Seeking God's Will
A dear friend who is going through some trials mentioned to me in a text that God's will seems elusive. She wants so much to be in God's will. At first I thought, "God’s will isn't elusive, because God's will for us is found in His Word." (2 Timothy 2:15, 3:16-17). One of the main reasons God gave us His Word is to show us what we should or shouldn’t be doing. Some examples from my own life are: God's Word says to love your neighbor as yourself (Mark 12:31), so I know I need to ask God for the strength to love my hard to love neighbor. Another is, when I am tempted to slander, I don't, because God tells me not to (Ephesians 4:31).
However, with the many choices we have to make in life, I understand God's specific will could seem elusive. I have certainly struggled with knowing God's will. There are those gray areas where God's Word isn't specific, such as: Do I buy another couch or keep sitting on the older stained one? Do I move to pursue another job that pays better? What medical treatment should I take? I could go on but I think you have the jest of what I am meaning.
If you want to know God's will, and I think most of us do, there are two important principles you should follow. First, have a lifestyle of prayer. As you pray, ask God to show you His will and He will. He does promise to answer our prayers. (James 1:5). Second, get familiar with God's Word. This is because, as you are seeking God's will, the Holy Spirit can show you His will through His words. God does use other things to give us clarity about His will, but these other things should never contradict His Word. (John 15:7). If you have a lifestyle of prayer and intentionally reading God's Word, then in reality you are walking with God so He can lead you in the direction He wants you to go.
Next, be patient and trust God (Proverbs 3:5-7). I find most the time; God's will comes slowly to me like building a puzzle – a piece here and there, until there is a picture of what I should be doing at that point in time. God speaks to us through a Bible verse then maybe another verse or two that leads us on the path He has for us. In reality, God's will for us, is the journey of our lives in Him - His plans for us.
"For I know the plans I have for you," declares the LORD, "plans for welfare and not for evil, to give you a future and a hope. Then you will call upon me and come and pray to me, and I will hear you. You will seek me and find me when you seek me with all your heart." Jeremiah 29:11-13 (ESV)
God promises if we ask, seek and knock, He will give what is good to us and that is certainly reassuring and empowering thinking of His will. I have found that God is always faithful, and with time and perseverance in prayer and reading His Word, His will for me is evident.
Ask, and it will be given to you; seek, and you will find; knock, and it will be opened to you. For everyone who asks receives, and the one who seeks finds, and to the one who knocks it will be opened. Or which one of you, if his son asks him for bread, will give him a stone? Or if he asks for a fish, will give him a serpent? If you then, who are evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your Father who is in heaven give good things to those who ask him! Matthew 7:7-11 (ESV)
God understands our unsureness, and smiles on our intentional desire to find and do His specific will, in both the quietness and the storms of life. Read Isaiah 55:6-11; Jeremiah 33:2-3; Zechariah 4:6; John 14:26-27, 16:13-15; Romans 8:26-28; Philippians 4:5-8, 13; 2 Timothy 2:15, 3:16-17.
Because of God's will, Gini