Many ask what is Gods will for my life thinking in only those terms that are personal or self-centered. In other words, they are asking God what is to be their life work, i.e. what would God have them to do. In many cases, and more specifically and personally, some might ask God who they should marry, or when faced with several options regarding various opportunities to move they might ask where should they move, seeking God for His specific leading or directions which are all good questions, however these things are one dimensional and when we think of Gods will these specific events must be overshadowed by what is Gods will in terms of how we should daily walk before Him, in other words, His sovereign rule in our life and specifically in our heart. Our walking before our God in a manner that is upright and holy, in all aspects of our inner and external behaviors, thus we single mindedly seek His will relative to what pleases or gives Him pleasure because its not about us, its all about God, for isn’t it His Will that we walk in a manner that pleases Him and not ourselves. What is it ultimately His good pleasure it is that we do His will. What is it that Jesus asked us to pray, your will be done in earth as it is in heaven. Jesus explained to the disciples, for the ruler of this world is coming, and he has nothing in Me. It is according to the Fathers will that His will be done on earth and to accomplish this the devil cannot have anything in us, nor in the Church.
What we should be asking God regarding His Will is for wisdom and understanding from Him, wisdom and understanding from above of those things that are according to His Will, that is His righteousness.
For this reason we also, since the day we heard it, do not cease to pray for you, and to ask that you may be filled with the knowledge of His Will in all wisdom and spiritual understanding; that you may walk worthy of the Lord, fully pleasing Him, being fruitful in every good work and increasing in the knowledge of God…
Jesus explained to those who were seeking God for those things that most believe to be most important in life, that is food, clothe etc. He explained that we should seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness and by doing so all those other things would be added to us.
Acquiring wisdom and spiritual understanding of Gods Will, that is, to be filled with the knowledge of it that we might walk worthy of the Lord fully pleasing Him, is what we should be seeking. Certainly we are limited in terms of what we can personally gleam from scriptures, and further limited in what God sovereignly discloses to each of us, as He Wills, and are we not limited according to our own will in terms of our many personal excursions into self or formal education. Obviously, God’s thoughts are much higher than ours, above and beyond one’s personal and human cognitive capabilities and only available to us through one means, and that is His Spirit; i.e. God grants to each of us to make His thoughts and ways known through His Spirit. Paul explained,
…that He (God) may grant you a spirit of wisdom and revelation [of insight into mysteries and secrets] in the [deep and intimate] knowledge of Him,By having the eyes of your heart flooded with light, so that you can know and understand the hope to which He has called you…
What we know of God and His Will is according to what He has, in His mercies and grace, chosen to reveal through His Spirit; initially through the prophets, and later in and through His Son, and finally, after the resurrection, God was pleased to give insight into His mysteries and secrets regarding what He accomplished and achieved in His Son to the New Testament Apostles and Prophets.
Some have seen and others read of Gods physical revelation in that over two thousand years ago His Son walked on this earth, and now, in these last days, we understand Gods Will to be a Spirit given revelation of His Son to men, howbeit, it is shrouded in mysteries and secrets and maybe you ask why? Because just like the physical revelation of Jesus Christ had been within the purview of Gods Will and plan and revealed to the Prophets and a select few, so it is His Will to grant, according to that Will, a revelation of His resurrected Son to those whom God would draw; knowing again that it is God who draws us and teaches men regarding His Son. Many of the Jews, and for whatever religious reason, only saw Jesus as a man, and not as Gods Son. To see Him as the Son of God was only to be given by God, who would draw them.
The Jews then complained about Him, because He said, I am the bread which came down from heaven. And they said, Is not this Jesus, the son of Joseph, whose father and mother we know? How is it then that He says, I have come down from heaven? Jesus therefore answered and said to them, Do not murmur among yourselves. No one can come to Me unless the Father who sent Me draws him; and I will raise him up at the last day. It is written in the prophets, And they shall all be taught by God. Therefore everyone who has heard and learned from the Father comes to Me
As mentioned, recognize that the complaining Jews could had only been able to see a physical Jesus; they had nothing working in them, from God, that had been drawing them through Spirit given insight or conviction to Jesus, as their redeemer. In all our experiences prior to our new birth, we later recognize that unbeknownst to us, God had been drawing us to His Son.
Now, though Jesus left and had gone into the heavens according to the Fathers Will, the Father now draws men to His risen Son, through a Holy Spirit given wisdom and understanding, and He continues to reveal to the believers a knowledge of His resurrected Son that we might know Him. Therefore, in all that God has chosen to reveal of His Son and Will, the knowledge that He gives, I believe, primarily is according to one central theme, and that is man’s obedience, thus walking worthy, fully pleasing, and fruitful in every good work. Recognize that now we are justified, through faith in the blood of Jesus Christ, and will not incur the wrath of God; however, I believe we can know His displeasure in our persistent setting our minds on the flesh, disobedient, and disregarding His words. God initially draws us to His Son that we might embrace Him as our savior thus having peace with Him but, He does not stop there, for if we want to know peace within we need for the Father to continue to draw us, and teach us, regarding the new life in Christ that we might walk according to Gods Will.
In the Old Testament God had given His commands and law, and in the new, He gave us Jesus Christ. After the Apostles penned their letters, there has been no new revelation given, after all, and if you think about it, don’t we have all that we can possibly handle in learning to walk anew, and setting aside the old? To do those things already revealed will take all of our attention and focus for the rest of our life. We do not need more revelation; we need God through His Spirit to grant us light, insight, and a Spirit given understanding of those things already given and revealed, that we might enter into an understanding of the hope to which God has called us into and for Him to give increase into the knowledge of His Son.
In addition, certainly is Gods revealed Will limited in its scope in terms that it has two primary partitions in relation to God and men; one provides the means and methods for the edification and health of the body of Christ in its subjection and obedience to its Head, and the other for the edification and personal sanctification of men who have faith, that is, that they might be obedient to it. In addition, the personal side of Gods Will, i.e. that which applies specifically to you and I is twofold; one it is directional, and the other is it is behavioral. Directional in that we are to follow Jesus, i.e. we follow Him in those directions in our life that pertain to His Will for our vocation, marriages, education, businesses, and or ministries. However, these directional life decisions are but a small portion or percentage of Gods revealed Will in that He gives us wisdom and direction. This direction is only periodical, but in terms of what is Gods daily Will, whether behavior or directional, if we are to know His blessings and goodness we must incline our hearts to be obedient to Him in all ways that we walk. Paul, in our daily life, instructs us to now set our minds on the things of the Spirit, and not upon the flesh. A mind set upon the flesh, or the sinful nature, is death (spiritual) and is an enemy of God, causing all kinds of behavior issues and problems in Christians. However, a mind set upon the Spirit is life and peace, i.e. we have peace with God through Christ blood, and now as we set our minds upon the Spirit we will have peace within, because a mind upon the Spirit is both life and peace.
