The Riches OF GRACE
ďhath appeared to all men.Ē Titus 2:11
Robert W. Reed
ďWherefore be ye not unwise, but understanding what the will of the Lord is.Ē
+ Discerning Godís Will In Our Life +
†††† One of the greatest challenges in life is to find the will of God and then follow it. The quest to discover Godís will should be the desire of every Christian. It is no small matter, for God has a plan and purpose for all His children, and it behooves them to find out what it is and stick to it. The question is often asked, ďWhat is the secret to finding Godís will?Ē There are so many decisions in life to make and so many voices, views, and opinions that solicit our attention, but, in the midst of this troubled world, with all the uncertainty, God leads His people (Psalm 23:2). If one is outside of Godís will it is only confusion, disappointment, and frustration. We can only be pleasing to God if we walk within His will. As someone has rightly said, ďYou canít know the will of God until you know the God who wills it.Ē
ďI had rather be in the heart of Africa in the will of God
than on the throne of England out of the will of God.Ē
†††† In this article I will try to convey ways to discern Godís will. I believe every Christian desires to know Godís will in his life. The basic outline to follow is that of the late E. J. Pace, the cartoonist for the Sunday School Times, in illustrating Godís guidance. I have never read the sermon but I liked the outline. According to Ephesians 5:17, it is not only possible to understand the will of God, but is commanded. It is important to know Godís will because only God knows the future (Isaiah 46:9-10).
The Principles of Godís Word
†††† According to II Timothy 3:16, Godís Word is our guide book in every area of life, ďAll scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness.Ē The Bible settles most, if not all of our decisions. God will not lead us contrary to His Word. We must be governed and ruled by the Scriptures and not by the thoughts and opinions of men. His truth will never lead us in a wrong direction, Psalm 119:105, ďThy word is a lamp unto my feet, and a light unto my path.Ē Godís mind is revealed to us in His Word according to I Corinthians 2:16. There are many things written in Scripture that we do not have to pray about, just obey. We do not have to seek guidance on what is commanded or forbidden in the Word of God.†††† We are told to have a single eye in Luke 11:34-36. That is, have our eyes fixed on Christ and His kingdom. In Romans 12:2, we are told that as we are transformed, our minds are renewed and we will begin to think like God and be able to know His perfect will, ďAnd 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.Ē According to I Thessalonians 4:1-12, the key to Godís will is holiness. There is no way to please God and walk in His perfect will while living in rebellion. The will of God is centered around obedience (I Thessalonians 5:19).
The Promptings of Godís Spirit
†††† This inward convicting of the Holy Spirit is another way in which God speaks to His people. Please keep in mind, that the Spirit of God will never lead us contrary to the Word of God. The promise of the Spiritís guidance is in John 16:13, ďHowbeit when he, the Spirit of truth, is come, he will guide you into all truth: for he shall not speak of himself; but whatsoever he shall hear, that shall he speak: and he will shew you things to come.Ē The Spirit of God teaches (I John 2:20, 27), leads (Romans 8:14), and even intercedes when we know not how to pray (Romans 8:26-27). The Spirit commissioned Peter to preach to Gentiles in Acts 11:12. It is the Spirit that led Paul into Macedonia (Acts 16:6-9). It was the Spirit of God that caused the church at Antioch to separate Barnabas and Saul for mission work (Acts 13:1-2). The believer must have ears to hear as God speaks to him in a still small voice (I Kings 19:12). As a skillful musician is sensitive enough to know when a discord is played, we must be in tune with Godís Spirit.
The Providences of Godís Ordering
††† †God also speaks to His children through outward circumstances. He does bring about events, associations and circumstances in our lives. If we combine outward circumstances with Godís Word and Godís Spirit, it gives proof of Godís leading. But, you cannot trust circumstances alone, for circumstances can only confirm Godís will. If God is leading, He will open doors. A clear example of this is found in Genesis chapter twenty-four. This chapter, one of the longest chapters in Scripture, is devoted to divine guidance. It gives us the account of how Abrahamís servant, after much praying and seeking the Lord, set out on his journey to another country to find a wife for Isaac. Please read the chapter carefully and notice the ordering of Godís providence in every detail. God led him directly to the right place at the right time. The Lord worked out every detail to bring about His perfect will in their lives.
†††† The Lord prepared a pathway for Israel in the wilderness (Numbers 9:15-23). God guided His people with a cloud by day and fire by night. God knew the wilderness, for He created it and led Israel safely to the Promised Land. The Ark of the Covenant went before them to seek out a resting place. They took their journey only when the cloud was taken up from the tabernacle and they pitched their tents only when the cloud abode, whether it was days, months, or years. They had guidance every step of the way, for their God never left them alone.
†††† In Proverbs 3:5-6, we have this promise that God will direct our path if we will only trust Him, ďTrust in the LORD with all thine heart; and lean not unto thine own understanding. In all thy ways acknowledge him, and he shall direct thy paths.Ē There is protection, provision, and peace in Godís will. If a child is to know the will of his father and a servant to know the will of his master, we can rest assured that our Heavenly Father will not leave us in darkness and confusion, especially after going to the trouble of saving us.
†††† In closing, I would like to share a story I once read that sums up the will of God: ďA certain harbor was treacherous and dangerous. In order for a certain captain to guide his ship safely in the harbor he had to use three lights as his guide. When all three lights lined up as one he knew it was safe to proceed, then and only then, would he be able to bring his ship safely to port.Ē In the case of finding Godís will, the three lights are, the Word of God, inward convictions, and outward circumstances. Please note that not only must these three things line up, but the order must be right. If we obey this principle, we can always proceed safely in Godís will. Amen.
ďThe meek will he guide in judgment: and the meek will he teach his way.Ē† Psalm 25:9
"Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ, and thou shalt be saved, and thy house.Ē† Acts 16:31
Victory Baptist Church
Pastor Robert W. Reed
14473 Bellingrath Road
P.O. Box 257
Coden, Alabama 36523