Friday, June 5, 2009

God's Will

The question I get more than any other from people is "What is God's will for my life?" It's usually set in the context of a job change, relationship, or any number of other circumstances requiring a decision. These situations often keep people paralyzed from going in any direction because they are afraid of making a wrong move. They want a guaranteed result. They want to be sure that the path they take will lead to beneficial results.

The reality is, I often get these questions from people who have not cultivated a relationship with God. They are not dedicated to prayer. They do not know God's word. They have not placed themselves with in a community of people who are doing the same thing. In short, they are simply winging it, and by coming to the "pastor" they are trying to take a short cut. I am honored that they consider me as a source of sage advice, and I am, but I have no more access to God's word or the Holy Spirit than they do. While I consider my vocation a calling, and not a career, I do not take that calling as a call to spiritual greatness, but a call to spiritual humility and service.

Romans 12:1-2 says "Therefore, I urge you, brothers, in view of God's mercy, to offer your bodies as living sacrifices, holy and pleasing to God—this is your spiritual[a] act of worship. 2Do not conform any longer to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God's will is—his good, pleasing and perfect will."

What is God's will? That we be faithful and obedient to the Gospel and not to the world. What does that mean in each situation? This can only be determined in the context of God's word, prayer, and wise counsel ( Wise counsel does not always mean your circle of friends who are willing to tell you what you want to hear). Then moving forward in faith. Is picking the right spouse, job, or car a matter of being obedient to God's will? Yes, and I believe God will show you the right path within the disciplines given, but that does not mean the path will be easy.

We read Romans 8:28 believing that God works all things together for our good because we love God, but we believe good is comfort, and safety. We shun the idea that good could be suffering and trials.

Paul dared to know Christ in the power of his resurrection and in the fellowship of his sufferings. Who dares to know such a Christ today? Not many, but those who do have a faith that can move mountains. They have a faith that puts them in touch with God's will, because they daily die to themselves and present themselves as living sacrifices.

Do you dare to know God's will? Do you dare to know God in the way Paul and Ruth know God? Or do you want to live your life winging it, being fearful, looking back and constantly asking "What if I had . . ?", or "If I had only . ."

Here is your prescription for knowing God's will. It may feel like flossing at first, but it will provide a lifetime of prevention.

1. Get up in the morning and start off on your face thanking God, confessing sin, interceding for others, asking for wisdom, and giving God glory.

2. Read your Bible. Use a study guide if necessary, but get your face in the book. God speaks to those who seek God out.

3. Get yourself in the company of people who know God and who are willing to speak truth.

4. Throughout the day simply repeat The Jesus Creed (Matt 12:29-31)- 'Hear, O Israel, the Lord our God, the Lord is one.30Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind and with all your strength.' 31The second is this: 'Love your neighbor as yourself.'There is no commandment greater than these."

5. Be thankful and gracious in all circumstances.

Let me know how it goes.

Start . . .Now!


Stace said...

God's calling to the pastorate does not equal a faster, better link to HIM...ANYONE can "have what we have"!...any many do...and perhaps an even better Spiritual Life than us...

Katie said...

Ah, the "law of proximity". I remember you teaching me this years ago. In fact, I just quoted you on this a couple of Sundays ago. I've never forgotten...:) And I too am going to post a link. Thanks George!

Katie said...

btw..when I said I quoted you, I actually used this in a sermon. Don't you feel special now? Now I'm remembering something else you once said, and the words "total world domination" are coming to mind...ha ha ha...just kidding. Phillip and I are praying for you daily in regards to your move!