Saturday, June 14, 2014

Knowing God's will


   Striving for the knowledge of God is, not only a most noble endeavor, but God has revealed in His Word all we need to know for life and godliness. (2 Peter 1:3) and His will for believers. 

     Believers often want to know God's will for their lives and most often what college to go to, or what car or house to buy, or perhaps where to live.  The believers goal in life should be to pursue God.  Before we pursue anything, are we pursuing the knowledge of God?    

     A believer first has to determine, by God's grace, if a certain pursuit is right and pleasing in God's eyes.  Some things are, without question, right or wrong and therefore quickly able to be determined.  The pursuit of knowing God's will for that situation comes into question when it it hard to determine whether it is a right and pleasing pursuit. 
    To begin, prayer to God is always needed.  Prayer is the way that believers are drawn closer to the Lord, no matter how assured they may feel, but one never knows how the Lord will work.  Prayer is also the way that God comforts us.  Somehow believers are more assured of God's sovereignty in our lives through prayer. Being assured of God's sovereignty also humbles believers and helps believers to give that situation over to the Lord, not that He needs our permission to take control, but it is a sign of the submission of our will to the will of God.
     Reading God's Word is the way to know God's will.  God has revealed Himself to mankind through the Bible.  1 Thessalonians 5:18 states clearly the will of God for His children.   

"In every thing give thanks: for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus concerning you."
   God uses all of Scripture to reveal His will and there are many that clearly state God's will, as in the verse above.   Praying, asking for wisdom and discernment in that situation, is necessary, however, consistently and continually reading the scriptures is needful.   Most Christians, when wanting to know God's will, will skip around to different passages that have to do with what they are faced with.  God will always use His Word and so that is not a bad idea, but it is not how God intended his children to read His Word.  Believers need to remember to read God's Word in an uninterrupted manner.  New events in our lives, trials, or even a desire to change the routine is part of human nature and most times those instances even influence our Bible reading.  For instance, when believers need comfort, they usually go to Psalm 23 or for understanding trials, James 1.  Those are great passages, however our Bible reading should not be influenced by our worldly circumstances.  If one is reading through the book of Romans and a situation comes up, it may be a good idea to continue reading Romans and in addition to your regular reading, read Psalm 23.
    The more time spent in God's Word, the more understanding God will give, for life and godliness.  Proverbs was written to give understanding and that book may be a good start.  It is filled with life's situations and is a great start to obtaining the knowledge of God.  No doubt that God will use His word to draw his children into a deeper level of understanding of who He is, and that should always be our goal in life.   Philippians 3:7-14 is a declaration of Paul's life's goal and is a great exhortation for believers to press on for the excellency of the knowledge of God. 
    Patience is a vital part of knowing God's will.   As mentioned above, a believer may know right away whether a situation is good or bad, but it may take months of praying and reading to have that piece of God that passes all understanding. (Philippians 4:7) Even in a situation that seems good and right, but a change may be needed, prayer is necessary along with reading God's Word. For instance, my churches youth leader had to move.  Of course someone else was given the responsibility of youth leader. The question that popped into my head was whether or not the Lord wanted me to continue as assistant youth leader.  Of course I wanted to serve the Lord, but felt (and I mean there was a sense of me being prodded by the Holy Spirit) that a change in my role there needed to be made.  I needed wisdom in what the Lord's will was in that situation.  In this particular case, knowing God's will took months of praying and reading.  At the close of this time period,  I was asked to take charge of the sound of ministry.  I knew that was the answer to prayer, however prayer was still needed for the peace of God to be given. 
         Knowing God's will can either be known right away or take months, and even years in some cases, but in every situation, spending time with God, in prayer and in His word, recognizing the need for patience in that pursuit, is vital.