Finding the will of God (Part 2)

15 Aug

In my previous post, I began exploring this very common question: How can I find the will of God?  In that post, we saw that the foundational components for decision making as a Christian are the Word of God and prayer.  I cannot emphasize enough how important those two aspects are. They are two primary ways that God reveals His will to us.  However, are there other aspects of Christian decision making?  After we are in the Word and on our knees in prayer, is there something else that God could possibly use to reveal His will to us?   I believe the answer to this question is “yes” and I want to look at three examples from scripture.

First, there are many examples in the Bible of God using circumstances to reveal His will.  One example of that is in the opening verses of the Old Testament book of Nehemiah…

The words of Nehemiah son of Hacaliah: During the month of Chislev in the twentieth year, when I was in the fortress city of Susa, Hanani, one of my brothers, arrived with men from Judah, and I questioned them about Jerusalem and the Jewish remnant that had survived the exile. They said to me, “The remnant in the province, who survived the exile, are in great trouble and disgrace. Jerusalem’s wall has been broken down, and its gates have been burned down.” When I heard these words, I sat down and wept. I mourned for a number of days, fasting and praying before the God of heaven.” (Nehemiah 1:1–4, HCSB)

When Nehemiah heard about the condition of Jerusalem, God used those circumstances to call him to action.  Recently, I listened to a podcast interview with John Croyle, the founder of the Big Oak ranches for abandoned and abused children, and he recounted how God put the vision of those ranches on his heart.  God used circumstances to speak to John at many points along the way.  Years ago, I heard the late Dr. Adrian Rogers say, “Most decision making is simply gathering facts.”  I believe Dr. Rogers was speaking to this very principle.  Don’t overlook the fact that God is at work in your circumstances and He seems to often use circumstances to speak to His people.

Second, the Bible also encourages us to seek Godly counsel from mentors and friends…

Plans fail when there is no counsel, but with many advisers they succeed.” (Proverbs 15:22, HCSB)

It is not wrong to seek advice from others you respect who walk with the Lord and have demonstrated spiritual wisdom in their lives.  Ultimately, you have to get alone before the Lord and make the decision, but Godly counsel can be invaluable.  Over the years, I have seen consulting with Godly friends and mentors confirm how I felt God leading me, and I have also had instances where they brought up insight and issues that had never crossed my mind.

Finally, I believe God also communicates His will through a Godly desire that He has placed in our hearts.  As we are faithful to Him, then we begin to have a desire to do what God desires…

Trust in the Lord and do what is good; dwell in the land and live securely. Take delight in the Lord, and He will give you your heart’s desires.” (Psalm 37:3–4, HCSB)

Many Christians assume that God’s will is the opposite of what they really want to do.  That is a bad assumption – if you are walking with the Lord!   Psalm 37 teaches us that God births in our heart the desire to do what pleases Him as we are faithful to Him.

Once again, I want to stress the absolute importance of time alone with the Lord in prayer and with an open Bible.  Once you consider these three aspects that I have discussed in this post, then you once again seek God in prayer.  He might speak to you very clearly in a moment in time, or He may simply give you a growing peace that a certain decision is right. Don’t ever forget that God wants you to know His will. He wants to speak to you, so that you can obey him. Once you have peace that a certain course of action is God’s will, then it’s time to step out on faith and obey. Charles Stanley has blessed many people with his simple philosophy of Christian living…

“Obey God and leave the consequences up to Him!”

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