What Is God’s Will: Part I

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“If anyone’s will is to do God’s will, he will know whether the teaching is from God or whether I am speaking on my own authority” (John 7:17). 

What is the, “Will of God?”

There is more than one answer to this question. There are three categories of God’s will.

  • Decretive Will. These are God’s declarations that nothing can change.
  • Preceptive Will. This is defined as God’s precepts, preferences, values, and commands for our lives.
  • Divine Vocation. This is that part of God’s will that through the circumstances He places us, we find ourselves with the ability to fulfill His Preceptive Will.

Here’s how God will works in your life. (1) God decrees our salvation from eternity past. He plans for us to be saved. (2) he gives us his precepts—commands to obey voluntarily. Then, through his precepts he guides us to (3) knowing our divine vocation, how he wants us to spend our lives.

God’s Decretive Will (his decrees) are always performed and cannot be frustrated by man. When God decrees something it always happens. But when God’s Preceptive Will, that is, His desire for the outcome of our character is proactively applied in our lives, then God will, in His time, reveal to the Christian His will for Divine Vocation.

We can see these three categories represented in Jesus’ life. Take a look. First, Jesus declared God’s decretive will: “My teaching is not mine, but his who sent me” (John 7:6). Then he declared that he followed God’s preceptive will: “Has not Moses given you the law? Yet none of you keeps the law” (John 7:19). The he declared God’s Vocational Will (Divine Vocation for Jesus): “I have not come of my own accord. He who sent me is true, and him you do not know. I know him, for I come from him, and he sent me” (John 7:28-29). 

If you are seeking God’s will for your life, but are not yet in agreement with God about basic moral issues, or you have not set your life apart for His service, or you are engaged in behaviors that are contrary to the word of God, then do not expect that God will speak to you about your Divine Vocation.

God’s Preceptive Will is prerequisite to knowing your Divine Vocation. Another way of putting this is: If you are not listening to what God has already said in the Bible, why would He speak to you about anything further?

Memory Verse

“If anyone’s will is to do God’s will, he will know whether the teaching is from God or whether I am speaking on my own authority” (John 7:17). 

Application

Are you in agreement with God’s will for your life? Begin with his preceptive will. Do you regularly violate God’s moral commands? Repent, confess these to God and experience his forgiveness. Then wait on God to reveal more of his will to you.

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