God’s primary will for your life is not what job you ought to take. It’s not primarily situational or circumstantial. It’s not mainly the city where you live or whether you get married or what house you ought to be in. God’s primary will for your life is that you become a magnificent person in his image, somebody with the character of Jesus. That is God’s main will for your life. No circumstance can prevent that.
This is why passages in the Bible about God’s will for us consistently talk about the kind of person we’re becoming:
“For this is the will of God, that by doing good you should put to silence the ignorance of foolish people.” (1 Peter 2:15, ESV)
“Rejoice always, pray continually, give thanks in all circumstances; for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus.” (1 Thessalonians 5:16-18)
“It is God’s will that you should be sanctified.” (1 Thessalonians 4:3)
“We continually ask God to fill you with the knowledge of his will through all the wisdom and understanding that the Spirit gives, so that you may live a life worthy of the Lord.” (Colossians 1:9-10)
“Be very careful, then, how you live —not as unwise but as wise. . . . Do not be foolish, but understand what the Lord’s will is.” (Ephesians 5:15-17)
But this truth about the nature of God’s will for us has a crucial implication: God’s will for us is that we become persons of excellent character —and one of the primary tools for building excellent character is decision making. If people never go through the challenge and anxiety and responsibility of decision making, their growth will be stunted.
John Ortberg, What Is God’s Will for My Life? (Carol Stream, IL: Tyndale House Publishers, Inc., 2016).
We have just released a new Bible study on topic of God’s Will.
These lessons are available on Amazon, as well as a part of my Good Questions Have Groups Talking Subscription Service. Like Netflix for Bible Lessons, one low subscription gives you access to all our lessons–thousands of them. For a medium-sized church, lessons are as little as $10 per teacher per year.
Lesson #1: God’s Will and My Will
Roman 11.33 – 12.2; Ephesians 1.4 – 9
Lesson #2: God’s Will and God’s Refreshing Word
Psalms 19.7 – 14
Lesson #3: God’s Will and the Holy Spirit
1 Corinthians 2
Lesson #4: God’s Will and the Church
1 Corinthians 12
Lesson #5: God’s Will and Circumstances
Romans 8.26 – 32
Lesson #6: God’s Will and the Glory of God
John 11.1 – 4, 38 – 45