I would suggest to you that you read the Old Testament where you will find Gods conditional promises of His blessings. I say conditional because God’s blessings and good pleasure were given only in the context of Israel’s continual obedience to the law and Gods judgments and commands. Also, I would suggest that the reason most Christians fall short of knowing God’s blessings is because they never learned to submit to Gods Will, or respond correctly to His drawing them; whether it is in our directional or behavioral lives many fail in that they do not learn to set their hearts and focus upon God to do His Will; to do so one will begin to know the realities of His blessings. By blessings, I mean simply that God continues to reveal those things in Christ, i.e. the exceeding Excellency of the knowledge of Him, in a manner that affords us a new and living ability and capability to obey God, walk according to His Will, unto pleasing Him.
Periodically God has given us vague future foretastes of other facets of His Will in that Jesus speaks of the kingdom, John seeing the New Jerusalem, and Paul explaining … that in the ages to come He (God) might show the exceeding riches of His grace in His kindness toward us in Christ Jesus. In this commentary I will only address Gods personal and behavioral Will for each of us in terms that we might understand and obey where unquestionably is our personal obedience affixed to two commandments that each Christian should observe and keep.
You must love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your strength and with all your mind; and your neighbor as yourself.
Gods Will – recognize your need
Now affixed to two new commandments, in that we are to be obedient, is not a work achieved by self, i.e. human capabilities, but our obedience is facilitated through and by the Holy Spirit in us. Therefore, in order that we might have an understanding into our personal weaknesses and inabilities God gives us insight in order that we might become dependent and reliant upon the Spirit.
E.M. Bounds, Complete Works of Prayer, explains mans need for spiritual poverty if they are going to make any progress in the things of God…
His inner being (man) has never felt its thorough spiritual bankruptcy, its utter powerlessness; he has never learned to cry out with an ineffable cry of self-despair and self-helplessness till God’s power and God’s fire comes in and fills, purifies, empowers. Self-esteem, self-ability in some pernicious shape has defamed and violated the temple which should be held sacred for God.
Why God is patiently and graciously providing to us insight into our personal bankruptcy is because in His sending the Holy Spirit we all need to learn to rely upon Him if we are going to know and do His will. Doing Gods will is something very new to us and does not come to us naturally but supernaturally; for many years we have relied upon self and have been subjected to the demands of our flesh and requires that we have a knowledge and light to walk away from these things that are Gods enemy and if we continue in them we cannot please God.
In addition, the spiritual knowledge that we are in need of is not necessarily contained in books, but again is spiritual and is given when we are dependent upon the Holy Spirit to communicate and teach to us all things related Jesus life and our participation in it. It is in Christ that God placed all spiritual blessings, where these blessings are the source for us to walk upright before our God and it is the Holy Spirit who communicates His life and blessings to us. And as a side note we need to think of blessings not of temporal or physical things but spiritual. That is spiritual in terms of those things in Christ that are given that we might walk according to Gods Will, i.e. given inner spiritual strength, quickening of our faith, peace that passes understanding, illumination of the old and new, and of course wisdom and spiritual understanding for these things and things like them are the true blessings from above and are given from above according to Gods mercies and grace, where in our poverty and humility of spirit we approach Him asking for them.
Therefore we are no longer to rely on or be dependent upon ourselves in terms of receiving Gods graces in Christ for daily living. Certainly is it easy to say we should not rely, but as I explained reliance upon one’s self is a deep seated habit in us, and in order live differently we are in dire need for God to work, and reveal, what He has already accomplished in His Son; His method of doing this is to grant to us spiritual wisdom and understanding. It is the Spirit in us who is our divine mentor, apart from Him we will remain in our spiritual ignorance and will continue to strive to please God with whatever can be invented by religious men who would impose controls, rules, or principles in the hope that these will bring our behavior in line with scriptures. No, God has others means, already accomplished for the church in Christ. Additionally, if the church continues to only see the Holy Spirit as the dispenser of spiritual gifts, and not see Him in us as our source for daily life, and as Paul explains, the one whom we are to set our minds upon thus experiencing life and peace, the church will remain spiritually ignorant, dull, and apathetic, and certainly will it not be able to obey Gods Will and walk upright as He would have all of us walk.
Jesus, on the mount explained our spiritual need this way when He said blessed are the poor in spirit for theirs is the kingdom of God. If we are going to know anything regarding Gods kingdom, or His life, it will be from a position of humility and poverty recognizing that without what the Holy Spirit has and brings into our spirit we will remain spiritually anemic, our spirit cast in darkness, and in terms of inner vigor- lifeless. Though we have been born of the Spirit, we can still continue to ignore the Spirit who dwells in us. One of the main barriers or veil in our access to the Spirit is our self-life. We are predisposed, according to Gods Will, to know spiritual things, the things of God and His kingdom, however rather than our continuing in reliance upon the Spirit, if we have done so at all, we turn to other means to mature; where some turn to psychology, others philosophy, and many to education believing that the sciences or more education in these things leads one to a better understanding of God and His Will. Nothing could be further from the truth. We have to understand the importance of personal humility and a child-like approach to God, possessing knowledge that without God given insight, we remain in spiritual darkness and continue in our ignorant of Spiritual things; therefore we rely upon our own abilities and capabilities to do the Will of God. Because the inner life of the Christian remains feeble, and in some cases unrecognizable, so does our faith, God’s grace, one’s inner peace, and spiritual strength. Those things that continue to cause us problems are the flesh and self-life however God has in Christ placed our new life and in this life are the means to walk before Him in a holy and upright manner. Anything we do or attempt to do separate from what is in Christ is but dead works.
