Believing what Jesus revealed to us, means choosing a certain direction in life. After all, Jesus said: “Behold, I have come to do Your will, O God” (Hebrews 10:5-10, Psalm 40). If we choose to do God’s will, we’ll discover that Jesus’ teachings came from God. In John 7:17, this is confirmed by Jesus Himself: “If anyone chooses to do God’s will, he will know whether the teaching is from God or whether I am speaking on My own authority.”
Doing God’s will starts with complete devotion
If we really long to do God’s will, this requires a personal decision; then He will reveal His will to us. Being prepared to devote ourselves completely to Him, is an absolute premise. First there is our devotion, and then God will unfold His will to our devoted minds. Devotion leads to the understanding and perception and revelation of His will for our lives. Note: this doesn’t happen by just factual understanding and our own interpretation of God’s Word without the willingness to devote ourselves to Him.
We are God’s possession
In Romans 12:1, Paul urges us to devote our bodies to God: “I appeal to you […] to present your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and acceptable to God“. Whatever is put on God’s altar, is His possession from then on. If we take that decisive step and make our bodies available to Him, we’ll ask Him constantly for His will for our lives. We renounced our right of self-determination.
The effect is that we will be renewed in our thinking: “be transformed by the renewal of your mind, that by testing you may discern what is the will of God, what is good and acceptable and perfect” (Romans 12:2). By the renewal of our minds we can thus discern what is the will of God. Then He will show us the path He has destined for us (Psalm 32:8, 16:11).
Complete the race
Real devotion and submission will ultimately cost us everything. It is a continuing process, comparable to a race that requires perseverance, and that includes laying aside every weight that could hinder us (Hebrews 12:1-2). Not just sin is meant here. Other things can hinder us in our race as well, for we all have our blind spots. The Holy Spirit will reveal those to us if we ask Him, so we will function best as his vessels.
Doing God’s will is giving up our own will
This happens in so far as we give up our own will – in other words, in so far as we die to ourselves. Paul phrases this principle as follows: “always carrying in the body the death of Jesus, so that the life of Jesus may also be manifested in our bodies” (2 Corinthians 4:10). Complete devotion requires making good choices, “looking to Jesus, the founder and perfecter of our faith” (Hebrews 12:2a). If we keep walking like that, in obedience to Him, we will discover that His will is perfect – even when it leads us through deep waters. Jesus, God’s Son, also learned obedience through what He suffered (Hebrews 5:8).
Vessels of God’s love
Step by step, we will experience that living at the center of God’s will brings us joy and peace. Despite the trials. Trials serve to produce steadfastness in our faith, and make us grow stronger spiritually (James 1:2-3). More and more, we are shaped into God’s image, so that we are vessels through which His supernatural love can flow, so that through us, others can be led to the Source of Life as well. “Whoever believes in Me, as the Scripture has said, out of His heart will flow rivers of living water.” (John 7:38).
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