Points to Ponder: Is It Really God's Will?

Points to Ponder
Is It Really God's Will?

Back in March I preached a sermon on Proverbs 3: 5-6 entitled, "God's Will or My Will, How Can I Know?" In recent days, I have had to listen again to my own sermon. One of the hardest things to accept about God's will is that sometimes He calls us to do things that do not make sense, or even seem to be in opposition to what we first thought it was. Sometimes God moves us--or shoves us--out of a comfort zone of success and good progress because He knows better than we what is best for the goal at hand and for our lives in the long run.
We nod our heads in agreement, until it happens to us. How easy it is to sing songs and say prayers about wanting to do His will, until we find out what it will cost us to do that.
I provided five guidelines in the sermon that can help us answer that question as we face the changes ahead. Here is the basic outline with scripture references.
"God's Will or My Will, How Can I Know?"--5 Guidelines
1. Go To The Lord (Matt. 6:33)
* Seek first the fullness of a relationship with God as Jesus modeled it for us.
* What you know to be His will in any area of your life today, do it today.
* Pray and obey today.
2. Scripture: Use the standard of God's Word as you judge a matter. Psalm 119:105, Proverbs 14:12, II Timothy 3:16-17
Run the Word through you, and run the matter through the Word. God will speak to it. Always prayerfully deal with a matter with an open Bible in front of you and an open heart within you.
3. Spiritually Discern Your Options: What makes sense to the human mind is extremely limited when compared to the insight of the Holy Spirit. I Corinthians 2: 9-15, Proverbs 16: 3
Spiritually discerned options should meet two basic criteria to be valid:
a. Compatible with God's Word: He will not direct you to do something that goes against His written word.
b. There is peace in obedience: If you have to force it, or you feel unsettled about it, you need to reconsider it. Note that what may be unsettling about an option may not be the option itself, but how you are receiving it.
4. Seek Godly Counsel: "Where there is no counsel, the people fall. But in the multitude of counselors there is safety." (Proverbs 11: 14)
"The way of the fool is right in his own eyes, but he who heeds counsel is wise." (Proverbs 12: 15)
a. Don't seek people who tell you only what you want to hear. (See Proverbs 12: 26)
b. Find mentors and friends who know the Lord and who will love you enough to be honest. (See Proverbs 27: 6a)
c. Seek mentors who are strong in areas in which you are weak. Be open to the discomfort of being shown your weak spots and mistakes. (See Ecclesiastes 4: 13)
Listen and pray through what you're hearing.
Romans 12: 1-2, I Thessalonians 5: 21, I John 4: 1
* If God is speaking through the counsel of others, they will be consistent with scripture and you will tend to find two or more whose counsel is similar.
5. How Will Your Decision Affect Others? What will it do to/for Jesus' name and to/for your name?
I Corinthians 10: 24, Romans 14: 14-20
God's will operates on a daily, step-by step basis. It encompasses every area of your life. To sum it all up:
* Acknowledge (God) in all your ways and He will direct your steps: (Proverbs 3: 6). He directs, not miles, but Steps.

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