FIND AND FOLLOW
you question whether God has a plan for your life? Of course He
does. Shall the architect have a plan for a building; the artist
a plan for his portrait masterpiece: the Space Administration a
plan for a rocket trip to Mars, and God not have a plan for those
He saves! The very idea is unthinkable. He notes every sparrow
that falls. He numbers every hair on our head. (Matthew
10:29-30). He is therefore concerned about the slightest detail
of our life.
feel that we are an unrecognizable, unidentifiable nobody in a
huge ocean of humanity, but to God we are a one-and-only person,
unique from everybody else in the whole world. In all the
billions of snowflakes there are no two alike. Even so, there is
no person exactly like you. God desires to use you in a way He
can use no one else. He desires to shape you and fit you to blend
together with certain other personalities to accomplish something
wonderful in this lifetime that will last for all eternity.
Jesus said in
John 4:34, “My food is to do the will of Him who sent Me, and
to finish His work.” On another occasion He said, “I do
not seek My own will but the will of the Father who sent Me.”
John 5:30b. He instructed us to pray, “Your will be done on
earth as it is in Heaven”. Matthew 6:10.
We are told
that we may “prove what is that good, and acceptable and
perfect will of God” Romans 12:2. We are admonished, “Therefore
do not be unwise, but understand what the will of the Lord is”.
Ephesians 5:17. The burden of the Apostle Paul’s prayer was,
“…That you may stand perfect and complete in all the will of
God.” Colossians 4:12.
IT IS POSSIBLE
TO BE OUT OF THE WILL OF GOD
of the saddest experiences of many Christians is getting out of
the will of God. The result is always defeat, shame, and sorrow.
out of the will of God when he went down to Egypt (Genesis
12:10-20). Without God’s blessing and power upon him he feared
that Pharaoh would kill him and take his wife. He told the
half-truth that Sarah was his sister. (She was his half-sister).
Pharaoh proceeded to take Sarah into his harem. Only the
intervention of God spared Sarah from an immoral situation. With
great shame Abraham and Sarah were expelled from Egypt.
Saul got out
of the will of God when he spared Agag, the Amalekite king and the
best of the Amalekites’ cattle (1st Samuel 15). As a
result the kingdom was taken from him and given to David.
out of the will of God by taking many wives. He was the wisest
man on earth in the head, but I kings 11:4 tells us, “…when
Solomon was old, that his wives turned his heart after other gods;
and his heart was not loyal to the Lord his God…”
Jonah got out
of the will of God when he refused to go to Nineveh and tried to
flee by going the opposite direction to Tarshish. He wound up in
the fish’s belly for a terrifying lesson in the frightful horrors
that come to a person who willfully turns his back on God’s will.
The eagle was
created to soar through the heavens. When placed in a cage he
will still have the desire to spread his wings and pierce the
skies but he will have missed the plan of God for his life. God
places within the breast of every one of His children the desire
to ascend to the heights of attainment and service. This can be
accomplished by the blessing and power of God. How sad when one
of God’s children misses God’s plan for their life.
IT IS POSSIBLE
TO BE IN GOD’S PERFECT WILL
revealed many things to us regarding His will in the Word of God.
The Ten Commandments (Exodus 20) give very specific teaching about
things that are God’s will and those against God’s will. The
Sermon on the Mount (Matthew 5-7) likewise gives many clear
teachings about how to order our life. In fact, every situation
of life is covered in the Bible with clear teaching as to what
motives and actions are pleasing to God.
are troubled as to what they should do regarding developments in
society that are not mentioned in the Bible such as smoking,
drugs, movies, TV, radio, and certain entertainments and
recreations. For these the Bible gives principles such as, “Therefore,
whether you eat or drink, or whatever you do, do all to the glory
of God.” 1st Corinthians 10:30. We simply ask
ourselves, “Can I do this to the glory of God?” If we cannot
honestly know that we can, then we should refrain.
There are, of
course, times when we are faced with a decision about the future
that will drastically affect the rest of our lives. Shall I go to
college? If so, which one. Shall I choose a certain vocation?
Shall I take a certain job? Shall I buy a home, or move to a
particular location. Shall I marry this person? At such times
there are other principles that must be applied.
