Let’s begin with your question “What is God’s will?” The word “will” simply means “desire.” God has, in many passages of Scripture, given us His will/desire for mankind. Here is His most important desire for all mankind, “For this is good and acceptable in the sight of God our Savior; who DESIRES (or wills) all men to be saved” (1st Timothy 2:3-4…NKJV). After one is saved (through faith in the Lord Jesus Christ…see Acts 16:31), God’s WILL/DESIRE for the believer is expressed in many passages of Scripture. One such passage is 1st Thessalonians 5:16-18, “REJOICE always, PRAY without ceasing, in everything GIVE THANKS; for THIS IS THE WILL OF GOD in Christ FOR YOU.” God wants (desires) believers to be rejoicing, praying and giving thanks at all times! Is my fellow-believer doing this? The passage goes on to say, “Do not quench the Spirit. Do not despise prophecies. Test all things; hold fast what is good. Abstain from every form of evil” (verses 19-22). These are all clear commandments that express Gods WILL for the believer and yet there are many more.

What does it mean to seek God’s will? We have just seen that God’s will is declared in His Word, the Bible. So, it stands to reason that in order to “seek God’s will” we must “study the Bible.” In 2nd Timothy 3:16-17 we read, “All Scripture is given by inspiration in righteousness, that the man of God may be complete, thoroughly equipped for every good work.” Here we learn that the Bible is sufficient to guide “the man of God” in every area of his/her life so that we may be “equipped for every good work.” God has saved us so we would do good works. “For by grace you have been saved through faith…For we are His workmanship, CREATED IN CHRIST JESUS FOR GOOD WORKS, which God prepared beforehand that we should walk in them” (Ephesians 2:8 & 10). Think of it, dear fellow-believer, God has a plan for each of our lives! He has determined before we were even born the good works He has for us to do, and as we study the Bible, we will learn exactly what they are. We have already seen (in 1st Thessalonians 5:16-22) what some of those good works are, but as we study the whole Bible, we will learn many, many more. But as we study the Bible to learn God’s will there must also be A WILL TO DO GOD’S WILL! In other words, God has DESIRES that he wants us to do, but we must have the DESIRE to fulfill His desires. We see this truth in John 7:17, “If anyone WANTS TO DO HIS WILL, he shall know concerning the doctrine, whether it is from God…” This is the real KEY to seeking and knowing God’s will; we MUST be ready to OBEY His will! And “marvel of all marvels” God is always seeking to give us the desire and the ability to do this, as we see in Philippians 2:12-13, “Work out your own salvation with fear and trembling; for it is God WHO WORKS IN YOU BOTH TO WILL AND TO DO for His good pleasure.”

In closing, God gave His earthly people (Israel) the Ten Commandments (called “the Law”) and they were responsible to “do His will by obeying them.” We know that they failed miserably (see Romans 3:19-20), but when Jesus came in grace (see John 1:17), He gave us “new commandments” that are even higher and more noble than the Ten Commandments. The Law said “Love your neighbor AS YOURSELF” (Mark 12:32) but Jesus said, “A new commandment I give to you, that you love one another; AS I HAVE LOVED YOU” (John 13:34). The love of Jesus for us is infinitely greater than the love we have for ourselves, and that is the love we are to show to each other. Sprinkled throughout the New Testament are commandments like this and we need only “seek them” (and as we do, we are actually “seeking God’s will”) with a “desire to do them.” We will find that as we have Jesus’ love before us, His commandments will not be a heavy burden that we are unable to do. “For this is the love of God, that we keep His commandments. And His commandments are not burdensome” (1st John 5:3).  (DO)  (494.1)