Do You Know God’s Will? (Part 3)

 

 Hello lovely readers,

As I begin to type this post, I have no idea where my thoughts, or where the Holy Spirit will lead me. When I first planned and made notes for this theme, it looked very different and I had not intended for it to be a series, so bear with me, as together we see how the Lord will lead.

If you have not read parts 1 and 2 and you would like to, please click on the following links:

Do You Know God’s Will? (Part 1)

Do You Know God’s Will? (Part 2)

 

*****************

 

Last week I ended my post with the following statement:

“When we do not know, or fail to understand, or refuse to submit to God’s will, the end result is unfulfilled potential.”

I had just spoken about the parable of the talents and how the man who received one talent had:

  1. Buried his God-given resource, undermining his future potential and
  2. Had a wrong perception of the Lord.

Perhaps the difference between this man who buried his talent and the other two who maximised their potential, was relationship.

The two who went out and increased what they were given, showed that they understood their master’s requirements. All three men were given the means and the same amount of time in which to develop and increase what they’d been given. Yet one failed. Why? What made the difference?

I believe it was a failure to discern the master’s will. And this failure revealed an ignorance about the master.

Why the failure? Why the ignorance?

I put it down to neglect and complacency. Neglecting to fellowship with God, neglecting to understand how the Kingdom of God operated and complacency regarding his role as a steward.

Now when a job applicant applies for a position and is fortunate enough to secure an interview, if that applicant is wise, he or she will research the company which they are hoping to join. It demonstrates interest to the potential employer but also reveals to the applicant the company’s ethos, history, aims and objectives. The person specification and job description reveals the employer’s will.

It is the same with the Kingdom of God. The Bible reveals God’s ethos. It reveals the person specification for members of the Body of Christ. It reveals God’s will. However, only the wise, only the diligent, will have the ability to discern and fulfil it.

When Jesus shared this parable, he mentioned that the story he told was a picture of the Kingdom of heaven. I think this parable accurately reflects how many members of the Body of Christ behave today. Whilst some will diligently seek to fulfil Father-God’s will, others will accept the costly gifts of salvation yet fail to use their God-given resources and opportunities to glorify him.

When we look at this parable we can see that the onus is upon us to use the resources we’ve been given and, as we are diligent, our capacity to know more about God, about who we are in Christ, about the kingdom of heaven of which we have become citizens and in which we are co-labourers, increases.

When we submit to the will of God, our capacity to please him, to be transformed from glory to glory into the image of Christ and to work the works of God increases. As Daniel says:

…the people who know their God shall be strong and carry out great exploits.

(Daniel 11:32b NKJV)

Dear reader, relationship is a vital key to knowing God and knowing his will. And that relationship has to be genuine, ongoing and meaningful.

In Matthew 25:16 we learn that the servant with the 5 talents traded with them. A relationship with God requires the trading of your time (the most valuable commodity you can offer), in order to enjoy his presence. And whenever you spend time in God’s Word, you are trading that time for exposure to the mind-set of God. You are placing yourself in a position to receive his revelations, his directions, or his correction. You are trading that time to increase your knowledge of God. Whether engaged in prayer, in worship, in meditation, in silence, it is time well spent and the Bible tells us that God rewards those who diligently seek him.

Do you value what you’ve been given?

Do you appreciate the fact that we’ve been given complete access to God’s holy presence and unlimited resources?

The servant with the one talent did not appreciate what he’d been given. He buried it in the ground. Can you imagine that? No doubt it was tucked away in the earth out of sight whilst he went about his day-to-day life and it was only retrieved when he was called to give an account.

When you consider this parable, there is information here that gives another insight into God’s will. He wants us as his servants to be wise stewards of all that he entrusts into our hands. If this man had only deposited what he’d been given, so that it earned interest, he would not have been so severely punished.

The Word of God is replete with clues as to God’s will. From Genesis to Revelation we see a consistent pattern unfolding.

God wants to fellowship with his people. God wants to bless them. He wants to enter into a covenant relationship with them. But he also wants his people to love him, serve him, honour him, glorify him.

Just as he did with the Children of Israel, He wants to show us off to the world around us. He wants them to be able to look at us and examine our lives and witness how he provides and protects and promotes us. He wants them to recognise that we are children of the Living God.

Dear reader, God’s will is to love you, to shower you with the benefits of salvation, with the blessings of his kingdom. His will is for you to appreciate his goodness, to thank him for his mercies.

These are just the basics. There is so much more. Will you be a diligent servant or a complacent member of Christ’s body?

The choice is yours!

