Knowing God*s Will 1
Knowing God*s will is really much simpler and easier than we mortals make it out to be. When we do not know His will there are at least two reasons for it. One reason is sin -- we don*t want to know and do His will. Not wanting to know and do his will is sin. We want our own will -- not His.
I heard about an overweight person who promised God he would not stop at a Dunkin* Donuts unless there was a parking place open right in front of the building. He had to circle the block 7 times before a parking place opened up. He already knew God*s will but pretended not to. He wanted his own will.
If we have two options to choose from, such as buying a Ford or a Chevy, if we prefer one of them we will not know His will. We must be like impartial bystanders that really just want the best way -- His way. We must be totally willing to have God*s will no matter what it is.
Another reason we don*t know His will is because sometimes He does not want us to. His reasons for not wanting us to know are good reasons. There are times when knowing His will would not be good for us. His purposes are equally right, holy and correct in what He does not reveal to us as they are in what he does reveal to us. God is mysterious. If God were not mysterious to us frail humans, He would not be God.
Deuteronomy 29:29: The secret things belong unto the Lord our God: but those things which are revealed belong unto us and to our children for ever, that we may do all the words of this law.
The things that God does not reveal to us are things that we couldn*t handle if we knew them. If we knew everything that is ahead of us that God has not revealed, we would be harmed by knowing them. The Bible is just as wise and inspired in the things it does not say as it is in the things it does say. It is more important to trust Him than it is to know everything in detail about His will.
I think it was Mark Twain who commented about the things in the Bible that he didn*t understand. I*m not concerned about the things I don*t understand, it*s the things that I do understand that scare me.
God wants us to know His will. He does not expect us to do things we don*t know about.
Jeremiah 33:3: Call unto me, and I will answer thee, and shew thee great and mighty things, which thou knowest not.
Sometimes He just reveals one step at a time to us. We are to trust Him and take that step. And we are to trust Him to show us the next step and the next and the next. Sometimes He reveals to us a distant goal without showing us all the steps to get there. We are to trust Him for all the steps in between.
Romans 12:2b: . . . that ye may prove what is that good, and acceptable, and perfect, will of God.
I started in the middle of that verse to make the point that we can know and prove His good, acceptable and perfect will. Sometimes we may be confident about His will ahead of time. Sometimes we won*t prove His will until after the fact. Some things about His will won*t be known until we get to heaven. We do not and cannot know everything here and now.
Here are the requisites to proving God*s will:
Romans 12:1, 2a: I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that ye present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable unto God, which is your reasonable service. And be not conformed to this world: but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind, . . .
It is only by the mercy of God that we have opportunity to give ourselves to Him. When we receive Jesus Christ as Saviour and Lord we give ourselves to Him. We belong to Him. All too often we then go our own way, forgetting that we belong to Him. We ought to give ourselves to Him daily, hourly and even moment-by-moment. A lot of people would like to live their whole life for self and then on their death bed commit themselves to Him. That would be tantamount to giving Him a dead sacrifice.
It is an incredible thing that when we sinners give ourselves to God we are acceptable to Him. Wow!! The world does not and cannot know God*s will and the world does not even want to know God*s will. The world will most certainly not obey God*s will. So we ought not to be like the people of the world. We are to be transformed.
Romans 12:2b: . . . that ye may prove what is that good, and acceptable, and perfect, will of God.
We must know and appreciate that God*s will and ways are superior to ours. Romans 12:2 above teaches that His will is perfect.
Isaiah 55:8-9: For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways, saith the Lord. For as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways, and my thoughts than your thoughts.
If we first commit ourselves and our actions to Him, then and only then will our thoughts be correct.
Proverbs 16:3: Commit thy works unto the Lord, and thy thoughts shall be established.
Notice the commitment came first. If we hold anything back from Him, we*ll never know His will. If we draw a line which we will not cross, we*ll never know His will. If we hold on to some possession, we*ll never know His will.
Many believers are in that place of holding back. They are carnal. They never have the joy of knowing and doing God*s will. They remind me of someone going through life and never tasting a good steak or prime rib or ice cream. Someone has said: God saves His best for those who leave the choice with Him.
One of the most important areas where God is above us is in the matter of the timing of events in our lives. Our timing is often wrong. We do things or think things too late. Or we are impatient. When we are impatient we are impatient with God who ultimately knows the best timing for everything. Jesus also had perfect timing in everything that He did. He sometimes used phrases like mine hour is not yet come or the hour is come. The Bible also uses the phrase an acceptable time.
