Copyright 1994 - 2018 Bill's Bible Basics
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Published On :
June 11, 1997
Last Updated :
February 21, 2012
Serious Discussion Regarding Christian Discipleship, Spiritual Transformation, And Finding The Will Of God For Your Life, Helpful Steps For Discovering God's Will For Your Life
While discussing the necessity of Christ's Sacrifice on the Cross as the Final Atonement for our sins, the Apostle Paul quotes from the Book Of Psalms in his Epistle to the Hebrews and writes the following:
"Then said I, Lo, I come (in the volume of the book it is written of me,) to do thy will, O God . . . Then said he, Lo, I come to do thy will, O God. He taketh away the first, that he may establish the second."
Hebrews 10:7, 9, KJV
The original prophecy, as written by King David about a thousand years before, is the following:
"Then said I, Lo, I come: in the volume of the book it is written of me, I delight to do thy will, O my God: yea, thy law is within my heart."
Psalms 40:7-8, KJV
Unlike Jesus Who delighted to do His Father's Will, King Saul was a king of another kind. Rather than acknowledge and obey the voice of the Lord, he relied upon his own wisdom and human understanding. Because of this, God rent the kingdom from him and gave it to David:
"Trust in the LORD with all thine heart; and lean not unto thine own understanding. In all thy ways acknowledge him, and he shall direct thy paths."
Proverbs 3:5-6, KJV
"And Samuel said, Hath the LORD as great delight in burnt offerings and sacrifices, as in obeying the voice of the LORD? Behold, to obey is better than sacrifice, and to hearken than the fat of rams. For rebellion is as the sin of witchcraft, and stubbornness is as iniquity and idolatry. Because thou hast rejected the word of the LORD, he hath also rejected thee from being king."
1 Samuel 15:22-23, KJV
King David was the exact opposite of Saul. He was in love with the Lord's Spirit, and highly exalted His Word in the Psalms, and fervently sought to do His Will. Consider the first three verses of his very first Psalm which show the reward of delighting in doing God's Will:
"Blessed is the man that walketh not in the counsel of the ungodly, nor standeth in the way of sinners, nor sitteth in the seat of the scornful. But his delight is in the law of the LORD; and in his law doth he meditate day and night. And he shall be like a tree planted by the rivers of water, that bringeth forth his fruit in his season; his leaf also shall not wither; and whatsoever he doeth shall prosper."
Psalms 1:1-3, KJV
In later Psalms, King David continues to proclaim the reward of those who obey the Word of the Lord as well as his own delight in doing the same:
"Delight thyself also in the LORD; and he shall give thee the desires of thine heart."
Psalms 37:4, KJV
"I will delight myself in thy statutes: I will not forget thy word . . . Thy testimonies also are my delight and my counsellors . . . Make me to go in the path of thy commandments; for therein do I delight . . . And I will delight myself in thy commandments, which I have loved . . . Their heart is as fat as grease; but I delight in thy law . . . Let thy tender mercies come unto me, that I may live: for thy law is my delight . . . I have longed for thy salvation, O LORD; and thy law is my delight."
Psalms 119:16, 24, 35, 47, 70, 77, 174, KJV
Thus we see that obeying the Lord, and knowing what His Will is for our lives is something which should be of concern to every sincere Christian. As with Jesus and King David, it should be a delight to us to do God's Will. But the question then arises: Exactly how do we find out what God's Will is for our lives? Perhaps the best approach to answer this question would be to first establish what we know to be the Will of God; that is, the general Will of God. Once we have established that, perhaps it will be easier to give a more amplified answer. Upon doing a bit of Biblical research, I found the following Scriptures which are applicable to this topic. Let's start with what Jesus had to say about the Will of His Father:
"Jesus saith unto them, My meat is to do the will of him that sent me, and to finish his work."
John 4:34, KJV
"Jesus answered and said unto them, This is the work of God, that ye believe on him whom he hath sent."
John 6:29, KJV
"And this is the will of him that sent me, that every one which seeth the Son, and believeth on him, may have everlasting life: and I will raise him up at the last day."
