Doing God’s Will

Read Together: 1 Peter 4:1–2; 1 John 2:15–17  

We often want to know God’s will for our life. Yet, as Pastor Jerry reminded us this week, God’s general will for us is already written out. It can be known in the pages of Scripture. Throughout the Bible, we are called to be those who “do God’s will.” We often spend a lot of energy trying to find the divinely sanctioned answer to a certain (usually non-moral) decision when our focus would be better directed at doing what God has already clearly told us he wants from us.

As we see in passages like 1 Peter 4:1–2 and 1 John 2:15–17, doing God’s will means obeying his Word. Living for God’s will is the opposite of living for human passions. It’s the opposite of loving worldly things (i.e., sinful desires, pride in possessions, etc.). Doing God’s will is obedience to how God calls us to live.

This means that doing the will of God will sometimes run counter to our feelings. Doing God’s will will sometimes lead to suffering (1 Pet 4:1). We shouldn’t use the concept of God’s will to justify living for human passions and or always choosing the easiest option. Doing God’s will, obeying his Word, may involve hardship and risk. But as John tells us: “whoever does the will of God abides forever” (1 John 2:17)—because at the heart of doing God’s will is an abiding faith in Jesus, the one who is the source of all our life.

Discussion Questions

  1. What does it mean to “do God’s will”?
  2. What is the opposite of doing God’s will?
  3. How can we grow in our knowledge of God’s general will?

Ideas for Younger Kids

  • Read “The Way to Stay Free” in The Biggest Story Bible Storybook (pages 92–95). This is the story of God giving Israel the 10 Commandments. Discuss with your children how God tells us the best way to live, and how it’s about following his will, not always what we want.

Memorization: “And the world is passing away along with its desires, but whoever does the will of God abides forever.” (1 John 2:17)

Song: Listen to “Take My Life and Let It Be” (Norton Hall Band). This is a powerful hymn about committing to submit to God’s will: “Take my will and make it thine/it shall be no longer mine.”

Pray Together

  • Praise God that he is good and always delights in what is good and right.
  • Confess before God that we often follow our own feelings and desires and not his will.
  • Give thanks to God that he has made known to us his will and has given us access to his Word.
  • Pray that God would help us to do his will each day, starting with abiding in Jesus moment by moment.

Go Together

  • Think together about a recent (or current) decision you as a family or an individual have faced. Discuss how God’s general will might inform that decision and help you discern which option is best. Next time you face a decision, start by thinking in terms of God’s revealed will. Ask yourself and discuss with others: what option will best enable me to faithfully obey God’s Word? This should shift your decision making away from simply going with your feelings and toward faithful obedience instead.
If you have any questions, comments, or ideas related to this Family Faith Talk guide or future guides, please let us know by leaving a comment

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