Every time I think of the challenge of actually knowing God’s will I get excited about the possibilities but apprehensive about my experiences where I didn’t hear well, interpret what I heard well, or just flat out missed it.
As you read this know that God is speaking truth and He so wants to meet you in the place where you are. Whether in total peace or total chaos, He loves you. He has a will for you, He has a will for your family, He has a will inside of your calling and your gifting.
Books have been written on this subject. Actually volumes of work on knowing God’s will. I want to focus on three categories. God’s perfect will, His permissive will and His present will. Wait, what do I mean by present will?
I set you up. Yeah sorry. Perfect and permissive will, that’s way too complicated. Let’s just focus on present will.
In this moment God has a very specific will for you. Let me say it again – IN THIS MOMENT. How much of our lives do we live either in the past or in the future? I like to call those the “two thieves.” These are regrets of the past and the anxiety of the future. They can steal our joy in the present. Thieves they are. I liken them to the thief that hung next to Jesus on the cross. Full of self-pity, judgement and piety. If we hang out in those places we’ll miss the blessing right beside us. In this case, he missed an eternity by not seeing the present as a gift from God.
Every day and in every moment God is available to show us His present will. I love this verse. “You keep him in perfect peace whose mind is stayed on you, because he trusts in you.” (Isaiah 26:3 ESV) Starting with a basic trust that God is who He says He is gives us the confidence to seek Him in the present. Have you ever fired up a little “Oh God help me” prayer? Of course you have, we all have. And guess what? He wants to help you but first let’s get something straight, relationship is paramount. He wants to give us good things but He wants primarily to develop trust and for us to abide in Him EVERY moment. I was with a friend not long ago sharing and praying for her friend who’s 8-week old baby was rushed to the NIC unit of a well-known medical facility near us with a near fatal respiratory virus. We all wondered what God’s present will looked like then as we desperately prayed for healing. God, is it possible that your present will would be for this baby to come home to be with you at such a young age? No one knew but we all prayed not knowing but still believing. Thank God He answered the prayer by healing this little one.
Is your marriage falling apart, did you lose your job or a family member or friend to cancer? Are your finances a complete disaster? You can’t explain the early Alzheimer’s diagnosis or car wreck that took your best friend’s life. Is that God’s present will? Huh? I’m not sure how to answer that. I do know the one who can though.
“You will seek me and find me, when you seek me with all your heart.” Jeremiah 29:13
Let’s take it a step further and see what God does if we’re willing to do even this:
“If my people who are called by my name humble themselves, and pray and seek my face and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven and will forgive their sin and heal their land” 2nd Chronicles 7:14
We all need healing and often times our present circumstances are a result of wounds in our life, missteps in our decision making process, flat-out sin enveloping our world, or the spiritual battles that the enemy delights in waging against us. In all of those circumstances God wants to “heal our land.” He also wants to bless us with grace upon grace. First and foremost he wants a personal relationship with us. He wants us to seek his face moment by moment, and in so doing His present will WILL be revealed.
Do these simple things and cast your cares upon Him because He cares for you. Don’t get bogged down in the past and future, take the present as a gift and look into the eyes of Jesus. He will show you his present and most critical will and it is that we LOVE Him and turn over our life to Him today and every day.