What Is the Will of God? I

Introduction

Jesus often expressed his desire to do the will of God. The Bible elsewhere says that those who do the will of God will live forever. Since doing the will of God not only follows Jesus’ way, which ought to be our way as well, and offers the promise of eternal life, we ought to be eager do God’s will. What do we have to know?

What is the will of God?

Those who do God’s will live forever, which is quite a motivation to learn of it and do it. What we can be sure of is that the world’s ways with its deceptions and lusts are the opposite of God’s will because these will pass away leaving only those who do His will.

1John 2:17 The world is passing away, and also its lusts; but the one who does the will of God lives forever.

Pray According to God’s Will

Aside from the obvious, God hears the prayers of the righteous, those following His Way. He answers those requests according to His will. He explains the various topics in which He desires to answer affirmatively. Furthermore, we can have great confidence of getting a positive answer when we learn to pray according to His will.

1John 5:14 This is the confidence which we have before Him, that, if we ask anything according to His will, He hears us.
1John 5:15 And if we know that He hears us in whatever we ask, we know that we have the requests which we have asked from Him.

1John 3:22 and whatever we ask we receive from Him, because we keep His commandments and do the things that are pleasing in His sight.

James delineates some of the prayers God would love to answer. He, as shown in the life of Jesus, wants to heal people because disease, mostly, results from sin, either breaking the moral or occasionally physical laws of God. Therefore, when someone confesses his sins and proves his desire to be healed by asking for anointing and pray, God wants us to pray for him. When we pray effectively for those ailing, God will heal him through Jesus’ stripes.

Those who please God by their words and deeds will receive answers even to the point of controlling the climate and weather. Moses, Elijah, and, of course, Jesus demonstrate that power of prayer.

James 5:13 ¶ Is anyone among you suffering? Then he must pray. Is anyone cheerful? He is to sing praises.
James 5:16 Therefore, confess your sins to one another, and pray for one another so that you may be healed. The effective prayer of a righteous man can accomplish much.
James 5:17 Elijah was a man with a nature like ours, and he prayed earnestly that it would not rain, and it did not rain on the earth for three years and six months.
James 5:18 Then he prayed again, and the sky poured rain and the earth produced its fruit.

Part of praying effectively, involves praying in the Spirit. God gave us His Spirit to be used, lambana in the Greek, not shut away in some treasure box hidden under the bed. Why would God give us His Spirit and tell us about its use, if He never in-tended that we put that power at work within into productivity. Perhaps, those who encrust the power at work within with worldly and individual concerns, confine the Spirit to an occasional output. Since God gave His Spirit to be used to give Him glory and effectively help those in need, He would gladly assist those wishing to use His Spirit.

Eph. 6:18 ¶ With all prayer and petition pray at all times in the Spirit, and with this in view, be on the alert with all perseverance and petition for all the saints,

James considers, as do the Proverbs, the importance of having wisdom, that he says we ought to pray for it. For, having wisdom is God’s will. However, in all prayers, one must pray in faith without doubting. How does one not doubt? Abraham, upon the advice of Sarah, had a son by the maidservant, showed doubt and a lack of wisdom. Not showing doubt is doing what seems impossible, as going to work when one is ill or getting up on lame legs. Just as Abraham listened to the doubters, people can easily find reasons for not doing what seems unlikely. Spinning a subject finds believers in more than politics. People tend to think they can outthink what God says plainly. Those who try to find ways around God’s Word remain deceived or deceivers.

James 1:5 ¶ But if any of you lacks wisdom, let him ask of God, who gives to all generously and without reproach, and it will be given to him.
James 1:6 But he must ask in faith without any doubting, for the one who doubts is like the surf of the sea, driven and tossed by the wind.

God’s Word helps us to better understand faith by adding a kind of synonym, like confidence. One ought to have confidence of the veracity of His Word. One ought to have confidence that he can actually do what God says to do. Someone said there is no such thing as trying, just those who choose to do it or not do it. Therefore, when someone complains about his failure to succeed after trying so hard, we know that he choose not to do it. Of course, we are not talking about certain physical and mental skills embodied under the term talent. Yet, even the untalented can dance even poorly, play the piano badly, and solve equations after many, many mistakes. A person may never be an excellent chess player, but he can play well and learn to plan several moves ahead. Indeed, God gave people considerably more talent than the lazy or less confident may ever conceive.

