An Old Chinese Proverb says “A journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step.” [1904 Sayings of Lao Tzu tr. L. Giles 51]
In anything and everything we do, it always begins in a first step. We dream of achieving something or be successful in the fields we have chosen, basically, it begins with a single step. We can not move upward in a ladder without having the first step or move. No matter how long will be our journey, there will always be the first step to take.
The question is, are we willing to take the First Step? Do we have the courage to do it? These questions are important because it will determine how much do we want to reach our destinations, on how much do we desire to achieve anything we want.
The same goes to putting ourselves in the service to the Lord God. We must take the first step because serving God will take a life time. But when do we know when we should take the first step? What is the first step on serving the Lord?
What is the first step that we should do if we want to serve God?
The Bible said, it is very basic to KNOW THE WILL OF GOD. This is important because it is very illogical to serve anyone without knowing the set of rules and standard operating procedures. When we work and serve in a company, the first thing we do is to undergo training and seminars, most probably we have orientations on the basic things about the company, its policies and other things. This is the same when we want to serve God. Don’t you think its better to KNOW HIS WILL FIRST?
Eph 5:17 Wherefore be ye not unwise, but understanding what the will of the Lord is.
Apostle Paul said be not unwise but understand or know what the will of the God. Why is it important that we understand the will of God? The foolishness of man changes his ways and do whatever he thinks is right in his own ways. This is what happened to the patriarchs who served God but did not bother to know His will. And even if most of them know His will, they did not obey it.
Proverbs 19: 3 A man’s own folly ruins his life, yet his heart rages against the LORD. (New International Version)
The foolishness of man ruins his way, And his heart rages against the LORD. (New American Standard Version)
The benefit of KNOWING THE WILL OF GOD is that we are assured that He always listens to those who does HIS will. So, it is important that we KNOW HIS WILL.
John 9: 31 We know that God does not listen to sinners. He listens to the godly man who does his will. (NIV)
Do you want to know the will of our Lord and Savior? What does He want us to do and focus on in our Lives? Do you see His will as Hidden? Mysterious? Undeterminable? This topic will help us to unravel His call for our lives!
If you ask the average Christian they will concede that they passionately desire to know what God is up to in their lives. They want to know God’s plan, His will for their Lives. So they can better lead their lives. Yet at the same time they will admit their frustrations in seeking it, that their fears creep in saying they cannot live it. Or that it may be just too hard to find. And if you ask them again what they think that will may be, they will utter several self-doubting answers.
But what is the main reason for knowing the will of God? JESUS said that not everyone who calls the Lord will enter the kingdom of heaven. Who will enter heaven? Those WHO DOES THE WILL OF THE FATHER will enter heaven. So, if we don’t know the will of God how can we do it?
Matthew 7: 21 Not everyone who says to me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ will enter the kingdom of heaven, but only he who does the will of my Father who is in heaven.
This is the main reason why there is a need to know the will of God. It is not enough that we are good sons and daughters to our parents. It is not enough that we are good parents to our children and not enough that we are good citizens; what is important in the eyes of God is that we follow His commandments according to His will. Some say God looks into our hearts. Its true. God doesn’t look in our face or our physical attributes; He looks inside our hearts and search there if we follow His will and desires. God is looking if we found the purpose of our lives.If we haven’t found yet the purpose of our very being, then God can never find it in our hearts.
Through the years, man has this desire to serve God. But as always found, man has resorted to do his own will and forget about the will of God. In his mind and thoughts, his ways are perfect. But the Bible said that the assumptions and actions of men will lead them to death. The word “seems” means only assumptions. They only think that what they do is right.
Pro 16:25 There is a way that seemeth right unto a man, but the end thereof are the ways of death.
Therefore, we have to seek the Scriptures. Through the scriptures, we will know the WILL of GOD.
Joh 5:39 Search the scriptures; for in them ye think ye have eternal life: and they are they which testify of me.
This is the first step, to know the will of GOD. But how do we know the will of God? Apostle Paul said that God wants us to be saved. He wants us to be part of His promised eternal life, but we can only have it if we come to the knowledge of the truth. The truth mentioned here is His words.
1Ti 2:3 For this is good and acceptable in the sight of God our Saviour;
1Ti 2:4 Who will have all men to be saved, and to come unto the knowledge of the truth.
What is the will of God?
Romans 12:1-2 I appeal to you therefore, brothers,by the mercies of God, to present your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and acceptable to God, which is your spiritual worship.
Do not be conformed to this world,but be transformed by the renewal of your mind, that by testing you may discern what is the will of God, what is good and acceptable and perfect.
