Finding the Will of God Part 5

Posted by on Nov 19, 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. In Part 1-4 we discussed

4 prerequisites.

1. FAITH 2. SELF-DISTRUST

3. OBEDIENCE IN EVERY AREA

4. UNCONDITIONAL YIELDEDNESS

Our last prerequisite is:

5. A RENEWED MIND

And be not conformed to this world; but be [be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind], that you may prove what is the good, and the acceptable, and the perfect will of God. (Romans 12:2).

Worldliness plugs our spirit’s ears preventing us from hearing God’s voice. Every person living in this world is affected by its spirit. No one has escaped its influence. From our childhood every one of us imbibes, day by day, either more or less of the spirit of this world into himself – by what we hear, see and read. This especially affects our minds and influences our thinking. The decisions we take then come primarily from worldly considerations.

The Spirit of God Who comes to live in us, when we are “born again” is opposed to the spirit of this world and therefore desires to renew our thinking completely. God’s ultimate purpose for us is that we might be conformed to the image of His Son.

This is the primary part of His will for all of us. Everything else – whom we should marry, where we should live and work – is secondary. All of God’s dealings with us are directed towards this end – that we might become like Jesus (see Romans 8:28-29). But this can be fulfilled in us only as we allow the Holy Ghost to renew our minds daily. The more our minds are in this way renewed, the more accurately shall we be able to discern the will of God at life’s crossroads.

Worldliness is not basically something external – such as movies, computers, television, wearing expensive and fashionable clothes and ornaments, or living extravagantly. These may denote a worldly person, but they are only outward expressions of his worldly thought-processes. Conformity to the world exists essentially in a person’s mind and shows itself in various ways, especially in his decisions. For example, when considering a job or a career, a worldly person will be governed by factors such as salary, promotion-prospects, comfort, ease, convenience, etc. And when contemplating marriage, he will be influenced by points such as family-status, position in life, physical beauty, or wealth.

A believer’s decisions, on the other hand, should be governed primarily by spiritual factors, although other considerations should not be neglected. The glory of God’s Name and the extension of His Kingdom should be our first concern. This is why the Lord taught us first to pray, “Hallowed be Thy Name, Thy Kingdom come”, and only then, “Thy will be done”.

The process of discerning and eliminating worldly motives is vital if we are to know the will of God. To say, “God led me”, when our motives were selfish, is blasphemy. Far better in such cases to say the decision was our own than to take God’s Name in vain and give a cloak of spirituality to our worldliness. We gain nothing by merely convincing others (or even ourselves) that we are doing God’s will. After all, God cannot be fooled. As the Bible says,

All the ways of a man are open to his eyes: the Lord is the weigher of spirits…..Every way of a man seemeth right to himself: but the Lord weigheth the hearts. (Proverbs 16:2; 21:2).

The renewal of our minds will result in our beginning to think as the Lord thinks and to view situations and people as He views them. Paul’s mind was so renewed that he could dare to say that he had the mind of Christ and that he no longer looked at people from a merely human point of view (1 Corinthians 2:16; 2 Corinthians 5:16). His prayer for the Colossian believers was that they too might be thus transformed.

Therefore we also, from the day that we heard it, cease not to pray for you, and to beg that you may be filled with the knowledge of his will, in all wisdom, and spiritual understanding: (Colossians 1:9).

Such a transformation of our minds will enable us to know what pleases God and what does not please Him, and thus we shall be able to discern His will easily in the different situations we face. God’s promise to us in this New Testament age is, “This is the new agreement (testament) …. I will give my laws into their mind, and in their heart will I write them ….I will give my laws into their mind, and in their heart will I write them .” (Hebrews 8:10; 10:16).

Such a renewal will give us an understanding not only of God’s will, but also of His method and of His purpose – we will know, not only what God wants us to do, but also how He wants us to do it, and why. Doing the will of God can be drudgery if we do not appreciate God’s purposes. When we do appreciate them, the will of God becomes for us what it was to Jesus – a delight. It is because of our ignorance of God’s nature that we fear His will. If we knew Him better, we would rejoice to do His every bidding.

How can our minds be renewed? A wife living close to her husband in heart-companionship comes to know more and more of his mind and of his ways as the years go by. The same applies to the believer and his God. The new birth is like a marriage with the Lord Jesus. We should go on from that point to walk in close fellowship with the Lord, conversing with Him day by day.

We must also let Him speak to our hearts daily, both through His Word as well as through the discipline of trials that He sends into our lives. Thus we shall find ourselves growingly conformed to the image of our Lord (2 Corinthians 3:18). If we neglect daily meditation on God’s Word and prayer-fellowship with the Lord, we will find it extremely difficult to understand God’s mind. Meditation on God’s Word can straighten our warped and crooked ways of thinking and make us spiritually minded and sensitive to God’s Voice.

We can recognize the Lord’s voice only by becoming accustomed to hearing it. A new convert once asked a Priest why it was that though Christ had said, “My sheep know My voice”, yet he could not hear the Lord’s voice. The Priest replied,

“Yes, it is true that His sheep know His voice, but it is also true that the lambs have to learn it.”

A son identifies his father’s voice easily only because he has heard it so often. Even so, it is only by constantly listening to the voice of the Lord, that we will be able to distinguish it above the din and clamor of other voices that will ring in our minds when we seek God’s will. If you are habituated to listening to the Lord’s voice, then in times of emergency, His promise is, “And thy ears shall hear the word of one admonishing thee behind thy back: This is the way, walk ye in it: and go not aside neither to the right hand, nor to the left.” (Isaiah 30:21).

If, on the other hand, we turn to the Lord only in times of emergency, we are not likely to hear His voice at all. Some of God’s children are so busy that they have no time to listen to the Lord in their daily lives and yet in times of crisis they want to know His will immediately.

Daily fellowship with God in meditation and in prayer is vital, if we wish to have God’s guidance in our lives.

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