As I was preparing for yesterday’s sermon from Ephesians 5:15-17, I did a little word study on what it means to “understand the will of the Lord.” Essentially, all I did was search through the Bible for passages that directly or indirectly talk about God’s will for his followers. I didn’t have time to include this in my sermon so I thought I’d give them to you here by way of observation. Maybe it will be helpful to someone.
I may have missed some but here are a few of the key ones that I found:
- In the immediate Ephesians verses we can conclude that God’s will includes submission (5:21-33; also the example of Jesus in the Garden), gratitude (5:20; also 1 Thess. 5:18) and making the most of time (5:15-16).
- I also noticed a nice congruity of Romans 12:1-2, “that by testing you may discern what is the will of God, what is good and acceptable and perfect” with Ephesians 5:9-10, “(for the fruit of light is found in all that is good and right and true), and try to discern what is pleasing to the Lord.”
- 1 Thessalonians 4:3 – Our sanctification is the will of God, especially related (in context) to sexual sin. I found this chapter a helpful cross-reference because the Ephesians 5 talk a good bit about sexual sin and then the will of God.
- Lastly, suffering is the will of God for his followers (1 Peter 2:15, 3:17, 4:19). With all the good things we seek from God’s will, we must not forget the hard ones that are also good.
I hope that serves you.