The aim of Romans 12:1-2 is that all of life would become “spiritual worship.” Verse 1: “Present your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and acceptable to God, which is your spiritual worship.” The aim of all human life in God’s eyes is that Christ would be made to look as valuable as he is. Worship means using our minds and hearts and bodies to express the worth of God and all he is for us in Jesus. There is a way to live—a way to love—that does that. There is a way to do your job that expresses the true value of God. If you can’t find it, that may mean you should change jobs. Or it might mean that verse 2 is not happening to the degree it should.
Verse 2 is Paul’s answer to how we turn all of life into worship. We must be transformed. We must be transformed. Not just our external behavior, but the way we feel and think—our minds. Verse 2: “Be transformed by the renewal of your mind.”
Those who believe in Christ Jesus are already blood-bought new creatures in Christ. “If anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation” (2 Corinthians 5:17). But now we must become what we are. “Cleanse out the old leaven that you may be a new lump, as you really are unleavened” (1 Corinthians 5:7).
“You have put on the new self, which is being renewed in knowledge after the image of its creator” (Colossians 3:10). You have been made new in Christ; and now you are being renewed day by day.
Now we focus on the last part of verse 2, namely, the aim of the renewed mind: “Do not be conformed to this world,but be transformed by the renewal of your mind, [now here comes the aim] that by testing you may discern what is the will of God, what is good and acceptable and perfect.”
There are two clear and very different meanings for the term “will of God” in the Bible. We need to know them and decide which one is being used here in Romans 12:2. In fact, knowing the difference between these two meanings of “the will of God” is crucial to understanding one of the biggest and most perplexing things in all the Bible, namely, that God is sovereign over all things and yet disapproves of many things. Which means that God disapproves of some of what he ordains to happen. That is, HE forbids some of the things HE brings about. And HE commands some of the things HE hinders.
Let’s see the passages of Scripture that make us think this way. First consider passages that describe “the will of God” as his sovereign control of all that comes to pass. One of the clearest is the way Jesus spoke of the will of God in Gethsemane when he was praying.
He said, in Matthew 26:39, “My Father, if it be possible, let this cup pass from me; nevertheless, not as I will, but as you will.”
What does the will of God refer to in this verse? It refers to the sovereign plan of God that will happen in the coming hours. You recall how Acts 4:27-28 says this: “Truly in this city there were gathered together against your holy servant Jesus, whom you anointed, both Herod and Pontius Pilate, along with the Gentiles and the peoples of Israel, to do whatever your hand and your plan had predestined to take place.”
So the “will of God” was that Jesus die. This was his plan, his decree. There was not changing it. That’s the sovereign will of God.
And don’t miss the very crucial point here that it includes the sins of man. Herod, Pilate, the soldiers, the Jewish leaders—they all sinned in fulfilling God’s will that his Son be crucified (Isaiah 53:10). So be very clear on this: God wills to come to pass some things that he hates.
Here’s an example from 1 Peter. In 1 Peter 3:17 Peter writes, “It is better to suffer for doing good, if that should be God’s will, than for doing evil.”
In other words, it may be God’s will that Christians suffer for doing good. He has in mind persecution. But persecution of Christians who do not deserve it, is sin. So again, God sometimes wills that events come about that include sin. “It is better to suffer for doing good, if that should be God’s will.”
Now the other meaning for “the will of God” in the Bible is what we can call his “will of command.” His will is what he commands us to do. This is the will of God we can disobey and fail to do. The will of decree we do whether we believe in it or not. The will of command we can fail to do. For example, Jesus said, “Not everyone who says to me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ will enter the kingdom of heaven, but the one who does the will of my Father who is in heaven” (Matthew 7:21). Not all do the will of his father. He says so. “Not everyone will enter the kingdom of heaven.” Why? Because not all do the will of God.
Paul says in 1 Thessalonians 4:3, “This is the will of God, your sanctification: that you abstain from sexual immorality.”
Here we have a very specific instance of what God commands of us: holiness, sanctification, sexual purity. This is his will of command. But, oh, so many do not obey.
Then Paul says in 1 Thessalonians 5:18, “Give thanks in all circumstances; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you.” There again is a specific aspect of his will of command: give thanks in all circumstances. But many do not do this will of God.
One more example: “And the world is passing away along with its desires, but whoever does the will of God abides forever” (1 John 2:17). Not all abide forever. Some do. Some don’t. The difference? Some do the will of God. Some don’t. The will of God, in this sense, does not always happen.