God has given and now grants knowledge and insight into all those riches and spiritual blessings that are in Christ. Our knowledge of our personal poverty apart from Christ is our means to them. He is strong, we are weak, He is gracious, we are graceless, and He sustains us, not self-efforts. Even in our desiring after God we are dependent upon Him. If you believe that somehow you can work up your feelings or aspiration toward God, you are sadly mistaken; any sincere wanting after the Father comes from the Holy Spirit who dispenses the things of Christ, who is passionate toward His Father and His Fathers things. If there is a longing for God, or prodding’s to seek Him, if our faith is alive and active in us, if we have sorrow for our sin, and sins, if we have a desire to know God the Father, recognize that all come and proceeds from the Holy Spirit, in us, in that He is the life giving Spirit. Many promise us freedom, yet in following their instruction we continue to be defeated.
However, there remains a promised freedom from sins, sin, and guilt in the gospel message that affords each of us freedom. Yes, if you ask the Christian on the street if they are free they will, without hesitation, say Jesus has set me free, and this is true; however, what many do not understand is the “how too”. Many a shortsighted carnal Christian believes that they are truly free yet continue to be self-centered, captivated with the world, feelings of regret, obsessing over sin and sins, possessing little aptitude or recognition of their own personal sins or sin nature, and in most cases remain dull and lifeless in their inner life and ignorant of God speaking through His Spirit into their daily lives. For example, and what is of interest to me is the advice that so easily flows from our mouth when others are obsessing over a particular sin or regret, and we say, just let it go. However, and goes to my point of the “how-to”, if anyone is to just let it go, possessing the ability to do so can only be known and found in and through the Holy Spirit.
Gods Will – to free our hearts from our world
Recognize, in the US, are not all of us rich in terms of our many possessions. In the US, compared to what had been considered as1st century affluence, or in terms of Christians in developing countries, most of us in the US are rich comparatively, considering we own homes, have families, food in the pantry, 401Ks, pensions, cars and boats, and insurance for our cars and boats, not to mention good paying jobs. I believe we can be ones whom Jesus would consider rich; we come to Him with a lot of personal trust in these temporal riches.
In addition to what each would consider as riches, i.e. personal assets and money, there exist many other affluences in the US. We are an information rich country, having multitudes of media options available to us. Consequently, we receive more biblical teaching than any one person can possibly absorb or assimilate during one’s life; where all this information only leads to more confusion and contributes to a lot of the disunity found in the church today. What is of interest is Jesus last words to His disciples had been to love one another. Not their neighbor, but one another. There is not disunity in love. Why so much confusion in the church because each new ministry that is set up takes its assembly in a different direction than to love one another.
As mentioned, in the US, there is available to American Christians an abundant of sources for biblical information and commentary we have neglected the Holy Spirits voice in us as our primary means to understanding the gospel. Why would one need the Holy Spirit if we can turn to the internet, DVD, TV, radio, and perchance, if you like to read, there is an endless library of books one can read and study all with differing opinions and biblical topics. Personally if a book is written in either the 20th or 21st century I don’t read it. I have to go back to the 15th, 16th, 17th or 18th century authors if I’m going to learn anything of value.
God does the work in our hearts in terms that we remain in and interact with the world but it is not our treasure. Jesus gives an example of someone whom He addresses in terms of having a multiplicity of desires that had its roots in this world. The man I’m speaking of in the gospel knew Gods written law, however in His wanting more, and in coming to Jesus, asked Him how can I be perfect? Jesus responded to Him,
…If you want to be perfect, go, sell what you have and give to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven; and come, follow Me. But when the young man heard that saying, he went away sorrowful, for he had great possessions. After His statement Jesus turned to His disciples and said…Assuredly, I say to you that it is hard for a rich man to enter the kingdom of heaven. And again I say to you, it is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle than for a rich man to enter the kingdom of God.
When His disciples heard it, they were greatly astonished, saying, who then can be saved? But Jesus looked at them and said to them, with men this is impossible, but with God all things are possible.
Why it is that God would reveal His things, His kingdom, and especially His Will if we come to Him satisfied and occupied with all this worlds’ things. Also, don’t be deceived by those who have substituted a Christian world, for this one, in that we have our own music, communities, books, TV, scripture rhetoric, preachers who preach and make us feel good when were down, i.e. those who are cheerleaders and personal trainers in the church who work up our emotions that we might leave their church feeling good about ourselves and about God, however remain empty and lifeless within. In America, our churches are rich and affluent, comfortably busy with various religious activities and ministries that appease ones conscience, occupy our time with its many church driven activities, i.e. sermons, camp meetings, children events, cell meetings etc. where ones heart still remains set upon these church things rather than upon our true treasure, Him. Unless God breaks in to do the work we are left to follow after a heart that will lust after the world, whether secular or “Christian”, i.e. what is visible and the source of ones pride of life and not Gods good pleasure.
Especially in the US do we place our trust in the things of this world to live by, either secular or church? However, what we mistakenly know as life, and how we interpret living, is truly a subordinate to what is true spiritual life and living. Many surround themselves with the things of this world, whether Christian or secular, believing that they are alive, however the life intended by Gods Will for us is above and beyond what can be realized in our world. Those of us who live in the US have a dire need for God to work in us. The good news for all of us is in what Jesus told His disciples and that is… with men this is impossible, but with God all things are possible. This is good news for all of us and portends to God working in us that we might know and have what is the true treasure that makes one rich His love; recognizing that if we are to know Gods love, which is His Will, our hearts cannot persist in loving this world (Christian or secular), or its things.
Do not love the world or the things in the world. If anyone loves the world, the love of the Father is not in him. For all that is in the world—the lust of the flesh, the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life—is not of the Father but is of the world. And the world is passing away, and the lust of it; but he who does the will of God abides forever.
God works in that we might know Him, and His kingdom life, and are those treasures associated with it. Yes, one can be rich, yet because of Gods work of sanctification in his heart he will remain steadfast set upon the Lord as His treasure and riches, and not his possessions.
