Knowing God’s will
This is the transcript (with little editing) of PCC morning sermon on 20 September 2009 by Ps Lim Jyh Jang. Any inaccuracy in transcription is the sole responsibility of me.
Apostle Paul is teaching us how to walk worthy of our vocation as Christians. We saw how we must walk in unity with the rest of the church, Eph. 4:1-16; how we must walk in holiness according to the new man, Eph. 4:17-22; how we must walk in love, Eph. 5:1-6; How we must walk in light, 5:7-14; how we must walk in wisdom, Eph. 5:15-21.
We saw in order that we walk in wisdom, we must walk circumspectly, redeeming the time for the days are evil. To walk circumspectly is to walk carefully, diligently. Paul does not stop there, he has just spoken of how the days are evil, and therefore we should redeem our time, but in order to reinforce what he is saying, he adds, wherefore be not unwise, but understanding what the will of the Lord is. This is our text, verse 17. That is to say, since the days are evil, do not become foolish or unthinking, but understanding what the will of the Lord is. The will of the Lord is the will of Jesus, which essentially is the same as the will of God since the Lord Jesus is the God-Man. We can appreciate why Paul is saying what he is saying in the context. He is instructing us to walk circumspectly, or carefully. How are we to walk circumspectly unless we know God’s will?
But this leads us to the question, what is the Lord’s will? This is a question that many Christians have asked for generations. It is a question many have attempted to answer in books after books. Each time I see a book on knowing the will of God, I am reminded of Solomon’s word in Ecclesiates 12, “of making many books there is no end; and much study is a weariness of the flesh” (Ecc. 12:12).
I am sure that some of these books have something to contribute to this subject. However, I fear that many sincere Christians today are still struggling to know what is God’s will for them, because of the lack of clarity on the subject, so that even after reading books after books, many Christians are still wondering, “What is God’s will for me?”
We want to consider briefly and simply what it means to know God’s will that we may understand God’s will as Paul teaches us to do.
Let us do so under three things.
1. What is the Lord’s will?
2. How to know the Lord’s will?
3. How to live according to God’s will?
So we have,
1. the definition of God’s will
2. the discovery of God’s will
3. the doing of the Lord’s will
Consider first, the definition of the Lord’s will, what is the Lord’s will.
Definition of God’s will
There are two ways of finding an answer to this question: what is God’s will? One way is to search the Scriptures for all the verses containing the references to the Lord’s will. I remember some years ago hearing a message on the Lord’s will, and what the preacher essentially did was to go through the Scriptures, find the phrase ‘the Lord’s will’ or ‘God’s will’ or ‘the will of God’, and build a sermon out of that. When you do so, when we look at the various verses that allude to the Lord’s will, you will discover that Paul was called by the will of God (Eph. 1:1, Col. 1:1, etc.), and you will discover that it may be God’s will that you suffer for well-doing (1 Pet. 3:17), that it is God’s will that you should put to silence the ignorance of foolish men by well-doing (1 Pet. 2:15), similarly you learn that it is God’s will to give thanks in everything (1 Thess. 5:18), it is God’s will for you to abstain from fornication for your sanctification’s sake (1 Thess. 4:3), moreover, you learn that God’s will is good and acceptable and perfect, and that you’ll be transformed by the renewing of your mind, if your would live according to God’s will and therefore prove that God’s will is good and acceptable and perfect (Rom. 12:1-2) However, I put it to you that if we simply read these verses, we will still not be clear as to what the will of God is. We will know about God’s will, but we will not know God’s will.
I believe that a better way for us to understand God’s will is really for us to think about what the term by itself means, and then to see what the Scripture has to say about the subject, whether directly or indirectly.
So, what is God’s will? As the word suggests, God’s will speaks of God’s intentions and delights. When we speak of a king’s will, we are refering to his intentions and delights, as expressed in his decrees and laws. When something is carried out according to the king’s decree, we say His will is done. When the subjects of the kingdom are required to keep the king’s laws, we say it is the king’s will for them to do so.
Now when we speak of the Lord’s will, the idea is the same. It is the Lord’s intentions and delights, expressed in the Lord’s decree and laws. So we speak of what God has ordained and what God intends for us to do. The Lord’s decrees, they are absolute, eternal, final and secret. They can only be kept by the Lord Himself. In the case of the intentions/decrees of the king in the land, he gets his soldiers and everyone else to carry out. But in the case of God’s intentions, God’s will, God’s decree, God Himself will carry out. On the other hand, God’s commandments are similar to the king’s laws in that they are published. So God’s commandments are published in His words, and they are to be kept by His people willingly. It pleases God that His people should keep the commandments and laws He has given willingly.
