The student seated in the chair on the other side of my desk was almost in tears as she struggled with what decision to make about a relationship. Was God leading her and her boyfriend to move toward marriage? The day before I’d had a conversation with someone about a ministry position: should he take this job to serve people and gain valuable experience, or should he continue his studies? What would God want him to do? As I walked across campus this morning, a student asked me about changing his major. Did God care one way or the other? Later in the week, I got a call from one of our daughters, she was struggling with a schooling decision for our granddaughter. Did God have a preference? Not a week goes by that I don’t get some kind of question related to God’s will.
During the almost thirty years that I’ve been a teacher, pastor, husband, and father, the struggle with “What does God want” has never gone away. Issues come and go. Theological trends rise, fall, and recirculate. Worship styles change. But understanding and following God’s will seems almost timeless. Those who have a relationship with God through Jesus Christ are concerned about doing what God wants us to do. We genuinely want to be aligned with God’s will. But following God’s will can be deeply confusing. We often find ourselves asking, “What exactly do you want me to do, Lord?”
To experience peace in our walk with God, we need clarity on what it means to obey and follow God’s will. Perhaps we need to go back to the basics and ask a simple question, “What does God say about his will in Scripture?” For the purposes of this brief study, I will focus on the New Testament, but as you have time, I encourage you to explore the Old Testament as well with this question in mind.
As we discover what the New Testament says about the will of God, I think you’ll experience profound freedom, joy, and peace, in your walk with God—since God’s truth sets us free.
J. Scott Duvall