Contend Earnestly: God's Will For Our Lives

Wednesday, June 14, 2006

God's Will For Our Lives

Have you ever wondered what God's will is? Have you ever contemplated whether or not you truly are in God's will right now. Have you ever felt like you are standing outside of His will looking in, wondering how in the world you can be in the center of it? Ever come to a "fork in the road" concerning life, whether it is I career path to make or a ministry to join, and wonder how you know which one God wants you to take? I have faced this many, many times and find myself staring at the inevitable question once more. This time, the question does not just involve myself but my wife and potentially my kids. How do I know which road to take and how do I make sure the path that I am on is God lead. Three easy check points for truly knowing how to be in God's will.

1. This is the most important checkpoint. You MUST BE A CHRISTIAN! Now when I say a "Christian", I do not mean it in the loose, liberal, self-gratifying, all-inclusive way that the world uses it. I mean it in the strictest sense possible. A christian is someone that follows Christ. A servant of our living Savior and Master. A Christian is someone who has acknowledged their sin and need for a savior(they are going to hell), they have confessed with their mouth that Jesus Christ is Lord God Almighty, and they have believed in their heart, soul, and mind that Jesus died on the cross for their sins taking the penalty for our sins which is death and that He rose from the dead on the third day conquering sin and death and now sits at the right hand of the throne of God. (Rom. 3:1-10, 23; Rom. 6:23; Rom. 10:9-10; Acts 16:31) Without this belief and devotion to Christ, stop here, you will not be able to be in God's will without doing so first.

2. You must be walking with God and all sin confessed. This is a continual and ongoing event. In order to commune with a holy, righteous, just and awesome God, we must be pure of heart and holy in stature. A daily conditioning of our body must be in order. I believe that this is just part of what Paul is talking about in 1 Cor. When he declares that we need to "buffet our body and beat it into submission" and again the author of Heb. 12 when he stats "Therefore, let us lay aside every encumbrance, and the sin which so easily entangles us...". How can someone know the Will of God if he is not in harmony with God. The Bible declares that sin breaks our communion with our heavenly Father and therefore our relationship suffers. Have you ever gotten into a fight with a brother, sister, parent, or friend and then not speak for quit some time? It puts kind of a rift between you and the other person. How much more of a gap is there when we sin against our Holy Father and then not confess it? In order for us to be in God's will we must be living a holy, upright, and above reproach life.

3. Finally, knowing what God says in His word and then practicing it will allow you to be in His will. I believe that there are two pieces to His will: There is a Broad or General will that God has for every believer and there is a specific will that God has for each individual's life. The general will applies to every one and is consistent throughout. You can read what God has to say about this in several different passages. Starting with the great commission found in Matt. 28:18-20 you can see that one of our main goals as a Christian is to share the gospel and make disciples. This is a direct command from Jesus Christ. Another command that God has given us in His word is to "fight the good fight and run the race". Paul speaks of us "running the race with endurance" and "standing firm against ruler's of this darkness". (2 Tim. 2; Eph. 6; 1 Cor. 9:16-27) Our goal as believers is to stay true to his word and to finish the coarse that God has set before us. What is that coarse, you ask? It could be suffering. Paul pleads with us in 2 Tim. 2 (read the whole chapter) to "join with him in his suffering" for the sake of the gospel. Jesus tells the disciples that the world will hate you. "If it has hated me, it will hate you". Whatever the coarse, our main goal is to love and spread the gospel to those in need...Namely, everyone.

As for the specific Will of God for our lives, that is different for everyone. God directs each person differently but how we find that specific will for our lives is the same. Proverbs 3:5-6 gives us a pretty good understanding of how to find God's specific will for our lives.

Trust in the LORD with all your heart and do not lean on your own understanding. In all your ways acknowledge Him, and He will make your paths straight.

A few things to note here: We are to trust God with EVERYTHING that comes in our path. We fall when we decide to trust in our own decisions and try to take matters in our own hands. I think all too often we go about our business OUR way and then turn to God when we have failed or need his help. The key here is to Trust God in everything and abandon our practice of leaning on our own deficiencies. If we do this then God, not us, will make our paths straight. Notice it says "paths", plural. I truly believe that God allows us to choose different paths within His will. In other words, He will make make whatever path that we choose straight as long as we are fully trusting in Him and leaning on His understanding and following His General Will. You could say that if we are in His General Will then we will be in His specific will for our lives. They go hand in hand.

So to recap, in order to find God's will for your life you must be a Christian that is walking with God and living a life that is above reproach. In so doing, you will be preaching the gospel and thereby running the race that has been set before us and allowing God to direct your steps because you are leaning on Him rather than your own understandings. The choices that you make will be aligned with God's choices because you are seeking His glory before your own. What a wonderful God that we serve, knowing that He has our very best in mind and planned out! May we always look to Jesus and Him Crucified!


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