 

This Week’s Prayer Focus:

As I wrote this post I felt a burden for the Body of Christ to wake up, to recognise we’ve been given a privileged position and not take it for granted, so let’s pray for ourselves and for our church communities.

And as usual, before going into battle please protect yourselves by putting on your spiritual armour.

 

Almighty God,

I come boldly into your throne room and thank you for the privilege of being able to spend time in your presence. I want to thank you for granting me all things that pertain to life and godliness. I want to thank you for your unconditional, everlasting and extravagant love and I want to thank you for your good, acceptable and perfect will for my life.

Father God, I want to honour you. I want to love you with my whole heart. I ask that you make my thoughts and inclinations agreeable with your will. I choose not to conform to the ways of this world but to be transformed by the renewing of my mind. May your perfect will be accomplished within and through my life.

Lord God, I bring to your remembrance those of my brothers and sisters in Christ, who are represented amongst my blog followers and readers, and those who are members of the Body of Christ in the various church communities or fellowships that we attend. I ask that just as an eagle stirs up her young in their nest, so you will stir us up out of our nests of complacency. Help us to pay heed to your warning to watch and pray lest we enter into temptation. Father God, I ask that you deliver us from the temptation to be preoccupied with our problems and not discern, or even care about those around us who are lost, who are grieving, who are without hope in this world.

Touch our hearts afresh. Motivate us to seek your face like never before. Enlighten the eyes of our understanding, so that we can discern your will. Empower us as individuals and corporately as a people, so that we walk in conformity with your will, so that we can effectively implement it.

I ask this in the name of your precious son Jesus. Amen.

© Carol Hind

*****   *****   *****

 

Sunday’s Supplications

Sunday’s Supplications invites you to not only read the posts but also participate in the prayers. Each week, I hope to introduce a new theme and prayer focus. You are welcome to print off and use each prayer provided, either verbatim or adapted for your particular circumstance. Even better, you can construct your own prayer and share with others by linking to this post. Please note, you do not have to be a blogger to participate.

*****   *****   *****

Women of Warfare followers and visitors have a blessed week!

 

CREDIT: The above CC0 image comes courtesy of Pixabay.com

Do You Know God’s Will? (Part 1)

 

How many times have you said that?

Not my will Lord but your will be done.

Did you mean it?

Did you try to follow through on your declaration, or did it amount to just another religious platitude?

I admit that I’ve said it many times. In good times and bad times. In times of prayer and worship when my joy, faith in, and reverence for God felt at an all-time high. At times when I’ve felt lower than low, when I’ve felt angry at how I’ve been mistreated, or disappointed that my prayer wasn’t answered in the way I wanted things to go, or discouraged because I just didn’t understand what God was doing.

Not my will God, but your will be done.

I’ve said it and truly meant it, even though I didn’t realise just what road this declaration would take me down. I’ve said it as an act of humble submission with sincerity, yet at the same time fearful of where God would lead me, fearful of how many more devastating scenarios I’d have to face, fearful of the next rough terrain my circumstances would demand I traverse.

And then there were the times when I’ve said it grudgingly because I knew or felt it was the right thing to do but, inwardly I was torn. Of course I want God’s will and power to be manifested in my life but I had wanted it in my timing. I wasn’t sure I wanted God’s will any longer. I didn’t want to accept that his will was the right thing for me at this juncture of my life. Surely, it’s too late now! Besides I have other responsibilities, other ambitions and goals and right now, your will Father-God would just be an inconvenience, it would be too much of a burden, a challenge. I was ready, willing and able years ago, but now I’m not so sure, now I don’t feel 100 percent willing!

Is there anyone who can relate?

Allow me to fast forward to today. During my devotional time, the following scripture was the theme text:

 

Therefore do not be unwise, but understand what the will of the Lord is.

Ephesians 5:17 (NKJV)

 

Now the above verse represents another one of my frequent prayers throughout my discipleship history. A prayer that makes absolute sense if you are going to utter the words: not my will Lord but your will be done.

 And it is this verse that provided me the idea for today’s post.

So let me ask you, do you understand what God’s will is?

Of course there is the specific will God has for each human being on earth. That specific will determines our pre-ordained purpose in life. Whether we know what that purpose is or not, whether we fulfil it or not, I believe God has a specific purpose for each one of us—a purpose that represents his will for our lives.

But there is also the general will that God has for his people. Now whilst the onus is upon us as individuals to discover God’s specific purpose for our lives, we only have to pay heed to the things God shares openly in his Word, to understand His general will for the members of his beloved family, indeed for the entire human race.

