Monday, September 1, 2014

Listening for God’s will

For this reason also, since the day we heard of it,
we have not ceased to pray for you
and to ask that you may be filled with
the knowledge of His will
in all spiritual wisdom and understanding
Colossians 1:9

We’ve talked about God having a plan. We’ve looked at the lives of Moses and Esther and discovered two different ways that God’s reveals His will for us. Sometimes He interrupts our lives in a spectacular fashion and other times He is behind the scenes guiding us towards His will.

This week we’re going to look at a few Bible verses that can help us see how God may be guiding us towards His will and how you we can listen for His directions. So let’s dive in.

Trust in the LORD with all our heart
And do not lean on your own understanding.
In all your ways acknowledge Him,
And He will make your paths straight
Proverbs 3:5-6

There are two types of promises found in the Bible: conditional and unconditional. You can usually determine which is which pretty easily. A conditional promise is like a Biblical if-then statement—if you do this, then God will do this. These verses fit that format.

First let’s talk about what God promises to do. He promises to make your paths straight. The New Living Translation says that “He will direct your paths.”

That’s the “then” part of this promise. Let’s look at the “if” part. There are three principles found here that will lead us towards the LORD’s directions.

If we trust in the Lord with all our hearts

Trusting in the Lord is one of the building blocks in our spiritual lives. The word trust means “reliance on the integrity, strength, ability, and security of a person.” In this case our reliance is on the character of God. We can trust that He is who He says He is, who He reveals Himself to be through His word. We can rely on Him with all that are; our minds, our wills, and our emotions.

If we don’t lean on our own understanding

This principle goes hand in hand with trusting in the LORD. In the book of Isaiah the Lord say that “My thoughts are not your thoughts, nor are you ways my ways...For as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways and my thoughts than your thoughts.” Sometimes we don’t see or understand what the Lord is doing. It is those moments we need to trust that He is going to work out everything according to His will.

If we acknowledge Him in all our ways

The final principle is about Lordship. It’s about submitting your will to His will in all areas of your life. This goes back to trusting in Him. Letting Him into every part of your life and into all that you do will come naturally to a heart that trusts in Him.

Delight yourself in the LORD,
and He will give you the desires of your heart.
Commit your way to the LORD,
trust also in Him, and He will do it.
Psalm 37:4-5

In these verses the LORD promises that He will give us the desires of our hearts and bring them to pass.

If you delight in the LORD

Delight in the Lord. Such a simple request which leads to such great results. To delight in someone means to take great pleasure in someone. That implies a close relationship so in order to take pleasure in the LORD we must spend time with Him-through His word, through prayer, and through worship.

Through this the LORD will give you the desires of your heart. I do not believe that this means that He’s going to give you what you want. If it did I would not bring it up in this post. I believe that what the LORD will do is not give you what you desire but give you desires. He will place His desires in your heart, conforming your heart to His.

If you commit your way to the LORD

This is similar to acknowledging Him in all your ways. Committing your way to the LORD means entrusting all areas of your life to Him, It’s submitting to His his control. This all comes back to trust.

After delighting in the LORD and committing to the LORD, He will bring our desires to pass.

So whether you eat or drink,
or whatever you do,
do it all for the glory of God.
1 Corinthians 10:31

If in the end you still do not know what to do or where to go, remember this simple truth: “whatever you eat or drink, or whatever you do, do all to the glory of God.” It is His will that we glorify Him in all that we do and as long as you are living your life striving to do that then you will always be in His will.

Photo Credit: “which direction?” by SPH (CC BY-NC-SA 2.0) / text added by me
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