Psalm 27:14: Wait on the Lord: be of good courage, and he shall strengthen thine heart: wait, I say, on the Lord.
I believe the passage not only teaches that we are to wait for the Lord, but that we are to take action when we receive His prompting. He can prompt us by that still small voice or by circumstances and events. When we have to make choices God is honored when we truly ask Him to make the choice and to reveal His choice to us. He often shows us what is not his choice by slamming a door shut. Sometimes it is hard for us to wait for another door to open.
Revelation 3:7b: . . . These things saith he that is holy, he that is true, he that hath the key of David, he that openeth, and no man shutteth, and shutteth, and no man openeth;
It is supremely important that we know that God promises His wisdom to us. He promises to lead us in His perfect will.
James 1:5: If any of you lack wisdom, let him ask of God, that giveth to all men liberally, and upbraideth not; and it shall be given him.
Do we believe this passage or not?
Ezra 8:21: Then I proclaimed a fast there, at the river of Ahava, that we might afflict ourselves before our God, to seek of him a right way for us, and for our little ones, and for all our substance.
Ezra was wise enough to want God*s guidance. The afflicting of themselves was giving up something their flesh wanted -- food. We must be willing to give up what we want in favor of what God wants. Ezra sought a right way for us . . . our little ones . . . our substance. He withheld no decision from God. He committed the present and the future to God.
Not asking for God*s direction is sin. Acting without His direction is presumptuous. We always have a bigger problem with disobeying God*s will than we have with knowing God*s will. Not knowing God*s will is always because of our sin or because the time He wants us to know hasn*t arrived.
James 4:17: Therefore to him that knoweth to do good, and doeth it not, to him it is sin.
If we have genuinely sought God*s will and we have asked forgiveness for our sins and we still don*t know what He wants, we are to do a very hard thing -- nothing. I believe there are many times when God wants us to do exactly that -- nothing.
We can always know God*s will is in agreement with the truths and principles of the Bible. If there is any sin or evil involved, it is not God*s will. God*s will is always pure.
James 3:17: But the wisdom that is from above is first pure, then peaceable, gentle, and easy to be entreated, full of mercy and good fuits, without partiality, and without hypocrisy.
If there is even the appearance of evil, it is not God*s will.
1 Thessalonians 5:22: Abstain from all appearance of evil.
James 3:14-17: But if ye have bitter envying and strife in your hearts, glory not, and lie not against the truth. This wisdom descendeth not from above, but is earthly, sensual, devilish. For where envying and strife is, there is confusion and every evil work.
When we are doing God*s will there is no envy, no strife, no pride, no lie, nothing evil, and nothing phony. If what we are doing is not wrong in itself but it would lead someone else astray it is not God*s will.
Romans 14:14-15: I know and am persuaded by the Lord Jesus, that there is nothing unclean of itself: but to him that esteemeth any thing to be unclean, to him it is unclean. But if thy brother be grieved with thy meat, now walkest thou not charitably. Destroy not him with thy meat, for whom Christ died.
God*s will does not always make sense to us. We must know and believe that He has a superior intelligence and wisdom and purpose. He knows every detail of our circumstances. He knows the future and He knows what is best. We must trust Him.
Proverbs 3:5-7: Trust in the Lord with all thine heart; and lean not unto thine own understanding. In all thy ways acknowledge him, and he shall direct thy paths. Be not wise in thine own eyes: fear the Lord, and depart from evil.
The phrase he shall direct thy paths is a wonderful promise. There is nothing wishy-washy or uncertain about it. Believe it.
Hebrews 11:6: But without faith, it is impossible to please him; for he that cometh to God must believe that he is, and that he is a rewarder of them that diligently seek him.
Doing God*s will shall always be rewarded. Some of the rewards come to us in this life. But no matter how wonderful the rewards are that we get in this life, they are paltry and temporary when compared with what we shall receive in heaven.
Romans 8:14: For as many as are led by the Spirit of God, they are the sons of God.
Have you ever been aware that you were led by the Holy Spirit? What a wonderful assurance that you are a child of God.
We ought to ask for God*s guidance, expect God*s guidance and enjoy God*s guidance. No believer is excepted. No detail of our lives is too small for God*s concern. A wise pastor once asked a parishioner Is anything in your life big to God?