So many times in counseling—and many times in my life—the glaring question arises: "What would God have me do?" Sometimes [often] you know the direction you choose will change your life forever one way or the other, and often, those around you. Yet, tell me this isn't the case: we are often plagued with doubt, misunderstanding, frustration, and fear when we ask for God's will to be known in our lives, and we often wonder if God still speaks to people at all anymore. If He does, maybe it's just me He's not talking to for some reason. And when we think just maybe we heard something, we are still confused, "Was that really Him, or was it just my own desires? Or was it Satan?” And we are left in silence, or in confusion, that we lose the hope, or even the desire, to ask God's will with expectancy, and yet, our study in prayer thus far, seems to hinge on our ability to seek and find God's will for our lives. So how do we do it? Can we do it?
As we've said before, some think we can make God's will be anything we want as long as we have enough faith. While others say God's will is set, and there's nothing we can do about it—that prayer is simply to conform to His will. Let's get a clear illustration of how God's will fits into our lives. We could divide His will into three parts to better understand: God has a Sovereign will, that is decided and unchangeable. For example, do you think we can pray and change the fact that He will return one day? Or that the antichrist will arise? Or that there could be more than one way to be saved? No. These things have been decided, and clearly communicated. Then we have God's Moral will, which has been communicated through His Words to us. It involves laws and principles for every moral decision we face. It too, is unchanging, but it provides solid answers to many, many questions that we ponder unnecessarily—in a world that thinks and operates in the complete opposite of all that God calls good, right, loving, and just. Should I stay or go? Can we live together? What should I do to make this relationship right again? Should I marry them? All of these questions, may have God's answer in the pages of His Moral Law. And lastly, God's Personal Will for our individual lives: direction and decisions for situations that are not morally right or wrong, they just are. Decisions that will direct my personal life (school, vocation, relationships, where go to church, purchases, serving in ministries, etc.). These are the questions that people often doubt whether God still involves Himself in anymore. And if so, why not with them?
So, the first thing we need to take back from Satan is our uncertainty over whether God still talks to us today, as in days past. Did God reveal His personal will to Abraham about his life? Yes—because He was using Abraham in a specific plan. Did God reveal His personal will to Moses about his life? Yes—because He was using Moses in a specific plan. David? Paul? Every other character ever used in Scriptures? God had a plan for each of them—that He revealed—WHY? Because He loved them and wanted to include them in His work. So, first ask yourself logically—does He still love us? Are there still those who need to know He is the Way? Are we still involved in doing His work? Doesn't that require individual direction? Then, does He have a reason to still give us His individual will for our lives today? Scriptures clearly and repeatedly tell us God will reveal His will to us: Psalm 143:8-10; Psalm 37:23; Psalm 32:8; James 1:5. Satan has us so turned around, that what we are doubting God will even do, is what in actuality, God has commanded to be done: John 10:3-5; John 10:27. We don't think that God even reveals His will to us today, and God is saying, "If you belong to me, you will hear My voice!" So, if you are having trouble hearing the will of God in your life, the problem is not coming from the Top Side—not only will He still speak today, but we are expected to hear Him, if we truly love Him.
So, the real question in many of our lives today is this: are we ready to hear Him when He speaks? For example: if I bring my car into a shop on a tow truck flat bed—no tires, head cover off, missing the spark plugs, block cracked with oil running off the flatbed, back end smashed up to the rear windshield—and I say, "Hey, I need you to install one of those fancy GPS systems into the dash of my car,"
What is the one question you'd be most likely to ask? Why? Why would you waste time and money to give guidance to a car that will never go anywhere? – Why would God? Galatians 5:22-25. If we are severely lacking in these areas, why are we even joking about wanting to know God's Will? Why would God speak and lead when we obviously are not wanting to go where He desires? Where there is no fruit, the heart is only asking out of selfish desire: 1 Corinthians 13:2-3. If we will focus on seeing people as God sees them; if we will truly make it our ambition to help people, heal, and save; if we can see people in our own private eye with love and concern, rather than in sarcasm, frustration, anger, and resentment; if our heart becomes right before God, then He will be able to share His will for us. Otherwise, even if He places us on the right path, we will not walk it as He planned. The first sign that we are ready to hear His will, is when we have an overwhelming worth for every soul around us. When we have a desperate desire to reach people in love, to help them out of their pain, confusion, and sin—until then, we are not really interested in His Will—we are only interested in how His will might affect our lives. If you want to be serious about learning to hear Him—be ready to hear all that He has to say—not just the pieces that are important to you, not just on the topics, and in the timetable, that you desire. Be ready to go where He leads and do as He asks. He is not here solely to enhance our lives—we are here to serve Him with our lives—and stop thinking that every time we completely surrender to God, that it means we will be asked to do some dreadful thing—He is not a killjoy. Remember this: “God will only tell you to do the exact thing you would choose anyway, if you had the love, wisdom, and foreknowledge to understand as He does.” Trust Him.
If you want to be serious about learning to hear, then obey what has already been revealed. Every time you read Scriptures, ask yourself how that Truth applies to your life, and pray for God's will in that Scripture, whether that be changing yourself in light of the Scripture, or believing His Promises, or accepting His love and worth placed on you. Every time you face an issue in life, search Scriptures for God's mind on the subject, and be ready to follow His will, no matter the direction. We have said Scriptures show clearly that prayer is understanding God's desired will and being the door through which it is brought to earth. If we know and believe that, what happens if we hear God speak His will for our lives and we don't follow through? Will we forfeit God's desired will in that moment? Will we be the reason that something good was withheld from this earth? From us? From our loved ones? Absolutely! Acts 12:5-7: (Was Peter released because they chose to pray? Yep!) Repeatedly, God moved in major ways, only after His disciples discerned His will, and prayed His hand into action. Repeatedly, Jesus tells how our prayers, in His will, bring action. How many incredible things have been done in believers' lives due to prayer? How many things have been sadly missed? We have to acknowledge that God has placed an incredible responsibility on us to be His vessels of change. We must realize that our prayers do make an incredible difference in what God does on this earth and in our lives. And we must place an urgency on learning His will for that reason not just to make our lives easier. Beginning to hear God's will in our lives is not so much finding my way in life, as it is finding His way in my life. Am I ready for that? If so, "Speak on Lord!"
What do you need to hear God's honest will for in your life today? What do you need to obey, that you have already heard?
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