SEARCHING FOR GOD’S WILL

What is God’s will for you today?  I hear lots of people talk about doing God’s will and following His calling for their life.  I know that it is possible for us to know His will since God had the apostle Paul to say to the church in Ephesus, “Do not be unwise but understand what the will of the Lord is.”  God never commands us to do that which is not possible for us to do.  If God’s will were hidden somewhere so that we had to search all our lives to find it like some treasure hidden at the bottom of the sea, it would be futile to seek for his will.  But God said for one not to be able to discern the will of God indicated that they were not wise people.

But how are we to search for and find God’s will in different situations?  In this fifth chapter of the Book of Ephesians there are some clear answers to that question.  In verses 6-13 he laid down somethings not to do if we wanted to find God’s will.  “Let no one deceive you with empty words, for because of these things the wrath of God comes upon the sons of disobedience.  Therefore do not be partakers with them; for you were formerly darkness, but now you are Light in the Lord; walk as children of Light (for the fruit of the Light consists in all goodness and righteousness and truth), trying to learn what is pleasing to the Lord.  Do not participate in the unfruitful deeds of darkness, but instead even expose them; for it is disgraceful even to speak of the things which are done by them in secret.  But all things become visible when they are exposed by the light, for everything that becomes visible is light.”

To learn God’s will you have to be selective in who you listen to.  If we constantly listen to the empty chatter of people that are away from God it can lead to huge misunderstandings of God’s will.  I’m often amazed at the people some will listen to in trying to determine what is God’s will in a matter.  Often the voices people turn to are those who are living the very furtherest from God and His will.  It is like a young person listening to the rap music being played on radio or recordings they have expecting to receive a revelation from God.  They will idolize someone whose life is a huge mess, filled with immoral relationships, drunkenness and drug use that impairs their ability to think right.  Why would we listen to someone about life who is obviously making a mess of their own life?  I need to seek advise from people who are living the way I want to live with the relationship with God that I want to have.

Instead of walking in darkness we need to look for the light.  This light consist of all goodness, righteousness and truth.  I doubt this would be the ones the college professor would see as the enlightened person.  In truth many of the professors would say that the one living in these has failed to be enlightened at all.  They tend to see the enlightened as those who scoff at moral standards of all sorts and promote everything that is immoral, godless and without conscience.  Far too many are being told to “Just do what feels good.”  But someone needs to be shouting the message that what feels good at this moment may bring on tremendous pain as you continue.

If we are trying to learn what is pleasing to the Lord, we need to walk as children of life, not in the areas of darkness.  What should our attitude be toward those living in the darkness and blackness of sin and rebellion?  “Do not participate in the unfruitful deeds of darkness but expose them.”  Notice this doesn’t say have not fellowship with the people who are doing these deeds, but have no fellowship in doing the deeds.  Jesus was the friend of tax collectors and sinners, who often spent time with the ones who were furtherest from God.  But He didn’t involve himself in their sinful way of life.  But he was friends with them and helped them find their way out of that life style.  Notice Paul even said it was disgraceful to talk about the things these groups were doing in the dark.

Look then at the positive commands he makes for us to follow in search of the will of God.  “Awake, sleeper, and arise from the dead and Christ will shine on you.” “Therefore be careful how you walk, not as unwise men but as wise, making the most of your time, because the days are evil.  So then do not be foolish but  understand what the will of the Lord is.”   Sleep walking is just not a wise way to get around in the world.  I’ve had those times in life when I was sleep deprived and would be driving down the interstate, only to wake up and realize that the last thing I remember was thirty minutes to an hour ago and not be sure where I was or how I had gotten to where I was.  Spiritually we can sleep walk or sleep drive as well.  It is extremely dangerous for us spiritually and physically.  Wake up.  Rise up from the dead and Christ will shine on you.

Many times in studying God’s word and searching for God’s will in some situation, I go through time when I just can’t seem to see what the point may be.  Normally as I continue to study and pray about the matter there will come a time when clarity takes place.  I believe this is when Christ shines upon us to help us see the things that we weren’t able to see on our own.  God’s word isn’t written in some mysterious way that is intended to confuse us or make it difficult for us to grasp.  It is intended to be open, to show us the way God wants us to go.

Notice as Paul describes the way that is clear in understanding God’s will it leads one to “Make the most of their time, because the days are evil.”  God’s word is not some study guide for me to learn useless information that has nothing to do with life.  It is practical information that teaches us how to live in the world.  It is an evil world, but we are to be counter-cultural and walk as children of light.  “So then, don’t be foolish but understand what the will of the Lord is.”

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About leoninlittlerock

Preaching minister for Central church of Christ in Little Rock. Author of over 20 books including: When a Loved one Dies, Spiritual Development, Skid Marks on the Family Drive, Challenges in the church, To Know Christ and A Drink of Living Water.
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