And be not conformed to this world: but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind, that ye may prove what is that good, and acceptable, and perfect, will of God. Romans 12:2
The common meaning of the word "will" is to determine or decide on the basis of the will. The will is the power of choice. There are three types of wills operating in the world:
O Lord, I know that the way of man is not in himself; it is not in man that walketh to direct his steps. (Jeremiah 10:23)
But chiefly them that walk after the flesh in the lust of uncleanness, and despise government. Presumptuous are they, self-willed; they are not afraid to speak evil of dignities. (2 Peter 2:10)
So I gave them up unto their own hearts' lust: and they walked in their own counsels. (Psalms 81:12)
Wherefore God also gave them up to uncleanness through the lusts of their own hearts, to dishonour their own bodies between themselves: (Romans 1:24)
But these, as natural brute beasts, made to be taken and destroyed, speak evil of the things that they understand not; and shall utterly perish in their own corruption; (2 Peter 2:12)
Deliver me not over unto the will of mine enemies: for false witnesses are risen up against me, and such as breathe out cruelty. (Psalms 27:12)
For a bishop must be blameless, as the steward of God; not selfwilled, not soon angry, not given to wine, no striker, not given to filthy lucre; (Titus 1:7)
And the Lord said, Simon, Simon, behold, Satan hath desired to have you, that he may sift you as wheat. (Luke 22:31)
The thief cometh not, but for to steal, and to kill, and to destroy: I am come that they might have life, and that they might have it more abundantly. (John 10:10)
And that they may recover themselves out of the snare of the devil, who are taken captive by him at his will. (II Timothy 2:26)
This is His predetermined plan for everything that happens in the universe. This type of "God's will" is fulfilled regardless of decisions made by man. It is His master plan for the world. The sovereign will of God does not require the cooperation of man. In the sovereign will of God, the outcome is predetermined. The sovereign will of God is written in His Word and is quite clear. There is no need to seek this will of God because it is revealed in the Bible.
Having made known unto us the mystery of his will, according to his good pleasure which he hath purposed in himself: (Ephesians 1:9)
His individual plan or will for each man and women
In order for God to fulfill His individual will for our life, it requires our cooperation. We have the power to choose whether or not we will walk in the "divine" or individual will of God for our life. It is this "divine" will, or God's will for us as an individual, to which we refer when we speak of seeking God's will.
Jonah is an excellent example of someone disobeying the will of God for their life.
"moral" will of God
Commandments revealed in the written Word of God which teach how believers should live. The individual and sovereign wills of God for man never conflict with the moral will of God as revealed in His Word. The following summarizes the various meanings of the "will of God":
Wist ye not that I must be about my Father's business? (Luke 2:49)
Jesus saith unto them, My meat is to do the will of Him that sent me, and to finish His work. (John 4:34)
I can of mine own self do nothing; as I hear, I judge; and my judgment is just; because I seek not mine own will, but the will of the Father which hath sent me. (John 5:30)
. . . O my Father, if it be possible let this cup pass from me: nevertheless, not as I will, but as thou wilt. (Matthew 26:39)
As children of God, we should resolve to bring our self-will into total submission to the will of God. It is there that we find peace, joy, spiritual strength and success.