Knowing the Will of God
(Bible quotations are from the NIV unless otherwise stated)
Knowing the Will of God
10th April 2009
For the last three weeks, we've been looking at the subject of knowing the will of God for our lives. We've covered the most important aspects of this:
This week, in the last of this series, I want to talk about two checks - two ways we can be more sure that we really have heard God. These are important, but not as important as the principles we've already looked at.
Listen to the ChurchPaul wrote:
1 Corinthians 14v29
It's good to listen for prophesy, but even if a prophet should say something that seems to speak to us, we should allow the church to "weigh carefully" what's been said.
A good principle to follow is:
I've taken that passage out of context. It's referring to criminal trials (see also Matthew 18v15-16 and 2 Corinthians 13v1) but I think it's wise to get more than one view of a situation before making any radical life change.
The writer to the Hebrews said:
Your leaders are given to you for your good. They make mistakes, but they're worth listening to. Whenever you think God has spoken a significant change into your life, it's good to check it out with your leaders. I'm not suggesting that we should always do as our leaders say, but I am suggesting that we should have a godly desire to hear them and "submit to their authority". If you don't want to hear your leaders' input into your life, it's often a sign that your sense of being led by God is, in reality, a manifestation of your own will, coupled with a desire to avoid correction.
Wait for the circumstances to be right
Consider this story. It hadn't rained for three and a half years. Elijah had just confronted the prophets of Baal on Mount Carmel. Now, after the Lord's great victory, Elijah was praying for rain to come:
1 Kings 18v41-46
Elijah waited - and waited - until a cloud was visible in the sky before he sent word to Ahab that it would rain.
Another Biblical example of this principle is when Jesus told His disciples to wait:
How fruitless it would have been for the apostles to begin their mission to the world before God had equipped them for it! And how sad it would be for us to make a similar mistake!
We can be sure in our hearts that God is going to do something, without any certainty of when He'll do it. Many a willing heart has been discouraged, and many a Christian life has been side-tracked, by assuming that when God has told us to do something, God must necessarily require us to do it now.
If it's matter of repentance, then we must indeed respond immediately. But if it's a matter of leading, then we may have heard God's word correctly, but it might be for some time in the future.
May God grant you the desire to hear and obey all that He has for you. And may God bless you in your obedient walk before Him.