Bill GrandfieldJanuary 1st, 2012
How do we determine what God's will is for us? We have His word that gives us instruction in general, so to speak. Yet is it so general? We are told in Ephesians and other places how to conduct our marriages in some detail. This is just one example. It is our pride that puts a block on our understanding. Now consider the directions that we should take at work. Here we have to fall back on submission to Gods general instructions for our lives. However we live in a messy world and our hearts are corrupt and deceitful. We may not like to admit this but we must as it is what God says about us. The Spirit lives in us yet the old man is still there. Both have a voice, how do we know which is which especially when our ability to make good judgement is impaired by sin? God promises wisdom to those who ask for it but we must not doubt. We face a decision between two ore more alternatives. Both are honest and can be followed in truth and with compassion. Would either be equally fruitful? God has a direction for our lives, he also has a direction for the situations in which we live. So how do we determine which way to go? We pray but there is no 'sign post' to follow. Various alternatives present themselves to our concience. How do we know which is the prompting of the Spirit and which is our vanity? Can we follow the course that seems most reasonable to us and trust God to bring the success. He could bring a result that we do not like. Would this then be the right or the wrong one? We know that God works out all things for the good of those that love him. This is 'all things' however and not specific things. When we hear people speak on this subject it seems clear to me that their opinions are strongly coloured by their hopes and experiences, both good and bad. It is clear therefore that we can argue ourselves in circles with this. So, what do you think? Do we worry ourselves about it or get on and do what we believe to be correct after prayer?
elizabeth brazeMay 21st, 2012
0May 29th, 2012
You’re right that we should be seeking God’s desires for us in prayer, but prayer is only one part. Immersing ourselves in the Bible allows God’s word to form and shape our motivations so that our will comes from God’s will, so that our will follows his heart right from the beginning. Romans 12:1-2 says, “Therefore, I urge you, brothers and sisters, in view of God’s mercy, to offer your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and pleasing to God—this is your true and proper worship. Do not conform 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.” Cultivating a life that digs into and dwells in scripture will transform you and renew your mind.
With a renewed mind, we can test our options against scripture. Based on what we know from scripture we can ask questions like: Is one or the other contrary to the specifics commands God gives us? What about the general instructions like “love your neighbor” – will one or the other help me to do this? Will it hinder me? Paul says in Romans 12 that we should be living sacrifices. Sacrifices direct all the glory, praise, and honor back to God. Yet another way to evaluate each option – is it for the glory of God or am I seeking glory for myself?
You are correct that much of the Bible offer us general guidelines for living faithful lives, but that he also gives us the Holy Spirit. Reading scripture and praying are two ways we make our hearts available to the movement and guidance of the Holy Spirit. But the Holy Spirit isn’t a sign-giver or a little white angel that sits on your shoulder opposite the devil telling you what choice to make. The Holy Spirit is a helper. Only with the Holy Spirit can we even understand the meaning of scripture. With the Holy Spirit, we can apply our understanding of God’s will in scripture to our unique situation – that maybe isn’t directly addressed in scripture. Then the Holy Spirit helps us to discern God’s will in this new situation.
When it comes to prayer, we can and should ask for God’s will and that he would make it clear to us. Matthew 7:7-8 say, “Ask and it will be given to you; seek and you will find; knock and the door will be opened to you. For everyone who asks receives; the one who seeks finds; and to the one who knocks, the door will be opened.” But it is also valuable to pray for the mind of Christ and ask for gifts like the wisdom of King Solomon. God wants to bless us with his gifts, we only need to ask.
So to answer your final question: “So, what do you think? Do we worry ourselves about it or get on and do what we believe to be correct after prayer?
Ultimately, I think it’s both and neither. We know from the Bible that worrying doesn’t do any good (Matthew 6:25-27, 34; Luke 12:22-25). But a prayer shouldn’t be done flippantly either, just so we can feel better that we “prayed about it” before deciding. We should be intentional and cautious. We should give each decision thought and prayer appropriate to its significance. With the help of the Holy Spirit, we check our intentions and motivations against scripture. We listen for God. Then, if God has not closed any door and more than one alternative is still open to us, then yes, we make a decision. We make a decision and take God at his word – that when we are rooted in him, we will bear fruit for his kingdom (John 15:5).
SKosterMarch 31st, 2010
God met Paul on the way to Damascus. Paul's zeal against God was turnes to zeal for God.
Jedediah MartinMarch 14th, 2013
I forgot to mention that I need an engaging, thought-provoking,...uh...bible studies that you simply can't keep from going back to. A study that helps open God's Word. I KNOW that the Holy Spirit can lead me in study, but I haven't yet learned to discern His leading. Maybe you have a study on that? I would like for it to be one that I complete, and send in for grading. I am not looking for certificates, or anything like that. I don't need plaques, or any such nonsense.
janecSeptember 10th, 2011
I have been very underemployed for a lot of years and I am confused as to what I can do to fix this. I have researched my choices and graduated 3 times now with Diploma's that are supposed to get me somewhere, and I am still barley making enough to keep food in my fridge and a place to sleep. I have asked, applied and sought out help from a variety of services, and I always seem to come up flat. I really do not appreciate this cycle of poverty I am forced to live in. I am a single mother and instead of staying home til my daughter was old enough I have worked. I look around and see other single moms who are much younger than me and have no previous trainning in anything get good paying goverment jobs, I know of functioning addicts in great positions living in their own homes and going on yearly tropical vacations, I know of people who have lost their liscence do to drinking and driving receiving grants to have their liscences upgraded, I go to work and come home, I dont drink or do crazy drugs. Ive stopped going out to nite clubs a long time ago. I am active in my community and helpful;to my neighbours. I am great mother, a good employee and faithful friend. I just dont understand why life is such a struggle for me. I have been praying for years for God to open my eyes and my ears. And Im still not hearing anything.
AnonymousJanuary 7th, 2011
Please pray for my friend Mary -- she has been out of work for over a year. She was downsized - she is a good employee they kept her to the very end before closing up. She is 60 and encountering age bias. Also pray for my friend Jeannie W -- she is in the hospital -- bladder problems due to extensive surgery -- she had a perforated intestine and a mass which was removed. The trauma caused irregular heart rhythm and her white blood cell count is not where it should be. thank you for your prayers and thank you for being there
elizabeth brazeMay 21st, 2012
AnonymousDecember 29th, 2010
pls pray for the availability and common time of four government officials in my region so that a planned meeting will finally push through next month, january 2011 and the proposed agenda be taken up and eventually approved Lord willing...thanks dear brethren in the Lord...God bless.