In a world that seems to favoring chaos over peace, I’ve been struggling more and more to find North. Every day, I wake up and see another headline that I can’t believe. Lately, I’ve been wondering what God thinks of all of this.
With everything I’ve been taught about God’s will, I have to wonder how does this fit in. I went back to a reflection I did in 2020 about the sovereignty of God’s will. As we approach Easter 2021, it seemed to be the perfect topic to remind us of who is sovereign and whose will is always standing no matter what.
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Understanding the Sovereignty of God’s Will
For me, “God is in control” isn’t a comfort or truth in my heart unless I have understood the sovereignty of God’s Will. With that understanding, I hope to live my life confident that God is sovereign over all things.
However, before I can confidently say “My God is Sovereign,” I need to go back to the basics of the will of God and the sovereignty of God.
What does “God’s will” mean?
God’s will is His plan both for mankind as a whole and for us personally.
First, God has a will for all of mankind. It is the overarching will that all of us take part in. In the Bible verses about God’s will below, you’ll see that God’s overarching will is spelled out clearly in the Bible.
He wants us to know Him. He wants us to accept Jesus Christ as Lord of our life. With His law as our guide, He wants us to obey his commands. With our lives, He wants us to bring glory to Him. Simply put, this is God’s will.
God’s will, however, is also His specific plan or purpose for each of us. This more personal will of God takes the overarching “God’s will” and applies it uniquely to each person’s life. Though ultimately we were created to glorify God, there are many different ways to do that.
Some Christians serve God by becoming pastors or leading Bible Study; others travel across the globe to be missionaries. Some strive to live a godly life while working in Corporate America (like me), hoping to positively influence people to know Christ.
Besides our occupation, every other part of our lives—God has a plan for us. Who we should marry. If we should marry. Where we should live. Which church we should attend. What school to attend. God cares about these decisions as well and they are a part of God’s will for our lives, too.
What does the Bible say about God’s Will?
When it comes to understanding God’s will, what the Bible says is a great place to start.
I love how the Bible articulates the overarching will of God for all mankind. In John, the Bible says this about God’s will:
“’For I have come down from heaven, not to do my own will but the will of him who sent me.And this is the will of him who sent me, that I should lose nothing of all that he has given me, but raise it up on the last day. For this is the will of my Father, that everyone who looks on the Son and believes in him should have eternal life, and I will raise him up on the last day.’”John 6:38-40 (ESV) (emphasis added)
In this passage, Jesus says that God’s will is to bestow eternal life on those who believe in the Son of God, Jesus Christ. From these Bible verses, we know that God’s greatest concern is the state of our hearts. He wants us to come to Him, through Jesus, so that He can forgive our sins and bestow on us eternal life, which is dwelling with Him forever.
The Bible also reveals a lot to us about how to obey God’s will (live according to His law). Scripture contains instructions for godly living and knowledge to determine what is holy and pleasing to God.
“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.”Romans 12:2
God’s Will Bible Verses
In addition to those verses, the Bible isn’t shy when it comes to talking about God’s will. Here are more Bible Verses that plainly state the will of God for our lives and the joy of following God’s will.
- God’s Will Bible Verses
- Micah 6:8 – “He has shown you, O mortal, what is good. And what does the Lord require of you? To act justly and to love mercy and to walk humbly with your God.” Micah 6:8
- John 6:29 – “Jesus answered them, ‘This is the work of God, that you believe in him whom he has sent.’”
- Isaiah 43:7 – “Everyone who is called by my name, whom I created for my glory, whom I formed and made.”
- Jeremiah 29:11-13 – “’For I know the plans I have for you,’ declares the Lord, ‘plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future. 12 Then you will call on me and come and pray to me, and I will listen to you. You will seek me and find me when you seek me with all your heart.’”
- Colossians 4:12 – “Epaphras, who is one of you, a servant of Christ Jesus, greets you, always struggling on your behalf in his prayers, that you may stand mature and fully assured in all the will of God.”
- 1 Peter 3:15-17 – “But in your hearts honor Christ the Lord as holy, always being prepared to make a defense to anyone who asks you for a reason for the hope that is in you; yet do it with gentleness and respect, having a good conscience, so that, when you are slandered, those who revile your good behavior in Christ may be put to shame.For it is better to suffer for doing good, if that should be God’s will, than for doing evil.”
