September 12, 2011

God's Perfect Will For Your Life

If believers were granted permission to ask God one question, almost unanimously the question would be,

“What is your will for my life?”

How can so many people desire an answer to the same question from a loving God and feel clueless as to His reply? God desires His will to be accomplished more than we are capable of desiring it so why would He withhold that answer from his disciples? It just doesn’t make sense. The truth is, God has already answered that question and His answer goes something like this:

Love the Lord your God with all your heart, and with all your soul, and with all your mind. (Matthew 22:37)
Have no other gods before me. (Exodus 20:3)
Love your neighbor as yourself. (Matthew 22:39)
Feed my sheep. (John 21:17)
Deny yourself. (Mark 8:34)
Take up your cross. (Mark 8:34)
Follow me. (Mark 8:34)
Love me. (John 14:15)
Keep my commandments. (John 14:15)
Submit yourselves unto God. (James 4: 7)
Resist the devil. (James 4:7)
Draw nigh to God. (James 4:8)
Cleanse your hands. (James 4:8)
Purify your hearts. (James 4:8)
Be afflicted, mourn and weep. (James 4:9)
Humble yourselves in the sight of God. (James 4:10)
Speak no evil of one another. (James 4:11)

No portion of God’s will has been kept secret from us. We have all of His ordinances in print. We have the legacy of Jesus. Nothing has been omitted. We are not ignorant. God has not withheld instruction.

So, why the confusion as to what God wills for us?

James 4:3 says, “You ask and do not receive, because you ask amiss, that you may spend it on your pleasures.”

If we honestly sought God’s will, then the entirety of the Bible would be sufficient to appease our curiosity and keep us busy working toward character development for the whole of a lifetime. God knows that we are truly seeking Him to reveal what the future holds for our personal lives.

Yes, we ask amiss. We want to know the future or at minimum the path to prosperity with least resistance. You will never get an answer to the question of, “What is your will for my life?” beyond the full portion of instruction provided in the Word of God. God’s will is to glorify Himself through whatever means necessary, by some means plentiful and by some means painful.

What if He is withholding grim news of trials, tragedies, or hardships ahead? Many of the marvelous movements of God have been accomplished through painful events. Longsuffering is a fruit of the spirit (Galatians 5:22). Patience is developed through tribulation (Romans 5:3). As Jesus endured and persevered so we are required to endure and persevere.

“The disciple is not above his master, nor the servant above his lord.

It is enough for the disciple that he be as his master, and the servant as his lord . . .” Matthew 10:24-25

It is ENOUGH to be like Jesus.

It is enough.

Faith means trusting and obeying despite the unknown and the unseen. Fortune foretold is the opposite of faith. Since God desires great faith from each of us, how erred it is to yearn for prophecy beyond what God sees fit to announce unsolicited.

Recall the awe-inspiring displays of God’s glory throughout scripture. His orders rarely proceed the exact moment in time in which He desires the obedience to be carried out.

“Go . . .”

“Tell . . .”

“Deliver . . .”

His commands are almost always directives in the present tense for the present time.

God wills that we trust Him to yield eternal gain beyond our understanding as we follow in His footsteps. At any snapshot in time, His will is our character development, obedience, and personal holiness. We fail in that we underestimate God’s activity among us when we can not see Him with our eyes or hear Him with our ears. God is always present. God’s will is always active.

Before being captured by Nazi authorities for smuggling Jews outside of occupied Holland, Betsie Ten Boom told her sister Corrie, There are no ‘if’s’ in God’s world. And no places that are safer than other places. The center of His will is our only safety – O Corrie, let us pray that we may always know it!”

And upon arriving at Ravensbruck concentration camp, Betsie urged her sister to give thanks for each small detail of their surroundings, right down to the flea infestation in their living quarters. She said, “Give thanks in all circumstances. It doesn’t say in pleasant circumstances. Fleas are part of this place where God has put us”.

The sisters prayed and thanked God every moment for His perfect will undoubtedly at work even in the midst of horror. A short time later they discovered that the flea infestation prohibited the guards from entering the barracks which allowed them freedom to evangelize to thousands of fellow prisoners before the prisoners were put to death. The fleas were instrumental in God’s plan.

What are you expecting God’s perfect will to look like?

Have you thanked Him for the fleas?

There are no ‘if’s’ in God’s world. We should be cognizant of this fact and seek to optimize the opportunities where God has placed us. Stop waiting on some grand scheme to materialize in order to be used by God. God's perfect will is already in motion and you are in it. It is enough to know that God’s will for you is to strive to be like Jesus.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

great message - thank you!