John 6:40, KJV
From the above verses, we can ascertain that the words "work" and "will" are sometimes synonymous. In this case, God's Work, or Will, for Jesus was that He fulfill His Mission of Redemption by giving His Life on the Cross for the sins of the world. Jesus then expands on that thought by adding that it is then God's Will that we believe on what His Son has done for us, that we might obtain Everlasting Life. This then, is the overall Will and Work of God, that all men everywhere might be saved:
"The Lord is not slack concerning his promise, as some men count slackness; but is longsuffering to us-ward, not willing that any should perish, but that all should come to repentance."
2 Peter 3:9, KJV
Another article which deals with the scope of God's Salvation is entitled "Is the Message of Salvation Meant for All Men?". After explaining what God's overall Will is for humanity, Jesus then narrows things down a little more for us when He tells His Disciples:
"Ye have not chosen me, but I have chosen you, and ordained you, that ye should go and bring forth fruit, and that your fruit should remain: that whatsoever ye shall ask of the Father in my name, he may give it you."
John 15:16, KJV
This same message is born out in the Gospel of Mark. Notice the interesting numerology between these two verses:
"And he said unto them, Go ye into all the world, and preach the gospel to every creature."
Mark 16:15, KJV
Once we fulfill God's overall Will for our lives by believing in Jesus, we are then expected to do what we can to carry that same Message to others. As I have explained on other occasions, being saved is like possessing a great treasure. It is something we should want to share with as many as we possibly can, by whatever means we can. Jesus also compared the Kingdom of Heaven to a great treasure in the following:
"Again, the kingdom of heaven is like unto treasure hid in a field; the which when a man hath found, he hideth, and for joy thereof goeth and selleth all that he hath, and buyeth that field."
Matthew 13:44, KJV
Now some will argue, "Yes, but preaching the Good News was just for them in those days. That was just for the Disciples whom Jesus had personally hand chosen to spread the Gospel, not for us today. After all, times have changed. I have a family to support. I have bills to pay, etc." This is indeed true. Life has become much more complicated than in those bygone days; although even then they had these same basic responsibilities. They had to support their families. They had to pay the Temple tithe. They had to pay Roman taxes. However, at the same time, allow me to ask you: Has God changed? Is He any less powerful than He was back then? Is He unable to provide for His servants as in the days of old? To say that the Lord is no longer as great as He used to be would be in total contradiction to the Scriptures:
"Behold, the LORD'S hand is not shortened, that it cannot save; neither his ear heavy, that it cannot hear:"
Isaiah 59:1, KJV
"Bring ye all the tithes into the storehouse, that there may be meat in mine house, and prove me now herewith, saith the LORD of hosts, if I will not open you the windows of heaven, and pour you out a blessing, that there shall not be room enough to receive it."
Malachi 3:10, KJV
"But my God shall supply all your need according to his riches in glory by Christ Jesus."
Philippians 4:19, KJV
"Jesus Christ the same yesterday, and to day, and for ever."
Hebrews 13:8, KJV
What it really comes down to is a matter of personal choice. We must each operate according to our own degree of faith and personal conviction. Jesus is indeed doing the calling, but it is entirely up to us how we choose to respond to His call:
"And he saith unto them, Follow me, and I will make you fishers of men. And they straightway left their nets, and followed him."
Matthew 4:19-20, KJV
"For many are called, but few are chosen."
Matthew 22:14, KJV
"My sheep hear my voice, and I know them, and they follow me:"
John 10:27, KJV
As back then, not everyone is willing to just give up everything by forsaking family, friends and material possessions in order to follow Jesus. It takes a special kind of person to do this, and they are indeed far and few. There is a price to pay for such dedicated service to the Lord. Believe me, I know because I have done it:
"And a man's foes shall be they of his own household. He that loveth father or mother more than me is not worthy of me: and he that loveth son or daughter more than me is not worthy of me. And he that taketh not his cross, and followeth after me, is not worthy of me."
Matthew 10:36-38, KJV
"And he said to them all, If any man will come after me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross daily, and follow me. For whosoever will save his life shall lose it: but whosoever will lose his life for my sake, the same shall save it."
