Home » 2011 » October

Monthly Archives: October 2011

Finding God’s Will For Our Lives Part # 5

SIH STSTA ICON“Open and shut doors…”

 

Prov 3:6 – “In all thy ways acknowledge him, and he shall direct thy paths.”

 

In this short 12 word verse, we find one of the most precious promises of the Bible… the promise for the Lord’s leadership and guidance in our lives.   But in this same verse, we find one of the most difficult aspects of the Christians life… following the path the Lord desires for our life.

One of the most frequently asked questions I’ve been asked is “How can I find God’s will for my life?”

In the next 6 blog entries we will be seeing what God’s word teaches us about this important subject…

    1. What is God’s will ?
    2. Not my will, but thine be done.
    3. Thus saith the Lord
    4. Oh what a feeling
    5. Open and shut doors
    6. Summary of the study

    In part number 5 of our study lets study… “Open and shut doors…”

    THE SCRIPTURE:

    1Cor 16:8-9 (KJV) But I will tarry at Ephesus until Pentecost.For a great door and effectual is opened unto me, and [there are] many adversaries.

    2Cor 2:12-13 (KJV) Furthermore, when I came to Troas to [preach] Christ’s gospel, and a door was opened unto me of the Lord,I had no rest in my spirit, because I found not Titus my brother: but taking my leave of them, I went from thence into Macedonia.

     Gal 6:9-10 (KJV)And let us not be weary in well doing: for in due season we shall reap, if we faint not.As we have therefore opportunity, let us do good unto all [men], especially unto them who are of the household of faith.

    Phil 4:10 (KJV) But I rejoiced in the Lord greatly, that now at the last your care of me hath flourished again; wherein ye were also careful, but ye lacked opportunity.

    Col 4:2-3 (KJV) Continue in prayer, and watch in the same with thanksgiving; Withal praying also for us, that God would open unto us a door of utterance, to speak the mystery of Christ, for which I am also in bonds:

    THE STUDY:

    In our previous studies, as we search for God’s will for our lives (part #1), our attitude should be one of placing the Lord’s will above any, and all, of our personal desires (part #2).  We’ve also seen that knowledge and application of God’s Word is of ultimate importance (part #3).

    In our last blog entry, we saw that we cannot rely on our thoughts, conscience, emotions and desires to reveal the Lord’s will to us.  We must put all of these “to the test” by comparing them to the Scriptures.  If they align with the principles of God’s Word then we can follow these impressions, knowing we are walking within the confines of God’s Word.  If they oppose His Word, we then must recognize them as coming from our sinful flesh, worldly influences, or perhaps, even demonic influences.  In any case these type of impressions must never be followed, no matter how desirable they may appear to us. (part #4)

    If, after applying God’s Word to our situation and our impressions, we are still uncertain as to the path that He would have us to take, we need to also be observant towards recognizing open and closed doors of opportunity, signs of the Lord’s workings and the area of greatest need which help us determine His will for our lives.

    In several places in Scripture, Paul explains how he decided upon different paths of service for Christ…

    1. Doors of opportunity
      1. Col 4:2-3 – Here, Paul asked for the prayers of others.  What did he ask for?  Not for prayers of deliverance from prison, but prayers that the Lord would open opportunities for Him to proclaim the gospel to the lost around him.
      2. Phil 4:10 – But I rejoiced in the Lord greatly, that now at the last your care of me hath flourished again; wherein ye were also careful, but ye lacked opportunity.

    i.        In this verse, Paul recognized that the church at Phillippi was unable to continue to support him, when the opportunity to do so had closed.  Paul knew that we can only serve the Lord when the opportunity is open to us.

    ii.        Paul describes this idea as “redeeming the time” (Eph 5:15-17, Col 4:5-6)

    iii.        The Lord Himself recognized that there will come a time when we will no longer be able to serve the Lord on earth.  We need to take advantage of the opportunity while it is open to us. (John 9:4)

    iv.        King Solomon knew this principle as well.  (Eccl 9:10)

      1. Gal 6:9-10 – In this section of Scripture, Paul encourages all of us, that when possible, we are to take advantage of every opportunity of service that the Lord opens to us.
    1. Doors of opportunity and seeing the Lord’s blessings in a particular ministry.
      1. 1 Cor 16:8-9 – Paul decided to stay and continue to minister at Ephesus, instead of moving on to another region.  Why?  A “great door” of opportunity was open to him
      2. He had seen the Lord working among the people as he ministered to them.  His ministry, through the power of the Lord, was having great effect (effectual) among the people.
      3. Please notice that Paul was able to discern the difference between “opposition” and a “closed door”.  Paul knew that even though there was opposition to a his ministry the Lord was still allowing him to minister and to show His power.
    2. Paul choose to go to area of his greatest burden when more than one door was opened to him.
      1. 2Cor 2:12-13 – In this case, Paul had at least two doors of service opened to him. One was to continue to minister to the people of Troas, another to search for his friend Titus who had turned up missing.   In this case, Paul chose to look for Titus, perhaps he was thinking that the Lord burdened his heart about the situation.  Maybe, Paul felt as if he would be best used by the Lord to find his brother than to continue ministering to the people of Troas.
      2. If Paul made the correct choice then we can see that when we have more than one option open to us, we should ask “How can I be used the greatest in the Lord’s service?” and also “Where is the need to minister the greatest?”   Paul had made the determination that Titus needed him at that time more that the people of Troas.
      3. There is some question as to whether Paul had done what was pleasing to the Lord by leaving to find Titus.  After all, he made it plain that “ a door was opened unto me of the Lord”.  Would the Lord continue to keep a door open when He did not intend for Paul to stay?
      4. We will never know for sure if the judgment Paul made was the correct one or not.

