It’s a question every ardent follower of Jesus must surely ask, and therefore it’s a question worth exploring. Just what kinds of situations are indicators that we’re doing God’s will?
I’d venture some of the following:
When we’re finding it an uphill struggle to love people, yet we’re persisting, we’re doing God’s will. When forgiveness is near-on impossible, but we keep repenting before the Lord, we’re doing God’s will. When we’re slandered, yet don’t give in to slandering back, even in our heart, we’re doing God’s will.
When we’re finding it difficult to rationalise the kinds of sacrifices we’re needing to make, yet we continue to sacrifice faithfully, we’re in the lap of God’s will. As we recognise that the best sacrifices are those that actually cost us, our sacrifice must be closest to pleasing God.
When we’re grappling with the folly in people’s decisions, yet we overcome impatience with a reminder of God’s grace toward us, we’re operating in the motivation of doing God’s will. As we’re quickly reminded of our own slow progress, and as we thank God for such a reminder, we’re doing God’s will.
When we’re working hard yet are often tempted to feel that we’re wasting our time we’re doing God’s will. Yes, as we throw ourselves into a work that has little immediate reward, the littler the better, faithfully doing it without resenting it, we’re doing God’s will. Perhaps we can take Jesus at His word (Matthew 6:4).
When things are easy for us, and blessings seem to be pouring in, and we take the opportunity to be positively grateful, we’re doing God’s will. But not just that; when we take the opportunity to see those at the opposite end of the blessedness spectrum — those who feel cursed — and yet have empathy, which is the heart to stand in their gap, we’re doing God’s will.
When we sin yet bring ourselves to immediate account by the repentance of apology, having been prompted by the conviction of the Holy Spirit, we’re doing God’s will. Blessed are we all the more to be so self-aware as to be doing this daily and more often.
When we’re tempted by a thing to conceal or withhold a truth, yet we ensure the truth can roam free, no matter the cost, we’re doing God’s will. As we venture through life this is the key test we face every day. And given the opportunity to manipulate and coerce, that we don’t!
When we’re given the position of power, yet diffuse that power in the discharge of our function, yet take hold of the seriousness of responsibility of the role, we’re doing God’s will. As we deal with others, being patently aware of the temptation to abuse power, yet we give the other power, we use that power to enable and empower others.
When we’re emasculated in grief, powerless over the forces that overwhelm our feelings, yet keep, in our stronger moments, searching out the heart of God in the matter, we’re doing God’s will. It’s just so important to know when it honours God to rest and not berate ourselves, just as it pleases God to walk ahead at the surest sign of ease.
When we take regular moral inventory, yet aren’t sacked by the weight of our wrongdoing, and are able to look up and thank God for His mercy and grace, we’re doing God’s will.
When we don’t know what to do, yet we resist forging ahead anyway, and take the time to seek wise counsel, we’re doing God’s will.
When we see someone hungry or thirsty or tired or lonely, and we give them what they need, without condition, we can be sure we’re doing God’s will.
When we’re tempted into favouring one kind of doctrine over another, yet we see how incompletely we actually see (1 Corinthians 13:12), and still don’t judge others for falling into error, we’re doing God’s will. None of us can be assured of not falling into heresy at one time or other, yet we’re so quick to judge. The paradox of that, of course, is Pharisaism.
When we’re shamed by our sin, and we fall into the quickest judgment of character by onlookers and are condemned out of hand, yet we look high to God, and see our sin is covered by the blood of the Lamb, and are convicted to live fervently for Jesus from now on, we’re doing God’s will.