Christians who are wondering if they are still living according to the will of God have His Word to tell them.
Sometimes it would be difficult for Christians to know if they are living under God's will or not, most especially if they're just starting their faith journey. On the other hand, some people have been on their journey for quite some time yet can't distinguish if they're still living out the salvation that God has given them.
It is important for Christians to carefully examine themselves as indicated in Matthew 6:21 which says "Wherever your treasure is, there the desires of your heart will also be." Apart from that, Christians are instructed to guard their hearts as it directs their life (Proverbs 4:23) and the Lord looks on the heart more than one's outward appearance (1 Samuel 16:7).
Living Under Flesh
Despite some Christians had accepted Christ, they tend to still live in the flesh. Apostle Paul indicated in his letter (1 Corinthians 3:2) that some people could not still accept God's will for they still live in jealousy and conflict. According to Christian Today, Many Christians nowadays were unaware that they no longer following God's instructions. People can go to church, participate in the ministry, or generously give tithes, but not follow God's will.
In Acts 5:1-11, two early Christians named Ananias and Sapphira sold a piece of property and claimed to have given the entire profit to the apostles while keeping some of it for themselves. Peter rebuked them for this offense against the Holy Spirit, which resulted in their death.
Cornerstone Presbyterian Church Pastor Billy Haines concluded in his sermon that it's evident that Luke wanted people to believe that God himself was responsible for their deaths. He said that Ananias and Sapphira served as a reminder of the gravity of sin and the holiness of the Holy Spirit both then and now.
Haines indicated that people might be tempted to think their sin was out of greed but the major problem was their attempt to conceal their greed. In other words, he said that deception, rather than greed, was the main problem. The pastor noted that they concealed their wickedness and made an effort to present a phony picture of moral living to the church.
Through the Bible story, he indicated the dangers of living a double life among Christians which include pride, fear of man, shame, passivity, and lack of accountability. In this way, people would know in which areas they should reflect to know if they're living a double life.
According to Haines, pride would let many Christians fooled themselves to project an image of righteousness rather than walking in faith and repentance. He mentioned that despite being saved by grace, people tend to stray away from the truth and live in false righteousness. In the story of Ananias and Sapphira, Peter had given them options to sell or not to sell. Despite that, they presented themselves as generous people to others but it was not the truth.
Futhermore, the pastor explained that Ananias and Sapphira must be aware of their sins but held on to their lie because of shame. He urged Christians to put their sins into light as soon as possible for it will be more difficult for them to confess and repent if they will hold it longer. That's why the pastor mentioned that it's important for Christians to have personal accountability partner who would pray for them and rebuke them.
In his article entitled "The Pattern Among Fallen Pastors," Del Ray Baptist Church Lead Pastor Garret Kell wrote common things he observed among pastors who had experienced moral failure. He wrote that they were aware of their tendencies to sin but still didn't choose to have personal accountability. In the story, Haines pointed out that Ananias and Sapphira might have transparency with each other but instead of helping one another out of sin, they both suffered the consequences of their actions.
Living Under The Will Of God
American Theologian John Piper wrote in an article that in God's perspective, the purpose of human life was to worship God as stated in Romans 12:1-2. He said that people need to worship God with all their minds, hearts, and bodies.
To further understand the meaning of the term "will of God," he said that there were two different meanings indicated in the Bible, the one meant God's sovereignty and the other one pertained to God's command. So, to know when Christians lives under the will of God, these things must be evident in their lives:
The Christian Obeys God's Word
Christians believe that Scripture is inerrant and could be used for instruction, reproof, correction, and training in righteousness (2 Timothy 3:16-17). Furthermore, Jesus said that anyone who keeps His word loves Him (John 14:23-24).
A Christian Bears Fruit
One prominent parable that Jesus shared during His time on earth was the Parable of the Sower (Matthew 13:1-22). He referred to the good soil as people who had heard His words and understood them. Jesus clearly stated that this type of soil "produces a crop, yielding a hundred, sixty, or thirty times what was sown."
He also indicated in John 15:4-5 that people who remained in Him as their vine will bear fruit. Apart from Him, people can do nothing.
Christians Receive Protection and Provision From God
There were many miracles in the scripture that showed how Jesus healed, fed, and protected Christians who had put their faith in Him. Though being a Christian doesn't mean being exempted from storms and challenges, it's evident that Christians will have protection and provision in many ways (Psalm 91).