    The one thing we can know is this… we must use great care in making our decisions based upon “open and closed doors” of opportunity.  They can, at times, be difficult choices due to our emotions and fallen nature.   Also, we need to see that  no one is perfect.  Even if Paul did make a misjudgment as to God’s will, it only shows that he was a part of fallen mankind.  Even those who are the most spiritual will make mistakes in discerning His will from time to time.

     

    THE PRACTICAL APPLICATION

    For those who are saved…

    We must be alert to the events surrounding us.  Many times, we overlook opportunities of service that our Lord has opened to us.  Also, when we are confronted with trying to discern His will concerning any given choice we are facing, we should be watching the events take place around us.  It is very possible, that through the events the Lord will be eliminating, or  confirming choices that will help us to see the path He would have us to take.

    In our search for God’s Will to be shown to us in our lives….

    Prayer Principle #5 -  We must pray for the Lord’s intervention in the circumstances of our lives, using open and closed doors to help us discern His will for our lives.

    For those who have never trusted in Christ…

    Just as the Lord opens opportunities to serve Him for His followers, so too, the Lord has opened opportunities to become a follower of Christ.  The Lord never promised how long the opportunity to trust in Him would last, but He did make it plain that the opportunity to trust in Him would end someday…

    John 12:35 (KJV)

    Then Jesus said unto them, Yet a little while is the light with you. Walk while ye have the light, lest darkness come upon you: for he that walketh in darkness knoweth not whither he goeth.

    None of us know what tomorrow will hold.  A car accident, sickness or other tragedy could bring an end to the opportunity we’ve been given to trust in Jesus as Lord and Savior.  That’s why anyone who has not trusted in the Lord Jesus Christ should seek His face NOW.  We have no promise of a tomorrow.  We need to be ready to face eternity while we can.

    If you have questions about the gracious salvation that our Lord offers to us, please feel free to refer to my blog page entitled “How to have a relationship with God” .  Or, you can find any Bible teaching church, I’m sure anyone there would be glad to answer your questions about having a relationship with Almighty God.

    ———————————————————————

    To see this lesson taught on video please go to my Video Blog at  http://www.youtube.com/settledinheaven

    If you have any questions concerning this blog, or if you have a subject you would like discussed, please feel free to email me at settledinheaven@gmail.com.    I will answer all emails via my blog, email, or both.

    Take A Look At My Wife’s Artistic/Scriptural Devotion Blog http://alivewithchristart.blogspot.com

    Follow my Squidoo Instructional Lens “Presenting God’s Grace” “The Solemn Obligation To Present the Doctrines of Grace to the Lost and Saved Alike” http://www.squidoo.com/presenting-gods-grace

    May the Lord bless your study of His Word.  Like God’s Word… may your soul’s salvation and your life’s faithfulness be “Settled in Heaven.”

    —————————————————————

    Finding God’s Will For Our Lives Part # 4

    SIH STSTA ICON“Oh what a feeling…”

    Prov 3:6 – “In all thy ways acknowledge him, and he shall direct thy paths.”

     

    In this short 12 word verse, we find one of the most precious promises of the Bible… the promise for the Lord’s leadership and guidance in our lives.   But in this same verse, we find one of the most difficult aspects of the Christians life… following the path the Lord desires for our life.

    One of the most frequently asked questions is “How can I find God’s will for my life?”   In the next 6 blog entries we will be seeing what God’s word teaches us about this important subject…

    1. What is God’s will ?
    2. Not my will, but thine be done.
    3. Thus saith the Lord
    4. Oh what a feeling
    5. Open and shut doors
    6. Summary of the study

    In part number 4 of our study lets study… “Oh what a feeling…”

    THE SCRIPTURE:

    Acts 17:10-11 (KJV)

    And the brethren immediately sent away Paul and Silas by night unto Berea: who coming [thither] went into the synagogue of the Jews. These were more noble than those in Thessalonica, in that they received the word with all readiness of mind, and searched the scriptures daily, whether those things were so.

     

    Rom 12:1-3 (KJV)

    I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that ye present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable unto God, [which is] your reasonable service. And be not conformed to this world: but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind, that ye may prove what [is] that good, and acceptable, and perfect, will of God. For I say, through the grace given unto me, to every man that is among you, not to think [of himself] more highly than he ought to think; but to think soberly, according as God hath dealt to every man the measure of faith.

    Phil 1:9-11 (KJV)

    And this I pray, that your love may abound yet more and more in knowledge and [in] all judgment;That ye may approve things that are excellent; that ye may be sincere and without offence till the day of Christ;Being filled with the fruits

    of righteousness, which are by Jesus Christ, unto the glory and praise of God.

    Phil 2:12-13 (KJV)

    Wherefore, my beloved, as ye have always obeyed, not as in my presence only, but now much more in my absence, work out your own salvation with fear and trembling.For it is God which worketh in you both to will and to do of [his] good pleasure.

