I have glorified Thee on the earth: I have finished the work which Thou gavest me to do. John 17:4
There are four categories of people when it comes to knowing the will of God. There are those who are indifferent. They're not really concerned about knowing the will of God. Then, there are those who are rebellious. They say, "I don't want to know the will of God, and I'm not going to do it." Then, there are those who might want to know the will of God, but they're ignorant. They don't know how to do it. And finally, there are those who are victorious. They are finding and doing the will of God.
In order for us to do what God wants us to do, two things are necessary: we must have a knowledge of what He wants us to do, and we must have the power to do it. Most of us want a formula, but I'm not going to give you a formula; I'm going to give you a principle. Knowing God's will comes in realizing this principle, and it is in three parts: Jesus Christ is the pattern for knowing the will of God; Jesus Christ is the purpose for doing the will of God; and Jesus Christ is the power for achieving the will of God. It is all centered in the Lord Jesus.
Jesus Christ Is the Pattern
In John 17:4 Jesus said to the Father, "I have glorified Thee on the earth: I have finished the work which Thou gavest Me to do." Wouldn't you like to be able to come to the end of your life and say, "Father, I have glorified You. I have finished the work You gave me to do?" To do so, we must follow Christ's example.
God had a plan for the Lord Jesus Christ, and Jesus set Himself apart for that plan. In verse nineteen Jesus said, "...I sanctify Myself...." To be sanctified is to be set apart for a purpose. His purpose was only to do the will of God. But how did Jesus know the will of God? Did He reason it out? Did He think it out? No, it came from an intimate relationship with God. And in verse twenty-one Jesus prayed the same for us: "That they all may be one; as Thou, Father, art in Me, and I in Thee, that they also may be one in Us...." Knowing the will of God means knowing God and walking intimately with Him, just as Jesus did.
Jesus Christ Is the Purpose
Not only is Jesus the pattern, He is the purpose for serving. Jesus sanctified Himself and desired for us to be sanctified or set apart also, but for what purpose? John 17:21-22 says, "That they all may be one; as Thou, Father, art in Me, and I in Thee, that they also may be one in Us: that the world may believe that Thou hast sent Me. And the glory which Thou gavest Me I have given them; that they may be one, even as We are one...."
That's our purpose: that the world might believe in Jesus and see His glory. When we're looking for God's will, we need to find what points people to Jesus and gives Him glory. When people look at me, they're to see the glory of God.
Jesus Christ Is the Power
But it's not enough just to know the will of God; we must also be able to do the will of God. The good news is that the same God Who calls us will enable us and lead us. Verse twenty-three says, "I in them, and Thou in Me...." He is in us to empower us to live for Him.
What is the will of God? It is letting Jesus live His life through us and receiving the glory to Himself. That's the reason I said that the will of God is not a formula. It is not a roadmap; it is a relationship. Jesus Christ is the pattern. Jesus Christ is the purpose. And Jesus Christ is the power.
God has a purpose for you just as He had a purpose for His Son. God has a work for you to finish — a story written for you. Wouldn't you like to come to the end of the trail and say, "Father, I have finished the work You gave me to do?"
I believe we are living in the lengthening shadows of the last day. I believe Jesus Christ is coming soon, and one of the earmarks is persecution of the saints. We see it on TV, newscasts, and editorial pages. Ridicule any other group and you’ll be in trouble, but the wrath of our culture is reserved for the Christian. The Bible-believing Christian is the whipping boy.
People are continually discussing what’s happening in this country, the Middle East, and every corner of the globe. What many may not realize is that we are already at war—an invisible, unseen war between light and darkness, good and evil. And Satan is our adversary.
Someone reading this article—it may be you—has failed the Lord, and you think perhaps God is finished with you.
Suppose you’re running a 100-yard dash. You’re in the starting blocks. The gun fires and you start out running. You’re 10 yards ahead of everybody else. You’re three feet from the goal! But you quit.
Even the strongest Christian can battle depression—but God has made specific provision for us.