Have you ever asked God to reveal His will to you? How about your future? “God, please tell me where I’m supposed to go! I want to do Your will, but I need to know what that is!” I have. I’ve asked God what He wants me to do, with the purest intentions. I want to know so that I can serve Him best.
But I’ve come to realize that there’s a fine line between knowing the future and knowing God’s will for me. A lot of the time, we lump them together as one and the same. My future may be God’s will, yes, but maybe God will tell me one and not the other. He may reveal to me what my future is supposed to be, or His will, but maybe not both.
When it comes to the future, God does not tell us in advance what His plans are. He asks that we trust Him regardless.
In his famous devotional book, My Utmost for His Highest, Oswald Chambers said:
Have you been asking God what He is going to do? He will never tell you. God does not tell you what He is going to do—He reveals to you who He is. Do you believe in a miracle-working God, and will you “go out” in complete surrender to Him until you are not surprised one iota by anything He does?
That is what I mean by “future” and “God’s will.” By knowing God, we can often get a clearer picture of what His will is. For example, it might be God’s will for you to grow in your faith a certain way within the next year, but God won’t tell you exactly how He is going to do that (the future).
I began reading the book of Colossians the other night and I was scanning quickly through Paul’s introduction to the Colossians (they seem to be the same in every book). But I slowed myself down, reminding myself it was the Word of God. When I reached verses nine and ten, I was a bit confused.
And so, from the day we heard, we have not ceased to pray for you, asking that you may be filled with the knowledge of his will in all spiritual wisdom and understanding, so as to walk in a manner worthy of the Lord, fully pleasing to him, bearing good fruit in every good work and increasing in the knowledge of God.
(Colossians 1:9 – 10)
It was the second part of verse nine that really caught my attention. I had just read the devotional that the above excerpt comes from (January 2) and this verse seemed to completely contradict it! “…filled with the knowledge of his will in all spiritual wisdom and understanding…” I realized I must be missing something and asked a few questions and prayed. Does this mean knowing what God is going to do? Paul mentioned “the knowledge of his will,” but I also know that God doesn’t just tell us the future. “…in all spiritual wisdom and understanding…” I also noticed that Paul said “the knowledge,” not, “a knowledge.” I’m not trying to nit-pick here, but aren’t there many futures? I finally journaled this conclusion:
I think Paul is saying that it’s more knowing God and being wise and understanding Him. Not necessarily the future, but His will. Not what will happen to us, but what God wants in us. Then we will do His will if we know Him.
Verse ten says:
So as to walk in a manner worthy of the Lord, fully pleasing to Him, bearing fruit in every good work and increasing in the knowledge of God.
We can see from this verse that God’s will for us is for us to walk with and in Him, and to bear “good fruit” through good deeds (needed for faith and vice versa). We need to increase in the knowledge of God and, by doing so, we will know His will—maybe not the future, but His will—more and more.
And I am sure of this, that he who began a good work in you will bring it to completion at the day of Jesus Christ.
If you want to know God’s will better, get to know God better.