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1 John 2:17 – And the world is passing away, and the lust of it; but he who does the will of God abides forever. (NKJV)

Today’s question reaches far beyond just our effort to determine God’s Will. It should be a question that becomes an automated filter for everything in our life.

Far too often, we are concerned with not “crossing the line” into sin, so we want to know where the line is. Or we are trying to figure out what’s best for us personally first. Often times we just act impulsively and go with our emotions and immediate desires without ever thinking of anything else. We need to learn to have a mindset of “what will bring God the most glory?” about every thought, every act, every word and every decision. So as you meditate on today’s question, realize that it is much farther reaching than the context of this study.

Bible study, prayer and meditation are the hard work of knowing God’s Will. And therein lies the problem: it’s hard work. That’s why it seems so elusive to many Christians. Let’s review what we have learned so far. When trying to determine God’s will:

  • First off, does God’s Word contain a plain and direct answer to your question or circumstance?
    • You have to diligently and regularly search God’s Word and do the hard work of finding out God’s revealed, written Word (2Tim 2.15; Acts 17.11)
    • If you find a direct and clear answer, then it simply boils down to a matter of obedience; simple to understand, frequently not simple to actually do. (1 John 5.2; James 1.22)
    • A few examples of this might be:
      • Can I lie if it is for a “good” reason? No (Colossians 3:9)
      • Can we sleep together if we’re engaged and in love? No (Col 3.5; Heb 13.4)
      • Is it okay to gossip for any reason? No (Matt 12.36; Prov 17.9)
      • My employer treats me bad, do I still have to work hard? Yes (1Thess 4.11-12; Col 3.17; 1Pet 2.18-19)
      • Is it okay to treat some people better than others based on their social status or income? No (James 2.2-4)
  • If there is no direct answer in the Bible, how do you know God’s Will for the “gray areas” (those things the Scriptures don’t address plainly or directly)
    • This is the idea of “working out your salvation with fear and trembling” (Philippians 2.12)
      • Working hard to know God’s Word, praying for understanding, asking the Spirit for guidance
    • Ask yourself “is this really necessary?”
      • Meditate on Hebrews 12.1; is there “extra weight” involved that could be thrown off?
      • Based on your decision, will it matter in 2 weeks or two months or in eternity? Will you still be suffering consequences in 2 years or 20 years?
    • How would Christ respond?
      • Walk as Jesus would walk; choose, speak and decide the same way the Lord would in your situation (Col 1.10; 1Thess 2.12)
    • Is it worthy of my epitaph?
      • Determine how you want your life to end up, will this decision help you reach that result, or hinder you?
    • Will others be drawn to Christ or turned away?
      • Will you’re family, friends, co-workers and those viewing you’re life be drawn closer to Christ or become less interested in God by your decision? It is important for us to make decisions that will make the use of our time to fulfill God’s purpose (Col 4.5)
    • What is the most edifying decision I can make?
      • Is any choice edifying? If yes, is one choice better than another and bring more glory to God? (1Cor 10.23)

Today’s question that helps us in determining God’s Will is:

How will God receive the most glory?

This question takes patience and effort because there may be many possible answers. The more important God’s glory becomes to us, the more effort and diligence we will apply to contemplating it. As SELF is mortified (put to death) in our life, the way will be clear for us to filter our life instinctively through God’s eyes instead of ours.

We develop a natural instinct to want to do just enough to be in “the club” (Christianity); and get away with as much as possible without crossing the line and get booted from “the club”. Consider these common questions that betray this mentality:

  • How much sexual contact can we (an unmarried couple) have and not be sinning?
  • How much can I “fudge” on my taxes and not be cheating?
  • Do I have to give 10% on my gross or net income?
  • How short can my skirt be and not be immodest?
  • Is profanity okay if those words are commonly accepted?
  • Is it okay to watch “tasteful” sex scenes in movies if we are married?

The list of these types of questions could go on and on. The questions themselves are not the issue… they betray a heart trying to embrace a LESSER good that robs God of His deserved glory. The maturing Christian will have thoughts more of this nature as they grow in the Lord:

  • God will be most glorified through our purity and self-control.
  • Honesty and integrity are signs of a Spirit-controlled person and God is honored by our concern to obey the laws of those He has placed in authority over us.
  • I will give as much as possible with a cheerful heart because it will bring glory to the One who saved me from my sins and is the Giver of everything I have.
  • I will honor Christ with my modesty and purity; anything that might in anyway be inappropriate or cause another to lust after me is not going to be my choice of clothing.
  • While no one around me will condemn me or think I am doing anything wrong, I know that God is glorified the most when the Word of God becomes my criteria for language, not societal acceptance. The tongue reveals the contents of the heart.
  • I want my marriage to be pure and holy, bringing glory to God by protecting and honoring the sanctity of my heart and eyes.

These statements come from a mindset of “how can God be most glorified?” rather than “what can I do and not break the rules?”. The Bible is very clear on this attitude:

1 Corinthians 10:31 – Therefore, whether you eat or drink, or whatever you do, do all to the glory of God. (NKJV)

WHATEVER we do…. not just “church stuff”; everything. God can either be glorified or dishonored by anything we say or do or think. When God is glorified, there may be times when another available choice represents an opportunity to bring GREATER glory to Him.

There is never any finer reason or motivation than
to bring God the greatest amount of glory possible.

God’s glory is a higher consideration than simply not “crossing the line” into sin, especially when our standard of sin is determined by being “better than the world”, instead of being developed using the standard of Jesus Christ. Understand me here… if our mindset is to “not cross the line” of sin, then it is likely that our way of drawing that line is to draw it just short of how “bad” the world is. As the world gets worse, our line moves.

By changing our mentality from “don’t cross the line” to “how can God be most glorified”, we are not likely to drift into self deception about sin. God’s glory must be our goal and Jesus Christ our standard. You can NEVER go wrong by asking “how can God be most glorified?” and then deciding and acting based on that.

Father, help us to learn to filter our actions, words and choices through the motive of what will bring You the most glory. Teach us that there is no greater reason or purpose. In Jesus name we ask, Amen.

Contemplation: Are you guilty of having the “club” mentality (how little can I do and still be a Christian)? Do you find yourself thinking “how much and still not be sin”? Have you ever tried to develop the mindset and instinctive reaction of “how can I most glorify God”?

Application: “What will bring the most glory to God?” Conducting your life through this “filter” will very infrequently be the easiest choice, but will always be the most fruitful and fulfilling choice.

James 1:22 – But be doers of the word, and not hearers only, deceiving yourselves. (NKJV)

  1. What is the most obvious Bible truth you have learned today?
  2. What change in your life needs to be made concerning this truth?
  3. What specific thing will you do today to begin that change?