Friday, June 3, 2016

The Will of God

Discerning the will of God. It seems to be the hot topic these days. With our sermon on Sunday about Ruth 3 and taking steps of faith and then our small group discussion last night centering on this very subject, I thought I'd take a minute to share my own thoughts on discerning the will of God.

I used to be the person who would run to Lifeway and find a book about whatever topic was the struggle of the day - worry, anxiety, relationships etc. There were too many of those books, and I quickly realized the "help" books were not helping and needed to be tossed. I found I had quite the collection! I wanted the books rather than THE Book to help solve all of my life's problems and show me the will of God for the day.

I believe our generation, now more than any previous generation, has gotten caught up in discerning the will of God. Jeremy and I were talking about this very thing last night with our small group, and I believe he is absolutely right about this. I paraphrase: Our generation has over-spiritualized discerning the will of God to the point that we have an extreme failure to launch and are paralyzed to make decisions. I have added in the paralysis because I believe that to be true as well. The question was asked last night: Is asking if this event/circumstance is the will of God a bad question? I will briefly share my response.

I absolutely think it can be a bad question. I don't think it is a wrong question. I think it can be a good question. Let me explain I think it's good in the sense that should a concern or situation come up in our lives we should absolutely seek the counsel of His Word, pray about it and seek the counsel of others. If one of those three do not line up with moving forward, then I believe the Lord is directing elsewhere. If they do, then move forward. It's the will of God. (Jeremy loves Kevin DeYoung's "Just Do Something".) I think it can be absolutely bad when we ask this question for every decision we make in life (I exaggerate, but you get it). We ask these questions so much that we barely move (exaggeration again). God has given us a brain and created us in His image to reason, and thus that should be used.

What's the point of all this? The will of God is now. If you are a Christian and walking in the light, then God's will is playing out for your life at this very moment. Jim Elliot is noted for saying 2 important quotes about this: "Wherever you are, be all there" and "Live every moment to the hilt you believe to be the will of God." Folks, that time is now. You are outside of the will of God when you are walking in rebellion and opposition to Him. However, if you are submitting to Him and His Lordship the will of God is this very moment! It's NOW! - it's me sitting here typing this blog while my husband is at work. It's you acting on faith in the purchase of a house or a car or whatever the case may be. It's you acting on faith to take a trip and spend time sharing the gospel in another nation. The will of God is good and perfect (Romans 12:2b). Live this moment to the very extreme and know the joy of His will. I wasted too many hours that accumulated to days worrying about my life in the future - marriage, job, living situation etc. There are times when I even regret it. There were times I knew I would regret how much time I wasted worrying about this and that  (Still do!)

I haven't mastered this and I don't foresee mastery until glorification. Yet, the continual sanctification of the Holy Spirit is constantly convicting me of where my will gets in the way of His will. He shows me where fear prevents me from walking according to His plans. He shows me where grace moves me forward. He is sovereign over every area of life - not just the spiritual. If we believe that to be so and act on that faithfully, there will be a contentment and rest like we've never understood before - because we are trusting Him.

I'll end on this note. It's a passage Jeremy shared last night. I'm thankful my husband loves the Word.
The plans of the heart belong to man, 
but the answer of the tongue is from the LORD.
The heart of man plans his way,
but the LORD establishes His step.
Proverbs 16: 1,9

Let us keep in step with His way, His will.

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