By Pastor Travis Lauterbach

People naturally want to know their meaning and purpose in life.

“What is God’s will for my life?” In other words, “what does God desire of me?”

These questions are quite common.

The answer I give is incredibly simple.

God’s will can be summarized as three things: believe in Jesus, strive to live a godly life, and live a prayerful life of joy and thanksgiving.

Those three summaries come from John 6:40, 1 Thessalonians 4:3, and 1 Thessalonians 5:18.

Now, a lot of people may not like that answer.

It’s easy to think of God’s will as a mystery that needs to be unlocked or revealed.

Many people want to know the specifics of every big decision that faces them in life. Does God desire that I marry Sally or Marcy? Does God want me to buy a green car or a yellow car? Does will me to choose this career or that career?

In this way, people can easily lock themselves into an anxious prison of uncertainty.

Yet, the Lord does give people a lot of decision-making freedom in life.

The wisdom to how this can be centers on God’s Word.

God desires that people be grounded and built up in Scripture.

Through His Word, God shapes and forms people on a solid foundation so that they may live lives that are well-pleasing to Him.

This is the basis of Paul’s message in Romans 12:2, “Do not be conformed to this age, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind that you may be able to prove what the good, pleasing, and perfect will of God is.”

Determining God’s will doesn’t so much consist of me trying to figure out some grand mystery.

It begins even before that.

As people’s minds are renewed by God’s Word, they see that He desires them to believe Jesus, to love God and love their neighbors, and to call upon Him with thanks and praise.

Everything else flows outward from these.

Travis Lauterbach is the pastor of Prince of Peace Lutheran Church located in the Falcon Ridge Business Park in Mesquite, NV.