Take a moment to reflect upon this phrase: If it’s the Lord’s will…
Now ask yourself, when was the last time you included God in your decision-making, or plans?
Are we, as parents and grandparents, setting the example of praying for and discerning God’s will in our daily lives? If not, why not?
Teaching our children to diligently seek God’s will in their lives will take more than casually adding the phrase, “if it’s the Lord’s will” to our prayers.
Many of us (me included) can run around aimlessly if we are not intentional in seeking God’s will. Instead of saying: we are going to do this, or buy that, or go there, etc., we need to be sure that we are prayerfully asking God for His wisdom, His leadership, and His direction in our lives. This doesn’t come naturally, especially for those of us who are extremely independent and like to do things our own way, and in our timing.
Eight months ago we listed our house for sale by owner. Now, in my finite way of thinking, I certainly can’t understand why our house hasn’t sold, yet. After all, I prayed for it to sell. And it makes perfect sense to me for this to happen (yesterday!). And in my prayers, I did include “if it’s your will, Lord…,” but did I really mean it?
I know in my heart that God truly knows what’s best for us and I also know that His timing is often not the same as ours. God is all-knowing and all-loving.
When praying for God’s will to be done, we need to remind ourselves and our children that the outcome of our personal desires and prayers is always for His glory and for our good, no matter what the outcome.
Amazingly, I read the following Scripture this morning during my devotional time.
“In him we were made heirs, having been predestined according to the plan of him who works out everything in conformity with the purpose of his will, in order that we, who were the first to put our hope in Christ, might be for the praise of his glory”(Ephesians 1:11-13).
We rarely know God’s will ahead of time, nor fully understand it later. However, I’m so thankful that God does give us some absolute principles in His Word, which express His perfect will. Here are just a few (to share with your kids/grandkids).
God’s will is…
…for none to perish, but for all who believe in His one and only Son, to receive eternal life (John 3:16)
…to be set apart for His glory, by living a life that pleases Him
Living to Please God
“It is God’s will that you should be sanctified: that you should avoid sexual immorality; that each of you should learn to control your own body in a way that is holy and honorable, not in passionate lust like the pagans, who do not know God; and that in this matter no one should wrong or take advantage of a brother or sister. The Lord will punish all those who commit such sins, as we told you and warned you before. For God did not call us to be impure, but to live a holy life. Therefore, anyone who rejects this instruction does not reject a human being but God, the very God who gives you his Holy Spirit” (1 Thessalonians 4:3-8).
“And so, dear brothers and sisters, I plead with you to give your bodies to God because of all he has done for you. Let them be a living and holy sacrifice—the kind he will find acceptable. This is truly the way to worship him. Don’t copy the behavior and customs of this world, but let God transform you into a new person by changing the way you think. Then you will learn to know God’s will for you, which is good and pleasing and perfect” (Romans 12:1-2).
…to confess and repent
“ If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just and will forgive us our sins and purify us from all unrighteousness” (1 John 1:9).
…to forgive as we have been forgiven
“Forgive us our sins, for we also forgive everyone who sins against us. And lead us not into temptation’”(Luke 11:4).
“For we are God’s handiwork, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do” (Ephesians 2:10).
This is just a starting point for knowing God’s will for our lives. Dig into Scripture with your kids/grandkids—to know and live out God’s will. This summer set a goal as a family, to read through the entire New Testament. Take time to discuss the many ways Jesus and His disciples sought after and lived out God’s will in their lives. The Bible mini series is also available to watch through Netflix.
Living an intentional life that pleases God is what we desire. Jeff and I offer a faith-at-home ministry called Covenant Heirs to churches and their families. The ministry’s goal is to encourage and help equip parents and grandparents to intentionally pass down their faith in Christ to their children and grandchildren.