    Eph 5:6-13 (KJV)

    Let no man deceive you with vain words: for because of these things cometh the wrath of God upon the children of disobedience.Be not ye therefore partakers with them.For ye were sometimes darkness, but now [are ye] light in the Lord: walk as children of light:(For the fruit of the Spirit [is] in all goodness and righteousness and truth;)Proving what is acceptable unto the Lord.And have no fellowship with the unfruitful works of darkness, but rather reprove [them].For it is a shame even to speak of those things which are done of them in secret.But all things that are reproved are made manifest by the light: for whatsoever doth make manifest is light.

    1Thess 5:16-22 (KJV)

    Rejoice evermore.Pray without ceasing.In every thing give thanks: for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus concerning you.Quench not the Spirit.Despise not prophesyings.Prove all things; hold fast that which is good.Abstain from all appearance of evil.

    THE STUDY:

    In our search for God’s will, many times we find ourselves relying on our ”feelings” to help us determine His desires for our lives.  For example, a lack of a guilty conscience can be interpreted as the Lord’s approval for a certain action.  Likewise, a feeling of excitement, or certainty, can be interpreted as the Lord’s urging us forward in our plan of action.  How about a depressed, or anxious, feeling?  That can be interpreted as the Lord putting the brakes on our current life path, showing us a need to seek another. A fleeting thought that enters our mind, can be interpreted as the Spirit revealing to us the path the Lord would have us to take.  Seeing the need in the life of other people, many times, is interpreted as the Lord’s call to a certain ministry.

    I am not denying that the Holy Spirit, at times can use our thoughts, conscience, emotions and desires to aid us in the understanding of His will for our lives.  However, we should never rely exclusively on these inward “impressions” to decide the life path for us to take.  So how can we discern the Lord’s will in our life “impressions”?

    1 Thess 5: 21 gives us a very straightforward answer to our question… “Prove all things, hold fast that which is good. Abstain from all appearance of evil.”

    The Lord gives us some basic principles of guidance to “prove” (put to the test) our feelings thoughts and emotions in Phil 1:9-11:

     … that your love may abound yet more and more in knowledge and [in] all judgment” –

    Our life should be centered upon showing love… love for our Lord and love for others around us.

    How do we show our love for the Lord?  One way, is to put His will for our lives ahead of our own.  Another way, is to become familiar with His Word (knowledge) and then apply it to our life decision making (judgment).

    “That ye may approve things that are excellent” –

    Another way to show our love for our Lord is to take the time and effort to put to the test all our life experiences ,and feelings, so we can know which ones He approves.  By using our knowledge of His Word and then exercising Godly judgment, we can discern which emotions, desires and feelings are coming from Him.

    This point cannot be underemphasized…. One of the greatest uses of His Word is to use it to prove what is pleasing to Him.  This applies to any area of our life.  The teachings we receive, the world’s influences on our lives, and His will for our lives (including the events we experience and the feelings we have) are to be put to the test using His Word and a mind that is renewed through a growing knowledge of His Word .   See Acts 17:10-11 (the Scriptures), Eph 5:6-13 (the truth) , Roms 12:1-3 (a renewed mind).

    “that ye may be sincere and without offence till the day of Christ; Being filled with the fruits of righteousness”  -

    What is the result of putting the teachings we receive, the influences of the world, and our life experiences and feelings to the test?

    It is two-fold righteousness both an inward righteousness (“sincerity”) and an outward righteousness (“without offence”). These two types of righteousness combine to bring about a life that is fulfilling His will and bearing an abundance of spiritual fruit.

    “which are by Jesus Christ” –

    Living a life that is fulfilling His will is a work of Christ in our hearts.  Christ, through His Spirit enables us to serve Him in spite of our sinful, fallen nature.

    “unto the glory and praise of God” –

    Living lives that fulfill His will brings all the praise and glory to the Lord.  Why? Because we are living our life according to His will due to His will because He is at work within us.

    Phil 2:12-13

    Wherefore, my beloved, as ye have always obeyed, not as in my presence only, but now much more in my absence, work out your own salvation with fear and trembling. For it is God which worketh in you both to will and to do of [his] good pleasure.

    THE PRACTICAL APPLICATION

    For those who are saved…

    We can prove what is His will for our lives, through an attitude of submission to His will and the renewal of our minds.  This renewal comes through a consistent increase in knowledge and application of His Word.

    The more we are familiar with His Word, the better we can discern His will for our lives.  The greater our knowledge of His Word, the easier it is to discern if our thoughts, feelings and urgings are from the Lord or elsewhere.

    Again, as in our prior study, we find that His Word takes preeminence in our life decisions.  If our feelings, thoughts, or emotions run parallel to His Word we can follow them without hesitancy knowing that we are living within the instructions of His Word.

    If however, our impressions, in any way, depart from the principles laid out in His Word, we can rest assured that the impression is not from the Lord, but is being produced from a sinful origin (our flesh, the world, or powers of darkness).  In this case, we are to flee from the path these impressions would indicate we are to follow.

    Rom 12:1-3 (KJV)

    I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that ye present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable unto God, [which is] your reasonable service. And be not conformed to this world: but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind, that ye may prove what [is] that good, and acceptable, and perfect, will of God. For I say, through the grace given unto me, to every man that is among you, not to think [of himself] more highly than he ought to think; but to think soberly, according as God hath dealt to every man the measure of faith.

