GOD’S WILL AND OUR WORSHIP
By Dr. Clay Hallmark
Senior Pastor at First Baptist Church, Lexington, TN. President of the Tennessee Baptist Convention (2021-2023)
I am regularly asked by church members and others a question that goes something like this: “Pastor, I am having a hard time understanding God’s will for my life. I have prayed for God to reveal His will for my life, but so far, I have nothing. What can I do to know God’s will for my life?” This is a good question and an even better discussion for a child of God.
What is God’s Will for My Life?
You may have experienced a similar thought or question. Perhaps you have been sitting in a worship service or alone with God and prayed, “God, what is your will for my life?” only to leave this time of worship frustrated. Wouldn’t it be much easier for us if God just sent us a text message or DM us on social media? Maybe God could send someone to where we are, like an Old Testament prophet, to directly give us an “utterance” from the Lord. Yet, it has been my experience throughout many years of ministry that God does not work this way. Also, I have learned that we have missed the point.
Often, we are guilty of asking the wrong question or praying the wrong thing. Here is what we pray, “Lord, show me your will for my life!” When we pray this, we regularly already have how we want God to answer that prayer, don’t we? We can sometimes be very presumptuous about the will of God for our own lives long before we ever pray. We do not usually come away from our time of worship with answers as to God’s will for our individual lives because we are missing the point.
What God is Interested In
God is interested in His will being done in and through our lives. Did Jesus not teach us to pray for His will in Matthew 6:10, when He said we are to pray, “Your kingdom come. Your will be done on earth as it is in heaven (CSB)”? So, our prayer focus and worship are often “misplaced” when it comes to seeking God’s will. Rather than pray, “Lord, show me your will for my life,” we need to change our prayer focus to this: “Lord, show me YOUR will!” This prayer changes everything. Why? Because we only find His will for our lives as we first discover HIS will.
Seeing God’s will be done “on earth as it is in heaven” is the key to understanding how God wants to work in and through our individual lives and churches. When we seek God’s will and His work around us and discover where and how He is at work, we understand precisely what we should be doing personally. God wants us to be involved in His will and work in this world.
Here is the good news: God is already at work accomplishing His will all around us. Are you looking for it? Can you see it? Will you join Him? This week, as you worship, seek God’s will first as a priority in your life. Jesus taught us this principle in Matthew 6:33, saying, “But seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness, and all these things will be provided for you (CSB).”
Dr. Clay Hallmark
Dr. Clay Hallmark began serving at First Baptist Lexington on February 1, 2016. Currently, Dr. Hallmark is in his second unanimously elected term as the President of the Tennessee Baptist Convention and is the past Chairman of the Tennessee Baptist Missions Board. He also serves on the Board of Trustees and Regents at Union University, as well as on the Board of Trustees at Carson Newman University. Dr. Hallmark holds the Doctor of Ministry degree from the New Orleans Baptist Theological Seminary (96), a Master of Divinity degree from Beeson Divinity School at Samford University in Birmingham, AL (92), and a Bachelor of Arts from Union University in Jackson, TN (89).Dr. Hallmark is married to Leslie, who is a native of Lexington, TN, and have two grown daughters.