God’s decrees are secret to us, for He has not chosen to reveal to us what He has planned to do tomorrow. We may get an idea of what will generally happen in future, God has given us some prophecies, but He has not given to us specific details of what would happen to us individually. We would only know God’s secret will when it comes to pass. On the other hand, God’s precepts are made known to us. They are made known to us in the law, especially in the Ten Commandments. It is also made known to us throughout the Scriptures or the instructions that are given in the word of God constitute the will of God, because we believe that all instructions can actually be summarised in the Ten Commandments, sometimes not so directly, but it is all revealed.
We may, in other words, think of God’s will as being two-fold, comprising two aspects, that is the secret aspect, which we may call, God’s secret will or God’s decretive will. Then there is also the revealed aspect, which we may call God’s declared will, or His preceptive will. If you want to define it a little bit more accurately, and I believe some of us would be helped by thinking of it a little bit more accurately, then we would say that God’s will really just has these two aspects, His secret will on one hand, and His revealed will on the other hand.
The secret will would be God’s decrees until they are revealed. God’s revealed will is God’s precepts, that is the word of God, as well as His secret will that has been revealed in providence. So there is the secret part, not yet revealed, and there is another part that is revealed in the word as well as what is revealed in providence.
Now the Scriptures talk about these two aspects of the will of God in the famous verse, Deut. 29:29. This is the verse you must always recall when you think about God’s will. “The secret things belong unto the LORD our God: but those things which are revealed belong unto us and to our children for ever, that we may do all the words of this law.”
Now, secret things are God’s secret or decretive will; they remain secret until they come to pass by providence. As long as they are still secret, they are not for us to pry into. They are not designed for us to use to direct our lives until they are revealed to us by providence. When Paul speaks of understanding God’s will, I believe he is refering to what God has revealed to us, and what is revealed to us is especially in the precepts of God. That is what Moses is refering to when he talked about ‘that we may do all the words of this law.’
God’s will has another aspect which I mentioned, where the secret will is now revealed, so that we know that is God’s will for us. All these things, that are revealed, are given to us and to our children, that we may know how we may conduct ourselves before God. Paul requires us to know the preceptive will of God, especially after all, it is the preceptive will of God that defines that narrow path on which we are to walk circumspectly.
Of course, when we use the term, the will of God, we must understand that we are talking about not just a set of cold clinical laws. When we say law of God, we have the tendency to think, “Oh, it is just some do’s and dont’s.” But it is not just that. And that’s what the Scriptures talk about the will of God. When we talk about the will of God, we understand that these laws are for us to walk in the way that pleases God. It is God’s delight when we keep the laws. God is delighted. This is really how we ought to think about the law of God. It is a very good way of thinking about the law of God. It is the will of God, I should keep it. Because God is pleased and delighted when I keep God’s laws.
Some theologians speak of seven-fold will of God, and others such as Professor John Murray speaks of a three-fold will of God. He suggests that God has a desiderative will or a will of desire, which is distinct from the decretive will of God, or the preceptive will of God. According to those who hold this view, God can desire something which He has not decreed. So He can desire the salvation of the whole world including the reprobates, eventhough He decrees only to save the elects. With all due respect to Professor John Murray, I believe that such a view makes God contradictory. Indeed as Jonathan Edwards would put it, it would make God to be frustrated. Because God is not like men. Men desire to do something, and we cannot, we have no power. But God desires anything, it will come to pass, because He sovereignly is able to bring to pass all things. So I believe really that it is not helpful for us to think of a distinct will of desire. Rather, the Scriptures teach us that we are to think of God’s will in terms of His revealed will and His secret will—not in between. When the Scriptures talk about God’s desire, we must understand it anthropomorphically, that God sometimes speaks to us in the language of man, to tell that if we were to keep His law, of course He is pleased. It is not helpful for us to think of the will of God as having so many aspects as we confuse what to do when we want to try to know God’s will for our lives. I believe it suffices for us to understand this two-fold aspects of God’s will and apply ourselves to knowing the revealed will so that we may know how we may walk circumspectly.
So how do we know God’s will? Consider secondly, the discovery of God’s will.