    In our search for God’s Will to be shown to us in our lives….

    Prayer Principle #4 -  We must pray for the Lord’s discernment of His leading in our lives.

    For those who are not saved….

    The Lord’s will for the life of those who have never trusted in Christ is clearly declared in 1Tim 2:3-6 …

    For this [is] good and acceptable in the sight of God our Saviour; Who will have all men to be saved, and to come unto the knowledge of the truth.For [there is] one God, and one mediator between God and men, the man Christ Jesus; Who gave himself a ransom for all, to be testified in due time.

    For more information about salvation and the forgiveness of sins, please refer to my blog page found here: http://settledinheaven.wordpress.com/all-about-salvation/

    ———————————————————

    To see this lesson taught on video please go to my Video Blog at  http://www.youtube.com/settledinheaven

    If you have any questions concerning this blog, or if you have a subject you would like discussed, please feel free to email me at settledinheaven@gmail.com.    I will answer all emails via my blog, email, or both.

    Take A Look At My Wife’s Artistic/Scriptural Devotion Blog http://alivewithchristart.blogspot.com

    Follow my Squidoo Instructional Lens “Presenting God’s Grace” “The Solemn Obligation To Present the Doctrines of Grace to the Lost and Saved Alike” http://www.squidoo.com/presenting-gods-grace

    May the Lord bless your study of His Word.  Like God’s Word… may your soul’s salvation and your life’s faithfulness be “Settled in Heaven.”

    —————————————————————————-

    Finding God’s Will For Our Lives Part #3

    SIH STSTA ICONThus saith the Lord

    Prov 3:6 – “In all thy ways acknowledge him, and he shall direct thy paths.”

     In this short 12 word verse, we find one of the most precious promises of the Bible… the promise for the Lord’s leadership and guidance in our lives.   But in this same verse, we find one of the most difficult aspects of the Christians life… following the path the Lord desires for our life.

    One of the my most frequently asked questions is “How can I find God’s will for my life?”   In the next 6 blog entries we will be seeing what God’s word teaches us about this important subject…

    1. What is God’s will ?
    2. Not my will, but thine be done.
    3. Thus saith the Lord
    4. Oh what a feeling
    5. Open and shut doors
    6. Summary of the study

    In part number 3 of our study lets look at… “Thus saith the Lord”

    THE SCRIPTURE:

    Ps 19:8 – The statutes of the LORD [are] right, rejoicing the heart: the commandment of the LORD [is] pure, enlightening the eyes.

    Ps 119:105 – NUN. Thy word [is] a lamp unto my feet, and a light unto my path.

    Prov 6:23 – For the commandment [is] a lamp; and the law [is] light; and reproofs of instruction [are] the way of life:

    2Tim 3:16-17 – All scripture [is] given by inspiration of God, and [is] profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness:That the man of God may be perfect, throughly furnished unto all good works.

    THE STUDY:

    King David and his son, King Solomon, understood the important role of God’s Word in our decision making processes…

    1. In Psalm 19:8, David makes it plain that the Word of the Lord “enlightens” the believer’s eyes.  The word “enlightens” refers to “the break of day”.  In other words, without the Bible, we are living our life in darkness (much like the darkness of a cloudy nighttime).  But when we use the Bible in our day to day walk, it is like dawn (when the sun appears and enlightens everything around us) making it easy for us to see clearly and make wise decisions.
    1. In Psalms 119:105 – David makes the same point about God’s Word using the example of a lamp and light that enlightens the paths of life that we are to take.  Again, we see how the Word enlightens us as we make our daily decisions, helping us to understand clearly the will of the Lord.
    1. In Proverbs 6:23 – David’s son, Solomon, also exhibited the importance of God’s Word as a guide for his life.  He said that “the commandment is a lamp and the law is light” basically restating what his father has stated previously. But then he went on to say “reproofs of instruction are the way of life”, again, referring to the Word of God (reproofs of instruction), he said that they are the path that we are to follow in life.

    In all of these Old Testament passages the importance of God’s Word in our decision making processes is clearly on display…. However, one of the most important verses on this subject is found in the New Testament, written by the Apostle Paul….

    In 2 Tim 3:16-17, we find Paul declaring that the Scriptures are of utmost importance in our decision making, because they are the very word of God handed down to man…

    1. “All scripture [is] given by inspiration of God” – here “inspiration” is made up of two Greek root words, one is the word for “God”, the other is a word for “blow” or “breathe”.  This teaches us that the Bible was given to man by God breathing or blowing it to them.  Just like when we speak, we gently blow out, in the same way the Lord literally spoke the words which are recorded in the Bible.  The Scriptures are, literally, the perfect, complete, reliable, words spoken by God to man.
    1. Paul goes further explaining that these words can benefit man in the following ways
      1. For doctrine – teaching, to impart knowledge or facts
      2. for reproof – evidence, to convince the knowledge is true
      3. for correction – to straighten, to restore to proper position
      4. for instruction in righteousness: – tutor, to learn to be aligned with commands of God  The result of endoctrination, conviction, restoration and education in the truth…

    i.    perfect – spiritually mature

    ii.    throughly furnished unto all good works – completely equipped to perform any work that is pleasing to God.