Dear reader, do you know your Father-God’s will? Do you understand what his will is… what his general disposition toward you is?

Now the Enemy (God’s and ours), is quick to try and undermine our confidence in our Heavenly Father and loves to sow ambivalent seeds in our hearts, suggesting that God’s will involves constant hardship, hassles and hurts.

So that’s why I feel it important to encourage my readers about what God’s Word reveals concerning his will for us as brothers and sisters in Christ. And not just for us, but for whosoever wishes to commit their life into his capable hands. I feel it is important that we use God’s Word, our understanding of His will to counteract the Enemy’s lies, which daily accost and seek to overwhelm our minds.

Let’s begin with the word understanding.

Chambers 21st Century Dictionary defines the word as follows:

 

  • The act of understanding or the ability to understand
  • Someone’s perception or interpretation of information received
  • An informal agreement
  • A sympathetic harmony of viewpoints
  • A condition agreed upon

 

For the purposes of this post, I will be focussing on the first two noun definitions.

Let’s look again at this first definition, together with the verse quoted from Ephesians 5:17.

God’s Word implies that we are capable of discerning and understanding His will. So whilst I take you on my theme’s journey, whether or not it is your current experience, may I ask you to please bear this definition and scriptural truth in mind? May I encourage you to mull over and accept the following statement as fact?

You are capable of knowing and fully understanding God’s will.

Perhaps you are thinking: “Well what makes you say this Lady Cee? What makes you so sure?”

At this point, let me ask you to look at definition number 2:

  • Someone’s perception or interpretation of information received

 

God has given us his Word, Jesus has given us his Holy Spirit to teach and help us interpret it and, as humans, we possess the mental ability to analyse biblical truth, to reason and deduce.

Let me reiterate – we have three powerful means by which we are able to know and understand God’s will:

  • The Bible
  • The Holy Spirit and
  • The exercising of a renewed mind

Consider also the following three scriptures:

Do not conform any longer to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is—his good, pleasing and perfect will. (Romans 12:2 NIV)

…the Spirit intercedes for the saints in accordance with God’s will. (Romans 8:27)

for it is God who works in you to will and to act according to his good purpose. (Philippians 2:13)

 

To be continued…

 

This Week’s Prayer Focus:

Let’s invite God to work within our hearts, making us agreeable to his will. And where we are unsure, or where we have had our faith shaken regarding his will for our lives, let’s ask him to open our understanding, so we can know and walk in conformity with his plan and purpose for our lives.

Prayer warriors and interns, don’t forget to put on your spiritual armour!

 

Father-God,

I love you. My heart’s desire is to know you better, to know and understand your good and perfect will for my life. I thank you for your Word, which reveals your heart and will for me. Whatever I may face, empower me by your Holy Spirit, to follow Jesus’ example and say in all sincerity: “not my will Lord God but let your will, your good, perfect and acceptable will be done, be fulfilled, in and through my life.”

Loving Father-God, it is not your will that anyone should perish. I therefore bring before you those amongst my readership, who do not have a relationship with you. I ask that you reveal to them the reality of your existence, the awesomeness of your power, the all-embracing quality of your love and mercy. I ask that you present the truth of your being to their spirit, that you cast down all blinding and erroneous beliefs, all false and deceptive arguments, all ungodly mindsets, which govern their lives and exalts itself against the knowledge of Christ.

With regard to myself and your beloved children, those brothers and sisters in Christ, represented amongst my readership, I ask that you stir up within us an ever-increasing desire to be a diligent student of your Word. May we yearn to become more intimately acquainted with you, to be filled with the wisdom that comes from above, so that we may know, understand, be in agreement with and fulfil your will for our lives.

In Jesus’s name I pray. Amen.

© Carol Hind

*****   *****   *****

 

Sunday’s Supplications

Sunday’s Supplications invites you to not only read the posts but also participate in the prayers. Each week, I hope to introduce a new theme and prayer focus. You are welcome to print off and use each prayer provided, either verbatim or adapted for your particular circumstance. Even better, you can construct your own prayer and share with others by linking to this post. Please note, you do not have to be a blogger to participate.

*****   *****   *****

Women of Warfare followers and visitors have a blessed and victorious week!

 

If you do not have a close, meaningful relationship with God and would like to know how you may become one of his children, please don’t hesitate to read the following post (click here)

And if you’ve been touched, or challenged by this post I’d love to hear from you. You can connect either through a comment box below, or via my contact page.

CREDIT: the above CC0 image comes courtesy of Pixabay.com