Knowing the will of God

Can we Know the Will of God?

Can we know the will of God or is it a great mystery that no one could ever understand?

Some claim we simply cannot know or understand God or His will. They use this to excuse away all kinds of things with religious sounding words and phrases, which do not really line up with the Bible.

One of the favourites religious people use is, ‘You never know what God is going to do…’

When people don’t get answers to prayer, others say in very religious sounding tones, ‘Well now, God must have a reason which we could never really know or understand, it’s a great mystery to us’

Or you may hear things like, ‘No one can fathom God, He is so mysterious’
Or even simply, ‘No one can know the will of God’

When it comes to subjects like healing or people suffering or even dieing young, we have been taught to accept that there is some mysterious divine reason ‘why’, but we can never really know or understand it!

Who said?
Why do we accept these phrases and ideas?
Just because some human being tells us we cannot know or understand ‘why’ does not make them right! What are they basing that claim on? Who says THEY know what they are talking about?

There are those that claim we cannot know the will of God in areas like healing. People say things like, ‘well now, maybe it is not God’s will to heal you…’. Those who are sick hear this and then get confused and wonder, thinking that maybe God wants them sick.

It is amazing how those who claim we CANNOT know the will of God use this idea to push a NEGATIVE side to God! (In other words, since, as they claim, we can never know God’s will, obviously He doesn’t want to heal you!)

How could they draw that conclusion, since out of their own mouth they just claimed that we cannot know the will of God?

Wouldn’t it be just as easy to say that since we can never know God’s will, maybe He DOES want you healed? But you never hear that one. The idea of not knowing God’s will is always used to keep people sick and bound, presenting a negative view of God in the process.

In other words what they are saying is we cannot know the will of God in the positive (ie that it IS His will to heal you), but they have no problem quickly accepting that it is NOT His will to heal!

If you went to these people who claim we can never know God’s will and said to them, ‘it’s NOT God’s will to heal me’, they would all nod and agree and sympathise, but if you went to them and said, ‘I know it IS God’s will to heal me,’ they would object and pull out their religious sounding line that you can never know God’s will!


Just because something sounds incredibly religious does not make it true!


People have a way of packaging lies into very religious sounding phrases, and because it sounds so ‘deep and profound’ we all nod our heads and agree. Not everything that ‘sounds deep’ actually is! Sometimes things that sound real deep and religious are a complete pack of lies and religious jargon which are diverting people away from the truth.

When some one arrives on the scene who claims we CAN know God’s will in these issues, instead of people getting excited because they see that now this doesn’t have to remain such a mystery, they get upset, because they would rather hold to their ‘sacred religious cows’ even if they are incorrect, than hear the truth which the Bible presents about the subject.


Who came up with the whole idea that God’s will is a mystery we can never understand anyway? Is that the view the Bible presents?


If we are going to teach something in church, we had better have a good reason for saying it and claiming it is true!

The church is supposed to teach the Bible and things that are in line with the Scriptures, so really when it comes down to it, what really matters is: Is the idea that we can never know or understand God’s will in line with the Bible or not?

Did that idea come from God and the Word of God or is it just man’s mixed up theology which has become so ingrained into our thinking that it has come to be accepted as true, even though it is not?

What DOES the Bible teach?
CAN we know God’s side? Or is it just a complete mystery to us?


Think about this. Do you KNOW beyond a shadow of a doubt what the will of God is in connection to SIN?


Most people will answer that without even blinking! They know that God is against sin!

If I asked you if it was God’s will for you to sin, would you answer, ‘Well now brother, God’s will is a mystery we can never know’

I really doubt it! I am sure that anyone who knows anything at all about God will say without hesitation that sin is NOT God’s will.

Well that seems to be a contradiction to me!

The same people that readily claim we can NEVER know God’s will because it is such a mystery, will quickly admit they know God’s will in the area of sin. They know it is NOT God’s will that a person sin!

Why are they not consistent? Why don’t they also claim we cannot know God’s will in that area?

It seems like the line that we can ‘never know God’s will’ is really a ‘cop out’ line that people pull out when it is convenient because they want to explain away something!


Let’s look to the Bible on this issue of the will of God:

One of the common verses people use to try to prove that God’s will is a mystery to us is 1 Corinthians 2:9:

1 Corinthians 2:9

:9 But as it is written: Eye has not seen, nor ear heard, Nor have entered into the heart of man The things which God has prepared for those who love Him.”

People pull this verse out and say, ‘there you see, the Bible says we can never know, because no eye has seen or ear heard what God has prepared…’

This is a classic example of taking something out of context and making the Bible fit into your own ideas! We need to see what the writer says here in context instead of just pulling our a phrase.

Lets see what the next verse goes on to say…

1 Corinthians 2:9-10

:9 But as it is written: Eye has not seen, nor ear heard, Nor have entered into the heart of man The things which God has prepared for those who love Him.”
:10 But God has revealed them to us through His Spirit. For the Spirit searches all things, yes, the deep things of God.

Many get stuck on verse 9 and do not read it in context with verse 10.

Verse 10 starts with a ‘but’. In other words he is showing that the thought from verse 9 is not yet finished.

But what?

‘But God has revealed them to us through His Spirit.’