Lord, make me to know my end, And what is the measure of my days, That I may know how frail I am. Indeed, You have made my days as handbreadths, And my age is as nothing before You; Certainly every man at his best state is but vapor. Surely every man walks about like a shadow; Surely they busy themselves in vain; He heaps up riches, And does not know who will gather them…
Gods Will –spiritual ignorance vs. spiritual understanding
Many well educated ministers today possess a personal acquired knowledge about God, yet the temptation, in accumulating knowledge about God, is to believe that we know Him. Studying how to drive a car does not mean you know how to. Knowledge is not equal to knowing. Acquired knowledge will make a soul proud, knowing God makes one humble. Unfortunately, many well educated Ministers and Pastors leave the ministry after several years simply because their knowledge did not equip them, nor did it have the power to mature the Lords church. The equipping that is required comes from knowing God and doing His Will, it is spiritual, of the Spirit, and whose source is heaven. For example, one cannot learn to be strong in the Lord from reading the text, as this verse indicates… be strong in the Lord and in the power of His might, which explains its source, the Lord. Paul also, writing to the Ephesian assembly, says…I pray that God would grant you, according to the riches of His glory, to be strengthen in the inner man, through the Spirit…again it is according to prayer that God would grant it, i.e. we have to sincerely, respectfully, and in our poverty ask Him for inward strength, as administered by the Spirit in us.
If God had bounded our progress in knowing Him to our obtaining an extensive education in verse and chapter only those who possessed a high bible IQ could know Him. It was said both of Jesus and His disciples, where many had observed and remarked, regarding the mystery of their knowledge and its source, i.e. where did they get this knowledge for they are “unlearned”. God, according to His wisdom, does not depend upon man’s cognitive, rational, or intellectual abilities to communicate heavenly things, nor does He whisper them into our ear while standing next to us, as some might lead us to believe; however, He has given us His Spirit, in us. Unfortunately, in this information age, many have been lead to believe that education is the primary means to genuine maturity in the church. Our education initially comes to us through the Spirit, maturity and faithfulness come from Gods increase. Even in that ministries are given to the church to build it, Paul explains… neither he who plants is anything, nor he who waters, but God who gives the increase. If ministries are going to fulfil their callings, to build, they will have to have had… God who gives the increase, worked deep into their hearts and minds until the human will breaks in the presence and graces of the almighty God. Human will, in that it is not yielded to God, and stands humbly before Him, is probably the most detrimental human attribute in making any progress by the church; whether local or corporate. Until God can get this will under control, it will always lead us astray and causes every man to do what they believe is right in their own eyes.
Additionally, but not all inclusive of Gods many blessings for His people, ministers and those who follow them, are not only in need of God’s work, in terms of our being solely dependent upon Him, but also His work in that He gives wisdom and spiritual understanding; as Paul prayed for the Ephesian church, that they might be filled with wisdom and spiritual understanding. We all need to recognize that the things of God, i.e. Jesus life, death, resurrection, and kingdom and every blessing associated with Gods accomplishments in Christ; we need God to grant it. Yes, we can read the words in the bible, but that does not necessarily mean we understand them, i.e. understand them spiritually. Our logical mind can ponder verse and chapter however this does not yield the necessary light one requires to truly understand Gods intent and Will.
Paul reveals a problem, with many in the Ephesus assemblies, and writes in His letter to them…
…that you should no longer walk as the rest of the Gentiles walk, in the futility of their mind, having their understanding darkened, being alienated from the life of God, because of the ignorance that is in them, because of the blindness of their heart;
Thus, if we choose to persist in our spiritual ignorance closes us out from Gods life, in that, if we are going to know His life, in us, we have to pay special attention to the Holy Spirit, who dwells in us, to provide God given instruction, which is by its nature Spiritual. Spirit begets spirit, i.e. those things we have from above, are birth in us by the Spirit. Paul’s letter, in the same chapter, tells the Ephesian Christians to now strip themselves of their former nature, the nature that persists in its spiritual apathy and callousness toward the things of God and instruction given by the Holy Spirit and be constantly renewed in the spirit of your mind. This constant renewal comes from above, through the Spirit.
Yes, many can memorize and teach scriptures, passing on what they have learned, i.e. knowledge about God; however can they communicate Gods life, or effectively convey His Will to others? Many cannot because they simply do not know it, nor do they know and comprehend its many echelons and mysteries which are truly hidden from the human mind, but not the spirit. In addition, we must not mistaken emotional preaching for what is life and Spirit. Jesus explained, the words that I speak are Life and Spirit, i.e. living and from the Spirit. Animated preaching is not necessarily spiritual, emotional preaching can stir our emotion; however this stirring will soon dissipate, thus is unfruitful. If a minister cannot effectively communicate spiritual things, using Spirit taught words, their words have no real power to exalt Christ, nor the power to enter into a believer’s spirit, thus nourishing their faith. Spiritual words, those that contain life, in that they are regenerative, will increase and grow our faith in God, convict our conscience, enlighten our eyes, sustain us unto living upright, and more importantly, exalt Jesus Christ. Paul explains,
These things we also speak, not in words which man’s wisdom teaches but which the Holy Spirit teaches, comparing spiritual things with spiritual…my speech and my preaching were not with persuasive words of human wisdom, but in demonstration of the Spirit and of power, that your faith should not be in the wisdom of men but in the power of God.
Gods Will – His work in us
It is God that worketh in you. Deliverance from law does not mean that we are free from doing the will of God. It certainly does not mean that we are going to be lawless. Very much the reverse! What it does mean however is that we are free from doing that will as of ourselves. Being fully persuaded that we cannot do it, we cease trying to please God from the ground of the old man. Having at last reached the point of utter despair in ourselves so that we cease even to try, we put our trust in the Lord to manifest His resurrection life in us. Watchmen Nee, Normal Christian Life
It is God working in us, by His grace through the Holy Spirit, that affords us a means to please Him and to walk according to a higher law, the law of the Spirit in Christ Jesus. When we attempt to please God from our own resources we separate ourselves from His grace, and Spirit who has become our means and resource, by grace, to please and obey Him. In other words God has become our source to adhere to His moral law.
Most of us think of God’s work only in terms of what is negative or disciplinary; when we think of His work we think of His discipline, or our many trails, or God testing of our faith etc. and these of course, are in many cases are true, where some are His work and some are not, but each is a reality in all our lives. However, there is another side to this coin. God’s work is also very constructive and affirming in that His work are those things that equip us to live as He would have us to. For example of Gods inner working:
…it pleased the Father to reveal His Son in me…that God may grant to you spiritual wisdom and understanding… the eyes of your heart being enlighten…God has shone in our hearts….God searches the heart….God would grant to you according to His glorious riches to be strengthened in your inner man…grows with the increase that is from God… He who supplies the Spirit to you… But when it pleased God… called me through His grace, to reveal His Son in me…. they shall all be taught by God…etc.
