One of the major signs and characteristics of true and genuine conversion - can often be seen and found in the desire of the new convert to both know and "be" in the centre of God's will...
Today we have this terminology in christian circles of permissive and perfect will of God. With the inference being if your NOT in his perfect will ... then just accept and be content with knowing his permissive will and in the end everything will just work for out for the good and better ( hopefully ) And so today with God's help we are going to have a closer look at some of these things and ANALYSE them under HIS divine microscope and JUST see what is gold, silver, and precious stones and what is wood, hey and stubble - in God's eyes ( His eyes, not mine )
But needless to say: The will-of-God Is very important in the life of every true disciple and is paramount and utmost in his or her thinking. And FROM the words of the Master himself we read this "For i am Not come down from heaven to do my own will, but the WILL of him that sent me"
The Jews that had just sought him NOT for the miracles but that their own bellies to be filled by the loaves and fishes. Asked him what is the work of God? And what shall we DO that that we might WORK the works of God?
What should we be DOING they asked Jesus?
However the answer they got was NOT what they had EXPECTED FROM HIM! What only believe in You!!
This is the same chapter that tells us MANY of his disciples went back and NO longer walked with him. ( after these words were spoken ) This was a hard speech Lord, and who can hear it? They said.
Today We often associate the will-of-God with religious busyness and servitude and outward shew. You cant just BE a christain ...you have to "be busy" being a christian, in order to be accepted. But often God calls people to be prayer warriors and intercessors at home ... and there is nothing that reveals outward works to others! The same applies to those who have the ministry of giving to the work of God - and often these ones don't let ANYONE KNOW what the left hand is doing froM the right hand! And no one SEES their giving and there charity. So u can plainly see one needs to be careful NOT to JUDGE others as having NO works! As opposed to otherS THAT HAVE the visible outward WORKS! And so we OFTEN mistakenly compare our works to theM and say they have none, but ah alas we judge them according to the outward appearance, AND DO ERR!
We often associate the will-of-God according to how much we are DOING for God! WHEN sometimes God simply says to his servant i want you to lie on this of your body side for x amount of days and when you have finished and performed that... i want you to roll over to the other side and do the same thing again for x amount of days (i.e Ezekiel the prophet) Or he asks someone to be like (Anna the prophetess) who served God with fastings and prayers night and day in the temple. Someone once used the phrase of "quality and not quantity" is what matters! And the fire will TRY every man's work .... Not according to VOLUME, but (WhaT SORT) it is... Some would reply TO ME: by quoting paul when he said he laboured more abundantly than them all! True and NO one is against (works of God) - but it would be equally fair to say that paul's works were in the will-of-God! AND NOT "OUT" OF THE WILL OF GOD! After all he got to the end of his journey and said this " I have finished my COURSE" IT WASN'T JUST A CASE OF JUST JUMPING IN ANYWHERE, JUST BECAUSE IT HAS A CHRISTIAN NAMETAG OR CALLS ITSELF CHRISTAIN. If that were the case i could say to myself " soul go thou and do charity for the salvation army and collect funds for them " aFTER ALL It's a christian organization, and after all i would at least be in the permissive will-of-God" As opposed to saying "God willing" i will do such and such a thing. For many will come on that day and say " And in thy name HAVE DONE many wonderful works " So here we HAVE a clear cut case of volume and turnover ...but finding itself being rejected of God. So now ive persoanlly come to a place where i don't do anything out of group conformity or peer pressure anymore! And im not moved to do something NOW JUST BECAUSE IM MADE TO FEEL GUILTY ABOUT SOMETHING - OR FOR NOT BEING SEEN AS GETTING INVOLVED!
Now Don't misunderstand: I know those things can often be wonderful, noble, and honourable as such! And i am one that actually does volunteer for (2) local charities annually in australia here. So im not knocking those oranizations or endeavors as such! Im simply saying: We should not just arbitrarily jump in anywhere just so that we can look good or appear to have works. That sounds more like your submitting to group conformity and peer pressure. Or perhaps you want to please the elders more than anything else in life? For if yet pleased men, i should NOT be the servant of Christ!
So the will-of-God is important and to seek out as such: That is if we want to please our heavenly father! And so we find ourselves often asking these pertinent questions again and again
~Where shall i attend worship, Should i change job
~~ Should i become a missionary ~~ Is this person the one i should marry ~~ How much should i give to God's work ~~ Should i move interstate or o/seas and take that job offering more money Etc.
