17 Therefore do not be foolish, but understand what the will of the Lord is. (ESV)
I believe that every true Christian desires to know what God's will for their life is. Typically, young people see their whole life ahead of them and if they are devoted to Christ they want to know what God would have them to do for their whole career. They may think in terms of being a full-time pastor or missionary. Maybe they see themselves as being a Christian musician or other kind of artist.
Do you know what the will of God is? How have you discovered God's will in your own life? I think we make it hard on ourselves sometimes. We want God to say, "Thou shalt go to ABC University, get employed by "I Always Hear God's Voice" Ministries, and live happily ever after. We are expecting some kind of audible voice.
Perhaps you will hear an audible voice. I am not betting on it. Nor do I think you should. There are some Biblical principles that can guide us into truly understanding what the will of the Lord is. First, let's define the term. The will of the Lord is God's sovereign direction for each one of us. All of us have these elements of his will directed toward us. Here are a few:
- It is his will that we walk in holiness.
- It is his will that we make disciples.
- It is his will that we assemble together for worship.
- It is his will that we obey his Word.
Maybe you are unsure what God's specific will for your life and career are. I want to challenge you. Look at the four things listed above. Are you following those principles of the Lord's will in your life? If you are, I believe you will begin to understand the specifics of what he wants for you. But if you are not doing these things Paul would describe you as being "foolish."
The height of folly is knowing what God wants and not following it. Wisdom requires action. If you are going to understand his will, you must draw close to him, and listen to his Word. It will require sacrifice.
12 I appeal to you therefore, brothers, by the mercies of God, to present your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and acceptable to God, which is your spiritual worship. 2 Do not be conformed to this world, but 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.
Sacrifice, being transformed, renewing your mind, and testing. All of these are actions necessary for knowing God’s will. Don’t be foolish. Understand what the will of the Lord is.
Do you want to know the specifics of God's will in your life? Do those things which you know are the principles of his will. Walk in holiness. Make disciples. Assemble together for worship. Obey his Word.