Another of those things that God works is in the communication of His grace to us. Peter explained that grace and peace be multiplied to you. I believe we all need to realize the importance of grace in each of our daily lives. Scriptures has many references to it, in that it is an active, viable, spiritual experience for us that we need on a daily basis, in our spirit.
The word grace is the catch all for Gods things in that whatever God is willing to communicate to us of His spiritual blessings, has to proceed from His grace, e.g. in terms of peace, strength, fruits etc. all are communicated from and because of God’s grace, in Christ. Grace is His bucket, or container, for spiritual blessings that affords us to receive from Him. Grace, I believe, is used many times in place of fruit. In the Apostles letters, grace is used ten times as much fruit. Grace is the vehicle in that the Holy Spirit, as directed by the Father, communicates or imparts those things the Father has put in Christ where in many cases the Apostles say… grace to you and peace from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ which is the sum and total of both Gods means of His administration and dispensing, by the Spirit, of His many spiritual blessings within. I say within so as not for you to mistaken what is external from what is internal. Yes, at times God blesses our external life however, and more so, He blesses our inner life that we might walk upright before Him. We can walk upright before the Father because He has taken us out of Adam through Christ death, and has put us in Christ through His resurrection. John repeats Jesus words in that we are to both have and keep them.
Paul writes that we are to set our minds on the things of the Spirit and are to be led by the Spirit, and in doing so, the Spirit both reminds us of Jesus words and instructs us in keeping them. It is the Spirit who communicates Jesus life; where the ability to walk upright proceeds from Jesus life in that He manifests Himself to those of us who both have His words and keeps them. After one begins to know His life, in its coming to our spirit, we can immediately differentiate between flesh and Spirit, abhorring flesh and desiring after Spirit. The Spirit and Jesus life work together for our benefit and capability to walk according to Jesus commands.
He who has My commandments and keeps them, it is he who loves Me. And he who loves Me will be loved by My Father, and I will love him and manifest Myself to him.”
Judas (not Iscariot) said to Him, “Lord, how is it that You will manifest Yourself to us, and not to the world?”
Jesus answered and said to him, “If anyone loves Me, he will keep My word; and My Father will love him, and We will come to him and make Our home with him. He who does not love Me does not keep My words; and the word which you hear is not Mine but the Father’s who sent Me
Can you see that God is in fact working in us, working for us to will and work for His good pleasure that we might both rely upon the Holy Spirit and abide in His Son? Where we have problems is in our asking the same question that Judas asked, how is it that You will manifest Yourself to us and not to the world? The answer is twofold, we are in need of the Father to grant us insight and spiritual understanding, and we are in need of the Holy Spirits assistance to keep Jesus words, and obey His commands, which can only be accomplished through setting our minds upon the Spirit and in the leading of the Spirit, in that the Father has already put us in His Son.
The Father not only works in us in terms that we believe are adversarial, but He is working in us granting His spiritual blessings for our personal edification. However, when we might suggest we know these communicative blessings let us understand our miss understanding of them, or how many might think they know. Not unlike all other spiritual blessings, e.g. grace and peace, there are many substitutes and much Christian rhetoric about grace and peace. In using a word, over and over again, the grace word begins to lose its true meaning and intent (misplaced grace). I have heard grace used in a variety of circumstances and in many different context. In a misguided manner, and in order to attempt to understand scriptures, men will pull spiritual scriptures out of heaven and drag them through the muck and mire of human understanding and reasoning’s. For example, grace is communicated to us by a merciful God; it is a recognizable spiritual commodity, found in our spirit… Brethren, the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ be with your spirit… thus communicated to us from a gracious God, it is not only words on a page, regarding a Christians redemptive constitution… being justified freely by His grace through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus, but it is our spiritual sustenance and evidence of the life within … for it is good that the heart be established by grace. If we do not have this testimony, of a God given grace in us, one has to rely upon cold and lifeless words which open us up to all kinds of potential for error and miss interpretations and especially does it make one indifferent; a proverb states this …familiarity breed’s indifference. Grace is that one word that is so easily miss used and bantered about in Christian’s meetings and casual conversations that truly are not biblical, nor does it measure up to anyone who has known grace as a daily experience.
In addition to grace, peace is also a God given spiritual blessing in that God communicates and imparts it to us, in Christ, and peace is also to be found in our spirit. Words written on a page are subject to all kinds of error as they bounce around in the human mind, which is a width and height apart from spirit, where those who know heavenly given peace know that it passes understanding and reason and so it should. Many will interpret peace as an absence of conflict in their life and circumstances; yet, those who have known peace recognize it to be a peace from above that in the mist of conflict, and resident in your spirit, we have inner peace. Therefore, peace and grace are those internal markers along a spiritual journey, that when present with us, are indicators that we are in and doing the Will of God.
Gods many spiritual blessings, in Christ, were meant to be our resource for all our daily activity and interactions with others. For example, how is it that God communicated grace and peace, as well as His other spiritual blessings, can become an effective tool (tool is really not a good word to use but it goes to the point) in saving Christian marriages. What is Gods Will in accordance with His revealed gospel, and not according to the inventions of men where much is taught, written, and explained regarding Christian marriages? For there are how-to seminars on what a successful marriage looks like, plus we have an abundance of marriage counselors these days in many of our churches, and at times it seems we are inundated with sermons about marriage. In other words, there is a lot of church activity and attention directed at Christian marriages these days basically because there are a lot of divorces. Many who attend to such statistics explain that the divorce rate for Christian marriages is the same as in the world, about 50%; what is the problem? Is it that we need, as some of the so called experts suggest, more education, information, and counseling, is this Gods revealed solution He had in mind before the foundations of the earth were laid? Had it been Gods solution all along in is His asking His Son Jesus to sacrifice His life? No, never, Gods Will is, and always will be in what He accomplished and placed in His Son. All is complete, in Christ, in that we have every possibly solutions and power for our daily living the life as God would be pleased with, in Christ.
Therefore, the problem is not with Gods revealed solution, in Christ, but with mans, because what is missing in all the education, seminars, and marriage books that are written is the power and grace to implement these instructions- sure the advice sounds good but where is the power? Is it not within the death, cross, and resurrection, in Christ? If we had the ability, we would not require Gods means of redemption, however we are in dire need of Gods help, thus God has put to death our old nature we inherited from Adams, and placed us in Christ from whom comes a new nature, thus the Holy Spirit gives spiritual understanding, communicates life and grace, that we might fully comprehend Gods Will in Christ.