God HAS revealed them to us. Does that sound like it is still a mystery?

Something that HAS been revealed is not hidden any more. It is not a mystery!

Then why do people STILL claim it is all a mystery that we can never know?

What has God revealed to us? If you read this together with the previous verse, verse 9, God has revealed to us the things which we cannot see or hear with our own natural eyes or ears. The things which we cannot understand in and of ourselves, concerning what God has prepared for us, He has revealed to us!

Instead of this verse trying to say that we can never know these things, it is actually trying to say that God has revealed them to us, in other words we CAN know them.

Yes our natural minds in themselves cannot figure out or understand the things of God, BUT they are revealed by the Spirit TO US. So when we receive what the Spirit is showing us, we can know.


Let’s consider some other truths the Bible says about the same issue:

Ephesians 1:9

:9 having made known to us the mystery of His will, according to His good pleasure which He purposed in Himself,

Here we see in Ephesians that He HAS made known to us the mystery of His will.

Maybe God’s will USED to be a mystery, but according to the New Testament that mystery has been revealed to us! A mystery that is made known is no longer a mystery!

Notice the ending part of that verse, ‘… according to His good pleasure which He purposed in Himself…’

In context with God making His will known to us, it talks about ‘His good pleasure’. In other words it is God’s pleasure to make known to us His will. It pleased Him.

God didn’t want His will to remain a mystery, He WANTED us to know and understand it! That is why He revealed it to us. (Remember the previous verse we looked at said He has revealed it to us by His Spirit)


Here’s another one:

Ephesians 1:17

:17 Therefore do not be unwise, but understand what the will of the Lord is.

We are specifically instructed here to know the will of the Lord. That must mean we can! A connection is made between being wise and knowing God’s will. DO NOT be unwise, BUT understand what the will of the Lord is. So if you do not understand His will, you are unwise.

Knowing God’s will makes you wise

Paul said the following to Timothy:

2 Timothy 3:15

:15 and that from childhood you have known the Holy Scriptures, which are able to make you wise for salvation through faith which is in Christ Jesus.

Here Paul shows that the Scriptures are able to make you ‘wise’ for salvation. This begins to give us some insight into WHERE we will find the will of the Lord revealed. If knowing the will of God is connected to being wise, and knowing the Scriptures will make you wise, then it follows that knowing the Scriptures and knowing the will of God are the same!


Where is God’s will found?

In His Word!


You can learn about a person’s will and desires by what they say and talk about! Well the same is true for God, you can learn about His will and desires by seeing what He has said. We have His WORD recorded in the Bible.

God’s WORD reveals to us God’s WILL
The Word of God IS the will of God

The problem is not that we ‘cannot’ know the will of God, instead it is that people either do not know the Bible or they do not want to ‘hear’ what the Bible is saying to us. The Word of God reveals the will of God concerning things like salvation, sin, healing etc.


Did Jesus want us to be confused or uncertain about the things of God?

Jesus Himself said something very interesting along this line that we need to look at:

John 15:15

:15 “No longer do I call you servants, for a servant does not know what his master is doing; but I have called you friends, for all things that I heard from My Father I have made known to you.

This is Jesus speaking. He does not leave me the impression that the Father is holding back or wanting to leave us not understanding Him.

He says, we are no longer called servants of God, but friends

But He does not leave it at that. He specifically gives us THE reason why He doesn’t want to just calls us servants anymore, but friends.

Jesus said that a servant, ‘…does not know what his master is doing…’

Then He says, ‘I have called you friends…for all things …I have made known to you.’

The very reason He gives for making us His friends is to let us in on some things that we previously could not know as servants! The reason He gives for us being friends is because He wants to make things known to us. (specifically ‘all things that I have heard from The Father’ – that covers a lot of ground!)

:15b ..because I have given you knowledge of all the things which my Father has said to me (Bible in Basic English)

I believe what Jesus said above what people say or teach today.

I believe Jesus is a good authority to look to on anything concerning God! Jesus taught that we are no longer supposed to be ignorant or in the dark, but that we are to be coming to a place of understanding our Father’s plans and will


He gave us the Spirit so we could KNOW things:

John 14:26

:26 But the Comforter, which is the Holy Ghost, whom the Father will send in my name, he shall teach you all things, and bring all things to your remembrance, whatsoever I have said unto you.

Jesus does not leave the impression that we are supposed to be confused about or uncertain of the things of God. He has made known to us the mystery of His will. We can know the will of God concerning healing and other things.

Next time you get uncertain and unsure about God’s will to answer your prayer in an area, and the thought comes to you that you cannot really know God’s will in that area, resist the thought and remind yourself, ‘Yes I can know His will. He said He has revealed it to me. I can look to the Word of God and the Spirit of God to know what God has for me’

These verses we have briefly looked at show us that we CAN know God, His will, His plans etc.

They are not to be a complete mystery to us. We can walk in what is revealed to us. The Word of God is part of that revelation brought to us by the Spirit of God. What we see in the Word of God about God we can be confident about and speak of in terms of certainty.

This article, along with others by the same author can be found at

Unless otherwise stated, all scriptures used are quoted from the New King James Version of the Bible.

(C) 2008 Exceeding Faith Ministries International & O. Walton.

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