- Joy of Doing God’s Will Bible Verses
- 1 John 2:16-17 – “For all that is in the world—the desires of the flesh and the desires of the eyes and pride of life—is not from the Father but is from the world.And the world is passing away along with its desires, but whoever does the will of God abides forever.”
- Hebrews 10:35-36 – “Therefore do not throw away your confidence, which has a great reward. For you have need of endurance, so that when you have done the will of God you may receive what is promised.”
- Mark 3:34-35 – “And looking about at those who sat around him, he [Jesus] said, “Here are my mother and my brothers!For whoever does the will of God, he is my brother and sister and mother.”
“God’s Will be Done” Meaning
I often hear the phrase “God’s will be Done,” and have wondered how that fits into understanding God’s will. I find the best explanation in the Lord’s prayer in Matthew 6 where Jesus teaches his disciples how to pray.
“Pray then like this: ‘Our Father in heaven, hallowed be your name. Your kingdom come, your will be done, on earth as it is in heaven.’”Matthew 6:9-10
At the beginning, Jesus prays that God’s will be done. He is recognizing that even though He is making requests before God in prayer, Jesus knows that God’s will is sovereign and the best for Him, us, and all of mankind.
So the meaning of “God’s will be done” is really surrendering your own will and plans to God. It means trusting that God knows best and will provide only the best for you and His kingdom.
Meaning of God is Sovereign
Before diving into the sovereignty of God’s will, what is the meaning of God is sovereign? Well, the thesaurus spits out many words alongside “sovereign:” rulers, kings, emperors, and monarchs that govern with unlimited power.
Similarly, as I mentioned earlier, God is in charge. He created the world, and He created us (Gen. 1-2).
“For this is what the Lord says—he who created the heavens, he is God; he who fashioned and made the earth, he founded it; he did not create it to be empty, but formed it to be inhabited—he says: ‘I am the Lord, and there is no other.’”Isaiah 45:18
More than that, God cares about us, His creation. He speaks to people through the prophets. He gives the Israelites victory in battles. He allows the rising and falling of kingdoms.
“He makes wars cease to the end of the earth; he breaks the bow and shatters the spear; he burns the chariots with fire.”Psalm 46:6
God is Sovereign Over All Things
God is the supreme ruler of ALL. He is sovereign in that He is omnipotent (all-powerful). There is no one greater (2 Kings 9:15), and nothing is impossible for Him (Luke 1:37).
“’I give them eternal life, and they will never perish, and no one will snatch them out of my hand. My Father, who has given them to me, is greater than all, and no one is able to snatch them out of the Father’s hand.’”John 10:28-29
Sovereignty of God Bible Verses
As with understanding God’s Will, the Bible tells us about the sovereignty of God, too. We can learn about Him and how God is sovereign through Scriptures.
- Job 41:11 – “Who has first given to me, that I should repay him? Whatever is under the whole heaven is mine.”
- Job 41:33-34 – “On earth there is not his like, a creature without fear. He sees everything that is high; he is king over all the sons of pride.”
- Isaiah 45:6 – “So that from the rising of the sun to the place of its setting people may know there is none besides me. I am the Lord, and there is no other.”
- Isaiah 48:13 – “My own hand laid the foundations of the earth, and my right hand spread out the heavens; when I summon them, they all stand up together.”
- Isaiah 55:8-9 – “For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways, declares the Lord. For as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways and my thoughts than your thoughts.”
- 1 Timothy 6:13-16 – “I charge you in the presence of God, who gives life to all things, and of Christ Jesus, who in his testimony before Pontius Pilate made the good confession, to keep the commandment unstained and free from reproach until the appearing of our Lord Jesus Christ, which he will display at the proper time—he who is the blessed and only Sovereign, the King of kings and Lord of lords, who alone has immortality, who dwells in unapproachable light, whom no one has ever seen or can see. To him be honor and eternal dominion. Amen.”
These are just some of the many Bible verses that demonstrate how God is sovereign.
How is God Sovereign and His Will Sovereign
Up to this point, we’ve covered God’s Will and God’s sovereignty. By combining those fundamental truths, we start understanding the sovereignty of God’s will for our lives.
