Finding the Will of God Part 3

Posted by on Nov 12, 2018 in Pope Michael, Sanctification | 0 comments

Divine guidance cannot be considered by itself apart from our personal relationship with God. Many desire the gifts but not the Giver. If we long for guidance but do not thirst for God Himself, we shall not obtain the guidance we seek.

A person must be in fellowship with God in order to experience His guidance in his life. This implies, first of all, that he should have come into a vital relationship with Christ through the new birth. But this alone is not enough. There are certain other essential conditions to be fulfilled if we are to know God’s leading. These prerequisites are mentioned in two passages of Scripture, one in the Old Testament and the other in the New (Proverbs 3:5- 6; Romans 12:1–2). Let us consider these scriptures in detail.

FAITH

Have confidence in the Lord with all thy heart, and lean not upon thy own prudence. [understanding.] (Proverbs 3:5-6).

There are many who never come to a knowledge of God’s will, because they simply do not believe God will guide them. Faith is a prime prerequisite when we are seeking God’s guidance.

SELF-DISTRUST

Lean not upon thy own prudence. In all thy ways think on him, and he will direct thy steps. (Proverbs 3:5-6).

The one who does not distrust his own natural wisdom in spiritual matters has yet to learn one of the fundamental lessons of the Christian life. Meager intelligence cannot by itself deprive a man of the knowledge of God’s will, if the man leans upon God. But proud dependence on one’s own cleverness and foresight can.

OBEDIENCE IN EVERY AREA

In all thy ways think on him, and he will direct thy steps. (Proverbs 3:6).

We are sometimes eager to know God’s guidance in one area of our lives, but not so enthused in having His direction in other areas. For example, we may earnestly seek God’s will in marriage, but may not do so when looking for a job. Or it could be vice-versa. Or perhaps we may seek God’s guidance how and where to spend our month’s annual leave, but may never ask Him how to spend our money.

This is because we are inclined to want God’s guidance only when it is convenient for us. Selfish motives often lurk, unknown to us, in our hearts. We seek God’s will in some matters because we don’t want to make mistakes that might cause us suffering or loss. The motive is not that we might please God but that we might be comfortable and prosperous. Hence we fail to receive God’s guidance, for He has promised to guide only those who acknowledge Him in all their ways, those who gladly accept His direction in every area of their lives.

There are many areas in which God’s will is already revealed to us in the Scriptures. For instance, the Bible says that God wants us to be holy and thankful: “For this is the will of God, your sanctification; that you should abstain from fornication;…In all things give thanks; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus concerning you all. (1 Thessalonians 4:3; 5:18).

Similarly, we are told that God expects us to…”not commit adultery: Thou shalt not kill: Thou shalt not steal, Thou shalt not bear false witness: Thou shalt not covet: and if there be any other commandment, it is comprised in this word, Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself.” (Romans 13:9). If we have received God’s forgiveness and salvation, we should desire the same for our neighbors. God’s will is clearly revealed in the New Testament: we are to be His witnesses (Acts 1:8).

Loving our neighbours implies a concern primarily for their spiritual needs, but does not exclude their other needs. God has said,

Deal thy bread to the hungry, and bring the needy and the harbourless into thy house: when thou shalt see one naked, cover him, and despise not thy own flesh. Then shall thy light break forth as the morning, and thy health shall speedily arise, and thy justice shall go before thy face, and the glory of the Lord shall gather thee up. Then shalt thou call, and the Lord shall hear: thou shalt cry, and he shall say, Here I am. If thou wilt take away the chain out of the midst of thee, and cease to stretch out the finger, and to speak that which profiteth not. When thou shalt pour out thy soul to the hungry, and shalt satisfy the afflicted soul then shall thy light rise up in darkness, and thy darkness shall be as the noonday. And the Lord will give thee rest continually, and will fill thy soul with brightness, and deliver thy bones, and thou shalt be like a watered garden, and like a fountain of water whose waters shall not fail. (Isaiah 58:7-11).

God delights to reveal His mind to those who are unselfishly concerned with the needs of others.

If we fail to obey the Lord in these areas where He has already revealed His will, then we cannot expect Him to guide us in other areas of our lives. It is a principle of Divine guidance that God never grants further light to one who ignores the light he already has. God will not show us the second step before we take the first. “Which when thou shalt have entered, thy steps shall not be straitened, and when thou runnest thou shalt not meet a stumblingblock.” Or in todays words, “As you go, step by step, I will open up the way before you”, is His promise (Proverbs 4:12). He is interested in our every step.

With the Lord shall the steps of a [good] man be directed, and he shall like well his way. (Psalm 37:23).

Here is another promise of guidance for the obedient:

I, [says the Lord], will give thee understanding, and I will instruct thee in this way, in which thou shalt go: I will fix my eyes upon thee. Do not become like the horse and the mule (Psalm 32:8-9).

(The horse is characterized by impatience always wanting to rush ahead whereas the mule is characterized by stubbornness often refusing to move forward. We must avoid both these attitudes).

God speaks to us through our consciences when we are disobedient. We should therefore be careful to heed the voice of conscience always. Jesus said,

The light [or lamp] of thy body is thy eye. If thy eye be single [healthy], thy whole body will be [full of light]: but if it be evil [bad], thy body also will be darksome [full of darkness].(Luke 11:34).

What did Jesus mean by the eye? In Matthew 5:8, He connected spiritual vision with purity of heart. So the eye must refer to the conscience which when obeyed constantly, leads us to purity of heart.

By itself, conscience is not the voice of God, for it is educated and determined by the principles on which a person bases his life. But if it is obeyed constantly and brought in line with the teaching of the Scriptures and The Churches understanding of Scriptures, it will reflect God’s standard increasingly. The promise in Luke 11:34, then is, that if we keep our conscience clean we shall have God’s light flooding our lives – and thus we shall know His will. If we fail to listen to the voice of conscience in our daily lives, we shall fail to hear the voice of the Spirit when seeking God’s guidance. Instant obedience to God whenever He speaks to us through his written word and through His Church is one of the secrets of guidance.

I read of a fifteen-year-old boy, blind from birth, who flew and landed an aircraft safely. This remarkable feat was accomplished by his instantly obeying every order given by his instructor pilot. When facing life’s manifold problems, we may feel like blind men trying to land a plane on an unknown and invisible runway. But if we develop the habit of instant obedience to God’s commands, we shall find that we land safely.

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