God’s Hidden and Revealed Will

by Kyra Riley Daniels

Should I take that job? What city does God want me to live in? Would God be pleased if I date that person? Life today presents us with so many options. Gripped with anxiety and fear, I sit under a pile of possibilities. I find myself paralyzed when weighing the pros and cons for one good option after another. As Christians, we are inclined to seek God’s will for guidance in these situations. But, when don’t we receive a clear sign from the Lord, we may become frustrated or discouraged, wondering if God even cares that we are lost in the fog of life. However, understanding that God’s will is both hidden and revealed can help us make wise decisions and trust that He will always bring about His glory through whatever path we take.     

Scripture identifies the will of God as both hidden and revealed. Deuteronomy 29:29 states, “The hidden things belong to the Lord our God, but the revealed things belong to us and our children forever, so that we may follow all the words of this law” (CSB). At this point in redemptive history, Moses, who was the deliverer for the Israelites, had given the people of God moral, civil, and ceremonial laws. He described these commands as things God specifically wanted them to follow. But, Moses also acknowledged that there were things pertaining to God’s will that were unknown. God’s hidden will refers to what He has secretly decreed from eternity past. In His infinite knowledge, the Lord knew all that would come to pass. In His sovereign power, He has ordained events, and nothing happens outside of His hand. In His providence, which means His rule, God continues to actively string everything together for His good purposes.

We don’t know the hidden will of God. We cannot see into the future. These events belong to the Lord’s wisdom alone. Most times, we cannot tell what God wanted for our careers, hobbies, spouses, or trips until they come to pass. When we reflect on what happened and how He used it, we see the Lord’s will. Since God is the Creator of all, He conceals His plans according to His desires and His care for us. We are finite creatures and cannot fully understand the Lord’s ways. The weight of such knowledge would overwhelm us. God conceals to protect us. I once heard a friend tell his four-year son about the death of a loved one. The details and the complexity of the tragedy were hidden, but my friend’s decision to conceal that information came from a place of love and care for his young son. Similarly, God’s hidden will is not to restrict us but to shield us and to encourage us to trust in Him decision by decision.

God’s revealed will is His word to us. Through Scripture, God has provided us with instruction on how to live a pleasing life unto Him. As we saw in Deuteronomy 29:29, His revealed will is His law. Psalm 19:8 says, “The precepts of the Lord are right, making the heart glad; the command of the Lord is radiant, making the eyes light up” (CSB). His law is a light to us in darkness and comfort in distress. There were many laws given throughout redemptive history, but Jesus summed them up into two commands: “love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, and with all your mind” and “love your neighbor as yourself” (Matthew 22:37-40 CSB). Jesus called the former one the greatest commandment. Through any job opportunity, relationship, or city, we should strive to love God with our hearts, souls, and minds. We can freely make decisions based on the wisdom God has revealed to us.

The commands to love God and our neighbors seem simple, right? But, they do not come easy to sinners like us. We naturally rebel against God’s will and define our own paths. We do not love God and people with our decision-making. But, through our faith in Jesus Christ, the Holy Spirit will equip us and help us find pleasure in seeking the Lord’s will for our lives. With the desire to honor God and be a blessing to others, we will experience an unshakeable joy. Whether our decisions end in success, failure, or hardship, we can be sure that God continues to see us as His beloved children, and He is with us always.  

Let us praise God that His plan of redemption, which was hidden in eternity past and revealed in Scripture, was accomplished. We were introduced to the Savior in Genesis 3:15, and with each covenant and point in redemptive history, we came into a deeper revelation of who the Savior is. This progression culminated in the coming of the Eternal Son. The Son of God came in the person of Jesus of Nazareth. He took on flesh and was obedient to the law of the Lord. He has revealed God to us and fulfilled His plan. Ephesians 1:9-10 declares, “He made known to us the mystery of his will, according to his good pleasure that he purposed in Christ as a plan for the right time ​— ​to bring everything together in Christ, both things in heaven and things on earth in him” (CSB).

Through His saving work, Jesus has reconciled us to God so that in every situation, we could be transformed into His image. We can give our life decisions to Jesus, knowing that He will shape all for our good. So then, let us not be discouraged or anxious when we face difficult decisions. Seek to love the Lord and others in every choice. And, let us live according to the glorious revelation of Jesus, for this is the will of God.   

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