I wish you a happy new year and welcome you into 2018. As we have entered a new year, perhaps one of the most important question on the minds of many believers especially would be “what is the will or purpose of God for my life in 2018?” It is the right question to be asking because the Bible teaches us to be careful how we live not as unwise but wise understanding what the will of God is.
As good as the question is we often don’t seek the answers in the right places. Over the next several days, many will be embarking on fasting programs and attending numerous prophetic meetings in order to hear God’s will for their lives in 2018 through their pastors. I do not mean to denigrate fasting and a pastor’s role in guiding the flock under their care. But I believe God has spoken loud and clear in his word.
We worship a communicating God. He has not left us to grope in the dark with tingling ears to hear what he will whisper to us through somebody else. His word is ancient yet ever true, and it is relevant for us today as it was for the first recipient of the word. God is more concerned about you finding his will than we are, that’s why he has spoken so clear and universally. Therefore if you want to know the will of God for your life in 2018, you don’t have to look any further than what he has revealed about himself in his timeless word. He has spoken about every area of your life and all you need to do is to understand what the will of the Lord is.
The will of God for your life in 2018 goes back to the garden, where God said “Let us make man in our image, after our likeness” (Genesis 1:26). We were created by God for God, to be his image bearers in the world. Therefore God’s will for your life regardless of the year is to live in such a way that non-Christian will know who God is through you. You are to be an imitator of God as a beloved child (Ephesians 5:1).
What is God like? He has revealed that clearly in the Bible. He is good and all he does is worthy of approval (Luke 18:19). He is love – eternally giving himself to others (1 John 4:8). God is merciful, gracious and patient, he is good to those in distress and in misery, he is good to those who deserve only punishment, withholding that punishment over a period of time that they might find repentance (Exodus 34:6). The Bible also tells us God is holy. He is separated from sin and devoted to seeking his own honour (Isaiah 6:3). He is a God of peace not of confusion, his actions are characterized by peace not disorder (1 Corinthians 14:33). He is righteous and just, always acting in accordance with what is right and is himself the final standard of what is right (Duet. 32:4). God is jealous for his divine glory and honour and seeks to protect it (Ex. 20:5). God is wrathful, he intensely hates all sin (Ex. 32:9-10). There are many more of God’s attributes we must understand and display as we devote ourselves to the study of His word.
However, imitating God is not a call to work out our own righteousness. It will take the power of God to live like God, He knows this that is why he has given us the Holy Spirit. In Romans 8:11, Paul says “And if the Spirit of him who raised Jesus from the dead is living in you, he who raised Christ from the dead will also give life to your mortal bodies because of his Spirit who lives in you.” The primary role of the Holy Spirit in the life of the believer is not for signs and wonders. He came to empower a life of daily faithfulness and obedience.
In John 14:26, Jesus promised his disciples “But the Advocate, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in my name, will teach you all things and will remind you of everything I have said to you.” Again in John 16:13, he told them, “But when he, the Spirit of truth, comes, he will guide you into all the truth. He will not speak on his own; he will speak only what he hears, and he will tell you what is yet to come”. Jesus in these verses wasn’t talking about a subjective knowledge which comes through dreams and visions. No, the Holy Spirit after his coming inspired the word of God to be written, which is useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting and training in righteousness, so that the servant of God may be thoroughly equipped for every good work (2 Timothy 3:16 & 17).
God’s will for you in 2018 is living a life of faithful obedience empowered by the Holy Spirit. This will require a daily intake of his word and a life characterized by ceaseless prayers and seeking to reflect his character through your actions and proclaiming his goodness to those who do not know him. Paul’s instruction to the saints in Ephesus holds true for us: “Be very careful, then, how you live—not as unwise but as wise, making the most of every opportunity, because the days are evil. Therefore do not be foolish, but understand what the Lord’s will is” (Eph. 5:15-17).
And as you live this life of faithful obedience, “give thanks in all circumstances; for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus” (1 Thess. 5:18).
Happy New Year