Following God’s will is obviously part of leading a pious life. However, many Christians feel this is easier said than done. Is everything that happens, good and bad, part of God’s will? If bad things are not God’s will, why do they happen? How can we discern God’s will for us, personally. In this short book, Leslie Weatherhead gives his insights into these questions.
He begins by discussing God’s will from three different perspectives:
- God’s intentional will
- God’s circumstantial will
- God’s ultimate will
God’s intentional will is always good; for example, tragedy, illness and death are never God’s will for us. Adam and Eve were created to live eternally with God. However, sin came into the world and now affects all that we do and are. Because God allows us to suffer the consequences of sin, bad things happen. The world, the flesh and the devil can temporarily thwart God’s will. Even then, through His circumstantial will, God is able to bring good out of bad things. A person who experiences suffering may go on to grow in their faith, to reach out to others in similar circumstances, to found a program, write a book, or undertake other activities which turn that suffering into blessing. God’s ultimate will will always prevail. God is omnipotent, and His ultimate plans for our lives cannot fail. The Book of Revelation tells us that in the end all evil will be defeated and there will be no more “death or mourning.” (2:14)
Weatherhead’s advice for knowing God’s will? Know God. The more we worship, pray and study, the more we walk with Him daily, the more we practice our piety, the better equipped we will be to understand and do His will. Other suggestions include:
- Listen to our conscience
- Use common sense
- Seek good advice from friends
- Read great literature and history
- Heed the voice of the church
- Pray for “inner light”
This book was originally published in 1944 so some of the examples and anecdotes are a bit dated; however, I think most Christians would find it logical, easy to read and full of helpful thoughts and suggestions. I give it five stars!