Luke 9:23-24, KJV
Because there is such a high price to pay in order to be a fulltime Disciple of Jesus Christ, even back then Jesus admonished those who would follow Him to first count the cost:
"For which of you, intending to build a tower, sitteth not down first, and counteth the cost, whether he have sufficient to finish it? Lest haply, after he hath laid the foundation, and is not able to finish it, all that behold it begin to mock him, Saying, This man began to build, and was not able to finish. Or what king, going to make war against another king, sitteth not down first, and consulteth whether he be able with ten thousand to meet him that cometh against him with twenty thousand? Or else, while the other is yet a great way off, he sendeth an ambassage, and desireth conditions of peace. So likewise, whosoever he be of you that forsaketh not all that he hath, he cannot be my disciple."
Luke 14:28-33, KJV
To those who are willing to take this plunge of faith, the Lord offers blessings both in this life, and in the Life to come:
"Then Peter began to say unto him, Lo, we have left all, and have followed thee. And Jesus answered and said, Verily I say unto you, There is no man that hath left house, or brethren, or sisters, or father, or mother, or wife, or children, or lands, for my sake, and the gospel's, But he shall receive an hundredfold now in this time, houses, and brethren, and sisters, and mothers, and children, and lands, with persecutions; and in the world to come eternal life. But many that are first shall be last; and the last first."
Mark 10:28-31, KJV
Again, not everyone is called to this particular kind of ministry. As I said previously, God's overall Will is that we believe in His Son; and that we then do what we can to encourage others to believe in Him as well. Exactly how you go about doing this, and to what degree you do it, is entirely up to you and your personal faith and conviction. Absolutely no one can decide this for you. Beginning with Abraham and the early Patriarchs, each one has had to decide on his own. Finding the Will of God requires a lot of soul searching. It can't be based upon a pretentious faith, but only upon real faith, a knowing in your heart that it is what He has called you to do. While writing about personal faith and conviction concerning the eating of meat, the Apostle Paul made the following comment which also applies to finding the Will of God in one's life:
"One man esteemeth one day above another: another esteemeth every day alike. Let every man be fully persuaded in his own mind."
Romans 14:5, KJV
God's overall Will can be compared to a mighty river. The river finds its origin in many small mountainside streams. Each of these might be considered one particular aspect of fulfilling God's Will; comparable to different levels of discipleship. When those streams come together, they are all part of that same mighty river and can't be told apart the one from other. They are all a part of God's Will; and they all lead to the same final destination: the ocean. The problem many of us encounter with this example, is in trying to discover in which of those streams we belong. What is our particular calling and ministry? Part of the formula for finding the Will of God can be found in the following verses:
"I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that ye present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable unto God, which is your reasonable service. And be not conformed to this world: but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind, that ye may prove what is that good, and acceptable, and perfect, will of God."
Romans 12:1-2, KJV
The first step we have to take in finding God's Will for our lives is to present ourselves as living sacrifices to God. This is not talking about a real blood sacrifice such as was performed by the ancient Patriarchs with the firstfruits of their flocks; but rather it is referring to a surrendering of our personal will and plans for our lives. This is where most of us run into immediate trouble. Let's face it folks; most of us are very selfish individuals. We each put our personal welfare first above everything and everybody else. As Paul wrote to the Ephesians:
"For no man ever yet hated his own flesh; but nourisheth and cherisheth it, even as the Lord the church:"
Ephesians 5:29, KJV
We are our own worst enemies; and not only our flesh, but our minds as well. This is why Paul also tells us that in order to find the Will of God, we cannot conform to the ways of the world; that is, the ways in which the world makes us live, think and act. We must allow the Lord to totally rewire us so that we no longer think on the things of the flesh, but rather on the things of the Spirit. We must allow God's Spirit to totally transform us into new creatures who begin to see and understand things with the mind of Christ:
"Therefore if any man be in Christ, he is a new creature: old things are passed away; behold, all things are become new."
2 Corinthians 5:17, KJV
"For who hath known the mind of the Lord, that he may instruct him? But we have the mind of Christ."
1 Corinthians 2:16, KJV
"Because the carnal mind is enmity against God: for it is not subject to the law of God, neither indeed can be."
Romans 8:7, KJV
Exactly how does this spiritual transformation occur? The Bible tells us that this process is akin to taking a spiritual bath in the Word of God. Consider these few verses:
"BETH. Wherewithal shall a young man cleanse his way? by taking heed thereto according to thy word."
Psalms 119:9, KJV
"Now ye are clean through the word which I have spoken unto you."
