1 John 4:7-11 – “Beloved, let us love one another, for love is from God; and everyone who loves is born of God and knows God. 8 The one who does not love does not know God, for God is love. 9 By this the love of God was manifested in us, that God has sent His only begotten Son into the world so that we might live through Him. 10 In this is love, not that we loved God, but that He loved us and sent His Son to be the propitiation for our sins. 11 Beloved, if God so loved us, we also ought to love one another.” NASB
What does God want for my life or want me to do in life is a question I hear frequently. In our text, the focus is “Love.” John tells us that love is from God and that everyone who loves is born of God and knows God. Then he says the same thing in the reverse order, everyone that does not love does not know God because God is Love!
There are two important things we need to consider in this passage. Love is ‘from’ God. The imagery I would like for you to consider is to seeing yourself standing before a Living Spring of water and seeing it burst forth from the earth. John was standing in the presence of God and declared, “Love is from God!” It literally pours out from Who He is! Then, in the next verse, he anchored that reality by saying, “God is Love!”
We must understand that God does not have love, He is love! I have water but I am not water. I have money (not much) but I am not money. I have knowledge but I am not knowledge. It is out of Who God is that love flows. The result of that flow of love is that we “know” God. The apostle insists that if we claim that we have love, others know that because we love. It is impossible to “know” God and not love. That is not up for debate, it is an eternal fact. We don’t have to pray about it, it is reality.
Therefore, if God is love, and love is from God, and I say that I know God, it is important to differentiate between “knowing about” and “knowing.” This means that I “know” Him intimately and personally. The word know means to penetrate. If we say that we know God, we are saying God has penetrated us and now lives in us. It is in that relationship and condition that we can truly love. Thus, the mark or identifier of a Christian is LOVE! Jesus said, “By this shall all men know that you are My disciples, that you LOVE ONE ANOTHER!”
Now to the title question and the often, frustrating pursuit of many believers trying to discover the will of God for their lives. I am amazed at how overly fascinated many become with discovering the will of God. That is good and bad. It is good that we want to know the will of God and bad that we make it almost a mystical thing.
In my years of Christian ministry, I observed the shock when people realize that the Will of God for their lives is often the obvious. I had a person insist that simply could not be because they believed knowing the Will of God was a mystical experience. They were convinced that God would never want them to do what they were most qualified for and the most comfortable doing. They were convinced that God would want them to do something that was not easily discoverable. Then, they would know it was the will of God, but the obvious, that could not be.
Somehow that view makes God weird and suggests that He is not our side. One person said, “If I say, I don’t want to go there or do that, that is exactly what God will want me to do.” Possibly, but I suggest that God is conditioning our hearts to want to do what He wants us to do. Therefore, people spend an enormous amount of time trying to discover where God wants them to go, what He wants them to do, and how they can do it. It sort of not seeing the forest because of the trees. We make the trees so tall we cannot see the forest and enjoy its beauty and benefit.
We become overly concerned with the minute and bog down in the details of the discovery. The reason is, we become so busy with seeking to know we do not see the obvious. I contend that before God springs something on you, He always prepares your heart. He causes you to want to and then asks, “Would you like to do this?” That’s God. He is not weird and certainly not sadistic. He wants to lead the heart and I contend that if we follow our hearts, we will discover the Will of God. He is always Leading our Hearts!
God walks us into it, and we do not have to be overly concerned with the minute details. We need to focus more on the Big Picture. Therefore, the question is “What is the heart of God for my life or your life? What is the desire of God for us?”
I want to address this more in the next devotional but until then, I say, go with God and He will go with you. Have a great day in Him!