Like with the other concepts, to understand how God’s will is sovereign, I begin with the Bible. I love how Solomon talks about God’s will in Proverbs.
“The heart of man plans his way, but the Lord establishes his steps.”Proverbs 16:9
I appreciate this verse because it relates our human plans to God’s sovereign plans. Solomon reminds us that we have the ability to make plans and write schedules, but at the end of the day, God’s will is sovereign. That means He will determine our steps. His sovereign will will be accomplished, and what He has ordained will come to pass.
So, knowing God’s almighty and all-powerful nature, I can say, Yes, my God is sovereign.
But that extends further than just knowledge of God’s sovereignty to His sovereign plan. We must understand and confess that God is in control. The Bible tells us that God’s plans can not be thwarted by any event, action, or person–including us.
So, instead of thinking about God’s plan as something that we could screw up, realize that God wants you to be part of His plan.
God Has a Plan for You
Yes, God has a plan for me, you, and all who know Him. In the verses about God’s will above, God gives us a charge to live godly lives that glorify Him and bring more people to know Him. How each of us does that may differ, and God wants to reveal that to us as well.
But as you search for God’s plan for you, know that it won’t look like a project plan or a blueprint or a calendar of dates.
In fact, God is not concerned about you figuring out His plan for you. Above all, He wants you to know who He is, and He wants to bestow on you grace through Christ Jesus (Ephesians 2:1-10).
“God looks down from heaven on the children of man to see if there are any who understand, who seek after God.”Psalm 53:2
“Trust in the Lord with all your heart, and do not lean on your own understanding. In all your ways acknowledge him, and he will make straight your paths.”Proverbs 3:5-6
At the end of the day, God wants to see our hearts turned toward Him.
How do you accept God’s will?
Accepting God’s Will is where faith comes into play. But if I’m being honest, faith isn’t always easy for me to have. When my circumstances are tough, I get caught up in what’s around me—the seen—instead of God and His promises—the unseen.
“Now faith is the assurance of things hoped for, the conviction of things not seen.”Hebrews 11:1
Though I can confidently say that He’s never let me down, it’s always scary when I face something else unexpected and disheartening. Through this process, however, I’m learning how to accept God’s will.
- Remember God’s promises. I go through Scripture and read over God’s promises and stories of His faithfulness to His people.
- Thank God for His character. I’m struck with awe as I think of God’s immense love for us. I’m overwhelmed with disbelief as I think about a God who created us already knowing how we would rebel against Him and knowing that Jesus would have to sacrifice himself to redeem us. Oh, how He must love us!
- Pray to God for faith. I also find myself praying to God and asking Him to give me patience to wait on his timing and faith to believe in Him when I feel weak.
- Apply what I do know. The Bible tells us about God’s will and gives us instructions to live a godly life. It’s the best place to start to live out God’s will.
Related: How to Accept God’s Love for You
How do I pray God’s will for my life?
In addition to praying for faith, you can also pray God’s will for your life. I’m a huge proponent of praying with Scripture and reciting it back to God. Sometimes, we don’t know what we need to ask for. This is especially true with God’s will for your life since we don’t know what that may look like.
But as I mentioned earlier, God wants us to seek Him, not His plan for our lives. I love this quote from Tony Evans about seeking God’s will:
“Don’t go looking for His will, look for Him. It is in the close, abiding intimacy with the Father that you will not only discover, but you will also live out the destiny He has purposed for you.”Tony Evans, Looking for God’s Will
So in your prayers, start by asking God to reveal Himself to you. Open your Bible and read the Scriptures trying to understand who God is. Along the way, He will speak to you and reveal His plan and purpose for you. Remember the sovereignty of God’s will and be encouraged by the fact that your salvation is always the first step in God’s plan for your life.
How has God’s will been revealed to you? Are you seeking God or looking for His plan?
Leave me a comment below!
While You’re Here…More posts about Growing in Faith:
- 5 Keys to Accepting God’s Love
- 42 Bible Verses about being a God-fearing Woman
- Lessons & Stories to Unlock the Power of Prayer
- 5 Strategies for How to Remove Fear from Mind and Heart
- How to Make a Gratitude Journal
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