    THE PRACTICAL APPLICATION

    For those who are saved…

    Please, especially take note of what Paul said at the end of 2 Timothy 3:16-17. In this section of Scripture…. “That the man of God may be perfect, throughly furnished unto all good works.”  Paul made the statement that God spoke His Word to man, was so that His followers may be spiritually mature, and entirely equipped to perform all works that are pleasing to God.

    In other words, His Word was given to those who are saved so that we can, through the Spirit, recognize and then take the paths that He has chosen for us to take in life… by following these paths we perform the ministries (good works) that He has desired for our lives.

    Paul, through the inspiration of Almighty God, says that the Word is all that is needed for the Christian to follow God’s will, and live a life that is pleasing to Him.  Paul did not say “the Scriptures plus good feelings”, nor did he say “the Scriptures plus a miraculous sign from heaven (like a lightning bolt striking a fore ordained object)”, nor did he say “the Scriptures plus other men’s approval”.   Absolutely not, Paul made it plain that the Scriptures alone would mature and completely equip a Christian to lead a life that was pleasing to God.

    Not only are we to be sure that our desires are in submission to the Lord’s will for our lives (part #2). But also, we are to give our full attention to His Word as the road map guiding us in the many choices of our lives.

    In our search for God’s Will to be shown to us in our lives….

    Prayer Principle #3 -  We must pray for understanding and application of His Word, through the Spirit, concerning the Lord’s leadership in our lives.

    For those who are not saved….

    The Lord’s will for the life of those who have never trusted in Christ is clearly declared in 1Tim 2:3-6 …

    For this [is] good and acceptable in the sight of God our Saviour;Who will have all men to be saved, and to come unto the knowledge of the truth.For [there is] one God, and one mediator between God and men, the man Christ Jesus; Who gave himself a ransom for all, to be testified in due time.

    For more information about salvation and the forgiveness of sins, please refer to my blog page found here: http://settledinheaven.wordpress.com/all-about-salvation/

    ———————————————————

    To see this lesson taught on video please go to my Video Blog at  http://www.youtube.com/settledinheaven

    If you have any questions concerning this blog, or if you have a subject you would like discussed, please feel free to email me at settledinheaven@gmail.com.    I will answer all emails via my blog, email, or both.

    Take A Look At My Wife’s Artistic/Scriptural Devotion Blog http://alivewithchristart.blogspot.com

    Follow my Squidoo Instructional Lens “Presenting God’s Grace” “The Solemn Obligation To Present the Doctrines of Grace to the Lost and Saved Alike” http://www.squidoo.com/presenting-gods-grace

    May the Lord bless your study of His Word.  Like God’s Word… may your soul’s salvation and your life’s faithfulness be “Settled in Heaven.”

    ———————————————————-

    Finding God’s Will For Our Lives – What Is God’s Will? (Part #2)

    SIH STSTA ICON“Not my will, but thine, be done”

    Prov 3:6 – “In all thy ways acknowledge him, and he shall direct thy paths.”

     In this short 12 word verse, we find one of the most precious promises of the Bible… the promise for the Lord’s leadership and guidance in our lives.   But in this same verse, we find one of the most difficult aspects of the Christians life… following the path the Lord desires for our life.

    One of the my most frequently asked questions is “How can I find God’s will for my life?”   In the next 6 blog entries we will be seeing what God’s word teaches us about this important subject…

      1. What is God’s will ?
      2. Not my will, but thine be done.
      3. Thus saith the Lord
      4. Oh what a feeling
      5. Open and shut doors
      6. Summary of the study

    In part number 2 of our study lets study… “Not my will, but Thine, be done.”

    THE SCRIPTURE:

    Ps 40:8 I delight to do thy will, O my God: yea, thy law [is] within my heart.

    Luke 22:42 Saying, Father, if thou be willing, remove this cup from me: nevertheless not my will, but thine, be done.

    John 4:34 Jesus saith unto them, My meat is to do the will of him that sent me, and to finish his work.

    John 5:30 I can of mine own self do nothing: as I hear, I judge: and my judgment is just; because I seek not mine own will, but the will of the Father which hath sent me.

    John 6:38 For I came down from heaven, not to do mine own will, but the will of him that sent me.

    THE STUDY:

    Our search for the Lord’s will starts with a brutally honest look at our own hearts.  Before beginning our search, we must ask ourselves the question, “Am I willing to do whatever the Lord wants me to do?”  By God’s grace we all can answer “yes” to this question.  If we can say “yes”, we are ready to begin our search for His guidance in the many life issues that we face.

    Unfortunately, if you are like me, at times, I would have to say “no” in response to this question.

    King David is described by the Lord as, “a man after mine own heart” (Acts 13:22).   David illustrates this principle when he wrote: “I delight to do thy will, O my God: yea, thy law [is] within my heart.”  (Ps 40:8)

    David’s desires were the same as the desires of Christ’s heart ….

