Has anyone ever asked you where you plan to be in the next five years? Such a question can cause you to stop and think. The question itself has pivot potential, giving you an opportunity to 1) assess where you are, 2) describe in detail where you want to be and 3) determine if you’re doing what it takes to get there.
After a thorough self-evaluation, your list of aspirations may have included: a well paying career, a dream house, a loving spouse, a profitable business venture and a secure retirement plan. Whatever your response was on that occasion, as child of God, you probably wondered if any of the things you wanted corresponded with God's Will for you.
1.1 What is God's Will
In order to define God’s Will, let’s consider how it is commonly perceived in and outside the church. As a Christian custom, believers may be heard saying "If it is the Lord's will." after planning an event. “God’s Will be done,” when hoping for something, and “I’ll leave them to God(‘s will),” when mistreatment occurs. Christians, from the beginnings of the faith –as indicated in the scriptures- have long understood God’s Will to denote spiritual achievements that the Father Himself either worked to attain or had assigned to one of his messengers (either flesh and blood or spirit) to carry out.
When considering the concept of the will from a natural perspective, the idea of having to write a will someday comes to mind. This document, activated at the moment of an asset-holder's death, should indicate a number of expectations that someone, will be entrusted to see accomplished. That authorized person or executor (family friend or legal rep) must ensure that the will is carried out to completion. Since the term will in both spiritual and natural circles are very similar in meaning, let's define the term without discriminating with regard to the nature of the will owner, whether divine or mortal. The term will, in relation to God or man, has always meant a set of goals. Therefore, let will w from hereinafter denote a set with at least one goal where the term goal is by definition an outcome.
1.2 Levels of God's Will
God's Will has two main levels. There is the ubiquitous (general) level at which every born again follower of Christ is expected to operate. Acceptable Christian behavior is outlined in teachings of Christ Jesus which tell us how to live holy lives -lives that bring glory to God. For example, Jesus taught us to pray for our enemies, thus separating us from the general population who condone retaliation. He, also, taught us give sacrificially as the widow in His mite parable did when she offered to the Lord all she had (Luke 21:1-4). Human nature, on the other hand teaches us to horde and sacrifice others to achieve our own interest. Besides the many more lessons Christ shared through the scriptures to sanctify us to live free from the burden and weight of sin, the Lord continues through His Spirit to teach us all truth (1 John 2:27).
The other level is not like the first. The activities carried out at this level are not widely understood or accepted. Paul in Romans chapter 14, addressed the issue of strong and weak faith among believers. Some know their rights in Christ while others have more to learn about God's saving grace. The problem occurs when weak faith believers judge their brother or sister in Christ based on 1) the day he or she attends church and/or 2) the types of food he or she eats. Scripture advises the strong believer, living with more freedom, to use his specialized knowledge of God's will with discretion and never at the risk of causing a believer with a weaker faith to sin. In other words, if you know a believer that eats only vegetables unto the Lord and you invite them to a restaurant to discuss the sermon from the morning service entitled Christ love, don't order a steak. Such an act is not demonstrating Christ love, instead order a salad. "For the kingdom of God is not a matter of eating and drinking, but of righteousness, peace and joy in the Holy Spirit" (Romans 14:17).
1.2.1 God's Will is My Purpose
When you finally discover God's Will as it pertains to you, described by Paul in Romans 12:2 as good, pleasing and perfect and have found Him as was promised in Jeremiah 29:11-13 to all who would seek the Father with their whole heart, you have actually uncovered your purpose in life, your main reason for living. God wants you to achieve the things you need. By carrying out His will, you are actually filling the gaps of lack in your heart. These gaps impress you internally as hunger and thirst for righteousness (Matthew 5:6). Hence the reason Jesus said in John 4:34, "My food is to do the will of him who sent me and to finish his work." This explains why no substitute offered by the world can satisfy your heart. The spaces in your inner most being have been reserved by God before time began for His righteousness, peace and joy in the Spirit.