Thursday, August 13, 2009

Discovering God's Will

I have the opportunity to speak with young men and women all the time who are trying to discern God's Will for their lives. It's one of the most common questions I come across.

Over the next week or so, I want to unpack this topic and see what God's Word has to tell us about God's Will.

READ 2 Timothy 3:14-17

God’s plan ensures that every believer reaches his or her maximum potential. He desires that His children live a certain way and make right decisions, so He accepts full responsibility for guiding them. In fact, He promises, “I will instruct you and teach you in the way you should go” (Psalm 32:8). However, our lifetime is not mapped out in a book that we read the day we are saved. Discovering God’s will is a daily process of trust.

We learn God’s will by reading His Word. Scripture provides a comprehensive guide for any situation. There we find rules and commands that will lead to our success, as well as principles for daily application. The Bible doesn’t detail every possible situation we might face, but its principles equip us to make decisions with regard to any and every circumstance we encounter. Studying God’s Word is the only way for a believer to recognize His will. We discover God’s will through circumstances.

The Lord is actively guiding every incident of our lives in order to stitch the incongruent “threads” together for our good. (Romans 8:28) You may find yourself in a valley, but remember that the valley is a time of growth. The growth you experience in the valley will allow you to experience the mountaintops. So understand that God has a plan for your life and that His desire is for us to trust Him and follow Him no matter what the circumstances may be.

1 comment:

  1. From what I've read here, you are focused exclusively on the Bible (and the interpretation of the bible by others) as the only way of knowing God's will. So I must ask you, sir, which is to be preferred, knowing God's will from direct revelation today or from indirect interpretation of what God revealed to others in other situations long ago?

    In Romans 10:17 we read, "Faith comes by hearing and hearing by the word of God". The majority of Christians do not understand that passage because our leaders have spent almost all their time with the Bible and very little with God; they know a lot ABOUT God, but do not KNOW God.

    Regarding the first section, "Faith comes by hearing", we can all agree (given the words of Jesus in Mt. 13 and Paul's words in Acts 28:26-27) hearing with one's physical ears is no guarantee one will get the message, believe in it and increase one's faith. For most people, they hear the words but don't get the spiritual message. This leads to the obvious conclusion that what's behind the words, the Spirit of God, is more important to our understanding then the words themselves.

    The second part of that statement in Romans 10:17, "Hearing [comes] by the Word of God", is almost universally interpreted as someone reading the scriptures. But as I've pointed out, how did Abraham (who lived between 2000 and 1500 BC) get his faith? He had no written scriptures to guide him, no Talmud (written in 500 BC) and no Old or New Testaments. So, that being the case, how could he get his spiritual hearing with no written word of God? The answer is simple: he heard God's living Spirit Word!

    My discovery of the answer to this seeming conundrum came through a strict interpretation and obedience to Christ's command, namely, that the Holy Spirit, NOT man, is to be our teacher concerning the truths of God (Jn 14:26; Jn 16:13). His apostles reinforced this, as we read in I Jn 2:27, "But the anointing which ye have received of him abideth in you, and ye need not that any man teach you: but as the same anointing teacheth you of all things, and is truth, and is no lie, and even as it hath taught you, ye shall abide in him."

    Abraham, as with all people of the east, have a long tradition of meditation and I am convinced, by my own experience in receiving the Living Word of God and learning to discern that "Good and acceptable will of God" that this is the foundation upon which a renewed church must be built. There are many passages which reinforce this fact: "Be still and know... God", "Meditate upon these things; give thyself wholly to them; that thy profiting may appear to all" (I Tim 4:15), "Meditate day and night" (Ps 1:2), "I will meditate also of all thy work, and talk of thy doings" (Ps 77:12), "They that wait upon the LORD shall renew their strength; they shall mount up with wings as eagles; they shall run, and not be weary; and they shall walk, and not faint" (Is 40:31).

    By God's revelation I meditate a minimum of one hour daily. Experience has taught me the wisdom of this, for it takes at least 3/4 of an hour to quiet one's mind.