And be not conformed to this world: but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind, that ye may prove what is that good, and acceptable, and perfect, will of God.– Romans 12:2
We are asked to prove WHAT is that will of God. We need to know if we are in the will of God or out of it. Too many Born-Again Believers have been walking through life with a compass covered in all kinds of distracting metals. Their compass does not point to true north. We MUST be able to let go of anything that may throw our spiritual compass off. We MUST be able to SACRIFICE our desires to accept HIS.
We now look at the final part of this verse – “that good, and acceptable, and perfect, will of God.” Many interpret this verse in the sense that we are to test the will of God to see for ourselves that the will of God is good, acceptable, and perfect. I don’t see the harm in this at all. It makes complete sense for us to confidently know that God’s will is good, acceptable, and perfect. However, I believe this interpretation leaves out the word, what. The truth of the matter is that we won’t be able to see God’s complete plan in our lives. For sure, we may be able to look back on prior experiences and see how good, perfect, and acceptable His will was back then, but His will is SO BIG that I doubt we will be able to see just how good, perfect, and acceptable His plan really is in our lifetime. The way some people talk about the will of God, they make it seem as if God sets them down in a personal drive-in theater and broadcasts in HD quality picture with surround sound every little detail and decision they must make in their lifetime. Notice something in Proverbs 3:6. “In all thy ways acknowledge him, and he shall direct thy paths.” Does it say that He will show us our paths? Does it say He will broadcast our paths in HD quality picture with full surround sound? No! He will direct. We will not know completely what lies ahead for us. But he does! We will not know every little bend in the path and every little root that pops out of the ground to try to trip us, but there’s something we do know – the paths He’s directing for us are good, perfect, and acceptable. We must just acknowledge Him in all our ways. In other words, obey the preface to Romans 12 which Paul has laid out for us. Present your bodies a living sacrifice to God. Yes, we can try to test and show for ourselves if God’s will is good, perfect, and acceptable. But in Romans 12:2 this is stated as a FACT!
Let’s just look today at how GOOD God’s will is.
The Good Will of God
Firstly, God’s will is good in the sense that it is RIGHT and HOLY. “The LORD is righteous in all his ways, and holy in all his works” (Psalm 145:17). I remember thinking as a child, “when will I be old enough that I won’t have so hard of a time doing something right.” It seemed like no matter how hard I tried obeying my parents, I would still fall short. I had the idea that at some age, I would get old enough that I wouldn’t have so hard of a time doing what was right. The sad truth of the matter is that we will have to put up with this sin nature until the Lord calls us home. The world proclaims, “FOLLOW YOUR HEART!” “DO WHAT FEELS RIGHT!” “FOLLOW YOUR DREAMS!” These are UNSPIRITUAL, NATURAL words. Jeremiah proclaims in Jeremiah 17:9, “The heart is deceitful above all things, and desperately wicked: who can know it?” What feels right might be wrong! Did you get that?
What feels right might be wrong!
Our hearts are tainted by our sin nature! Our dreams may be flawed! I’m saddened to see church goers repeat the words of the world to young people. Too many Born-Again Believers have a Disney-land mentality and not a Heavenly-land mentality! It makes you feel good to tell a child, “Oh, you want to be an astronaut? Well go for it!” But why not train the child to seek out MEANINGFUL heavenly things? What if God doesn’t want the child to be an astronaut? God’s will is good. Our will is not. His will is holy. Our will is flawed. Do YOU have this mindset? I’ve heard parents gloat about how their child is now a college graduate when that child is living a lifestyle of sin! A college degree is not in itself honorable! What REALLY matters is if that college degree was in GOD’s plan. With our natural eyes we like to compare the outward appearance of lives. We will compare those with degrees to those without degrees – those with successful careers to those without successful careers – those with many skills to those with few skills. That’s not how God compares people. Are you following God’s GOOD will?
God’s will is not only good in the sense that it is holy and right, but it is also good in the sense that it’s good for us. It’s just what we need.
“Every good gift and every perfect gift is from above, and cometh down from the Father of lights, with whom is no variableness, neither shadow of turning.” – James 1:17
He knows exactly what we need. It’s GOOD for us! Now, let us not forget that the medicine our mothers gave us when we were children was good for us though it wasn’t what we wanted. It is wonderful to know that our Redeemer cares for us. He’s been through what we’ve been through. He knows what’s best for us though we might not like it. Still, we are to accept this fact – God’s will is good.
His hands work deep inside and He makes no mistakes
Though it seems I’ll crumble down and I can hardly stand the pain
But into His own design, He is molding me I know,
And though my world spins all around, the Potter’s in control.
I’ll trust the Potter’s hands, He knows what’s best for me
He has a perfect plan, these human eyes can’t see
He’s the Potter, I’m the clay, He knows just how much I can take
When I face the fire again, I’ll trust the Potter’s hands.