ways.Psalm 139:1-3
At the dedication of the temple, King Solomon prayed that God in heaven would hear,
forgive the people and act and render to each whose heart you know, according to all his ways (for you, you only, know the hearts of all the children of mankind.1 Kings 8:39 ESV
Joseph: An example of God’s Sovereign Will
The story of Joseph is a great example of God’s sovereignty, Genesis 37 and following.
Joseph was the favorite brother of Jacob’s 12 sons. The brothers stripped him of his colorful robe and sold him to traders who took him to Egypt. These men then sold him to an officer of Pharoah.
Joseph eventually became the second in command of all the land. He ensured that everyone in the land stored up grain during their years of abundance for the coming famine.
Jacob heard that there was grain for sale in Egypt, so he sent his sons there, except for Benjamin. Eventually, they learn that the Governor of all of Egypt is their brother Joseph. After Joseph told them who he was, they couldn’t answer him.
Then Joseph tells them not to be distressed or angry because they sold him there, for God sent him there to preserve life (Gen 45:4-8).
God had a plan all along for Joseph’s life. Even though Joseph’s brothers wanted to harm him, they didn’t and sold him off. And their father, Jacob, was told that Joseph was dead. However, God wanted Joseph to be the 2nd in the land of Egypt so he would care for all the people during the time of famine.
What is God’s ultimate plan for humanity?
Ultimately, God’s Will or plan includes His desire to have all people come to know Him through Jesus Christ.
We know this from this verse.
The Lord is not slow to fulfill his promise as some count slowness, but is patient toward you, not wishing that any should perish, but that all should reach repentance.2 Peter 3:9 ESV
And this verse says that God
desires all people to be saved and to come to the knowledge of the truth.1 Timothy 2:4 ESV
Even though God’s Will or desire is that all people come to know Him, He gives each person a choice to accept Him or reject Him. You can choose. This is your Free Will. He doesn’t force all people to come to Him but willingly waits for us to come to Him.
What is the will of God verses in the Bible?
Besides wanting all people to come to Him, seven verses in the Bible talk about God’s Will that we all should do.
1. God’s Will to do Good
In 1 Peter 2, Peter tells the believers to be subject to those in authority. He says that “this is the will of God, that by doing good you put to silence the ignorance of the foolish people.” (vs. 15) ESV How we, as Christians, respect authority is an example of doing good works. He continues that we are to live as servants of God.
During this time of social distancing, I have adhered to the government’s edict. However, there have been times when I wanted to rebel. Besides, who would know if I broke the rules? The authorities may not have known, but God would.
He is the one that I should fear. I need to respect His authority by keeping His commands.
2. God’s Will and Suffering
In 1 Peter 3, Peter is writing about doing good and that we may need to suffer for doing what is right.
For it is better to suffer for doing good, if that should be God’s will, than for doing evil.1 Peter 3:17 ESV
For example, if I realize that I need to apologize to someone, it may cause suffering in how I approach the situation, how the person responds, or whether that person forgives me. However, if I don’t apologize to that person, the sin in my heart may fester, cause me to lie, be angry, or harbor bitterness toward this person, and the relationship may suffer. There are so many verses about forgiving others that I believe God’s Will for me would be to apologize to that person, no matter how hard it is. The opposite choice will lead to more evil, hardship, and health issues.
3. This is the will of God – your sanctification
For this is the will of God, your sanctification.1 Thessalonians 4:3a, ESV
Once we accept Christ as our Lord and Savior, we are all in the process of being sanctified or becoming holy. God wants us to put off the things from our former life that are not pleasing to Him. They are deceitful or corrupt. These are things that a holy God wouldn’t have in His presence. And as we put these things away, we replace them with
the new self, created after the likeness of God in true righteousness and holiness.Ephesians 4:24, ESV
Sometimes it is hard to let go of the old way of life. Yet we need to do it. This new way of life leads to righteousness or right living and holiness.
4. God’s Will & Discernment
Paul told the believers in Rome not to conform to the standard of the world around them. Instead, he told them to transform their minds – to change from one way of thinking to another. Then when that way of thinking is proven to be the best way of doing it, we will have the ability to know what God’s desires are for us. And His Will is the perfect way to do it for us!
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.Romans 12:2 ESV
5 to 7. Will of God to Rejoice Always, Pray Continuously, and Give Thanks in ALL Circumstances
The last three verses that specifically speaks to God’s Will are things we all need to do.
Rejoice always, pray without ceasing, give thanks in all circumstances; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you.Give thanks in all circumstances; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you.1 Thessalonians 5:16-18 ESV
Rejoice all the time. Thank God for a new life in Christ and rejoice that He died on the cross for our sins. Rejoicing can take on many forms: that a baby was born, a couple got married, or a new job.
When you pray without ceasing, it doesn’t mean your head is bowed, and you are constantly praying. If so, we wouldn’t get our work done! Praying without ceasing means that while you are going about your daily activities, you talk to God throughout the day. You may have a moment where you bow your head and focus. Or you are working on a task while you work and are stuck, so you ask God for wisdom or strength to complete it. While driving to or from the grocery store, you converse with God. Or you see a person on the street walking, so you lift them to the Lord.
Giving thanks during trying times is sometimes hard to do. Yet within those times, there is always something to be thankful for. It could be a kind word, a helping hand, or a friend who listened during uncertainty.
Summary of God’s Will Meaning
God’s Will meaning is about His sovereign will for all of humanity to be saved. There are specific actions that we can take in the 5 God’s will verses: what good we do, suffering for doing good, our becoming holy, obtaining discernment, and giving thanks in all circumstances.
- How have you seen God’s sovereignty at work in your life? Like Joseph and many other Bible stories, God continues to work His Plan. Take a few minutes to reflect on how God has worked in your life. Thank Him for how He worked things for the good.
- You may have experienced some hard times. What were some learnings on how you weathered that storm and what God has taught you? You may still be in a learning phase. Look to God’s Word for help. If you have a specific prayer need, please email me, and I will be happy to pray for you!
- God wants all people to have a relationship with Him. If you know Him personally, that is great! Thank Him again for what Jesus did on the cross for you! Pray for others that need the free gift of salvation that God offers through Jesus’s work on the cross. If you don’t have a personal relationship with Jesus, go to the Know Peace page for more information.
- Seven verses specifically talked about God’s Will. Which one spoke to you the most? What actions can you take to do more good, be willing to suffer, be more holy, discern God’s Will, and practice thankfulness? Pray about your action plans and ask God for help!
Check out the Resource Library for free resources! There are Bible Verse cards that you can download and print to keep in the forefront of your mind. There are bookmarks and Bible verse reading plans to choose from for any month of the year.
Let me know what you think of these resources. If you have other ideas or resources, please email me and let me know.