Furthermore, confidence often needs endurance or confidence promote endurance. Nonetheless, a person who refuses to give up must eventually succeed, if a person believes that or has that confidence. Additionally, people lack confidence to be successful because they might depend on their own thinking, they might let financial concerns control them, or just refuse stubbornly.

God hears believers’ prayers when they ask with faith and confidence.

Heb. 10:35 Therefore, do not throw away your confidence, which has a great reward.
Heb. 10:36 For you have need of endurance, so that when you have done the will of God, you may receive what was promised.

Surely, we have to ask according to God’s will, and James shows, what may seem obvious, why God does not answer certain prayers. First, he says we ought to determine our motives. If we pray for rain, do we pray for the good of the farmer or drought conditions or do we pray to say, look I prayed for rain. If the “I” is the motive, the answer would probably be no, and if God gives the rain in due season, he did not answer the self-serving prayer. Further, people pray for that which would serve their pleasures, worldly pleasures, indeed. If the being friends with the world prompts the prayer, then not only will there be no answer, but God might get a tad annoyed. Both selfish and worldly prayers have no merit.

James 4:3 You ask and do not receive, because you ask with wrong motives, so that you may spend it on your pleasures.
James 4:4 You adulteresses, do you not know that friendship with the world is hostility toward God? Therefore whoever wishes to be a friend of the world makes himself an enemy of God.

We need to be able to free ourselves from the delightful deceits of Satan’s world because its pull proves quite magnetic. Moreover, just as in magnetism, a change of pole, or a turning of the magnet, changes the force of attraction to a force of repelling. Biblically, we also turn the magnet of worldliness around to re-pel its attraction. The Bible calls it transforming our mind by renewing it.

Rom. 12:2 And do not be conformed to this world, but be trans-formed 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.

Prayers that give deference to God’s will have power. In many instances, we do not know what God’s will happens to be in terms of everyday living or a particular situation. When we do not know what is best for us, or God’s purposes, we ought to pray for guidance or let God open or close the door for us. Being humble before God as well as acknowledging His Name shows Him an attitude in tune with His will.

James 4:15 Instead, you ought to say, “If the Lord wills, we will live and also do this or that.”

Without a doubt, God wants the Gospel of the Kingdom of God, to reach out to those who will hear His Word and act on it. Obviously, all believers heard the Word through various ways. Therefore, Our Father in Heaven wants us to pray for those involved in spreading the Gospel. We know, of course, that believers are the salt of the earth, and people need the light and prayers of those dedicated to following God’s will. Without believers spread across the planet, we can only imagine what life would be like without them. Believers demonstrate how life ought to be lived, and they intercede for the lost and deceived. Forgive them Father, for they know not what they do. Therefore, we must earnestly pray that the Gospel will draw people to God’s way and will.

2Th. 3:1. Finally, brethren, pray for us that the word of the Lord will spread rapidly and be glorified, just as it did also with you.

To pray in the Spirit is God’s will. God confidently poured out His Spirit on all flesh. Those willing to receive that which God poured out receive this blessing with great joy. They cherish the power and wisdom that God implanted in them with loving-kindness. Having received one of the greatest blessings in the universe, believers desire with all their hearts to make good use of God’s Spirit. For they know, that it is God’s will they must use that gift in every way possible. Paul says that he will pray with both God’s Spirit and His mind. It is God’s will that our prayers will be inspired by His Spirit and our minds, spoken by His Spirit and our breath and articulated by His Spirit and our lips.

Furthermore, when the Spirit’s gift of joy overwhelms us, we sing as well all in the Spirit consciously, i.e., using our minds. We, therefore, use the gift of God’s language combined with his breath, ruach or Spirit. We are to become complete, like God. We can then become facile in using his Spirit as well as His Language. So, sing with the joy of the Spirit in the Spirit and with minds.

1 Cor. 14:15 What is the outcome, then? I will pray with the spirit, and I will pray with the mind also; I will sing with the spirit, and I will sing with the mind also.

James tells us that the effective prayer of a righteous person has great power, to paraphrase. However, if we just pray with our minds and our words only, our prayers are some-what less then they ought to be. Why? The Spirit at work within knows far more about what we need to pray about and our innermost feelings than we could ask or think. God did just not give us His Spirit as a pretty gift to sit on the mantelpiece but for our good, for our essential aid in obtaining the Kingdom of God. Without our using the Spirit, we are like lost souls slogging through the Everglades beset and attacked by mosquitoes, pigmy rattles snakes, and alligators. We need to use God’s Spirit to effectively under-stand His Word, communicate with Him, and light our way. There are no words in our language that can fully communicate with Our Father in Heaven in His Language.