Someone can have abundance of knowledge regarding marriage and relationships but without God’s grace in His giving us the Holy Spirit who is the administrator of those things God placed in His Son, marriages will fail, and continue to fail. The bible is not a book on marriages, but it is a book that not only contains man’s redemptive history, but also is a book that records Gods revelation of His many blessings and especially His blessing us with His love (Agape). Is not Gods Will that He would share His love with us, in Christ? And in His sharing His Agape with us, who might there be among us who could find fault with it? We need to be reminded of Paul’s characterization of God’s love, the love that heaven is ruled and governed by, and occupied with, in that it is kind, does not seek its own, is long suffering etc. If these characterizations are in each of us, ruling our individual hearts, how would it be possible to not have a good relationship with our wives or husbands? In addition to Gods love we know His grace. When Paul says let your speech be seasoned with grace he did not mean a soft spoken demeanor, but one that is communicating grace to others, not in word only, but substance and especially is God’s grace missing spiritual blessing in many marriages.
Gods Will – His good pleasure
At the end of each day, of Gods six days of creation, looking upon what He had completed commented… it was good; however at the completion of the sixth day, He said… it was very good, recalling that man was created on the sixth day. Also, remember when Jesus walked on this earth His Father said several times, speaking from heaven the Father spoke of being not only pleased with His Son but well pleased, notice the word well pleased. Subsequently, God’s creation, before the fall, all was good, i.e. it was very good, He was pleased, however after the fall He was not. Through man’s redemptive history, beginning with the patriarchs, and eventually with Israel, Gods good pleasure with the Jews obedience had been sporadic at best. Though he had blessed Israel with His laws and commands they consistently walked away from what was written and commanded bringing upon them His displeasure and discipline.
God was, and is pleased, in creating man in His own image. In His Son, He is well pleased, because His image was perfectly demonstrated. What was it that the Father specifically saw in His Son, that He was pleased with; wasn’t it His own holiness, mercy, grace, and eternal love in that Jesus was able to say…if you have seen me you have seen the Father. Consequently, in all that Jesus said, accomplished, walked in, thought, or felt, in every contact with either Jew or gentile, each encountered the Father. Jesus perfectly walked in the Father Will, whether He had been resisting the devil in the wilderness, extending the Fathers grace to the Samaritan woman at the well, forgiving the women who had been caught in adultery, preaching to the crowds, or in admonishing the Jewish leaders for their many errors all Jesus had accomplished and ordered had been solely and passionately according to His Fathers Will, and specifically, for His good pleasure. God through His Son seeks for additional sons, sons He would direct His good pleasure toward.
…having predestined us to adoption as sons by Jesus Christ to Himself, according to the good pleasure of His Will
Now, in Christ, each of us has a visual and written representation of what is Gods Will for each of us, in its entire efficacy. Therefore, whether one is preaching to thousands, working a 9 to 5 job, raising children in your home, or sweeping the floors of your church what it is that our hearts might be occupied with, and primarily focused upon, is our heavenly Father unto doing all things for His good pleasure, and according to His Will, as seen and demonstrated in His Son. At our new birth, a work of the Holy Spirit, we are now hardwired as sons, to please our heavenly Father, as would a natural son seek to please and bring pleasure to his dad, desiring after our Fathers approbations. Every problem that has ever been or ever will be among us as the assemblies of the body of Christ, if all possessed both a heart and focus upon what it is too please and do their Fathers Will, all would be well with us. We cannot please Him unless we are being attentive to Him.
Called as His children… but as many as received Him, to them He gave the right to become children of God… we need to come to the Father as a child that we might learn from Him, be natured unto maturity as a son of God and for one simple reason and reward and that is for the Fathers good pleasure to receive from Him a well-done. If you really think about it what personal accomplishments or accolades that you could, or would receive in this world or honors that you might take from it that possibly could be higher than or more prestigious, or grandiose, than a personal acclaim of well-done from the God who created heaven and earth?
Knowing this that God does the work; initially He adopted us as sons through Christ, where now as Gods children we need to allow the Holy Spirit to accomplish His nurturing and maturing work in us, in accordance with the Fathers bidding and that is that we might obey our Father as His children and mature as children as sons. In all our prayers, seeking, and knocking and in all our personal supplications should be to know the Fathers Will unto His good pleasure. The Spirit groans in us, for the Fathers work, to this end, unto mature sons- those who now would walk as Jesus walked.
The Apostle John said it this way…if you say you abide in Him you ought to walk as He walked. The one contradicts the other. Saying we abide will not produce the fruit of abiding. I believe the deception here is rooted in contemporary Christianity, and all its rhetoric that comes our way. Many have been convinced that because they have read the text and possess knowledge that Christ is in them that they are actually abiding, thus fulfilling the demands of the scripture they have read and memorized. However, John provides us with the reality of the verse and the statement, if we say, then we should also walk, and not walk according to our own preconceived ideas regarding what that might look life, but to walk as He walked, which really is the evidence and fruit that you know what you are talking about.
Recognize that Jesus chose to empty Himself of all occasions to the pride of this life, having a single intent, that is, an unimpeded relationship with His Father should be those things that begin to dawn upon our inner life. In this light, we need to understand where the Holy Spirit would instruct us as maturing sons, in that He works in us to this end, that we would have a heart that has these four dispositions toward our heavenly Father, and that is, to love Him with all our (1) heart, (2) soul, (4) mind, and (4) strength; in possessing these dispositions all of us would know an unbroken fellowship with the Father. A heart so predisposed, would know Gods continual communicated grace to accomplish His Will, according to His good pleasure.
Unfortunately, the church today is more concerned with the last days, the anti-Christ, Jesus second coming, or disputing with those in other denominations that don’t agree with their flavor of doctrine. Should we really be so fixed upon Jesus coming when our heart and life is amiss? Personally, I want all the time God would give me that I might walk in accordance with His Will and to please Him.
… (God) make you complete in every good work to do His will, working in you what is well pleasing in His sight, through Jesus Christ to whom be glory forever and ever. Amen.
Gods Will – you shall be holy as I’m holy
John Owen… “The will of God is the rule of all men’s obedience. Now, holiness, wherever it is, pleaseth God; and therefore without faith it is impossible we should have any interest in it. “This is the will of God, even our sanctification…” and walking therein we please God. All that pleaseth God in us is our holiness, or some part of it and it principally consists in an opposition unto all that displeaseth him. That which he commands pleaseth him, and that which he forbids displease all that holiness which is in them consists in their conformity to the revealed will of God; and our holiness consists in a compliance with the one and an opposition unto the other….”
