5 Bible verses that explicitly state the will of God

5-bible-verses

As I mentioned in my last post, Christians are constantly seeking after the will of God, so anytime the Bible plainly states what his desire is for our lives we need to perk up and pay attention.  I believe we all have a specific calling–God’s will for our individual lives–but in trying to understand our special purpose we shouldn’t ignore the things he has called every believer to.

With that said, I did a little more digging to see what else the Scriptures had to say about God’s will for the life of every believer.  Here are five Bible verses that explicitly state the will of God:

1. 1-thessalonians

This is the verse that inspired my last post.  We’re called to always be joyful, always keep praying, and always be thankful, no matter what is happening in our lives.  It is God’s will that we should always do these things, but how many of us really do?

2. hebrews-10

This verse from Hebrews is a great reminder that our holiness flows from Christ, not from ourselves.  His single sacrifice was potent enough to cover all of our sins–past, present, and future!

3. 1-peter-2

In context, Peter is calling believers to live honorable lives in the face of persecution, no matter who holds political office (a timeless lesson, one I hope we’ve learned in the wake of the most recent election).  Our honorable actions can quiet, or at least discredit, the talk of our most ignorant critics, and it is God’s will that this would be the case.

4. 1-peter-2-21

In this passage Peter addresses slaves, telling them they don’t get any credit if they are beaten by their masters for doing wrong.  But if they are beaten despite their good works they are being Christ-like, because he suffered though he was only good all the time.  It is God’s will that we do good, even if it means we suffer for it.

5. 1-peter-3

Okay, I know there are a lot of 1 Peter references in this post, but I just pulled on the thread, I didn’t knit the sweater.  This is a beautiful reiteration of what Jesus said in telling us to love our enemies.  When people insult you, don’t seek revenge.  In fact, do the opposite.  Don’t exchange evil for evil, but exchange blessing for cursing.  How would your home, your church, and your community be transformed if you truly lived this aspect of the will of God?

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Want to know God’s will? Be thankful.


Believers are constantly chasing the will of God. Be it for their family, career, or ministry, people want to know what the Lord desires for their life, but often this kind of discernment comes only after hours of prayer, fasting, and wrestling in our minds.

So when a verse explicitly reveals the will of God to us, we should be ecstatic. One such verse, or verses rather, that have been on my heart this week is 1 Thessalonians 5:16-18, which says:

Always be joyful. Never stop praying. Be thankful in all circumstances, for this is God’s will for you who belong to Christ Jesus.

Let me draw this out a bit.  It’s God’s will that we should never stop being full of joy. It’s God’s will that we should never stop praying. It’s God’s will that we should never stop giving thanks.

But more than that, this passage implies that we have reason to give thanks in every situation, no matter how bad.  No matter how unstable our lives get, our future is secure in Christ. No matter how bad things get, we can thank the Lord that we know, beyond the shadow of a doubt, that one day they will get better.

So give thanks not only today, but everyday. It’s God’s will for your life!

Be Helpful, Not Just Clever

welcome_to_fight_club_14317627100Pastors are tasked with shepherding the flock, equipping the saints, and evangelizing the lost, but there’s an additional pressure we often feel that has nothing to do with our calling.  We often feel like we have to be clever on top of everything else, offering a performance that is as entertaining as it is thought-provoking, and when we can’t come up with just the right tweetable phrases we feel like our sermons are somehow inadequate.

That feeling reminds me of the scene from Fight Club (the movie) when the nameless protagonist (Edward Norton) meets a rebellious soap salesman named Tyler Durden (Brad Pitt) on a flight.  Norton’s character is an empty shell of a man who tries to fill the void in his soul by attending various therapy groups and by shopping from catalogs, and when he puts on a facade for Durden (who sees right through him) he gets called out for it:

Narrator: Tyler, you are by far the most interesting single-serving friend I’ve ever met… see I have this thing: everything on a plane is single-serving…

Tyler Durden: Oh I get it, it’s very clever.

Narrator: Thank you.

Tyler Durden: How’s that working out for you?

Narrator: What?

Tyler Durden: Being clever.

Narrator: Great.

Tyler Durden: Keep it up then… Right up.

[Gets up from airplane seat]

I want to ask the same question to pastors: How’s that working out for you?  Lately, I’ve been asking myself the same thing.  I will say this: there’s nothing wrong with being clever, as long as it isn’t our end-game.  Jesus was insanely quick on his feet and delivered some strong, punchy statements that are definitely clever, but he was also helpful, so that is what we should all strive to be too.

His words were not empty.  They weren’t powerless.  They were marinated in meaning, and ours should be too.

The delivery is imp
ortant, but even more so is the substance.  So let’s be people of substance, in our lives and our words.  Whether we’re a pastor or a plumber, let’s make sure our voices are saying what matters, not just what sounds good, interesting, or entertaining.

It’s Election Day!

I’m just going to leave this one right here:

“Atticus, you must be wrong….”

“How’s that?”

“Well, most folks seem to think they’re right and you’re wrong….”

“They’re certainly entitled to think that, and they’re entitled to full respect for their opinions,” said Atticus, “but before I can live with other folks I’ve got to live with myself. The one thing that doesn’t abide by majority rule is a person’s conscience.”

– Harper Lee, To Kill a Mockingbird