God’s Will For You

9.7.23 Devo Image

“Therefore, I urge you, brothers and sisters, in view of God’s mercy, to offer your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and pleasing to God—this is your true and proper worship. Do not conform to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is—his good, pleasing and perfect will.”—Romans 12:1–2 (NIV) 

What does “the will of God” mean to you? Often, when we use this expression, we’re speaking very specifically about guidance regarding what God wants from us in our day-to-day lives or in a specific moment or situation about a certain decision we have to make. We usually associate God’s will with what we do. But what if it goes beyond that? What if what God’s will for us is less about what we do and more about WHO WE ARE?

In the Greek, the word we translate for “will” here is thelēmatos. The best way I can summarize the definition for you is to say that it’s God’s good desires for you. 

Now, in his letters, the apostle Paul tends to write about the will of God for believers in being terms rather than doing terms, in who we become rather than what we do. In Romans 12:2 (NIV), he writes, “Do not conform to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind.” The word for mind in the Greek means “the faculties of perceiving and understanding and those of feeling, judging, and determining.” It’s the process of having our mind and heart transformed as 2 Corinthians 3:18 (NIV) says, “into his image with ever-increasing glory, which comes from the Lord.” 

He’s talking about being transformed in your innermost being, in the way you think and view the world. One Bible translator said it this way: For the believer, mind is the organ of receiving God’s thoughts through faith. And look at what happens when you receive God’s thoughts and are transformed by them. The rest of Romans 12:2 (NIV) says, “Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is—his good, pleasing and perfect will.”

1 Thessalonians 4:3 (NKJV) says it this way: “For this is the will of God, your sanctification.” So, you could say that to know God’s will is to understand God’s heart, mind, and character on a deep, intimate level. It’s not about doing more good or picking a certain outcome for your life, but about knowing Him intimately and, as a result, becoming like His Son. 

That’s the key! That’s what Paul means when he says we’ll be able to “test and approve” God’s will, because the more time we spend with Jesus, the more intimately we’ll know Jesus and understand His heart, mind, and will—and the more intimately we know Jesus, the more we’ll become like Jesus as He fills us “with the knowledge of his will through all the wisdom and understanding that the Spirit gives” (Colossians 1:9 NIV). 

So, how do we become more like Jesus? How are we conformed to His image? Through prayer, the study of His Word, worship, and spending time with believers—with those more mature in the faith than us who set examples and with those less mature allowing us to be used by the Spirit to disciple them. 

I promise, the deeper you dive into your relationship with Him and develop a closeness and intimacy with Him, the easier it will be to identify His voice and His will through the work of the Spirit, and the easier it will be for you to experience God’s good desires for you! 

Pause: Why do we usually associate the will of God with the things we do, the choices we make, and the overall direction of our decisions as opposed to who we are and who we’re becoming?

Practice: Develop a daily routine for meeting with the Lord and spending time with Him; to growing in relationship with Him.

Pray: Father, I want to know You more deeply and intimately. By Your Holy Spirit, help me to become more like Your Son and to live the life You desire for me. Today and every day, I will commit to seeking You and to spending time with You. Speak to me and reveal Your heart, mind, and will to me. Amen.

About the Author

Danny Saavedra

Danny Saavedra is a licensed minister who has served on staff at Calvary since 2012, managing the Calvary Devotional and digital discipleship resources. He has a Master of Arts in Pastoral Counseling and Master of Divinity in Pastoral Ministry from Liberty Theological Seminary. His wife Stephanie, son Jude, and daughter Zoe share a love of Star Wars, good food, having friends over for dinner, and studying the Word together as a family.