Understanding God’s Will – Ephesians 5:17

by Pastor John Fredericksen

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Does this sound familiar? You can’t find your keys, so you’re sure someone must have moved or hidden them somewhere. Then, your wife finds them immediately, because they were literally right in front of you. Your brain just didn’t process it.

Sadly, many view the will of God as a dark, hidden secret or a riddle we must solve. But it is neither. God wants you to know, understand, and follow His will with great certainty. Moreover, His will is in plain sight, right in front of us. That’s why Paul tells us two important things about the will of God in Ephesians Chapter Five. First, Paul writes, “Wherefore be ye not unwise, but understanding what the will of the Lord is” (Ephesians 5:17). In other words, any saint can absolutely understand the will of God with certainty! Secondly, God’s will is provable! Paul’s instructions to the saints at Ephesus were to continually prove “what is acceptable unto the Lord” (Ephesians 5:10). That means that finding God’s will is NOT a subjective “feeling” or potentially errant advice; nor is it interpreting our circumstances as His will. No one can “prove” such things to be God’s will, even though many make such claims. The only genuine, reliable, undeniable way to prove God’s will is to find His clear and unmistakable instructions in His Word.

Here’s a worthwhile project to consider: accumulate a list of verses from Paul’s epistles that clearly identify God’s will for every believer. For instance, it is His will for us to constantly “rejoice,” “pray without ceasing,” “in everything give thanks,” “quench not the Spirit,” and “abstain from all appearance of evil,” (I Thessalonians 5:16-22). From Titus we know God wants us to deny ourselves “worldly lusts,” live “righteously” (2:12), and “be careful to maintain good works” (3:8). We know from Ephesians it is God’s will for us to endeavor to maintain unity with other believers (4:3) and forgive their wrongs (4:32). We are never to allow ourselves any kind of immorality (5:3); but we are to live “circumspectly”, use our time wisely, and be controlled by the Spirit (Ephesians 5:15-18). You can make your own, more complete, list.

The knowledge of God’s will is right in front of us. By remembering unmistakable biblical principles from the Apostle Paul, we can readily understand what God’s will is for our lives, prove it to be so, and then go forward in genuine confidence. Whatever decisions you may consider, put it to the test of God’s Word.

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Start each day with short, devotional articles taken from the book Daily Transformation by Pastor John Fredericksen. As Pastor Fredericksen writes in the introduction:

"We welcome you, as you journey with us..., to not only learn information, but to benefit from examples of faith and failure, and seek to apply God’s Word to every day life. Together, let’s transition from only studying theories of doctrine, to applying God’s truths in a practical way every day. May God use these studies to help you find daily transformation."