Wrap Your Brain Around God’s Will
Bible Reading: Proverbs 3:1-7
Seek his will in all you do, and he will direct your paths. Proverbs 3:6
Jordan wants to go on a mission trip this summer, but it means missing two volleyball camps he’s been handpicked to attend. He’s decided to talk to his ultrawise Sunday school teacher about it.
“My parents told me to pray about the decision,” he explains. “They said that God has a plan for me and my summer and that he wants to show me what it is—but I’m having a hard time. How am I supposed to figure out what he wants me to do? It’s not like he’s dropping me any hints.”
Jordan’s teacher begins, “Have you trusted Christ as your Savior?”
“Sure. Back when I was six.”
“Good. Are you obeying your parents?”
“Um—most of the time.”
“And are you spending time reading your Bible and talking to God in prayer?”
“Sure,” Jordan says. “But I’m trying to figure out God’s will for my summer.”
“I know, Jordan,” his teacher responds. “But when it comes to following God’s will, we have to start with obeying his clear commands to everyone. Then we can start figuring out what he wants just for you and your summer plans.”
Can you wrap your brain around that idea? When we’re looking for God’s will, we want to find two things: The first is God’s clear will for everyone—what some people call God’s “universal will.” The second is God’s will for each individual—his “specific will.”
God’s universal will is the can’t-miss-it, can’t-get-around-it, can’t-make-excuses plan for all people. It’s what we learn from God’s clear commands and principles in the Bible. We know, for example, that God wants all of us to know Christ as our Savior. To obey our parents. To spend time soaking up the Bible and praying.
If we’re ignoring God’s will in the big choices of life, there’s no point looking for what he wants in the details of life. When we’ve set our heart on obeying God’s commands for everyone, we’re in the right place to find God’s will for our own future—like whether to head out on a world-changing mission trip or take the awesome challenge of showing the world who God is while attending volleyball camps.
So are you into doing God’s universal will? And do you want to find out his specific will? Go for it!
TALK: Answer in your own words: What is God’s “universal will”? What’s his “specific will”? Why does it matter?
PRAY: Talk to God about your desire to do his will.
ACT: Practice explaining to a friend the difference between God’s universal will and his specific will.