UNDERSTANDING THE WILL OF GOD

BY:  DAN BEATY

PART 1-3

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PART ONE

Many of us have come to appreciate the importance of living in the will of God. Perhaps we learned this after having made a poor decision, which bred a disastrous outcome. There are many motives people may have, but the real value in knowing His will is the peace of mind we can enjoy as we live in obedience to Him.

Anyone who truly loves the Lord will naturally desire to do His will, but sometimes human emotions can easily obscure God’s purpose from our minds. The effort to determine God’s will in specific circumstances has driven people to chasing after signs and dreams and even prophecies that are usually very vague and open to broad interpretation. Over the centuries, many people died violently and needlessly as a result of terribly flawed interpretations of the will of God.

In spite of all this, the fact remains that God does speak to His people in dreams and visions and prophecies. Some of these cannot be confirmed by the scriptures in every detail, but there is still a great measure of safety that can be found from a pure relationship with the Father and a thorough study of His Word.

It is true that much of what we will be discussing here must come as a result of direct experience, but we also believe in the importance of communicating and sharing experiences with each other. This can definitely eliminate some of the trial and error involved. In this series of articles, we hope that together we can explore some very fundamental principles that will aid us in following on to know the Lord and His will. Ultimately we must all experience the relationship that Jesus had with the Father when He naturally lived that will in human flesh. Every day direction and decision-making must grow out from this foundation.

Understanding the will of God begins with an understanding of the nature of God Himself. At first this might seem presumptuous, until we begin to reflect on the great lengths He has went in order to express Himself to us. He definitely wants us to know Him and His will, even though many religious ideas have often distracted us.

In past centuries He has gave us Moses and the Prophets to guide us. These men taught us and expressed unto us God’s nature and purpose, each in their own unique and individual way. The answer to the question concerning God’s will was answered by Micah very eloquently: He hath showed thee, O man, what is good; and what doth the LORD require of thee, but to do justly, and to love mercy, and to walk humbly with thy God.” {Micah 6:8}

These words definitely clarify the issue, and many of us would do well to step back and look at our personal and collective Christian activities to see if they really contribute to this stated purpose. I don’t believe any of us could go very wrong if we kept fairness and mercy and humility as principles to guide us as we walk in the presence of the Lord.

Being the final message from God, Jesus went even further. He was the fullness of the Divine Nature expressed. [Hebrews 1:1-3] He told us not only what to do but what we can BE. He said we can be like our Heavenly Father from Whom we sprang forth. Jesus also brought us the Kingdom of God. In this sphere of existence where Jesus walks, the will of God is not only practiced, but also powerfully demonstrated. It presents man in His highest level of existence. All other kingdoms are clearly contrasted from this one which is of divine origin.

Before Jesus came, it was understood that God was the Creator. This tells us something of what He does. By coming and living among us and dying to end our guilt and mistaken identity, Jesus revealed unto us the true nature of God. GOD IS LOVE. He not only has love but He IS love! It takes a great commitment to the truth, and the forsaking of some old ideas in order to let myself truly believe that — but when I do, the load that is lifted and the freedom that is realized is beyond compare! All fears are cast out for I have finally found someone in Whom I can fully trust.

If you are truly committed to receiving the Love of God and surrendering all your cares unto Him, you are ready to begin a fantastic journey into God and His glorious, heavenly Kingdom, here you will surely learn of the great beauty, the wonder and the passion of His will for you!

PART TWO

As we continue in this subject of understanding the will of God, we must become rooted in the fact that God definitely wants us to know His will, even though it often seems hidden from us. The question remains, however, “Why then does it seem at times so difficult for us to discover, or to discern the will of God?” In this series of articles we will attempt to answer this and other related questions.

Concerning this apparent difficulty, one explanation might be that the Lord is teaching us patience. I believe He wants us to take the time to grow in our relationship with Him personally as well as in our understanding of spiritual things. Then we can find our direction from within rather than by just responding blindly to a vocal command. Jesus explained to His disciples in John 15:15: “Henceforth I call you not servants; for the servant knoweth not what his lord doeth: but I have called you friends; for all things that I have heard of my Father I have made known unto you.”

There is a time to be children and servants but there is also a time to grow up in the Father’s house, and in the wisdom and knowledge of His Purpose. He desires a people in whom He can entrust this knowledge, and who will perform His will. Oh yes, the details will come in time, but first must come the revelation of what He truly desires.

The prophet Isaiah has shared this Word of instruction:

“Whom shall he teach knowledge? and whom shall he make to understand doctrine? Them that are weaned from the milk, and drawn from the breasts. For precept must be upon precept, precept upon precept; line upon line, line upon line; here a little, and there a little: For with stammering lips and another tongue will he speak to this People. To whom he said, This is the rest wherewith ye may cause the weary to rest; and this is the refreshing: yet they would not hear.” [Isa.28:9-12]

What a pity that Israel at that time and many in this day are not willing to endure the discipline of sitting at His feet and hearing His Word. True spiritual growth takes time and real devotion to learning His principles. Instead, many would prefer to have a prophet tell them what to do – and God will use this, but this is not His best. He desires for all to know him, from the least unto the greatest, and through knowing Him experience the divinely guided walk. [Hebrews 8:10-11]

“If any of you lack wisdom, let him ask of God, that giveth to all men liberally, and upbraideth not; and it shall be given him. But let him ask in faith, nothing wavering. For he that wavereth is like a wave of the sea driven with the wind and tossed. For let not that man think that he shall receive any thing of the Lord.” [James 1:5-7]

It must be true that heavenly wisdom is a great source of divine guidance, but how is it imparted unto us? There are a number of ways, and all of them are a direct result of faith, confidence and trust in the Father’s Love. God is speaking to us all the time, we only need receptive ears to hear and receive of Him. He may speak through a circumstance, a friend, or even an enemy. All the holy writers of old have given His Word to us and their words have stood the test of time. Please do not reject them on the basis of our changing times. Even though cultures and the environment have changed – the spirit of what they spoke is still relevant to us today. Even non-Christian cultures will witness to the importance of the virtues that are extolled in the Bible. Man instinctively knows that love, compassion, honesty, faithfulness, respect, commitment, fairness and other principles must be adhered to if humanity is to survive.

