The will of God isn’t some mystical, magical, hard to discern, sure-to-miss-it-if-you-aren’t-looking formula. It is simple, straight forward and to the point. Easily discerned by one whose heart is turned towards God, God’s will is such that most, even in the church, truly don’t want to know it.
God’s will for us is for us to be Christ-like. That is, like Christ.
We are to be like Christ.
Christ was fully submissive to God, fully obedient to God, so much so that it led Him to death. If we are to be like Christ, we, too, will be fully submissive, fully obedient even unto death.
Submission. Obedience. Death.
Not exactly what we hear from most pulpits today.
God’s ways are radical and demanding. God’s ways lead to death. Does He love you? Sure, He absolutely does. Much, much more than you can ever comprehend. However, true love demands truth. God’s love is no different. God’s truth is that we all deserve death: not a fancy car, not good health, not dining out at the best restaurants, not new clothes, not physical abundance.
That’ll get the false converts going every time.
Just let a preacher, a true man of God, fresh from being alone with God, acquainted with deep and aching hours of prayer, get up in the pulpit. Let him look out at the people before Him, his heart breaking for he sees them as God does: sees their sinfulness, knows their depravity, realizes their unfaithfulness. Let this man, fresh from the depths of God’s Word, begin to pour out God’s truth.
Let him tell them that God demands submission: that we bow to Him and His ways even when it causes us problems or pain. Let him say that God demands obedience: that we absolutely do what He says always and in all ways even when it separates us from all comforts, all peace, from love of family. Let him say that God’s will for them is death: death to self, death to the world, death to sin. Death to everything that isn’t of Christ or glorifying to Christ.
Let us then see just how long this man has a job.
Most of those who today proclaim Christianity aren’t actually interested in being a Christian. They want morality, a better life, respect. They want to be thought of as good men but still have it understood that they are weak and they can make mistakes.
Mistakes seem to be all that some in the so-called church make.
We are blaspheming the holy Name of Christ by pretending to wear His name and living like we do. We are to be new in Christ. Christians are those who have been born from above. One born out of the glorious holiness of God cannot be content to live like the devil’s child. It is as much of an impossibility as the stars all falling from the heavens and yet life going on as it always has. Yet that is what we claim.
“I have Christian liberty, freedom in Christ. He doesn’t care how I live, He only cares about what I believe, about my heart. After all, the letter of the law kills.”
It is sin that kills. Sin that reveals our hearts as they actually are. Sin shows who we belong to–and Who we don’t. Christian liberty is the freedom we have in Christ to obey Him. One whose heart is truly right with God will always hate sin. If we don’t hate sin, we don’t love God and we won’t want to do His will because we will be doing the will of our real father–the devil.
We who worry so much about the will of God need to open His Word and read it. The vast majority of God’s will for our lives is written in its pages. We are to read and pray, obey, grow in holiness, hate sin, serve, teach. All else are details that will only be revealed to us as we walk with Him in obedience. “Do I live here–or there? Take this job–or that?” Those decisions are best determined by a heart that beats for His glory. We needn’t worry about whether we can hear His call, discern His will; first we simply need to obey His Word. Afterwards, once we are growing in holiness, discerning His will in the day-to-dayness of our lives is less a matter of our ability to discern and follow and more a matter of His ability to lead. He will always reveal His will to one willing to do it.