There are things which we cannot make right within our own strength. There is a factor about disobedience, read that sin, and walking outside the God’s personal will that makes life crooked and no amount of expended energy on our own part can make it straight.
“I really don’t think God cares about the mundane things in our lives,” said someone in my Sunday School class a few years ago. She meant, “Why would He care what dress we wear or if our shoes are comfortable? He has so many more important things on His mind.” Like what He has in mind for the Bride of Christ, or World events, or holding Satan’s tail, things like that. Those things are an excellent overview of the kinds of Wills of God. His perfect will, His absolute will, His divine will, His personal will for each of His children. There is a personal will because, He designed our individual good works before the foundation of the world.
Never doubt that He is intensely interested in His people. He cares if you are late for work or if you are hungry or if you are dressed in a manner that is pleasing to Him.
There are ways to know for sure what God’s personal will is. There are certain things we must do, though, to keep the communication lines clear of debris and static.
Fact: We should steep ourselves in God's Word every day. I read that George Muller said, “Our outward man is not fit for work unless our inward man eats God's Word.” I am reminded so much of Jesus sitting by that well in Samaria, hot, tired, thirsty and hungry, but He talked to a woman. When His disciples returned with food pressing Him to eat, He replied that He had “food to eat which you do not know.” It's that Spiritual thing which supplies the soul far beyond any kind of satisfaction the body could possibly know – including chocolate brownies hot from the oven…with ice cream.
Steeping is not this one verse a day with a few paragraphs of devotional (I am not saying that isn't good! It is. It is just that 10 minutes a day is not enough!) Never wait until a problem needs solving or a decision needs to be made to open the Bible, then expect some Holy Oracle to spill forth giving you exact instructions. Your mind won't be prepared to hear exact instructions unless you are prayed up, read up, and revved up, and shored up in Christ. You may get a notion of what to do, but it won't be like as if you were rooted in Scripture.
Fact: There is much to be learned with Context. It is far too easy to get something that isn't entirely Biblical or to skew doctrine when only reading Proof Texts rather than the whole discussion. How does one know truth from fiction if one does not know the whole story? With this same premise, how does one know God's complete will, if one isn't familiar with the Bible? The first place to go to know and understand His will is understanding how He dealt with His people. Abraham was created to be His friend. David was a man after His own heart. Daniel was inside the lion’s den, and his three friends had to walk in the fire. Jesus was His only begotten and beloved Son. And there are lessons upon lessons in how Jesus dealt with his followers.
Fact: Confession of sin opens the floodgates of your relationship with God. When temptation rears its ugly head, the mind reels with its heady steam, the body follows the thoughts and pursues a course of action that the soul knows is wrong, this action puts the soul, mind, and body at odds with God. Disobedience is the wall between you and God. Confession is that which tears the wall down. If the wall is up, the ears are closed and there's no hearing God, no matter how much you want to hear Him, you can't. Confessing the sins of commission and omission is the only way to restoration, and therefore revival. Otherwise you are in a Spiritual Coma.
Fact: You probably already know God's will on most things in your life. You know to dress modestly. You know that a job which is morally or legally wrong is against God's 10 commandment teachings. You know if He has given you a propensity toward the mechanical (working with your hands) or the physical (carpentry/construction) or the mental (math acumen or writing ability). Some people are better at certain things than other people. It is what makes the world go round and round.
Taking these facts in consideration, we can then walk a fairly straight path into God's personal will for our life's choices.
Ask yourself a few questions that will help to generate some answers which will result in making godly decisions.
Is it a legal, moral, spiritually correct thing to do? Most people would say, “Well, duh!” Then again, perhaps this is why there are so many people becoming Christians in prison. This also includes all those possibilities that could hurt or harm other people. We are to be wise as serpents and harmless as doves.
Did God make a promise in the Bible about this thing you are considering? You may or may not be amazed at how many promises God has made that pertain to our daily Christian living. Hey, that's an excellent topic for another column.
Are all the doors truly locked, or is there something that God is wanting you to do, but you are actually resisting Him, or is He telling you to Be Still? I cannot tell you how many times I have had to do something that I really did not want to do, but I went ahead and did it because I knew it was what God wanted me to do. Then, after doing it I was blessed immensely, and other doors opened. So many times, God is testing to see if we really mean it when we sing, “I Surrender All, all to Thee, my Precious Savior, I surrender all.” Sometimes, we are being tested in another way. When God tells us to “Be Still”, can we obey that? How often do you exert yourself in busy work simply because you don't know which way to go or what to do? There are so many reasons why God tells us to “Be still”. The season of stillness will fill another column.
During consideration of one or another of your choices, do you have peace in your soul? This is something that a lot of Christians will tell you: You can't depend upon your feelings. When it comes to “feeling” if you are saved or not, that is entirely true. When it comes to whether the Holy Spirit is pleased with a decision or action it is not true. The Holy Spirit is alive and well dwelling inside us. When we grieve Him, our soul hurts. When He rejoices, our soul also rejoices. This is because our soul is one with the Holy Spirit. It is He who makes us Spiritually Alive! He lets us know when we are confronted with temptation not to go down that path. He nags us when it is time to confess and get right with God. It is the Holy Spirit that urges us, prays for us, interprets our deep groanings, and who seals us against all things Satanic or demonic. That is who should be in control of our feelings and when we get that Gut-Feeling of peace, then the decision should be settled. Often times, the decision to do a particular thing is not reasonable or justifiable, but extremely peaceful. Go down the peace path because that is part of the Fruit of the Spirit.
Can you absolutely ask God to enable you to do what ever it is? Because of the first question, it would be ridiculous to ask God to help you rob a gas station… but, there are other things that may not be so obviously unethical or immoral, but just as wrong. Such as asking God to give you a promotion even though you are not qualified for the position. Asking God to bless your course of action without discussing it with Him in the first place is probably the fastest way to failure in a venture. The Acapulco Divers always study the waves before diving off those cliffs, why should any Christian check to see how deep the water is by diving in without studying the waves first?