Do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewal of your mind, that by testing you may discern what is the will of God, what is good, acceptable and perfect. Romans 12:2 (ESV)
THE ACCESSIBLE WILL OF GOD
It has been said that much of Christian living can be summarized by Romans 12. Those twenty-one verses describe what a “life of worship” looks like every day. But before Paul gets practical, he gives two theological banners which hover above the rest.
First, we are to live “in view of the mercies of God” (12:1). In other words, we will not remember to honor God while homeschooling or watching the news without remembering His merciful provisions. Neither will we remember to treat others honorably if we forget that “while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us” (5:8). We must keep God’s mercy in our line of sight at all times.
The second banner says that the “renewal our minds” is essential for discerning God’s will.
But what exactly does the “will of God” mean?
When we survey the Scriptures, we’ll notice that there are some complexities about the mountain which is named “God’s will.” Some parts have been anchored since before the foundation of the world. This bedrock, referred to as “Sovereign Will,” cannot be destroyed and stands fixed forever (Job 42:2, Psalm 33:11). God is working all things according this fixed will (Ephesians 1:11) and will bring about eternal good for those who love Him (Romans 8:28). Like a majestic mountain, His Sovereign Will is a beautiful sight and great source of hope for those who trust God.
Then, there are other parts of the mountain which, like hidden caverns, are never seen by human eyes. This “Hidden Will” lies deep within God’s being and belongs to Him alone (Deut. 29:29, Rom. 11:34).
Often when we consider God’s will, we are thinking about those fixed foundations or hidden caverns. But Paul, in Romans 12:2, is not referring to either.
Like an accessible mountain, there are rugged peaks, smooth plateaus and well-traveled trails which belong to all of God’s people - to those whom Jesus calls brothers and sisters (Mark 3:35). We become aware of this glorious terrain, or His “Revealed Will,” as we study His written word. His trail map for worshipful living guides us into everyday adventures like being a good neighbor (Lk 10), a helpful citizen (1 P. 2) or a committed spouse (Eph. 5, Prov. 5).
In order to see “life as worship”, we need to renew our minds with God’s written and inspired word, continually. Apps, reading plans and various translations make this very accessible in our day. Unfortunately, it can be easy to desire shortcuts for knowing the will of God and avoid the diligent work which is absolutely necessary. This is like a hiker who desires a mountainous adventure but who refuses to leave home. It’s impossible… and a little odd. God’s will for daily living is knowable and lies right before us if we are willing to take the time to explore.
May we continue to renew our minds daily with God’s word in order that we may live into the adventure that He has for us every day. Amen!