Tuesday, October 4, 2016

Discovering God's Will

Chuckle: "Consciousness: That annoying time between naps!" 
Quote: When David Livingston was asked if he didn't fear that going to Africa (as a missionary) was too difficult and too dangerous, he answered, "I am immortal until the will of God for me is accomplished."

“Surely the Lord God does nothing, unless he reveals his secret to his servants the prophets" (Amos 3:7 NKJ). "Therefore, do not be foolish, but understand what the Lord's will is" (Ephesians 5:17 NIV).
Over my years of ministry, I have had endless questions about how to discover God's will for one's life. Let me begin with a simple statement: God is much more willing to communicate to us His will for our lives than we are to hear it, accept it, and act upon it. God often speaks but we aren't in the mood to hear (receive) or heed (obey). If you are a listening Christian, God speaks to you in several ways to reveal His will for your life:
Through His Word. The Bible, communicates the heart, mind, and will of God to us. We never have to question what God's will is if it is clearly communicated in His Word. "Your Word is a lamp to my feet and a light for my path" (Psalm 119:105 NIV).
Through prayer. Prayer should include both our talking to God and listening as God speaks to us. We should express our desires to God, but also listen for God to express His will to us. We should always pray for clarity concerning God's will in each and every situation. "I desire to do your will, O my God; your law is written on my heart" (Psalm 40:8 NIV).
Through the Holy Spirit. As a Christian, you enjoy the miracle of the Holy Spirit living within you. "Do you not know that your body is a temple of the Holy Spirit, who is in you, whom you have received from God" (I Cor. 6:19 NIV). This presence is that still small voice that guides your conscience to know right from wrong; gives you direction; comforts you in times of crises; and helps you interpret and understand God's Word.
Through people. Many times, in my life, a wise and respected Christian has spoken the words I most needed to hear to help me understand what God wanted me to do. That Sunday School teacher that influenced your life in so many ways is an example. God uses people for his purposes which include helping other believers grow and mature in their faith. "Plans fail for lack of counsel, but with many advisors they succeed" (Prov.15:22 NIV).
Through life's circumstances. Nothing happens to a Christian that is not according to God's perfect will or permissive will. God either causes it to happen or allows it to happen for a purpose. "And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose" (Rom. 8:28 NIV). We may have difficulty understanding how God can use even the worst of circumstances for our ultimate good, but God's Word says it's true. When difficult times come, ask: "God, what do you want to teach me through this experience?"
A funny, but revealing, story: "Flood waters forced a man onto the roof of his house. A rescue crew came by in a boat and offered to take him to safety, but he refused, saying: 'I'll be OK. I trust God to save me.' As the water continued to rise a helicopter crew offered to lift him to safety. Again, he said: 'No, thank you. God will save me.' The water continued to rise and the man drowned. In heaven, he asked God why he hadn't saved him. God replied: 'Who do you think sent the boat and the helicopter?'"
Love, Jerry & Dotse


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