Religion will tell you what you need to “do” to stay or get into God’s will. However, it isn’t your behavior that gets you into God’s will; it is your faith or what you believe that does.
Your behavior is proof you already know and are experiencing God’s will.
“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, KJV)
Knowing that God’s will is good, acceptable, and perfect is what God desires for all of us to experience and walk in. When we experience God’s goodness, it assures our hearts that He has accepted us, and it is His perfect love that brings us to maturity in Him.
Notice Paul wants believers to “prove” to themselves that God’s will is good, acceptable, and perfect. Let me make it clear. Paul is not asking believers to try to prove to God that they are walking according to His will. This is a big misconception about this passage.
When I attended Bible School, we were taught God had three wills we need to aspire to, His good, acceptable, and perfect will. I believed this for a number of years until the Holy Spirit corrected my misunderstanding. The Holy Spirit helped me see that God’s will was something to experience and trust in. It was not something I had to try to reach by my performance.
Truth is, as hard as I tried to be good and holy enough to get into the perfect will of God, at that time, I never really knew if I had made it or come up short again. I was utterly confused! Was I in the good will of God or His acceptable will? I really had no clue how to know if I had reached His perfect will or not.
As you can imagine, this didn’t give me much peace at all.
The apostle Paul wasn’t describing three types of God’s will
He was using the words good, acceptable, and perfect to describe what it is like to know and experience His will in your life. This also fits with why Paul used the word “transformed” when he encouraged us to renew our minds with God’s Word. That transformation is all about experiencing or “proving” God’s will, which is good, acceptable, and perfect.
It changes us on the inside first then manifests in how we live and walk in life.
When people experience God’s will, their lifestyles and behaviors sync with God’s heart, and they live in union with Him. Moreover, His attributes and character traits become ours. Paul refers to this as the fruit of the Spirit, which is love (Galatians 5:22–25).
One day, the disciples asked Jesus what they must do to fulfill the works of God. Jesus replied by telling them all that was needed was to believe in the One who sent Him (John 6:28–29).
You can tell by how the disciples asked Jesus the question that they believed they had to qualify through some sort of good “works” program, for God to deem them eligible to do His works. Jesus gave that answer simply to help them understand they can’t qualify themselves for God’s service.
Only God can do that when they believe in Him.
The point here is that God’s will isn’t something “we do” to become qualified. The will of God is someone we believe in. It is our faith in Jesus; He qualifies us.
Your knowledge of God should bring assurance to your heart that God’s will for you is always good, and you will always be acceptable to Him. His perfect love will transform you.
God’s will isn’t about what you do for Him, but what your heart receives from Him.
The only way you can prove that God’s will is good, acceptable, and perfect is by faith/trust in who He is to you. Like Jesus taught His disciples, if you want to do God’s will/works, you must believe in the One God sent.
The verses below show us that God is good, and Jesus has made us acceptable to God. They also demonstrate that God’s love is what perfects us. The good, acceptable, and perfect will of God isn’t what we do, but what we believe He has done for us.
“Taste and see that the Lord is good. Blessed is the man who trusts in Him.” (Psalm 34:8, KJV)
God wants us to know by experience He is a good God.
“By faith we have been made acceptable to God. And now, because of our Lord Jesus Christ, we live at peace with God.” (Romans 5:1, CEV)
We are acceptable to God because of our faith in Jesus. You can’t make yourself acceptable to God. Only Jesus can do that, and He has.
“There is no fear in love; but perfect love casteth out fear: because fear hath torment. He that feareth is not made perfect in love. We love him, because he first love.” (1John 4:18–19, KJV)
As we grow in our knowledge of God and what Jesus accomplished for us in His death, burial, and resurrection, our hearts experience an abundance of grace and peace. That is God’s will for you!
“Grace and peace be multiplied unto you through the knowledge of God, and of Jesus our Lord.” (2 Peter 1:2, KJV)
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This story is published in Koinonia — stories by Christians to encourage, entertain, and empower you in your faith, food, fitness, family and fun.