Chapter 13:18-25 (ESV) - Pray for us, for we are sure that we have a clear conscience, desiring to act honorably in all things. I urge you the more earnestly to do this in order that I may be restored to you the sooner.
Now may the God of peace who brought again from the dead our Lord Jesus, the great shepherd of the sheep, by the blood of the eternal covenant, equip you with everything good that you may do his will, working in us that which is pleasing in his sight, through Jesus Christ, to whom be glory forever and ever. Amen.
I appeal to you, brothers, bear with my word of exhortation, for I have written to you briefly. You should know that our brother Timothy has been released, with whom I shall see you if he comes soon. Greet all your leaders and all the saints. Those who come from Italy send you greetings. Grace be with all of you.
Question to consider: How do we know if we are doing God’s will?
I hope you have enjoyed the Book of Hebrews as much as I have. Although it has its moments of being difficult to understand and contains warnings that are difficult to hear, we can tell from today’s passage that it was written out of love. Ultimately, the author wants us to experience God’s grace and peace, and this can only be done through the blood of the eternal covenant which Christ has shed for us.
When people say they wish to know the will of God, what they are really saying is that they want to know their personal future so they can feel good about the big decisions they are to make in their lives. God is not in the habit of revealing this information, and usually when people proclaim that God “told” them to do something, they are attempting to read some kind of sign, personal thought, or preference as a direct revelation from God. Instead, we know that the will of God is to do “that which is pleasing in his sight, through Jesus Christ.”
The apostle Paul drives home this same point in 1 Thessalonians 4:3-7, “For this is the will of God, your sanctification: that you abstain from sexual immorality; that each one of you know how to control his own body in holiness and honor, not in the passion of lust like the Gentiles who do not know God; that no one transgress and wrong his brother in this matter, because the Lord is an avenger in all these things, as we told you beforehand and solemnly warned you. For God has not called us for impurity, but in holiness.”
So we know we are walking in God’s will if we continue to do those things that help us to grow in our faith and help others to do the same. How does this help us with the big life decisions? If we are walking closely with God and are able to discern the righteousness of the decisions before us, most of our decisions will be obvious. In the case that we face multiple righteous options, we can safely choose the one that God has given us as a preference. David writes about this very subject in Psalm 37.
A final thing to note is that the author understands the importance of prayer. Because Jesus serves as our great high priest and gives us the opportunity to make our requests known to God as our own heavenly father, let us remember this wonderful privilege and engage in it often.
Dear heavenly father, thank you for revealing your character in scripture so that we can trust you to keep your promise of salvation through Christ. Help us to delight in you and desire to grow in holiness and use the gifts you have given us to bring you glory. As we face important challenges in our lives, give us wisdom to make righteous decisions. Amen.