What is God’s Will for Me
Jesus gave His disciples a promise and a warning in readings this week: the arrival of the Spirit and the coming persecutions. The Spirit would testify about the Lord and empower them to spread the Good News. Yet, the result of evangelisation would cause hatred, excommunication and even martyrdom. While the opponents of the early Church acted out of ignorance, they could not stop a divinely powered movement.
Christianity was controversial and it can still cause scandal if its message and power are made manifest. In John 16, Jesus calmed the anxieties of His followers. Yes, He would leave them but, in His absence, He would send them the Spirit which would focus on sin, righteousness and judgment. Jesus defined sin as disbelief, rejection of the Son of Man. He pointed to righteousness, not as the acts of a faith-filled person, but on the will of God. Finally, He spoke of judgment; the forces of evil would be condemned. These three topics added together fit into an outlook that saw God acting towards the dawn of His Kingdom.
How does the Spirit help us with our faith and our hope in a future life with God?
The week’s readings finish with that famous promise that “whatever you may ask of the Father in My name, He will give it to you”. Many people misinterpret this promise Jesus made in John 16:23. It doesn’t mean that God will give them what they want, when they want it. Unfortunately, such a view reduces God into a force we can manipulate. This is hardly the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ.
Read in context, Jesus promises intimacy and, along with such closeness, divine favour which depends upon the will of the Father. This last clause is the caveat, for it demands an answer to the question, “What is God’s will for my life?” Do we seek His will or our own self-interest? If we seek what God wants, not what we want, the Lord promised He would speak to us clearly, for He prays to the Father on our behalf. Ultimately, the question of God’s will comes down to a more fundamental question: do we love God more than ourselves?
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