Before praying for their daily bread in the Lord’s Prayer, Jesus prayed for His Father’s name to be holy, His kingdom to come and His will to be done on earth as in heaven (Matt. 6:11). Jesus cared for what His Father wanted. We too need to be seeking to say and do what is in the Father’s heart. We need to continually ask, “What does God want?”
It is very obvious that our modern understanding of God’s will misses the mark on this question. Perhaps this is so because we are so influenced by the world that we cannot spiritually understand what God wants. Paul says it this way: “And do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, so that you may prove what the will of God is, that which is good and acceptable and perfect” (Rom 12:2).
Paul is saying that we cannot prove what the will of God is unless we are undergoing transformation by the renewing of our minds. The word Paul used for “prove” here means to test something so you can either accept or reject it. God wants us to seek His will through His word, guided by the Holy Spirit, until we see His will fully and embrace it with joy.
Verse one in this passage tells us the context in which this happens: “Therefore I urge you, brethren, by the mercies of God, to present your bodies a living and holy sacrifice, acceptable to God, which is your spiritual service of worship.” Our reason for being here, our spiritual service of worship” is to give ourselves fully to Him as a living sacrifice that God receives.
The whole of Romans 12 is about life in the body of Christ. This transformation that enables us to know the will or purpose of God happens in the context of genuine fellowship with other believers with Christ in our midst. There, growing with other believers, we begin to see and live by what God wants.
The Father wants His Son’s purpose to be fulfilled. In the amazing summary of Ephesians chapter one, we see how our destiny aligns with the purpose of God. Read the chapter and you will see what God wants. He begins by reminding us of all the many blessings of redemption in Christ that He has lavished on us. Then he shows us how all of these blessings fit into God’s purpose:
He made known to us the mystery of His will, according to His kind intention which He purposed in Him with a view to an administration suitable to the fullness of the times, that is, the summing up of all things in Christ, things in the heavens and things on the earth (Eph. 1:9, 10).
That passage should stir us to the core of our being. The apostle is telling us that the mystery of God’s will has been revealed. It can be known by those who seek it. That mystery involves a divine program (administration) especially culminating at “the fullness of the times.” When the times (this age) is filled up (complete) He will have summed up all things in Christ. The words “summing up” mean to add up all the events of history, draw a line at the bottom of the events and the total will be Christ. What God wants is for His Son, the Christ, the one anointed from eternity past, to accomplish what He was chosen to do. Christ filling all things and being fulfilled is what the Father wants.
This has been fully accomplished in heaven but now God turns His attention to earth. He has granted those who believe in Him an inheritance and sealed us with the promise of the Holy Spirit as a pledge for the time when He will gain the redemption of the possession for which He was anointed (Eph. 1:11–14). That possession is us, His church, His ekklesia, His promised bride. He died to redeem us, was raised from the dead, and seated at the right hand of the Father above all power, authority and dominion (vv. 20, 21).
But that was not the end of the story. After His glorification, He was given “as Head over all things to the church” (v. 22). After all that blessing, Christ was given to the church. He was given to us to fulfill that last part of God’s eternal purpose. For this reason, we are referred to as “His body, the fullness of Him who fills all in all” (v. 23). In His love, the Father has chosen to complete the last age of earth by pouring Himself into His people, those who love Him and follow Him.
This is what God wants — a people who are the fullness, the completion, those who fill up the last part of His purpose — He desires to be in His people as the “hope of glory” (Col. 1:27). If you are in Christ, you are part of this eternal triumph. If you are outside of Christ, you are excluded from this eternal culmination of the ages.
From the tragedy of the Garden of Eden where Adam and Eve forfeited their position in God; to the reversal of that disaster through the cross of Christ; to the pouring out of His Spirit upon a receptive people; to the coming redemption of His purpose at the end of this age, God has had a purpose. There is something that He wants and you are part of it if you so choose. That something is not just a group of people saved for heaven and captured by a man-made religious system, but a victorious, mature church fully expressing the image of Christ to a dying world (Eph. 4:13–16).
His last prayer on earth in the upper room called forth the finished product: “. . . that they may all be one; even as You, Father, are in Me and I in You, that they also may be in Us, so that the world may believe that You sent Me” (John 17:21). Yes, unity like the oneness between the Father and the Son. That’s what God wants and then the world will see that the Father sent the Son.
Paul saw this clearly and affirmed that the body of Christ would reach a point of maturity where it would express “. . . the unity of the faith, and of the knowledge of the Son of God, to a mature man, to the measure of the stature which belongs to the fullness of Christ” (Eph. 4:13) and grow up spiritually as “. . . the whole body, being fitted and held together by what every joint supplies, according to the proper working of each individual part, causes the growth of the body for the building up of itself in love” (v. 16). This is what God wants and we can be part of this wondrous corporate miracle.
Some will look at the condition of the body of Christ today and declare this an impossibility. But, what God started He will finish. This is not, as some declare, the post-Christianity era but the era of God’s comeback in His people. The problem is we have stopped believing the account of His purpose recorded in His word, the Bible. God dearly wants something. It is the desire of His heart and He will have it in the end. We would do well to listen to what He is saying and make plans to part of what He wants.
Some disgruntled people, looking at the centuries of earth’s history, complain that this is all fantasy and if there is a God He has no real purpose. Peter answers this complaint saying “The Lord is not slow about His promise, as some count slowness, but is patient toward you, not wishing for any to perish but for all to come to repentance” (2 Peter 3:9). He is an eternal God with an eternal purpose. His measure of time is higher than ours. Our space in time is a mere drop of water in vast ocean. When all is said and done, we will see how patient He was to allow His will to be fully accomplished.
This will not come to us through the religious channels but by the Spirit through revelation from God to seeking believers (Eph. 1:17, 18). We can receive a spirit of wisdom and revelation and the eyes of our hearts can be enlightened to see what God wants and how He will bring it to pass. God bless you on your journey. Seek and you will find.