“God does not want to function simply as an information center for our lives.
He wants to be involved in our lives in the most intimate of ways
through a relationship that revolves around faith and trust.”
—The Will of God by Joe Quatrone, Jr.
Amy was new to the faith and really wanted to do things right. She saw in 2 Samuel where David sought advice from the Lord: “Shall I go up? When the Lord said “Go up,” David then asked “Where should I go up?” Amy wondered how to apply that in her life. “Should I go up to the library?”
She really wasn’t surprised when she didn’t hear an answer! “And, she mused, “I would just go to the children’s section anyway to find books for my kids.” But oh, how should she seek God’s will? “I really want to know!”
Sam had been living God’s way for his whole adult life. “I memorized Proverbs 3:5-6 long ago and yet suddenly it hit me that I am relying too much on my own understanding and not trusting God enough. I need to change! I want to be ready!”
We use the four tools in a Christian’s toolbox: We pray “Your will be done, on earth as in heaven.” We study the Bible daily to listen to God about His will. We meditate on how to apply Bible principles to new situations that come at us. At critical junctures involving tough decisions we fast for His direction.
Our goal is to take on the mind of Christ (Philippians 2:5)—God’s higher way of thinking (Isaiah 55:9) based on unselfish outgoing concern for others. Caleb thought differently than the fearful spies. He followed God fully with his can-do attitude (Numbers 14:24).
We want to be so shaped by God’s revealed will in His Bible that we grow up to be mature sons and daughters in the family of God. That’s the most important way we fulfill God’s will.
We have “The right to become children of God … not of the will of man, but of God” (John 1:12-13). Jesus Christ has predestined us to adoption as sons “according to the good pleasure of His will” (Ephesians 1:5).
So, God, should I have toast or muffins with my eggs for breakfast this morning? Well, we know not to have ham.
Which cell phone should I buy? The Bible doesn’t even vibrate on that one, but we know the proverb says the wise foresee trouble ahead and avoid it (Proverbs 22:3). So we are careful to not carry our phone near our bodies because studies are warning about consequences sure to come.
Since marriage is easily the second most influential choice a person makes after baptism—and it would be best after baptism so you could marry a believer and be equally yoked (2 Corinthians 6:14)—the story about Abraham sending his servant to find a mate for Isaac shows the importance of seeking God’s guidance in the choice and development. If she’s willing to pour water for your camels, she just might be the one!
Jobs shape our lives in a huge way and surely we should seek God’s guidance in that. Our vocation in this life could play a big part in preparing us for whatever service God has in mind for us in the Millennium. Nothing is more inspiring in the Bible than reading about how God guided the circumstances of Joseph to becoming #2 in charge of Egypt.
So should you throw in the Bounty because the closest you get to management is cleaning their office at night? Character development is still the key factor in preparing for rulership under Jesus Christ’s coming administration. We should do what we do with all our might (Ecclesiastes 9:10) and look to God for promotion (Psalm 75:6). Being in His Kingdom is going to trump anything in this life!
In the late ‘70s I was happily working at the National Association of Counties in Washington, D.C. in their Graphics Department. One unsuspecting day the owner of the Northern Virginia Sun newspaper came in and offered me a job. Better pay, more responsibility, easier time off—a no-brainer and I didn’t bother asking God. I ended up in three months of misery until the day I was fasting for God to show me what to do to rectify the situation. When I arrived at work, I was fired! For a day I was in total shock for being canned for the first time in my life. But then I was ecstatic with spiritual joy when I realized God had just answered my fasting prayer! In quick succession followed related events that set me up across the country in a wonderful growing environment.
I believe it was Joe Quatrone, Jr. who also said “The will of God is a living relationship between God and the believer.” Today is a good day to start!
I’d love to have you share with us what you’ve learned about discerning God’s will.
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