God’s Will (Part 1): Theologically & Practically

I remember sitting in Church as a kid always hearing about God’s will for my life, but never knowing what that meant. This is the first of 2 articles that discuss the Biblical view of Gods’ will (Part 1) and a practical game plan for us to follow (Part 2). In this article we are trying to understand God’s will Biblically. Biblically, we see God’s will appear predominantly in the New Testament with the Greek word thelema, from which we get the English name Thelma. Thelema means desire, purpose, intent, and decision. Therefore, we are looking to see what is God’s desire and intention for Himself and our lives. It is important to note that Jesus considered God’s will with the upmost importance, ‘For whoever does the will of My Father who is in heaven, he is My brother and sister and mother’ (Mt. 12:50). As Jesus puts it, when we strive to do God’s will, we become more familiar with God Himself. When I first studied God’s will through the Bible, I realized how theological and practical the study became. So let’s look at God’s will both theologically and for practical application in our own lives.

When we strive to do God’s will, we become more familiar with God Himself.

God’s Will is Theological. The global Church today screeches at the term ‘theology’, but such a response reveals the current state of many immature Christians, most often this is the response of ignorance covered in pride with statements like ‘who cares about theology, how do I apply this verse’. Wrong application can always be pointed back to a misunderstanding of God’s will. We have to start with a theological understanding of how God’s thinks in His desires and then apply the same thinking to our desired outcomes. The more theological our understanding of God’s will, the more we have God’s will in our lives. God has a logical way of bringing His desires to their perfect outcome. Here are just a few examples:

Wrong application can always be pointed back to a misunderstanding of God’s will.

Walking worthy is important to God, and it is always according to what he desires, not our current societal norms

God’s Will is Practical. There are many versus in the Bible that are explicit about God’s will for practice as a Christian. This is why many theologians call this God’s ‘preceptive will’; it is our understanding of God’s desire for living, according to God’s precepts of what is right and wrong. Here is a brief survey of explicit statements for what we should do to please God’s will:

By no means is this an exhaustive list of the Bible when it comes to God’s will. However, we see how God’s Will is important because of the theological and practical implications. We learn that God is pleased when we attempt to have his desires, and not ours. In Part 2, we will discuss our game plan for discerning God’s will when there isn’t a clear answer in Scripture.

David J. Lupinetti is the Associate Pastor at San Tan Bible Church in Arizona. He has a passion for Expository Preaching, Biblical Counseling, Discipleship, and Evangelism.

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