Discovery of God’s will
As we mentioned, God’s will has two aspects, one secret and one revealed. In Deut. 29:29 we are taught that the secret will belongs to God; it is kept secret, it is not for us to use in our Christian walk. As such it is clear that it is not for us to find out what is God’s secret will, nor do we need to guess at all what is God’s secret will.
So for example, that you are in a courtship, and you are not yet married, you will not know that it is God’s will for you to get married. You will only know that it is God’s will for you to get married on the day that you exchange your vows with one another. For you see, it may be God’s secret will that you meet an accident on your way to your wedding, then you will never get married. Then it may be God’s secret will that you do not get married. Likewise, you will not know if it is God’s secret will for you to get the job that you have been interviewed for until the letter of offer comes to you. It may be God’s will that after the interview, a plane flies by and crashes into the building where you are supposed to work in. Then you know that it is not God’s secret will for you to work there, eventhough the interviewer says yes. So really it is not helpful for us to try to discover what is God’s secret will for us in regards to the future. In the first place, it is not God’s will for you to try to find out what God has decreed; otherwise, He will reveal it to us like the way that He sometimes did in the Old Testament times to the prophets. In the second place, we will not discover God’s secret will because God has chosen to hide it from us. Indeed if you exegete Deut. 29:29 in Hebrew it speaks of God actively keeping it from us. He does not want us to know about tomorrow. So if you are praying for someone who is very sick, you must not give impression that you know that it is God’s will for him to be healed.
Someone suggests that God’s will sometimes be revealed to you by dreams. You are going to visit someone who is very sick, and that night you dream, and then you know that it is God’s will that this person would be healed. Or you may be given a premonition that the person would be restored. I do not think so. I believe that God has withdrawn the supernatural revelatory gifts, along with the passing of the apostles. I know that some old theologians such as John Kennedy from Scotland wrote about how Christians who are walking closer to the Lord would know the secret of the Lord in the way that he may have a sense of what may happen. But never would we know God’s will. We may have a sense of it, perhaps. I asked Rev. Maurice Roberts about this, and Pastor Roberts said, “Dr Kennedy is probably walking much closer to the Lord because I have never experienced it.” Perhaps in the north up there, people go through much hardship and they walk so close to the Lord, they have much prayer, and sometimes the Lord impresses upon their minds concerning certain things that can happen. But never do we know God’s secret will, unless God specifically reveals it to us. And so I do not think that we should ever come to this idea that we know this and we can tell someone definitively that it is God’s will that you will be healed, and so on. It is not helpful to us to pretend to know the future.
Likewise I do not think that we should allow ourselves to be crippled of what may or may not happen tomorrow. Some of us function like that. Unless we are sure we will succeed, we will not take any risks. Like a young man who has been wanting to ask a young lady out, but he is afraid to call her for fear of being rejected. So he sits there taking a daisy looking for answer in ‘she’ll accept, she’ll not accept, she’ll accept, and finally, she’ll accept! and, oh! should I call.’ The word of God teaches us that we are not to worry about tomorrow. And not just about tomorrow, but later on. That is in the famous verse, Matt. 6:34. We are familiar with Matt. 6:33 but the next verse tells us not to worry about tomorrow. Tomorrow is in the hand of the Lord. And so we must make a decision based on what we know today, rather than on the speculations about tomorrow. That is what it means to seek God’s kingdom, to know God’s will today. So long our decision today is in accordance to God’s will, we do not really need to worry about what may come tomorrow. Tomorrow is in the Lord’s hand. On the other hand, we cannot bet on tomorrow turning out well, if our decision today is not based on what God has revealed to be His will for us today. So if we are making a simple decision, then do not say, “I do not worry about tomorrow.” No basis to say, “Tomorrow will turn out well, I do not need to worry about tomorrow.” The Lord says not to worry about tomorrow because that ‘do not worry about tomorrow’ is tied to ‘seek first the kingdom of God’ today.
God’s revealed will is given to us so that we may know how we may live before God today. How to discover God’s revealed will in a particular situation in our life? First of all, we have to read the Bible to understand what laws and principles relating to the situation we are in are revealed in the word of God. In the second place, we should read the book of providence. What is the book of providence? It is essentially the part of God’s secret will that has already been unveiled. You may think of God’s secret will as being a big book, and it is flipping. Every time it is brought to pass, it flips. So you can read it in that sense.