    “Jesus saith unto them, My meat is to do the will of him that sent me, and to finish his work.” (John 4:34)

    “I can of mine own self do nothing: as I hear, I judge: and my judgment is just; because I seek not mine own will, but the will of the Father which hath sent me.” (John 5:30)

    “For I came down from heaven, not to do mine own will, but the will of him that sent me.” (John 6:38)

    Christ not only talked the talked but He walked the walk…

    One of the verses that has been the greatest blessing to my heart over the years is found in Luke 22:42,  “…Father, if thou be willing, remove this cup from me: nevertheless not my will, but thine, be done.”   To appreciate the depth of Christ’s devotion to the will of His Father, please remember the context of this verse.  The “cup” Christ is speaking of is His coming crucifixion.  Think about it… when faced with a horribly brutal death on the cross, Christ voiced His own desires to the Father before stating, “it really doesn’t matter what I desire…. I am willing to put my desires aside, and do what you would have me to do…. even to the point of a brutal, painful, humiliating, torturous death on the cross.”  (my paraphrase)

    After being given such a wonderful example of self-sacrifice, putting our heavenly Father first in our lives, shouldn’t we do the same?   Think of what a sad example we set when we go through the motions of seeking His will as an after-thought.  We basically are saying…. “I’m going to do (fill in the blank), I’ll see if that’s ok with you, Lord.”  What a shame.

    THE PRACTICAL APPLICATION

    For those who are saved…

    As Christians, we have been purchased by Christ through His death on the cross, paying the price for our sins.  (1 Cor 6:20).  That’s why Paul describes the need to be a living sacrifice for the Lord… after all, it is simply our “reasonable service” to Him. (Rom 12:1).

    Would the Lord deny showing us His will, if we sincerely desire to act upon His will, putting

    Him above all others desires in our life?   I think not.

    Matt 7:7-11

    Ask, and it shall be given you; seek, and ye shall find; knock, and it shall be opened unto you:For every one that asketh receiveth; and he that seeketh findeth; and to him that knocketh it shall be opened.Or what man is there of you, whom if his son ask bread, will he give him a stone?Or if he ask a fish, will he give him a serpent?If ye then, being evil, know how to give good gifts unto your children, how much more shall your Father which is in heaven give good things to them that ask him?

    In our search for God’s Will to be shown to us….

    Prayer Principle #2 -  We must pray for a spirit of self-sacrifice and self-control, putting our Lord first, as we begin our search for His will.

    For those who are not saved….

    The Lord’s will for the life of those who have never trusted in Christ is clearly declared in 1Tim 2:3-6 …

    For this [is] good and acceptable in the sight of God our Saviour;Who will have all men to be saved, and to come unto the knowledge of the truth.For [there is] one God, and one mediator between God and men, the man Christ Jesus; Who gave himself a ransom for all, to be testified in due time.

    For more information about salvation and the forgiveness of sins, please refer to my blog page found here: http://settledinheaven.wordpress.com/all-about-salvation/

    ———————————————————-

    To see this lesson taught on video please go to my Video Blog at  http://www.youtube.com/settledinheaven

    If you have any questions concerning this blog, or if you have a subject you would like discussed, please feel free to email me at settledinheaven@gmail.com.    I will answer all emails via my blog, email, or both.

    Take A Look At My Wife’s Artistic/Scriptural Devotion Blog http://alivewithchristart.blogspot.com

    Follow my Squidoo Instructional Lens “Presenting God’s Grace” “The Solemn Obligation To Present the Doctrines of Grace to the Lost and Saved Alike” http://www.squidoo.com/presenting-gods-grace

    May the Lord bless your study of His Word.  Like God’s Word… may your soul’s salvation and your life’s faithfulness be “Settled in Heaven.”

    ————————————————————————————–

    Finding God’s Will For Our Lives – What Is God’s Will? (Part #1)

    Prov 3:6 – “In all thy ways acknowledge him, and he shall direct thy paths.”

     In this short 12 word verse, we find one of the most precious promises of the Bible… the promise for the Lord’s leadership and guidance in our lives.   But in this same verse, we find one of the most difficult aspects of the Christians life… following the path the Lord desires for our life.

    One of the most frequently asked questions posed to me during my ministry has been “How can I find God’s will for my life?”   In the next 6 blog entries we will be seeing what God’s word teaches us about this important subject…

    1. What is God’s will?
    2. Not my will, but thine be done.
    3. Thus saith the Lord
    4. Oh what a feeling
    5. Open and shut doors
    6. Summary of the study

    In part number 1 of our study lets answer the question… What is God’s will?

    THE SCRIPTURE:

     God’s Sovereign Will:

     Prov 16:9 – A man’s heart deviseth his way: but the LORD directeth his steps.

    Prov 16:33 -The lot is cast into the lap; but the whole disposing thereof [is] of the LORD.

    Dan 4:35 -And all the inhabitants of the earth [are] reputed as nothing: and he doeth according to his will in the army of heaven, and [among] the inhabitants of the earth: and none can stay his hand, or say unto him, What doest thou?

    Acts 2:23-24 -Him, being delivered by the determinate counsel and foreknowledge of God, ye have taken, and by wicked hands have crucified and slain:Whom God hath raised up, having loosed the pains of death: because it was not possible that he should be holden of it.

    Acts 4:27-28 – For of a truth against thy holy child Jesus, whom thou hast anointed, both Herod, and Pontius Pilate, with the Gentiles, and the people of Israel, were gathered together,For to do whatsoever thy hand and thy counsel determined before to be done.

