Everyone who wants to be in the will of God, raise your hand. Anyone with any sense should want that; being in the will of God sums up the Christian’s goal in life. Walking daily in His will is the true mark of spirituality. Not because finding His will is hard and only the “special ones” will ever know it. Truth is, we are all special ones.
The cry of God’s heart is that we know His will. Accordingly, He has equipped us with all we need that’s necessary to both know that will and be able to do it; to discover His plan and fully, daily, walk it out. That equipping is called grace.
Grace is so many things that it is everything. One way to sum it up is: Grace is the God-given power to be what God wants us to be, to do what God wants us to do and to have what God wants us to have. It is by grace we are allowed to know and by grace we have the capacity to grasp and understand (Ephesians 1:6-9, 17-18).
How do we receive grace to know His will and do it? By faith: “For by grace are ye saved through faith” (Ephesians 2:8).
A LOOK AT FAITH AND GRACE
Here’s what faith in grace looks like:
Faith believes God has given grace for this purpose and it is available. Faith responds to the grace given by receiving it—regardless of feelings of unworthiness. Faith believes that grace is sufficient to close the gap between our unworthiness and worthiness. Faith believes it can take, receive and possess as its own all that grace has provided. Furthermore, the very nature of faith is to respond to grace because it proceeds from grace.
We can have and use faith because God desired us to, and by His grace designed us to have and release faith even as He does. Faith is the arena God functions in. Grace opened the door for us into that arena where we are always the winning conquerors over the lions, which the world intended to devour us. Grace by faith and faith by grace.
True, the will of God is complex. It is deep and wide. Its scope ranges from the monotonous to the grand. It is moment by moment yet spans eternity. It is unique to each individual person while embracing the whole of all creation. No particle of creation—whether spiritual or natural—is too small to escape having destiny and purpose. No entity is so grand it requires no direction of the Divine One. So, it’s not uncommon for the will of God to seem so complex that we are too intimidated to actually require ourselves to reach for it.
Sure, there is some striving involved—the world is in a flow to keep us out of God’s will. Any part of our thinking that has not been renewed to think like God thinks is going to be carnal, fleshly and will pull against the will of God. (See Romans 8:5; Galatians 5:16-25.) But there is also a great prize involved, as Philippians 3:14 tells us: “I press toward the mark for the prize of the high calling of God in Christ Jesus.” Though the fullness of the prize awaits us at the end of this life’s journey, there is a prize rewarded every moment we walk in the will of God in this life. For indeed, every moment in His will is a moment of knowing Him more. No prize is greater.
TRUST AND OBEY
In all of its depth of complexities, following and accomplishing the will of God is as simple as “trust and obey.” We are back now to faith and grace. Trust is resting in faith that grace will make His will known. Then faith obediently acts on that knowledge expecting to be empowered.
By now I’m sure your faith is growing, but you may still feel that to really comprehend the will of God for you is over your head. I understand. Although I, at least, had the assumption one could be in the will of God, generally speaking, I had the sense it would be hit or miss to accurately be in God’s specific will, and to confidently do it.
But thanks be unto God for my dad, Kenneth Copeland! A number of years ago, our family had taken a few days to be together and have fun. On the last morning we all gathered for a time of prayer and Communion. Whenever we are together that way, one of us will usually be inspired by the Holy Spirit with a question for “Paw Paw” that will make way for a word from the Lord. Praise God, all our children have open ears and hungry hearts to hear the wise words he brings.
That day, my sister Kellie said, “You know, Dad, in just a few days some of the kids will be heading off to college. But even the ones not ready for that yet are at an age that they need to be especially clear about the will of God for their lives. Can you talk to us about how to know and be in His will?” I’m sure we all recall his answer a little differently, but I do know that each of us was stunned by its simplicity. His words were so saturated with grace—the power to be and do all He wants us to be and do—that our lives will forever be shaped by them. I will do my best to convey his lesson, especially in the light the Lord has continued to give to me.
First, he said the greatest prayer a person can pray is “Thy will be done” (Matthew 6:10). Making that declaration commands our own will to be in line with His. All carnal thoughts and worldly pressures will yield to the believer who has chosen the Master’s will above his own. Some things yield quicker than others, but nothing of the flesh or the devil is capable of forever resisting the will of a believer firmly united with the will of God. It also releases the mountain-moving faith which changes our circumstances to line up with the plan of God. Powerful!
The next thing Dad told us was so simple yet absolutely liberating. He explained that we are not required to know God’s will way into the future. We only need to walk in His will for us today—just one day at a time.
He went on to remind us that we first find the will of God revealed in His Word. To whatever His Word says, we respond, “Thy will be done!” And then we do it! It’s amazing how obedience to the obvious commands of the Lord—such as study, prayer, tithing, giving—can open the specific will of God to us. The greatest command is to love God and to love others the same way He loves us. Living by love releases a free flow of His will in our lives: “That Christ may dwell in your hearts by faith; that ye, being rooted and grounded in love, may be able to comprehend with all saints what is the breadth, and length, and depth, and height; and to know the love of Christ, which passeth knowledge, that ye might be filled with all the fulness of God” (Ephesians 3:17-19).
Then, he said, just do what is right in front of you to do.
Of course, keeping our lives free from ungodliness is essential. Sin cuts us off from the goodness God has planned for us. Just ask Adam. If we own a Bible, we have no excuse for not knowing what He has made obvious.
So, he continued, every day look for His will in His Word and set your heart to do it. Then, as you pray in the spirit and fellowship with your loving heavenly Father, watch within for His leading. After all, Jesus said in John 16:13-14 that it is the purpose of the Holy Spirit’s earthly ministry to lead, guide and show us God’s will. If you continue to listen within and act on His leading (Romans 8:14), you will end your day—and eventually your life—fulfilling His will for you.
Believe it! Say it! Act on it! “Thy will be done!”