John 15:3, KJV
In Jesus' time, this cleansing of mind, body and spirit was the result of the Lord verbally speaking the Word directly to the people. After all, Jesus was/is the Living Word. Just by speaking the Word, people were healed. Just by speaking the Word, demons were cast out. Just by speaking the Word, men were forgiven for their sins. Just by speaking the Word, men forsook all and followed Jesus. Just by believing the Word, we receive Eternal Life. Today, in the absence of Jesus' physical presence, God has found it fit to speak to us by other means. Primary among these is the Holy Spirit. As I have oft quoted:
"But the Comforter, which is the Holy Ghost, whom the Father will send in my name, he shall teach you all things, and bring all things to your remembrance, whatsoever I have said unto you."
John 14:26, KJV
Notice that it says that the Holy Ghost will help His Disciples to remember the things Jesus had spoken unto them. Of course, we modern Christians weren't there in Jesus' day; so we have to rely upon what was passed down to us in the Scriptures in order to know what He said. That is the key. In order for God's Spirit to quicken things to us from His recorded Word, we have to know what it says to begin with. We have to study the Word of God. In Jesus' time, the people came to know and understand God through the things that Jesus did, said and taught. He brought the Old Testament Scriptures alive for them. Today we can do the same by studying His Word. To know and understand the recorded Word is to know and understand God Himself, for as it is written:
"I will worship toward thy holy temple, and praise thy name for thy lovingkindness and for thy truth: for thou hast magnified thy word above all thy name."
Psalms 138:2, KJV
The more we immerse ourselves in the written Word of God, the more we will not only come to know and understand God, but we will also know what His Will is for our lives. We will learn how God operates and what He expects of each of us as Christians. If you are in tune with God's Spirit, He will speak to you through His recorded Word. Things will just seem to pop out of the pages at you. You might be praying and reading, and all of a sudden there's a verse; and you think to yourself, "Wow! That is exactly what I was looking for! There's the answer right there!" What is truly exciting about this is that the more you read and study God's Word, the more the Spirit can link things together for you and show you the Big Picture. I can honestly say that in writing these articles, this is constantly happening to me. The Lord, by His Spirit, just pours it on, and I just type away putting it all together for you in one compact little package.
You know, sometimes I will get a bit discouraged; especially after I've received a few negative responses from the enemies of Christ; or from some of those self-satisfied religionists who don't like the things I preach. Sometimes I think to myself, "What's the use? I am such a mess myself. Why do I even bother doing this? Nobody really cares what I have to say. Who am I to tell others what to believe or how to live?" When this feeling comes over me, I'll try to shut up for a while and not say anything, and not write anything. But you know folks, it doesn't last very long. Before you know it, it is like God's Spirit within me just kind of bubbles to the surface and I am back at it again! The young prophet Jeremiah experienced the same thing. He received a lot of persecution for his preaching against the corrupt Jewish elders of his day. On one occasion he said:
"Then I said, I will not make mention of him, nor speak any more in his name. But his word was in mine heart as a burning fire shut up in my bones, and I was weary with forbearing, and I could not stay."
Jeremiah 20:9, KJV
In this case, the word "stay" means he could not stop himself. He couldn't withhold the Lord's Spirit which was trying to speak through him. Some are probably now going to accuse me of presenting myself as some kind of self-styled prophet. Well, I can assure you, I am not a prophet. A prophet is someone to whom the Lord gives something new to say, as in a prediction of the future. All I do is take what has already been said and written and try to present it in a form which is easier for some of you to understand. It is like taking a jigsaw puzzle, or a connect-the-dots, or maybe a color-by-number painting. All I do is endeavor to make a little more sense out of what is already there. I'm nobody special. I am just doing what I can to love the Lord and to love other people by sharing the Truth with them from what I have learned from the Word over the years. If anything, I would consider myself to be just one of many teachers or scribes trying to do what I can to spread the Light around.
