I’ve discovered that the times I’ve walked closely to God’s will have always been the greatest seasons of my life. I can reflect back on the days that were dark and filled with disobedience. Generally, I was not going to church, not living for the Lord. Honestly, I was conforming to the world. The greatest years of my life are when I am walking with the Lord– living a life that would honor Him and making good choices each day. While still sinful, I was pursuing a relationship with the Father and seeking His will for my life. In this, I discovered His good, pleasing and perfect will.
“Do not conform to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is–his good, pleasing and perfect will.” Romans 12:2 (NIV)
These three qualities are not attributes of God’s will as the NIV and some other translations imply. God does not have three wills (good, acceptable, and perfect). Rather, Paul said that God’s will itself is what is good, well-pleasing (to Him), and perfect.”
“Good,” for example, is not an adjective (God’s “good” will) but a noun (God’s will is what is good—good, i.e., for each believer). His will is far better than anything I could imagine, experience or feel.
I’ll never understand why we chase after sin. Cast our idols. Pursue the passions of our flesh. And still come up empty.
But, if we offer Him our life; if we fight the battle of conformity; if we experience life-change through transforming work of the Spirit, we’ll experience the life He has in mind for us.
In this verse, Paul is saying that God’s will itself is what is good, well-pleasing, and perfect. It’s better than we can imagine, because His plan is better than our plans. The life He has in mind is more fulfilling that the life we could ever dream of.
He knows what He’s doing. His will is perfect. We just have to trust Him.
When the believer’s life and will is committed to God, he or she can confidently trust that God orders their steps and directs their path. There is an element of faith that goes with this territory, which causes us problems. We’re control freaks—we want to know how everything is going to work out.
God says “trust Me I have a plan. I know what’s best. Live for Me and I’ll take care of the rest.”
If we really believed that God has everything in control, and He wants to give us the best of life…an abundant, fulfilling life, then why wouldn’t we want to yield to this? Why wouldn’t we give Him control? Only those living this kind of life can expect to know and to experience the will of God.
The Life We Always Wanted
God has a goal in mind for every believer…it is Christ-likeness.
As we grow in spiritual maturity and in the faith and knowledge of Jesus, we will experience a fruitful, abundant, obedient life. Taking Paul’s words to heart and learning to live them out in our daily life is critical to experiencing this fruitful life.
This doesn’t mean that we won’t feel the weight of the world, negative feelings in our life, disruptions and disappointment, despair and even failure. What is does mean is that we are in the process of becoming. As we yield to the Spirit’s work in our life, we continue to be transformed into the image and likeness of Jesus. Christian character is not formed all at once—It’s an ongoing progression. If you’re walking with the Lord, -you are being transformed.
Want to live the best life ever? Stay the course. Give yourself daily to prayer and the Word. Walk in the Spirit and in fellowship with the Father and Son. Surround yourself with believers that are on the same journey. They’ll remind you who you are in Christ and support you along the way.
Finally, remind yourself that God loves you and has dispensed His love, grace and mercy in your life. Commit to being a living sacrifice every day. Fight the good fight against conformity. Allow the Scriptures and the Holy Spirit to shape the way you think and view life. Every day, wake up offer Him your body, mind, and will.
This is an excerpt from “The Transformational Life,” James Armstrong. Click here to download the full e-book.
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