    Rom 9:17-24 – For the scripture saith unto Pharaoh, Even for this same purpose have I raised thee up, that I might shew my power in thee, and that my name might be declared throughout all the earth.Therefore hath he mercy on whom he will [have mercy], and whom he will he hardeneth.Thou wilt say then unto me, Why doth he yet find fault? For who hath resisted his will?Nay but, O man, who art thou that repliest against God? Shall the thing formed say to him that formed [it], Why hast thou made me thus? Hath not the potter power over the clay, of the same lump to make one vessel unto honour, and another unto dishonour?[What] if God, willing to shew [his] wrath, and to make his power known, endured with much longsuffering the vessels of wrath fitted to destruction:And that he might make known the riches of his glory on the vessels of mercy, which he had afore prepared unto glory, Even us, whom he hath called, not of the Jews only, but also of the Gentiles?

    Eph 1:11-12 -In whom also we have obtained an inheritance, being predestinated according to the purpose of him who worketh all things after the counsel of his own will:That we should be to the praise of his glory, who first trusted in Christ.

    And many, many more….

    God’s Revealed Will:

    Ps 119:1-12 – ALEPH. Blessed [are] the undefiled in the way, who walk in the law of the LORD.Blessed [are] they that keep his testimonies, [and that] seek him with the whole heart.They also do no iniquity: they walk in his ways. Thou hast commanded [us] to keep thy precepts diligently.O that my ways were directed to keep thy statutes! Then shall I not be ashamed, when I have respect unto all thy commandments. I will praise thee with uprightness of heart, when I shall have learned thy righteous judgments.I will keep thy statutes: O forsake me not utterly. BETH. Wherewithal shall a young man cleanse his way? by taking heed [thereto] according to thy word. With my whole heart have I sought thee: O let me not wander from thy commandments. Thy word have I hid in mine heart, that I might not sin against thee. Blessed [art] thou, O LORD: teach me thy statutes.

    Matt 28:20 -Teaching them to observe all things whatsoever I have commanded you: and, lo, I am with you alway, [even] unto the end of the world. Amen.

    John 14:21 -He that hath my commandments, and keepeth them, he it is that loveth me: and he that loveth me shall be loved of my Father, and I will love him, and will manifest myself to him.

    Eph 5:15-17 -See then that ye walk circumspectly, not as fools, but as wise, Redeeming the time, because the days are evil. Wherefore be ye not unwise, but understanding what the will of the Lord [is].

    Eph 6:5-7 – Servants, be obedient to them that are [your] masters according to the flesh, with fear and trembling, in singleness of your heart, as unto Christ;Not with eyeservice, as menpleasers; but as the servants of Christ, doing the will of God from the heart;With good will doing service, as to the Lord, and not to men:

    Heb 8:10 – For this [is] the covenant that I will make with the house of Israel after those days, saith the Lord; I will put my laws into their mind, and write them in their hearts: and I will be to them a God, and they shall be to me a people:

    1John 5:3 – For this is the love of God, that we keep his commandments: and his commandments are not grievous.

    And many, many more….

    God’s Individual Will:

    Prov 3:6 – In all thy ways acknowledge him, and he shall direct thy paths.

    Eccl 9:10 – Whatsoever thy hand findeth to do, do [it] with thy might; for [there is] no work, nor device, nor knowledge, nor wisdom, in the grave, whither thou goest.

    Jer 10:23 -  O LORD, I know that the way of man [is] not in himself: [it is] not in man that walketh to direct his steps.

    Acts 11:12  - And the Spirit bade me go with them, nothing doubting. Moreover these six brethren accompanied me, and we entered into the man’s house:

    Acts 16:6-8 – Now when they had gone throughout Phrygia and the region of Galatia, and were forbidden of the Holy Ghost to preach the word in Asia,After they were come to Mysia, they assayed to go into Bithynia: but the Spirit suffered them not.And they passing by Mysia came down to Troas.

    Gal 6:10 – As we have therefore opportunity, let us do good unto all [men], especially unto them who are of the household of faith.

    Phil 4:10 – But I rejoiced in the Lord greatly, that now at the last your care of me hath flourished again; wherein ye were also careful, but ye lacked opportunity.

    And many, many more….

    THE STUDY:

