“They asked, ‘What must we do in order to accomplish what God requires?’ Jesus replied, ‘This is what God requires, that you believe in him whom God sent'” (John 6:28-29, CEB).
Most Christians are trying to find and do God’s will in their lives. In fact, a lot of our personal prayer and Bible study efforts are focused on knowing and doing God’s will.
As we attempt to find and do God’s will, we have a tendency to gauge whether a thing is God’s will by our circumstances. If things are going our way and we’re successful, then we must be doing God’s will. But if we’re facing difficulties and things aren’t going as planned, then we must be missing God’s will.
In Chapter 6 of his gospel the Apostle John describes some miraculous events that may shed some light on how we should interpret our circumstances as indicators of God’s will. A couple of substantial miracles are performed by Jesus in this chapter: the miracle of feeding 5,000 (men, plus women and children) with five loaves of bread and two fish and the miracle of walking on water.
Prior to the feeding of the 5,000, Jesus observed the large crowd gathering to hear His teaching and posed a question to one of His disciples as to how they should be fed. “Jesus looked up and saw the large crowd coming toward him. He asked Philip, ‘Where will we buy food to feed these people?’ Jesus said this to test him, for he already know what he was going to do” (vs 6).
As you try to discover what God’s will is, remember that God doesn’t need you to tell Him what to do. He doesn’t need you to whine and moan and try to get your way. God already knows what He is going to do no matter what you think He should do or what you want Him to do.
Now, this isn’t to say that God is insensitive to your wants and needs. It’s more like He is Truth and Light so He knows what He wants to accomplish and how He is going to accomplish it even before it happens! But, He wants to work His will through human vessels.
After the feeding of the 5,000, Jesus retreated into the hills and away from the crowds while His disciples went back to the headquarters of their ministry in Capernaum on the other side of the lake. So they set sail across the lake and without Jesus. “When the wind had driven them out for about three or four miles, they saw Jesus walking on the water. He was approaching the boat and they were afraid. He said to them, ‘I Am. Don’t be afraid.’ Then they wanted to take him into the boat, and just then the boat reached the land where they had been heading'” (vs. 19-21).
God is watching over you even in rough spots until you arrive at your destination and often despite the circumstances. So, don’t look for God’s will in your circumstances but look beyond your circumstances for God’s will.
When God guides your life and from time to time supernaturally intervenes in it, He’s not so concerned about the particular circumstances you find yourself in. Those circumstances may be the result of your own efforts (or lack of effort), chance, or even your enemy the devil.
But God is always working for your cosmic good. He always has a purpose, an end game, and a plan for accomplishing His purpose. And when God’s end game is applied to your life, it becomes your destiny.
So, don’t let your circumstances define your destiny. Rather, define your circumstances by your destiny. See God’s end game for your life, your destiny, and then interpret your circumstances in light of your destiny. And, then you will be enabled by the Holy Spirit to know and do God’s will!
We know that God works all things together for good for the ones who love God, for those who are called according to his purpose. (Romans 8:28, CEB)