One of the
principles we must follow is that God will not make us do His will
but will lead us along when we yield ourselves to Him and follow
His leading willingly.
David prayed, “Teach me to do Your will, for You are my God;…”
Jesus said, “If anyone wills to do His will, he shall know
concerning the doctrine, whether it is from God…” John 7:17.
Paul taught that when we make a total consecration of all we are
to Christ we can prove what is the will of God. (Romans 12:1,2)
These verses reveal three essentials on our part:
“I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that
you present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable to
God, which is your reasonable service. (Romans 12:1).
The will of
God requires bond servants, not hired servants. If we are going
to know the will of God we must surrender our bodies, our minds,
our talents, our time, and our possessions. We will no longer
claim any of these as our own, but will count ourselves as
stewards who are to faithfully use them according to the plan God
has for our life.
“And do not be conformed to this world,…”
One translation puts it this way, “Do not let this world press
you into its mold…” The world system in which we live will
try to pressure us to conform to its mold. You are to make up
your mind at the outset that with God’s help you will not let this
happen. You will not let the world pressure you to conform to its
pattern of selfishness, sinfulness, and sensuality, nor its
pursuit of pleasure, position, popularity and possessions.
transformed by the renewing of your mind…”
We must renew
our mind. This means that we are no longer self-centered, but
God-centered. We no longer live for the pleasure of the moment,
but for that which accomplishes God’s purposes that last for
eternity. We no longer live to please self or the world, but to
please God. When we have such a renewal of mind as this we will
become sufficiently sensitive to detect the clear leading of God
in our life.
THE SOURCES OF
GUIDANCE IN FINDING GOD’S WILL
The Word of
As has been pointed out, God reveals most of His will for our life
in the precepts and principles of His Word. Many times I have
asked Christians about certain actions that were clearly contrary
to the Word of God. Many answered that they felt this was
what God wanted them to do. Please do not put your feelings
above God’s Word. Your feelings are changeable and unreliable.
God’s Word never changes. Since God inspired the Bible to be
written and since God never changes you can be sure that God will
never lead you contrary to His Word.
In World War
II an American bomber named, Lady Be Good was flying south
over the Mediterranean after completing a bombing mission. The
instruments said “Turn East” long before they normally should
have. The pilot decided to trust his feelings rather than the
instruments. He did not know it, but a tremendous tail wind had
given them a greatly increased speed. They crash-landed in the
desert of North Africa. Every crew member perished as they tried
to hike to safety through the burning sands. Trust God’s Word,
not your feelings.
Romans 8:14 tells of our second source of guidance, “For as
many as are led by the Spirit of God, these are sons of God.”
The Holy Spirit definitely impresses God’s people “…To will and
to do for His good pleasure.” Philippians 2:13. Although we
must carefully try all the inner promptings we receive to
determine whether they come from God or Satan, we should
continually be alert to the impressions of the Holy Spirit.
The third source of guidance is what old-time Christians called
providence---meaning that God will work in an observable way
to open up the path of His will for us. In the first place God
will equip us with natural talents or supernatural gifts to do the
work for which He calls us.
He will not
call a tone-deaf person to be a soloist. Every Christian should
seek to honestly know the talents and abilities God has given
them. This will be a real key in determining the area God desires
to use us. When a certain course is God’s will, we may be assured
that God will open the door to proceed in that direction. He will
also provide the resources and means to go through that door. The
Devil may also open a decoy door so we must not rely solely on
what appears to be God’s providential leading.
Peace of Mind and Heart.
As you grow from childhood you may pass through many fancies:
pilot, singer, doctor, nurse, etc. However, as you seek God’s will
and pray about a certain course of action you will either be
unsettled about it or have an abiding peace of heart and mind. If
you are unsettled, you may rest assured this is not God’s will.
If you receive an abiding peace you can be confident that God has
sealed His will to your heart. “And the peace of God, which
surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and minds
through Christ Jesus.” Philippians 4:7.
In closing, be
sure that all four sources of guidance agree. Any one will be
insufficient, but if all four are present you may rest assured
that you have found and are following God’s will for your life.
Copyright © 2005 Thomas E Berry
Scripture quotations from NKJV unless otherwise noted
Copyright © 2008 Truth Helpers Inc.