Thus, for example, if a young man wants to know if it is God’s will for him to court a young lady, what will he need to do? The worst thing for him to do is to ask God for a sign. Many years ago I had known a young man who was telling me he was not sure whether it was God’s will for him to court a young lady, and so he prayed, God, send me a sign. He looked out of the window, and he saw three or four yellow cars parked together in one line, and so he said, “Oh! It must be God’s will for me that I go, because it does not happen like that, I never see a row of yellow cars.” What should this young man have done? Really, He should have gone to the Scriptures, and then he should read providence. When he goes to the Scriptures, he must ask: “Does the Scripture forbid me to enter into the courtship?” Then he should read providence: “Does providence suggest that it is right for me to go with this lady?” So if this lady is not converted for example, of course the Scripture says no, you should not even start. And if providence suggests that this lady is already engaged to be married, then what do you do? Well, in that case, actually it happened. In the story that I told you, the lady was already engaged to be married. The young man saw the sign and he thought it was God’s will to try to win her over. Really, common sense would tell us, the revealed will by providence suggests that this lady is engaged, then we should keep away from her. Not now, at least not now.
Or conversely, consider a young lady contemplating whether it is God’s will for her to accept invitation of a young man to go out. Certainly if he is unbeliever then it will not be God’s will for them to enter into courtship, for the Scripture forbids unequally yoked relationships. Maybe it is God’s secret will in the end that they get married, but at the moment, providence and God’s word suggest that they should not enter into courtship.
I use courtship and marriage as examples, because in my experience this is an area that spurs young people to want to know God’s will. But the same principle applies to us in all aspects of our lives. Should we take up a job that has been offered? Then we must ask: “Does it involve working long hours away from family? Does it involve working on a Sabbath regularly?” If it is, then, no. Would it involve you in sinful entertainment? Then of course no, because the Scripture teaches us to flee fornication.
You are thinking of joining as a member of a church. The church is very warm in its fellowship, but theologically unsound, what do you do? Then you have to avoid it, because it is by the word that we are to be saved, we are to be sanctified. Or the church seems to be somewhat theologically sound, but the sermons are preached in a language that you do not understand, or the worship is conducted in a way that you cannot worship with clear conscience, or when you step into the church you sense that the church has a culture of worldliness, by the way of dressing, the way of talking, and so on. Then perhaps, no.
We want to make a decision based on what we know the word of God is leading you, guiding you to. Many of these situations are quite straightforward if you know the word of God. But what if it is not so straightforward? What if you have two job offers, both equally attractive? What if you have to decide on the two churches that you are going to be a member in and they seem to be about the same? What if you are married, and your parents decide to migrate and ask you to come along? How to decide in such situations? Providence seems to have opened various doors, and the Scripture does not seem to give clear indications insofar as the revealed will of God is concerned. In such circumstances I would suggest a seven-step strategy. I will give it to you very briefly.
First, commit to God. Proverbs 3:5: “Trust in the LORD with all thine heart; and lean not unto thine own understanding.” Proverbs 16:3: “Commit thy works unto the LORD, and thy thoughts shall be established.” How should you commit the matter to the Lord? In prayer, of course. What should you pray for? May I suggest, among other things, to pray for deliverance from self-delusion, from selfish and wrongful motives, for wisdom and spiritual eyes to see the teachings of the Scripture on the matter, for objectivity in thinking, for good counsel from godly brethren, and for the Lord’s intervention if you are beginning to be inclined to the wrong decision, etc. So, commit to the Lord.
Secondly, clear undesirable preconceptions. Prov 3:5 continues, “… and lean not into thine own understanding.” and Prov 3:7 says, “Be not wise in thine own eyes: fear the LORD, and depart from evil.” Times may have changed since the time of Solomon, but human heart is not. Is it not true that very often before we pray we have already made the decision, and after we make the decision we try to baptise our decision with a prayer. Interestingly I heard that also from Pastor Gao when he preached on the sermon on seeking first the kingdom of God. He says many Christians today—he is talking about the situations in China—are actually seeking the world, and then baptising their decision to seek the world with prayers and making it sound Christian. That is how often we are. It is important for us, when we begin to make decision, to clear any undesirable preconception detrimental to the seeking of God’s guidance. Therefore we must make effort to identify them, whether they exist in our heart; we must make a determined effort not to be influenced by them. Sometimes the decision that is right and pleasing to God may be the hardest one, or the one that goes against our personal inclinations.