Weve all been there and done that: But they are questions that often confront us! And so we begin the quest to seek out the mind of God on such things. But Sadly some turn to "personal prophecy" and for "words" from alleged prophets! However the results at times from these have been met with disaster. If NOT pandomonium ... (subverting whole families ) however That is an area we could say much on! but for the sake of time we won't digress much on this issue of " personal prophecy" and how people are led astray by them! But conversely so: Even words from the platform area or by some "self titled" prophet have equally figured - in like disatrous results!
The best and safest way: Is to seek out God alone in the secret place of prayer and by the still small voice of the Lord! And then once his mind is ascertained you will often find that the confirmations will come - and bear witness to your spirit! ( Amen and Amen ) Just don't get the cart before the horse, so to speak!
Ive been going now for sometime already on this topic! So i want to try and bring it to a close and summarize by giving some keys and principles for ... knowing God's will! You see at the end of the day, when push comes to shove, and all is said and done! We have a more sure word of prophecy ( the bible ) the written word of God as opposed to christian flakiness and alleged utterances! And voices telling you to go here and go there, and uproot yourself and your whole family! Not that we should altogether dismiss utterances, words, and prophecy as such as we see in the book of acts how agabus the prophet was absolutely spot-on-the-money with his prophecy to ( paul ) about his capture and his bonds awaiting him in jerusalem. And furtermore paul was constantly warned by the holy ghost that bonds and afflictions abide him! So im saying keep it all (in focus) and stay balanced - and this will stand us in good stead! And keep us from shooting of - into a whole lot of different courses and directions.
IN CLOSING AND IN SUMMARY
I want to submit to you (6) ways you can know God's will as it pertains to both guidance and direction - For you see God's will is revealed to us in his word! And Even though that is an over-simplification beloved. We often look for the big sha-bings and bangs! And the loud booming voices, and noisy cymbals and of trumpets sounding! When his written word is a "more sure word of prophecy" that is absolutely, unequivoacally, and irreversibly trustworthy and the reliable source upon which we stand!!!
#1. Holiness and seperation: Is the will-of-God!
If you pursue peace and holiness you are automated as being (in God's sight) as ONE who is already in the will of God! This is the will of God even your santification that you abstain from such and such... Other places in Romans suggest to us of "offering up our bodies as living sacrifices - that we might prove what is that good and acceptable and perfect will of God. Holiness is enroute to discovering God's plan for your life and christian service...
#2. Bearing fruit is the will of God. In John fifteen we are told if we dont BRING FORTH fruit we are cast forth as a branch and taken away! Contrastingly if we bear fruit we are pugred to bring forth even more fruit! Fruit is something a tree is known for - and is identified by! We may not fully know the HEARTS of men, but fruit is something you CAN definitely SEE especially when you get closer to the tree and have a look! (No)?
#3. GOOD WORKS ARE THE WILL-OF-GOD: Not just works (for works sake) or so you can say that you have them! But works "in God" and "FOR GOD" PAUL SAID TO TITUS LET OURS ALSO BE CAREFUL TO MAINTAIN GOOD WORKS! The thing is good works - will always work righteousness and bear fruit and produce godly outcomes...paul said in corinthians we dont purpose things after the flesh!
#4. Sharing your faith with the lost: Is always God's will as Jesus himself said that he came not to destroy mens lives but to save them....i came to seek and to save, that which is lost ....and likewise i tell you that there shall be joy in heaven over one sinner that repents than over 99 just persons that need NO repentance!!!!
#5. The coming together for fellowship: The psalmist said it was a very precious thing to behold the unity and coming together of the saints! And over in the book of acts we see them continuing together in one accord and in breaking of bread and going from house to house. The author of hebrews exhorts the church to maintain its commitment to both the formal and informal assembling together of ourselves. Now Some use this passage of scripture as a weapon of "mass destruction" against other christians. And to lay huge guilt trips upon others! Whom they percieve as not assembling ... and/or forsaking the assembling of themselves! Etc. But my OWN view on this is: Hebrews is exhorting the body - the church as awhole ... to maintain its commitement and stance to come together for frequent worship, for meetings and for corporate fellowship together. ( however this is just my own opinion )
#6. The prayer and study of his word: As we previously stated and alluded too - God's will is revealed to us (by his word)! But our downfall is to seek out a "word" from brother so and so or we run after (prophet joe bloggs) for personal prophecy and confirmation. Etcera. There are no short cuts my friends - though we often seek out the path of least resistance. Or the road that requires the least effort on out part. Get aquainted rather with - and give attendance to doctrine as paul told young timothy! And acquire an ear for that (still small voice) and the holy ghost will be more than willing to convey the mind and will of God to you. often we have to simply wait upon the Lord and be patient - and in due course we will have peace and assurance to do this and pusue that course of measure, and so by good cousel we will make war - proverbs says!!