The Will of the Lord Be Done
While much has been said and written concerning the will of the Lord, there seems to be much confusion and misunderstanding as to just what it involves. For us to realize the full extent of I such a statement we should strive for full knowledge as to just what is the Lord's will; and by so doing we then readily can see how it is to be done.
Webster's Illustrated Dictionary defines "will" as "that which is strongly desired." Therefore, as we think of the Lord's will, we realize that we are dwelling in that which is desired of the Lord.
In the model prayer, Matt. 6:10, Jesus prayed unto the Father as follows: "Thy will be done in earth, as it is in heaven." By this we are led to realize that heaven is completely subjected to God's will and it should thus be on earth.
In The Garden
NOW, what is involved in bringing this about? First of all let's review some things of the past. God created man, placed him in the garden (Gen. 1:21, 2:15) and expressed His will unto him as follows: "Of every tree of the garden thou mayest fully eat: But of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, thou shalt not eat of it: for in the day thou eatest thereof thou shalt surely die" (Gen. 2:16-17). NOW for the Lord's will to have been done, Adam would have had to leave the forbidden fruit alone. Man, however, did not do the Lord's will, for Gen. 3:1-6 tells us that the forbidden fruit was eaten. So sin entered and man was driven from the garden (Gen. 3:24). As we follow the events recorded in the Old Testament we read of some who followed the instruction given and thus did the Lord's will, while others did not give heed to the commands of God and therefore failed to do his will.
A study of Christ's life and teachings reveals that Jesus was always doing God's will. Notice John 6:38: "For I came down from heaven not to do mine own will, but the will of him that sent me." See also John 8:29. Thus we see that the attitude of Jesus was to work the Father's will. Even as the time drew near for his death he prayed that, "if it be possible let this cup pass from me: nevertheless, not as I will, but as thou wilt" (Matt. 26:39). In the life, teachings and death of Christ we have a wonderful example of one doing God's will.
In his teaching Jesus said that the way to heaven was by doing the Lord's will (Matt. 7:21). So we should be very concerned about knowing what is His will so that we can keep and fulfill it in order to attain eternal life.
The Revealed Will
In Heb. 1:2, the writer says that God "Hash in these last days spoken unto us by his Son, whom he hath appointed heir of all things, by whom also he made the worlds." Thus we are to listen to Christ to find out God's will for man today.
Jesus, while here on earth, selected and trained men to carry on his work after his death. He told them that they would receive one who would "guide them into all truth" (John 16:13), and would "bring all things to your remembrance whatsoever I have said to you" (John 14:16). Therefore, by living for Jesus and in accordance to His apostles' teachings, we may prove what is that "good and acceptable, and perfect will of God" (Rom. 12:2).
As a result of this teaching, man has been given complete instruction (2 Tim. 3:15; 2 Peter 1:3) as to what the will of the Lord is today. As we read that instruction we learn that the Lord is not willing that any should perish (2 Peter 3:9). To that end he manifested his grace to all men (Titus 2:11) and gave His son (John 3:16). Jesus then gave himself for sacrifice for man's sins (Heb.10: 12).
Now for man to do the will of the Lord he must accept through faith that which has been provided by God's grace (Eph. 2:8). Man must believe in God (Heb. 11:6), and in Jesus as the Christ (John 3:36; 8:24). Repentance is also required of man (Luke 13:3; Acts 17:30). A confession of faith in Jesus as Christ must be made (Matt. 10:32-33; Rom. 10:10). And upon that confession (Acts 8:37), one must be baptized into Christ (Rom. 6:3) for the remission of sins (Acts 2:38). He then must be raised to walk in newness of 1ife (Rom. 6:3-4), a new creature in Christ (2 Cor. 5: 17). Jesus summed this all up in one beautiful statement written in Mark 16:16: "He that believeth and is baptized shall be saved; but he that believeth not shall be damned." When one thus will do, he will be added to the church by the Lord (Acts 2:47). As a member of the body of Christ (Eph. 1:22) he then may live, worship and work according to the Lord's will as expressed through His word so that the crown of life promised to the faithful (Rev. 2:10) might be his to receive.
The will of the Lord will be done on earth when all of us learn of it and faithfully obey it. This dear reader needs to be done by you and me.
Truth Magazine VII: 3, pp. 19-20