When God called His people out of Egypt they did not venture out very far until He gave His Ten Commandments, and His laws. If Israel was going to be called the children of God and walk with Him in the wilderness unto the Promised Land, it would have do so according to His terms and conditions, and not theirs. It had been Gods intention and Will to initially put Israel’s behaviors under His own commands. Maybe in Egypt the Jews could do as they pleased, where much of what they probably had learned had been from interacting with the Egyptians, however, if they were going to walk with God, they were going to learn obedience in terms of Gods own holiness. Faith got the Jews into the land of Canaan, but it was obedience that would keep them in. Don’t believe God, in calling a people together to Himself, those who He would call His own, would tolerate disobedience and rebellion, thus disrespecting His holiness. The tabernacle of God, after it had been constructed and its services instituted; with all of the sacrifices, the rigor in terms of the priest means of going into the holy place, and finally, in all those specific requirements for the high priest to enter into God presence into the Holy of Holy, should have provided Israel with a level of insight into just how holy their God was and is and in what manner they should approach, respect and reverence Him.
Not unlike Israel, Christians need to understand that yes our sins have been forgiven and put away, in that God extended His grace to us in and though His Son death, but God’s grace does not excuse us from our personal obligation to obey Him; conversely, it is His grace that affords us our means to obey Him in the newness of life. If anyone plans to know and fellowship with the Father in terms of the New Covenant, they are going to have to walk according to a higher standard and level of reverence and holiness than what had been contained in the law; for God has given us His Holy Spirit. Note the word Holy- He who dwells in us is Holy, consequently what we might think His Spirits intent would be toward us and in us, that in all His activities worked upon our inner most person that we would be holy as He is holy. In addition, recognize that now the Holy of Holies is with men, via the Holy Spirit. Why Jesus takes adultery from the external, into the internal, in that He said if you lust after a women you have committed adultery, because God dwells in men, through His Spirit. If we plan to fellowship with our God then our inner life has to be subjected to the cross of Christ.
I believe if Christians understood God in terms of His holiness there would be a new level of respect, reverence and walking in accord with the Spirit in all our daily activities and behaviors. What is paraded about today as Christianity, in all its superficialities, foolishness, and silliness, would take upon a new demeanor, i.e. what the Father intended and Jesus demonstrated in that He would grant us insight into Him who is in us. To ever think that Jesus would walk disrespectfully, irreverently, going His own way is ludicrous and to imagine that He would entertain some of the foolishness and circus antics that go on in churches today is unimaginable. Whenever anyone had been face to face with Jesus they knew they were in the presence of holiness. When confronted with such a majestic holiness what naturally is expressed, in such an atmosphere, are awe, respect, and reverence.
Regrettable, the church today is attempting to portray to the world a Jesus with a new face; one that they believe is more amicable, friendly, inclusive, agreeable, and good natured. However, Jesus explained that the world hated Him, and the Jews sought to kill Him. The church needs to be very cautious in what face they are attempting to put out to the world today because while Jesus is saying the world’s deeds are evil, that men are sinful, and that He is the only way to the Father, and rejecting Him all will die in their sins; howbeit that the church is implying that the new Jesus would not say such things and is more harmonious, cordial, positive and without offence in this world. In doing so, the church shuts the world out from the Gods saving grace afforded to it through Jesus Christ death and resurrection. Paul explained that the gospel is a stumbling block to the Jews, but it is an offense to the Greek or Gentile. Our gospel message will be offensive to everyone in the world and it should be. However, it is the power of God for salvation. And are not those who are trying to put a new face upon Jesus in danger of His words, when He said,
Woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! For you travel land and sea to win one proselyte, and when he is won, you make him twice as much a son of hell as yourselves.
Today, the church has a need for God to send His prophets to drive out the money changers from His house, to speak against all the irreverent behaviors that fill its pews, and pull down all the errors propagated by false preachers and pretenders.
Gods Will –live according to a higher standard
Recognize that Paul in his letter to the Romans explains that we are dead to the law and sin, and if someone is dead how it is that anyone can impose the law, its demands, or authority upon a person who is dead? Also, recognize that Paul explains that we,
… died to the law through the body of Christ, that you might belong to another, to him who was raised from the dead, in order that we might bear fruit for God.
In addition, Paul explains in Romans that,
… dying to what once bound us, we have been released from the law so that we serve in the new way of the Spirit, and not in the old way of the written code.
Howbeit, because we belong to another, and serve in a new way, according to the Spirit, thus released from the sentence of the law, are we free to do as we like? No! Not only are we called to bear the fruit of this new life, but we are to serve in this new way according to the Spirit, and especially are we to bear fruit to God.
What is interesting to me is that certain denominations have constructed various doctrines around various aspects of the ten commandments, or the law, e.g. keeping the Sabbath holy, however in doing so demeans and nullifies the greater commandment, to love God, which obliges us to a much higher approach of honoring and serving Him thus keeping everyday holy as we learn to walk with Him. Jesus explains our new relationship with His Father in terms of a much more demanding rule, and that it is relational, that is say we are to love Him with all our hearts. Recognize that this verse is found in the Old Testament but what we should recognize is the law did not contain the power to obey such a command but only exposed all of our hearts to the fact that we fell well short of such a mandate. Enter, Jesus, sending the Holy Spirit, who does have the power that now we might obey.
Those who attempt to restrict us to what is legal need to ask themselves how it is that they are fulfilling the much higher command in their own individual lives. I believe they corrupt what is most holy, in that, if anyone will aspire to fulfill the majestic command to love God with all your heart, in any subsequent attempts to do so, can only be realized through the Holy Spirit. If one is going to single out a single day, the Sabbath, to honor God by keeping it holy, have we not missed the point here, and that is, every day we are to keep holy in that each day, through the Holy Spirit, we have but one focus, service, and intent of heart and that is to love God with all our hearts, walking before Him according with and to the “Holy” Spirit. Again, we are called into a life that is far and above what is legal, thus singling out a particular command or commands is in fact man’s invention and not Gods. Primary it is the heart that God is focused upon, not necessarily practice, nor religious pragmatism in keeping particular ceremonies, or honoring a day, but as Christians we have before us a higher calling, and that is to honor and love God with all our heart. Our external life can be filled with all kinds of religious practices and activities while our hearts remain distant from the God we pretend to serve and obey.
