Do you understand the will of God?

Phrases like “the will of God” or “the will of the Lord” occur about 30 times in the Bible, most often in the New Testament. “The will of God” means God’s desire or wish, what God wants. Specifically in relation to us, God’s will refers to what he desires or wishes from his people.

Regarding this notion of God’s will, the apostle Paul said, “So then do not be foolish, but understand what the will of the Lord is” (Ephesians 5.17).

These words from the apostle Paul are a simple reminder of three things: (1) God has a will, a desire, a plan for all of us. (2) We have the intellectual and moral capacity to ascertain what that will is. And (3) we can do something about it.

God’s will is plainly expressed in Scripture. Although some portions of the Bible aren’t easy to understand, an average reader is capable of discerning what God wants. Mark Twain supposedly said, “Most people are bothered by those passages of Scripture which they cannot understand; but as for me, I have always noticed that the passagse of Scripture which trouble me most are those which I do understand.” 

I think Mark Twain was right. The problem with either Scripture or the will of God isn’t their inscrutability. The problem is simply man’s desire (or lack of desire) to pay attention and apply it to his life. 

C. S. Lewis once observed, “There are two kinds of people: those who say to God, ‘Thy will be done,’ and those to whom God says, ‘All right, then, have it your way.’”

May God help us belong to the first category.