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Finding God’s Will For Our Lives Part # 4

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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: https://settledinheaven.wordpress.com/all-about-salvation/

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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.”

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3 Comments

  1. […] FROM Prayer Warrior source https://settledinheaven.wordpress.com/2011/10/23/finding-god%E2%80%99s-will-for-our-lives-part-4/ #family movie -THE LAMP- one family's loss shows them how to turn to Faith instead of magic […]

  2. I think this will be one of the biggest “problems” throughout our spiritual lives, but more so for teens and newer Christians.

    I have found that the longer we know God and experience His presence in our life, the more aware we are of His ways. When we enjoy the REALITY of a constant relationship and experience with Him, we _KNOW_ when we are walking in His ways and enjoying His continual presence and we _KNOW_ when that joy is diminished because we are not where we should be, doing what we should be doing. (I suppose this is similar – but much more distinct – to human relationships, where we instinctively know if someone is upset with us)

    This, however, is something that the young/new Christian hasn’t developed and can easily be swayed by thoughts and feelings. As you have said, the need to study His Word is paramount as it is mostly through His Word that He speaks to us.

    • Rob Barkman says:

      Angela,
      I appreciate your point about the necessity of experience to better understand which “feelings” are of God and which feelings are of our own spirit. As we progress in our Christian walk our knowledge of His Word becomes fuller and our ability to properly compare our feelings with His Word increases.

      May the Lord bless you,
      Rob

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