Thirdly, consult the Scriptures again. God’s will is revealed in His word. So it is essential for us to keep going back to the Scriptures. I think it is good for us to go back to the Scriptures even if we are very familiar with the passage. Because sometimes we may, as we read again in the present circumstance we are in, realise, “There is something that I did not realise here, I did not see it then.” The spirit illumines your heart and mind, to enable you to apply the word to a particular situation. So it is good for us to refresh our memory. Go back to the Scriptures again, consult the Scriptures again.
Then the fourth step, compare the options. It is clear that some issues will pass through the third step, being matters of indifference. In such cases it is prudent for us to compare the options, to weigh the pros and cons. Be careful, do not make this step to be the only step in your decision making. But if it is employed properly it is not wrong for us to compare which option is most beneficial. In choosing a job, for example, it is not wrong to compare the incentives and the monetary benefits. But let us be careful also to weigh the spiritual aspects. Whether the job requires you to go for frequent travels, that take you away from church and family, would it afford you with greater opportunity for witness, etc.
Fifthly, confer with godly brethren. This, unlike the previous steps, is often neglected, particularly among self-sufficient men and women from our generation—indeed even among Christians. Pride will make it difficult to seek counsel from others. I know this by experience. We often make our decision first and then we ask. Sometimes it can be very painful for me as a pastor, it can be very discouraging when someone, making a decision, comes to you and asks you, “What do you think?” and actually, in the course of conversation, I realised the person has actually made up his mind. And when you realise the decision is not going to be the right one, you decide to counsel, and you are hitting against the wall, because the decision has been made. And then you realise your position there is simply to baptise the decision that has been made. Because if you disagree with it, then you are not a good pastor, you are not one who can emphatize and symphatize. Beloved brethren, take heed. The word of God teaches us that we ought to confer. “The way of the fool is right in his own eyes, but he that hearkeneth unto counsel is wise” (Prov. 12:15). Now I am not suggesting that you should come to me for all your decisions. Ask one another, go to your godly brethren. Go to someone with a different kind of persuasion than you are. Go to your elders. Talk about the issues, do not jump into conclusions before you confer.
Sixthly, check your conscience. Now this step is the most subjective step, which must not be applied alone. Sometimes a Christian says, “I have peace in my heart concerning my decision.” Well, this is the approval of the conscience. But we must remember that this must not be the only criterion if we are to seek God’s guidance to do God’s will. Conscience, we must remember, may be dull. Indeed, in my own experience, Christians who appeal primarily to peace of conscience are often making decisions lazily. The process may harden their heart against godly counsels, so they sin against the Lord in their decisions.
But now finally, concede to God’s overruling. After all the steps we must realise that God may still overrule. Prov 16:9: “A man’s heart deviseth his way: but the LORD directeth his steps.” If you commit your way to the Lord you will have the assurance that the Lord will not allow you to go out of the way; He promises that all things will work together for good to them that love Him. Sometimes you may make the wrong decisions, and it is not good for you, the Lord directs you back to that way. But then it does not replace our responsibility to seek the Lord’s guidance and making the right decisions; rather, it is a tremendous assurance that God will honour our desire to please Him. Therefore, difficult as it may be, let us concede to the Lord’s overruling when He closes our doors to a particular direction that we decided on, even after all the steps.
Here are the seven steps again: commit to the Lord, clear any undesirable preconceptions, consult the Scriptures again, compare the options, confer with godly brethren, check your conscience, concede to God’s overruling.
This, in a nutshell, is how we may know God’s will or seek God’s guidance for things that are not so straightforward. Will you, beloved brethren, sisters, and children, take note of these things. Seek to make godly decisions at the crossroads of your life. Take note that these things are important, but they are not the only thing in regards to knowing God’s will or applying God’s will. Remember that these things, these seven steps, are for you in the crossroads that you have to make, but you must know God’s will not only for that, but for walking in the path. Make no mistake, you need God’s will, really, day by day. So it is essential for you to saturate your heart and mind with the will of God.
The will of God affects us in mundane things. For example, in how we dress, does not the will of God teach us something? No, I am not saying that the will of God teaches us to dress like Talebans or something like that. But the will of God teaches us that we are to be modest, and we have to be decent, these are the standards on how we ought to dress, and so we should apply. If we are to be shaped according to God’s will, we will even be concerned on how we dress.