Therefore, Jesus calls us from an external practice of religious things to an internal one. Jesus tells us that our Father seeks those who would worship Him in spirit and truth. When men seek to worship God in the temple or temples made with hands, or in the high places, as was discussed between Jesus and the Samaritan women; Jesus explains to her that the Father seeks those who will worship Him in spirit and truth. We are called to a more demanding form of worship of our God than animal sacrifices, temple worship, various ceremonies, and or rituals, and are called to a more profound observance of the written law, that is, that truth would be inscribed into our inward parts from whence we live. Worship of our God is a daily matter, and when the church decides to assembly on a particular day it should be the union of many worshiping hearts, whose focus has already been upon their God each day, those living according to the truth that is etched permanently upon their hearts, and those who collectively come together to worship Him in spirit and Spirit.
Gods Will – to be perfect as He is perfect
Jesus provides us with some insight into what manner of higher life (I say higher life just for emphasis, but it is really our normal life in that we have Gods Spirit) we have all been called too, and what manner of son the Father, according to His Will, is looking for, and certainly did Jesus move the bar much higher than what is contained in the written law, for example Jesus explained,
…You have heard that it was said, ‘You shall love your neighbor and hate your enemy. But I say to you love your enemies, bless those who curse you, do good to those who hate you… pray for those who spitefully use you and persecute you …
Additionally Jesus explains,
…He (the Father) makes His sun rise on the evil and on the good, and sends rain on the just and on the unjust… you shall be perfect, just as your Father in heaven is perfect…
In what way were they to be perfect?
…For if you love those who love you, what reward have you? Do not even the tax collectors do the same? And if you greet your brethren only, what do you do more than others? Do not even the tax collectors do so?
In other words Christians are held to a higher standard than what is contained in the law, and why is this, because we have Gods Spirit and Jesus righteousness. Therefore, the Fathers Will, in terms of sons dying to the law and living by the Spirit is more clandestine than how we might initially and superficially interpreted it to be in scriptures. If we believe that we can simply read and practice what is written we have probably bypassed the passages where Jesus said we should be perfect as our Father is perfect. Jesus had put the idea of personal practice or imitating these things far from what is humanly capable. If we are to be sons of our heavenly Father, and not only sons, but perfect, in that our Father is perfect, i.e. to love our enemies and do good to those who despitefully use us, presents each of us with a level of difficulty that even on our best days we would struggle with. However, you might ask why Jesus and the Father expect so much from sinners saved by grace, and are gentiles ignorant of the law? The answer is simple, He expects so much because He has given so much. God has sent us His Holy Spirit, raise us up with Christ, and in Him we have access to divine resources we previously did not via the Spirit.
Therefore, the only way the Apostle could write, be ye holy as your Father is holy is because the “Holy” Spirit is in us. John Owens explains…
There is not anything done in us or by us that is holy and acceptable unto God, but it is an effect of the Holy Spirit; it is of his operation in us and by us. Without him we can do nothing; for without Christ we cannot, John xv. 5, and by him alone is the grace of Christ communicated unto us and wrought in us.
Gods Will – final thoughts
Someone said that, “the journey of a thousand miles sometimes ends very, very, badly”. If in all we read and study, pray, attend to in our churches, and in all our religious practices if these are not leading us in one specific direction, that is, in knowing Gods Will in all its various facets pertaining to how we live, and more profoundly, in who we are, if there is not a viable, real, evidentiary increase of a relationship with the Son and Father, we need to stop what we’re doing and turn around.
Why are we seeking to know the Fathers Will, because we want to know the Father? And specifically, do we want to know the Fathers love. His love communicated and shared with us is the best there is in all life, if you have experienced it is that treasure buried in the field or the pearl of great price. One can have gone to the moon or further into space, or one could have served as a president of a country, or lead armies of thousands, or received the praise and accolades for one’s many accomplishments in the sciences, arts, or humanities yet without Gods love shared with us is empty. Let me say it how the bible says it, where Paul writes in Corinthians,
Though I speak with the tongues of men and of angels, but have not love, I have become sounding brass or a clanging cymbal. And though I have the gift of prophecy, and understand all mysteries and all knowledge, and though I have all faith, so that I could remove mountains, but have not love, I am nothing. And though I bestow all my goods to feed the poor, and though I give my body to be burned, but have not love, it profits me nothing
…And now abide faith, hope, love, these three; but the greatest of these is love
Why would Paul conclude with love, it is God’s love, that He Wills, to be both the governmental rule in our hearts and in the Church? If Gods love governs our heart there is no other need for all that we do, or attempt to do. If Gods love governs the Church, there is no other rules, or commands, that are required for us, and certainly do we not require behavioral changes in terms that many speak of it.
God’s simple solution for both the individual Christian and the Church is His communicated love (shed abroad on our hearts) which has no element of impurity in its coming to us, except that it is found in Jesus Christ, and Jesus allows you and I to abide and share in His love- which is God’s love in Him… As the Father loved Me, I also have loved you; abide in My love. Initially, we were created with a soul that is capable to both receive love and communicate it. In receiving Gods love, in Christ, His Agape is of a divine nature thus void of self or any corrupt thing in that it is of a purity that is difficult to understand or explain, i.e. it is higher than us. To know its purity, it has to be experienced and not reasoned. God’s love communicated to the hearts of believers captures each heart in a way and manner that most naturally wants us to reciprocate, because the nature of God’s love is it is the embodiment of selflessness, benevolent, and transformational. In our returning Gods love back to Him, it will remain pure, because it is His love, and not ours. To restate, God’s love is characteristically of the nature that it will most naturally return back to its source of origin and carries with it a purity that one cannot comprehend but can know. Not only love, but in all things that are of eternal value, in our life, their source is from above. True prayer and service to God originate in Him, and not in us; in us meaning we are the initiator, our reason, logic, and intellect are much employed to pray, serve, and even love.
It is only His own love that God will recognize from us, consequently, it is God in Christ who would work in us that we might do His Will in such a manner, that He is well pleased with us all, and according to a Fathers heart toward His children, He loves them, and they conversely love Him. Categorically, what is it that is Gods Will for us all, to love Him?
The grace of the Lord Jesus Christ, and the love of God, and the communion of the Holy Spirit be with you all