    1. God’s Sovereign Will – This is the “secret’ will of God that has been determined before the foundation of the world.   This will includes EVERY event that actually takes place throughout history. (Deut 29:29)
      1. Prov 16:9 – Here we find that mankind makes many plans concerning his future, but the Lord is the One that controls all the future events in one’s life.
      2. Prov 16:33 – Here, we find that although the casting of lots from man’s standpoint is a random occurance… it is actually predetermined and under God’s total control.
      3. Dan 4:35 – It is clearly declared that His sovereign will is done both in heaven and on earth. No one can hinder it
      4. Acts 2:23-24, 4:27-28 – Even the crucifixtion of Christ was a part of His “determinate counsel and foreknowledge of God”
      5. Rom 9:17-24 – Pharoah, his rebellion and his defeat, was all a part of God’s plan, which ultimately resulted in glorification of God. We cannot question His will, He knows the end from the beginning, but we do not.
      6. Eph 1:11-12 – Even our salvation and our inheritance are a part of His eternal plan.  All of this is why we are to thank and glorify Him for all things.  He is the One in ultimate control of all.
    1. God’s Revealed Will – This is God’s desires for our lives as revealed in His will.  Commands like “be ye holy” and “thou shalt not lie”, as well as “think on these things” etc. are all a part of God’s will for all His people.  These are all revealed to us in the Bible.
      1. Ps 119:1-12 – In the entire Psalm 119:, we find the importance of God’s Word for our lives stressed.  The Word of God in Psa 119: is given the titles “Law”, “Ways” , “Precepts”, “Statutes”, “Commandments”, “Judgments”, “Word”… the list goes on and on. And yet, the basic principle is that we are responsible to be in submission to His Word for our own good.
      2. Matt 28:20 – The Lord’s churches are to teach new believers to observe all of His commands (which are found in His Word)
      3. John 14:21, 1 John 5:3 – Keeping His Word is a sign of our love for Him.
      4. Eph 5:15-17 – By understanding the principles of His Word, and applying them to our lives, we can wisely walk in this world, using our time on earth to the greatest spiritual benefit.
      5. Eph 6:5-7 – We are to sincerely obey His Word with the right motives in our hearts.  This is an act of service to the Lord.
      6. Heb 8:10 – The Word is placed in our hearts, minds and consciences.  As we study and learn more of His Word we carry it with us and, hopefully, live according to it.  (Psa 119:11)
    1. God’s Individual Will – This is God’s desires for each one of us as individuals.  Throughout the Scriptures, we find followers of Christ being directed in their lives.  This direction normally takes the form of open and closed doors of opportunity.
      1. Prov 3:6  – Here we find that if we recognize His Lordship and submit to it in our lives then He will supply the direction we need to choose the correct life paths.
      2. Eccl 9:10 – “whatever thy hand findeth to do” – this can be describing the opportunities we have open to us.  Our responsibility is to take advantage of the opportunities we have in God honoring ways.  He is the One that controls what opportunities open to us.
      3. Jer 10:23 – We do not have the ability in and of ourselves to control the future events and opportunities of our lives.  This is all in the Lord’s hands.
      4. Acts 11:12, Acts 16:6-8 – Here is one example where the Lord used His Spirit to lead Peter to accompany men to a house where Peter received the call to Joppa.  Also the Lord led Paul in his ministry to forego preaching the Word in Asia and Bithynia.  In both of these cases the Lord used His Spirit to lead His servants to areas of ministry.  This Spirit leading could have been received as a combination of open/closed doors, the Word in conjunction with the human conscience, or even supernatural revelation (prior to the completion of His Word).  Neither Peter, nor Paul, explicitly details how the leading came about in their lives.
      5. Gal 6:10 – Paul clearly declares that we are to minister for the Lord based on the opportunities that are open to us.
      6. Phil 4:10 – Paul as he was writing to the church at Philippi made it plain that the church had faithfully supplied their support of Paul when they had opportunity.  But for an unspecified length of time, they lacked the opportunity to support him.  Note, that Paul was not critical of them and their lack of support during the inopportune times.  He only praised them for continuing to support him when they had the opportunity.

    The above outline helps us to understand that there are three aspects to the will of God.

    THE PRACTICAL APPLICATION

    For those who are saved…

    Here are the beginning principles we must understand as we begin our study of finding God’s will for our lives:

    1. The Sovereign Will of God cannot be changed by man.  This will of God will always be done.  Every event in history that has taken place, and will take place is a part of this sovereign controlling will of God. (Dan 4:35).  We have no need to be concerned about following this will of God.  It will always take place.
    1. Please notice that the Word of God (His Revealed Will) is the basis of the future judgment of the believer’s life. (Roms 14:10, 2 Cor 5:10)   It is this same Word that was given to us to lead us and guide us along life’s pathways. (Psa 119:105, Psa 119:11)

    Therefore, all of our life’s decisions are to be made based upon our knowledge and understanding of His Word. The revealed will of God for each of our lives is regulated by the Spirit’s inner witness through the use of His Word (1 Pet 1:22, Ezek 36:27) and in our conscience (1 Tim 1:19, Heb 13:18)

    1. The individual will of God is regulated based upon the Spirit’s intervention in each of our lives normally through open or closed doors of opportunity (Gals 6:10)

    In our search for God’s Will to be shown to us in our lives….

    Prayer Principle #1 -  We must pray for the Lord’s leadership in our lives.

    For those who are not saved….

    The Lord’s will for the life of those who have never trusted in Christ is clearly declared in 1Tim 2:3-6 …

    For this [is] good and acceptable in the sight of God our Saviour;Who will have all men to be saved, and to come unto the knowledge of the truth.For [there is] one God, and one mediator between God and men, the man Christ Jesus; Who gave himself a ransom for all, to be testified in due time.

    For more information about salvation and the forgiveness of sins, please refer to my blog page found here: http://settledinheaven.wordpress.com/all-about-salvation/

    ———————————————————-

    To see this lesson taught on video please go to my Video Blog at  http://www.youtube.com/settledinheaven

    If you have any questions concerning this blog, or if you have a subject you would like discussed, please feel free to email me at settledinheaven@gmail.com.    I will answer all emails via my blog, email, or both.

    Take A Look At My Wife’s Artistic/Scriptural Devotion Blog http://alivewithchristart.blogspot.com

    Follow my Squidoo Instructional Lens “Presenting God’s Grace” “The Solemn Obligation To Present the Doctrines of Grace to the Lost and Saved Alike” http://www.squidoo.com/presenting-gods-grace

    May the Lord bless your study of His Word.  Like God’s Word… may your soul’s salvation and your life’s faithfulness be “Settled in Heaven.”

    ———————————————————–

    Follow

    Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

    Join 2,781 other followers