What about the kind of recreation we enjoy? Well, the word of God does not tell you about table tennis, or badminton, or bowling, and so on. But the principles are there. We are not to be addicted, for example. We are not to enjoy those games that cause bodily hurt and harms, and so on. Guidelines are there.
What about relationships between husband and wife? I was just reading a book on Christian marriage. The author paints a beautiful picture and says, the husband comes back from work and the wife is there cooking, it gets sweaty and hot, and the husband comes and hugs her from behind, what does the wife do? Turn around and say, “Would you mind? I am busy.” Is that typical? Well, wife, caught you there. What is the right way? The will of God of course will teach us that is not the right way. You know how the wife ought to love the husband and submit to the husband. The response should be in love. Otherwise the children would look at it and say, “Oh, this is the right way to behave to your husband.” And it will perpetuate. As I put it to you, many of us, husbands and wives, are behaving exactly like our unbelieving parents, because we observe them. We are rather to saturate our minds with the words of God, and so do the will of God.
Doing God’s will
Our last point is do the will of God. Paul says, “Be not unwise, but understanding what the will of God is.” It is very clear that Paul is not simply telling us to know the will in the very intellectual way. We can know and we will not do it, then it is no point. Paul would have us to be zealous Christians, no doubt. But zealous Christians with our mind renewed, and our life transformed with the renewing of our mind. We must not be zealous as Paul before his conversion, with a blind zeal, neither should we know a lot about the word of God but not doing it. You can argue about all sorts of theological points, you can know the difference between supralapsarianism and infralapsarianism, between covenant theology and dispensationalism, between Calvinism and Amyraldianism on the other side. We know all the differences of all these, and then suddenly there is something to be done, someone says, “Let’s give tracts,” and suddenly all the theologians disappear. That cannot be the case. It should not be the case. That would make us really cold as a cucumber, dead as a dead rotting fish, knowing a lot of things but not doing it. We must, beloved brethren, know the will of God, and do the will of God.
James says, “Pure religion and undefiled before God and the Father is this, to visit the fatherless and widows in their affliction, and to keep himself unspotted from the world” (Jas. 1:27) And the Lord over and over again teaches us that the mark of a true believer is not when he comes to Him and says, “Lord, Lord, we have done wonderful work in Your name.” The mark is whether you keep God’s will. That is what it means. When you think about the workers of iniquity, “Ye that doeth iniquity” basically are ye that live lawlessly, have no regard to the will of God. So beloved brethren and children, do the will of God.
Let’s conclude with a brief recap. We asked ourselves, what is God’s will? We saw definition. Essentially, God’s will has the revealed part and the secret part. The secret part is not for us, so do not shape your life based on the secret part, or try to have a sense of what the secret part is. But seek to know God’s will in His word and what He has revealed to us in providence. This is how we should conduct ourselves as Christians, we and our children.
Secondly, we asked how to discover God’s will. We noted that the main part of discovering God’s will is the Scriptures. Seek God’s will, and when it is something that is of a matter of indifference, or not so clear cut, make use of the seven steps that we highlighted. You may have your own steps but you need to have a strategy. Write it down somewhere, have a strategy in your life how to make decisions in difficult circumstances. And we reminded ourselves also that the will of God ought to shape us not only at the junctions of our lives, but it ought to shape us in our day-to-day walk. Therefore it is essential for us to saturate our minds with the word of God.
Finally we talk about doing God’s will. After all the knowing, the most important thing is doing. Otherwise we become hypocrites. May the Lord help us that we may do God’s will, with gratitude in our heart. Remember that Christianity is not a legalistic religion. Whatever you do, do it as unto the Lord. Do it out of gratitude and love unto the Lord, not simply for convenience, not simply to feel good, but so that God’s name might be magnified by your life. Because of all that He has done for you, because of all that the Lord Jesus has done for us. May the Lord help us.
O Lord, our gracious heavenly Father, we would like to thank Thee, for giving us the Scriptures by which we may know many things concerning how we are to live before Thee. In particular we thank Thee that Thou hath revealed Thy will to us in Thy word. And so we pray that Thou would help us indeed to be diligent students of Thy word, that our minds would be so filled with Thy word, that we may walk according to that narrow way that leads to life, and when we come to the junctions in our life, that we may know which way to take. O, give us grace, Lord, that we may be wise, for Thou hath given us a spirit of wisdom. So help us that we may live wisely, for Thine name’s sake, for we desire to please Thee with our lives. For we pray these things in the name of our Lord and Saviour, Jesus Christ. Amen.