Discussion on Will versus Direction
I have been getting questions concerning the “will” of God. One problem is our understanding of the term “will”. I have found, instead of an endless debate that leads no where over the exact meaning of a word that the Scripture does not define precisely, it is better to use terms that will address the differences.
In Scripture the term “will of God” can cover either a universal desire of God for all, for example it is the will of God for all to repent and come to know Christ. Or it can mean a specific desire of God for a specific individual, for example God’s will for you concerning education, vocation, marriage, etc.
So what I have done in order to understand what I am talking about is define “will” and “direction” in terms that will help me be specific in considering how the Lord works.
When I speak of “will” it is universal and applies to all believers! When I speak of “direction” it applies to a specific individual.
This helps us see the difference between the two. For example, when it comes to the “will” of God for the way we live, everyone can know what it is, because it applies to all; it is universal.
When someone asks me how can they find the will of God for their life, the answer is easy! I have him or her turn to Romans – God states clearly what His will is for every believer.
Romans 12:1–2 Therefore I urge you, brethren, by the mercies of God, to present your bodies a living and holy sacrifice, acceptable to God, which is your spiritual service of worship. 2 And do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, so that you may prove what the will of God is, that which is good and acceptable and perfect.
God's Will is universal – “one size fits all” – Every Christian has been called to the same will of God.
Here we find God’s will for our lives - basically it is where you are with God! If you are yielded and offer your life to Him – you are in His will.
God's Direction on the other hand is very individual – only each individual can know it for himself or herself. You and I cannot tell someone else what God’s direction for him or her is. We can offer godly counsel and pray for illumination, but only that individual can determine what God is saying.
Direction is what God desires for you and you alone. There are conditions that need to exist though. I would like to examine them, offer vital questions that we should ask and then share 4 important conscious thoughts that can help in understanding the direction God is revealing to us.
I will begin today and then follow up in the days to come.
How to move in direction
1. Make sure Rom 12:1-2 is a reality.
This is the first condition. If you are disobeying God in what He expects from every believer, why would He give you specific guidance. He desires that we are in His revealed will first and foremost.
Matthew 6:33–34 “But seek first His kingdom and His righteousness, and all these things will be added to you. “So do not worry about tomorrow; for tomorrow will care for itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own.
For example: when a young man seeks my counsel about whether or not the woman he is courting is the one God wants him to marry, the question I ask is: are you both living morally pure? This is a “no brainer”! God has revealed His will to all when it comes to matters of sex. Anything outside of marriage between a husband and his wife is sin. Marriage is a lifetime commitment, a person is foolish to make that move without sensing it is God directing. Here is the problem; how can you sense anything from God if you are already disobeying His revealed will? When the heart is callous toward sin, our spiritual ears will be deaf!
Get right with the Lord first concerning His will, then it is safe to seek His direction. God is not playing games, making us seek for His direction like we are using a treasure map that may or may not be true. God desires to guide His children specifically, but first they must be obedient to what they already know. Blessing a child when they are in rebellion will only confirm such dangerous behavior!
Heart check: Are you obeying everything you know God has revealed clearly? That does not mean we won’t fail, but even there God has revealed clearly what to do. Humble ourselves, confess and repent!
1 John 1:9 If we confess our sins, He is faithful and righteous to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.