But getting back to the main theme of this article, if I could simplify it into one statement, it would be this: To know the Will of God is to know the Word of God. Why? Because in knowing His Word, He can reveal His Will to you. Not only that, with so many false voices and lying spirits in the world today, unless you are familiar with what God's Word does say, you could very easily open yourself up to a voice which is NOT of God! It is important to remember that in revealing something to you, the Lord will never contradict something He has said in His written Word. He may expand upon it, but He will never contradict it. It is when we don't know God's Word that we put ourselves in danger. If you don't believe this, just look at all of the garbage which is currently being espoused by New Age thought advocates who claim to channel Space Brothers and the like. Most of those folks have rejected the true Word of God, so He has sent them their delusions. As I make clear in some of my other articles, this is indeed the Age Of Deception. The Apostle John admonished us in the following manner:
"Beloved, believe not every spirit, but try the spirits whether they are of God: because many false prophets are gone out into the world."
1 John 4:1, KJV
Within certain branches of Christianity, there are those who believe that we shouldn't make a single step without making sure it is God's Will first. From the minute you wake up, until the moment you go to bed, you are expected to be in the Spirit hearing from the Lord regarding every move you make. Personally, I do not know anyone who is or was that much in tune to the Spirit of God besides Jesus Christ Himself. Not only that, I think the idea of constantly worrying about whether or not you are in God's perfect Will throughout the day would absolutely drive a person crazy. It sounds like the same bondage as those who won't do a thing without reading their daily horoscope or calling up their favorite psychic. Additionally, it seems to me that this type of walk with the Lord would remove any degree of free will. In essence, you would be a robot, a walking zombie.
The way I tend to look at things is like this: We already know from reading the Word what God's general Will is for our lives. He wants us to be saved. He wants us to share the Message of Salvation with others. Exactly how we go about doing it is similar to the example of the river I discussed previously. If you feel that the Lord might be directing you in a particular direction to do something but are not yet sure what it is, the best thing to do is to just wait on it; and to continue doing what you already know is God's Will. For example, perhaps you are praying about whether or not the Lord wants you to go to a certain mission field. While you are waiting to find out, continue to reach those in your immediate area. In this way you are still fulfilling God's general Will for your life as a Christian. One thing I do know is that if something is God's Will, He will put it in your heart to want to do it. Consider the following verse:
"For it is God which worketh in you both to will and to do of his good pleasure."
Philippians 2:13, KJV
Not only will the Lord put His Will in your heart, but He will also provide the means to enable you to do it. If it requires money, perhaps He will provide the money by some miraculous means. Maybe someone will give you an unexpected monetary gift. Or maybe you will get an unexpected bonus from work. All kinds of things can happen. If it is someone you have considered speaking with about the Bible, perhaps the Lord will do something to put that person in your path. In some cases, if the decision involved a major change in your lifestyle, you might even want to ask the Lord for a specific sign. This is what Gideon did in the book of Judges. Gideon had a miraculous encounter with an angel of the Lord. During this encounter, the angelic messenger informed Gideon that the Lord was going to use him to free the Israelites from the hand of the Midianites who were oppressing them. Gideon listened in disbelief. He wanted some proof, so he asked for a specific sign on two occasions; what has become popularly known as "Gideon's Fleece". He asked for a sign; and once it was fulfilled, he reversed the sign just to make sure. You can find the entire exciting story in Judges chapters six through eight.
As the old saying goes, "Where the Lord guides, He will also provide". If the Lord isn't opening the way, then perhaps it isn't His highest Will for you at that time. As I explained previously, He has promised to provide all of our needs; so if He isn't, then you need to ask yourself why. If the Lord isn't providing for you in a certain direction, then you just have to trust that He knows what is best for you and not push the issue. The worst thing we can do is to try to go ahead in your own strength and wisdom. Remember the verses I shared earlier. This was King Saul's mistake; and it not only cost him his kingdom, but it also cost him his life, and the lives of his sons as well. So it pays to wait on the Lord, as to do otherwise may indeed lead to nothing but disaster.
It seems that in seeking the Lord's Will, He will usually answer in one of several ways: He might give you the go-ahead to do something. He might show you that it is not His Will at all. Or, He might reveal that something is His Will, but not at that particular time. In other words, maybe He wants you to wait a while. The main thing you have to remember is that if you humbly ask the Lord in all sincerity to reveal His Will to you, He will. He certainly doesn't want you wandering around half-confused not knowing what His Will is for your life. In the book of the Prophet Amos we find the following verse:
"Surely the Lord GOD will do nothing, but he revealeth his secret unto his servants the prophets."
Amos 3:7, KJV
Please go to part two for the conclusion of this article.
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