There is the secret will of God and there is also the revealed will of God. What is the revealed will of God? The revealed will of God are those truths that he has clearly made known throughout his Word. In the year ahead, God’s will for you is really not that hard to discern; it has been clearly revealed.
“The secret things belong to the Lord our God, but the things that are revealed belong to us and to our children forever, that we may do all the words of this law” (Deuteronomy 29:29).
What will this new year, 2018, bring in your life? Will you get sick? Will you marry? Will you remarry? Will you move away? What will happen to your finances, children, dog; what is God’s will for your life?
In Deuteronomy 29:29 Moses reminds us that there are two categories to the will of God. First, he mentions the “secret things that belong to the Lord our God.” What are these “secret things” of the Lord? Well, they are all of things we just mentioned—what will I be doing in 5 years? 10 years? Who will I marry? Will I move away? Will I get sick? The secret things are known only to the Lord. We do not live in that stratosphere; we are not privy to those ordained, providential details that the Lord has planned. So when it comes to these “secret things,” we really don’t know what the Lord has planned for us is in 2018.
Yet, we can say with great confidence that the Lord’s will in the year ahead is crystal clear. In this same verse Moses says, “But the things that are revealed belong to us and to our children forever, that we may do all the words of this law.” There is the secret will of God and there is also the revealed will of God. What is the revealed will of God? The revealed will of God are those truths that he has clearly made known throughout his Word. In the year ahead, God’s will for you is really not that hard to discern; it has been clearly revealed.
In 2018 the Lord’s revealed will is plain in areas like: To not murder anyone (even in the heart);, to worship regularly on the Lord’s Day; to do good to your neighbor; to honor your parents; to not be jealous of your friends good-looks or wealth or athletic abilities; to leave your addictions behind (alcohol, pornography, gambling, over-eating, etc.); to put down your phone and invest in relationships; to tithe and honor the Lord with your spending; to exercise; to stop using profanity; to pursue Jesus in the Word and prayer; to shepherd your children and grandchildren; to stop grumbling, complaining and talking negatively about people; and to work on your marriage.
These are just a few of the truths already highlighted in the “revealed Word.” Too often we become enamored and fixated with trying to figure out the “secret things” of God instead of focusing on what God has already revealed and made plain. With that in mind, I would like to suggest just two rather enormous truths that are God’s will for you in 2018:
- The Lord desires you to grow in holiness. 1 Thessalonians 4:3 states, “For this is the will of God, your sanctification…” Yes, this verse is talking about sexual temptation, but the application can be made to all areas of our lives. God is holy, so therefore his sons and daughters should also be holy. When we become a Christian, we are reborn; we are new creations. However, this is not the stopping place in the Christian life. We are to grow in the holiness of Christ. This year God’s will for you is to abide in Jesus; to turn to him; to put to death sin by the power of the Holy Spirit; and to walk with God.
- The Lord wants you to find your joy in him. In the midst of great struggle, turmoil, conflict, Nehemiah exhorted: “Go and enjoy choice food and sweet drinks, and send some to those who have nothing This day is holy to our Lord. Do not grieve, for the joy of the Lord is your strength.”This year God’s will for you is turn to Jesus and find your joy in him.
The “secret things” will providentially play out in our lives, but the key to living is to find our contentment and daily joy in Jesus. This is God’s will for you to embrace in 2018.
Robby Grames is a minister in the Presbyterian Church in America and is pastor of Colfax Center PCA in Holland, Iowa.