Finally, God has spoken unto us by His Son – through His teachings and also by His Life. He began that living message two thousand years ago and continues to speak among us through all who will yield their lives and their voices unto Him. Can you hear Him? He is calling you upward, into a higher life. That higher life is NOT an escape from your physical existence, but it is one that will overpower all the limitations that you face each day. Listen as you hear Him through those countless thousands as they continue to press on into His Life passionately. Observe their determination, their stability, and the inner peace they possess as they daily challenge the obstacles, which confront them. Receive their strength and join ranks with them. They are God’s army — those who will silently bring down the forces of the anti-christ. That false saviour is now being exposed for the illusion that he really is, and multitudes are being released from his lies into the true freedom of the Lord!

I would like to encourage you to begin prayerfully reading the Bible with a view to observing this underlying theme of God’s LOVE. Allow the principles of Christ to become fused into the very fiber of your being. Hear the words of His inspired messengers as well as the guidance you receive from friends who have proven their devotion to Him. His plan and His Will for your life then will become increasingly clearer to you, for “the path of the just is as the shining light, that shineth more and more unto the perfect day!” [Proverbs 4:18]

PART THREE

There is probably a great number of opinions on what the will of God would be in any given situation. If you ask five people you might possibly get five different answers. Out of those five it is highly possible that two or more could be very certain and even dogmatic in their opposing views. Often this type of misunderstanding concerning God and other fellow human beings can lead to serious problems. That is why it is so important for us today to return to basic, proven principles and the fundamentals of life in God. I am confident that as we look unto Him, His Spirit will clear our minds from all confusion and His Word will make our direction plain.

Our concept of God and our relationship with Him will influence our every thought and action. If there are any distortions in this area they can dramatically affect how we feel about God and how we reflect Him to others. The distortion then becomes more exaggerated as it spreads. The effect that I am referring to has often caused rivalries between believers and even wars between nations! Innocent people have been tried, convicted, and sentenced to death by devout men who believed they were performing God’s will. Saul of Tarsus who later became known as Paul the apostle, was one of those religious leaders who really did not know the Lord. {I Timothy 1:13, Acts 9:5} Later after he had met the Lord Jesus he grieved over these actions and eventually became a tremendous force on behalf of love, understanding and patience. He fulfilled the will of God for his life by becoming a living expression of God’s true nature. The record of his life and his teachings compel us yet today, and many still hope to follow this inspiring example.

There are many different voices being heard today, proclaiming ideas in the name of the Lord. They come to us by radio, television, the internet, the printed page, and are often very sincere towards God. They tend to keep us very informed of the evils of this world, and some of them attempt to influence us politically. I am not suggesting that we should be afraid to listen to them, but I do urge you to observe how these words affect you. Do they arouse fear, worry, and anger – or do they inspire faith, hope and love? Our desire is to give our attention only to words that increase our awareness of the Father’s living Presence, and in so doing we become another voice in His Great Chorus! His is truly a song of love, hope and victory, to be shared with all mankind!

With these thoughts in mind, we approach the subject of understanding God and His will with great reverence. Having confidence in His Great Love for us, we trust that He will guide us into the scriptures for a correct understanding of His purpose for our lives. Let us look at a few verses on this subject to see what they can reveal unto us.

THE MIND OF GOD

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. [Romans 12:1, 2]

Rejoice evermore. Pray without ceasing. In every thing give thanks: for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus concerning you. [I Thessalonians 5:16-18]

From these scriptures we can easily see that being in the will of God is more about an attitude of heart and mind than just a physical location. My life is transformed when my mind is lifted into a higher and more positive realm. With an attitude of rejoicing, prayer and thanksgiving, I am abiding in the will of God. If you want to see the will of God being demonstrated, then just find a believer whose life is filled with these three attributes. From them freely flow the desires of God’s heart. If they are not working in us, we can barely function in the Kingdom of God. What remains soon leads to discouragement, hopelessness, and self-pity, which have never been the ideal environment from which one can go forth in His purposes.

The will of God is a dimension where life and love are the only laws. It is an experience that begins when we yield our lives to Him as a living sacrifice, trusting in His Power to transform the way we think. When this process of repentance or mind-changing begins, we can see the whole world in a different light. God is no longer the vindictive judge nor the over-indulgent parent. We can now see Him as He really is, the caring, concerned, Father of us all, who desires no less than the completeness and well-being of every child in spirit, soul and body. We no longer see discomforts, annoyances and problems as we once did, therefore we can rejoice, giving thanks and praise unto Him continually in all things. Through deep and heart-felt communication with Him, we keep alive in our hearts the knowledge of His Love for us — that He is working all things together for our good.

Only from this dwelling place can the plans and purposes of God begin to fully flow. All of the good that He desires to do for His creation will spring forth from a people who have learned to become the will of God. They are messengers of good news and hope to a world without hope and in perplexing times. Most of all. they are learning that now is the time to be ambassadors of His good will, knowing that every good thing they do to lift another up into a better life is the will of God

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

UNDERSTANDING THE WILL OF GOD, Parts 1-3 [Dan Beaty]          1

 

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