That’s the big question in the young Christian community. Usually we mean something specific: should I go to this college or that college or not go at all, or marry so-and-so, or which career, where should I live, etc. But it’s illuminating to survey where definitions of the “the will of God” appear in the Bible:
- “For this is the will of my Father, that everyone who beholds the Son and believes in Him will have eternal life, and I Myself will raise him up on the last day.” Jesus, John 6.40
- “For this is the will of God, your sanctification; that is, that you abstain from sexual immorality;” 1 Thessalonians 4.3
- “In everything give thanks; for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus.” 1 Thessalonians 5.18
- “And do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, so that you may prove what the will of God is, that which is good and acceptable and perfect.” Romans 12.2
- “Therefore be careful how you walk, not as unwise men, but as wise, making the most of your time, because the days are evil. So then do not be foolish, but understand what the will of the Lord is.” Ephesians 5.15-17
- “Submit yourselves for the Lord’s sake to every human institution, whether to a king as the one in authority, or to governors as sent by him . . . For such is the will of God that by doing right you may silence the ignorance of foolish men.” 1 Peter 2.13-15.
God’s specific calling on your life (career choice, marriage, etc.) is irrelevant if you’re not staying in Jesus’ teaching – something you can do whenever and wherever you’re at. God has already shown his will in the most important things. Believing in Jesus for eternal life and making that truth known, giving thanks to God, staying away from sexual sin, walking in wisdom, renewing our minds with the things of God, submitting to the government and other commands of the Bible are essentials, whether you’re a plumber or a pastor, if you live in San Fransisco or San Juan, whether your single or dating or married.
To know God’s will we need to look to God’s Word. He makes it clear. So why are we so worried and anxious about it? We have great freedom in Christ. And all those specifics? That’s a topic for another day, but as my old college pastor Steve Griffin said: “Focus on being a passionate disciple of Jesus Christ. Everything else will follow in on its own.”