Rom 8:26 Likewise the Spirit also helps our infirmities: for we know not what we should pray for as we ought: but the Spirit itself makes intercession for us with groanings which cannot be uttered.

The time is now for God’s people to worship him in Truth with their minds and in the spirit with their inner most being, because it is God’s will that they must. As we all know, God is Spirit, and it is His will that we worship Him in the Spirit.

John 4:23, but an hour is coming, and now is, when the two worshipers will worship the Father in spirit and truth; for such people the Father seeks to be his worshipers.
John4:24 “God is Spirit, and those who worship him must worship in Spirit and truth.”

Biblically, the flesh is antithetical to God. Of course, we live in the flesh, not the concept of flesh itself, but the ways of the flesh, i.e., giving into desires of the flesh when they oppose the ways and will of God. The flesh cannot provide what we need in life: the Truth, the Way of God, and the Will of God. Of course, we need to eat, drink, have clothing, have shelter for our flesh, but this flesh cannot bring us into the Kingdom of God. More often than not, the flesh interferes with our apprehending and acting on Will of God. Therefore, we cannot depend upon the flesh, because it, more often than not, is an adamantine barrier against the Truth.

Even circumcising the flesh brings a person, no closer to God than cutting off a fingernail. Even in the Old Testament, God preferred that people have their hearts circumcised instead of their flesh. While we must live in the flesh, until we are changed, we must not live according to its desires, deceptions, and deviancies. Even eating a good meal and drinking some fine wine, if overdone, does one no good. Even wearing good clothing, if fashion becomes the main goal is not good. We must always be wary of the excesses and inordinate desires, if you will, of the flesh.

Phil. 3:3 for we are the true circumcision, who worship in the Spirit of God and glory in Christ Jesus and with no confidence in the flesh.

When ought we to pray in the Spirit? Once a month? Once a year? Once in a life time? Remember, God gave us His Spirit for us to use in all the fullness of its power. Remember, the power of the Spirit is the wind or breath of God. Remember, God wants the inner man, the power at work within, to exert control over the flesh. Remember, God poured out His Spirit on all flesh. He, of course, wants us to pray with our minds, but He also wills that we pray in the Spirit, all the time.

Why? When we pray in the Spirit, we become alert to the needs of the believers because we transcend the flesh and earthly languages. We persevere in praying in the Spirit for the believers. Furthermore, when we pray in the Spirit, by our understanding of their needs, we make petition in a way God cannot deny.

Eph. 6:18 ¶ With all prayer and petition pray at all times in the Spirit, and with this in view, be on the alert with all perseverance and petition for all the saints,

James says that without faith, God is not pleased. Therefore, having faith is the will of God. James tells us that after we hear and speak the faith, works completes faith. Part of the work that develops faith is praying in the Spirit. As we allow the inner self to express ourselves to God in this most powerful way, our faith grows, which helps the Spirit at work within to dominate the fleshy desires.

We have no idea who our real self is. What we see and understand in the physical world is a mere hint of our true selves. Jesus lived and acted as one made in the image of God because he allowed the Spirit at work within to fully control his life; thus, he could say that he lived to do God’s will. We can, at least, do God’s will by praying in His Holy Spirit.

Jude 20 But you, beloved, building yourselves up on your most holy faith, praying in the Holy Spirit,

Ultimately, our prayers in the Spirit, in tongues if you will, should be outgoing for the goal, which God had in mind with Jesus, to promote the welfare of the brethren and the promotion of the Gospel. As for us, the “Our Father” outline shows what God’s will is for a part of our prayers. Most importantly, we must fully understand that without “the power at work within,” the old man, the old self remains intransigently evil, even when backed into a corner by the inner self, the spiritual self.

It remains important to understand that praying according to God’s will gives Him glory while praying according to our will attempts to glorify ourselves. Therefore, praying in the Spirit seeks to glorify God.

John 7:18 “He who speaks from himself seeks his own glory; but He who is seeking the glory of the One who sent Him, He is true, and there is no unrighteousness in Him.

God Bless,

Gil Kovacs

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