Finding God’s Will Is No Deep Dark Secret! Part 1

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Is itGod's will - decisions possible for a Christian to know God’s will and not have to agonize over it? Should a believer make a decision without first spending hours in prayer, asking God to reveal His will? Must a Christian avoid making a decision until he or she has a “peace about it”? What about waiting for a “sign” from God? Is it okay for a Christian to consult a psychic or a Ouija board to seek God’s guidance?

A married couple, John and Tina, is faced with a dilemma. They would like to move to Colorado to be closer to John’s family. They’ve been praying about it, asking God to show them His will. Their decision must be made before the end of the week, yet they’re still not sure what God wants them to do — should they stay or should they go?

Naturally John and Tina are confused and frustrated. John is leaning toward moving because he knows it will be good for the kids to live close to their grandparents. He’s even getting excited about it. Not Tina! She wants to wait for a “confirmation,” from God before they pull up stakes and move half way across the country.

John and Tina are in the proverbial pickle.

Many Christians talk about finding God’s will as though it were some deep dark secret, hidden away in the pages of Scripture. Maybe God doesn’t want us to find it.

Where does the Bible teach that God tries to hide His will from us?

Tina and John believe their heavenly Father loves them, yet they’ve decided that He’s hiding His will from them. Maybe God likes playing hide and seek.

Most good parents want what’s best for their children, right? So does it make sense that God would want to hide His will from those He loves? If Tina and John really believe He’s a loving Father, why are they clinging to the ridiculous notion that He wants to keep them in the dark?

Ileap of faithf you search the New Testament you’ll find no explicit command to “Find God’s will.” Read through the book of Acts and you’ll see what I mean. The Apostles were given no clear instructions on how they were to discern God’s will. No prayer ritual. No magic formulas. Nothing!

Christians shouldn’t waste their time searching for a magic formula that will cause the Almighty to reveal His will. Since God forbids pagan divination, dabbling in the magic arts is risky business. Yet professed Christians are using eastern meditative techniques hoping to gain secret information that God has not chosen to reveal. Followers of Jesus Christ should never seek supernatural powers. God has determined the means by which we come to Him in prayer — and He set certain boundaries! Try to imagine, if you will, Christians determining the boundaries for themselves. There would be no limits whatsoever!

Some Christians push the limits to the brink. Mystics such as Brennan Manning and Richard Foster believe God can be found within through achieving an altered state of consciousness. Individuals involved in contemplative prayer commune with God through meditation and yoga. By using these techniques they’re able to reach stillness, thus opening themselves to new experiences within, and receiving illumination. Pastor and author Gary Gilley offers this insight into what Christian mystics believe:

[T]he mystic has no confidence in human knowledge accessible through normal means such as the propositional revelation of God (Scripture). If we are to know God, it must come from a mystical union with Him that transcends the rational thought process or even normal sensory experience. This takes place through following the three stages of purgation, illumination and union; implementing the spiritual disciplines and most importantly, practicing contemplative prayer. (Source)

Contemplatives admit that the means they use to commune with God can be dangerous as it invites demon oppression. And for those who are not Christians, it invites demon possession! In Acts 8 we learn that Simon (the sorcerer) Magus was severely rebuked by Peter for seeking supernatural powers. Christ himself criticized the “perverse generation” that always asks for a sign from God.

meditateLooking for signs through coincidences, or flipping through the Bible and placing a finger on a verse, or relying on the first thought to enter your mind after a prayer, are forms of Christian divination.

In order for Christians to mature in their faith they must read and study Scripture, meditate on it (this does not mean eastern meditation), then put its principles into practice. We must put our bibles before all the other books we’re reading. It’s the only book that has God’s direct message to His people:

I will delight in your statutes; I will not forget your word — Open my eyes, that I may behold wondrous things out of your law — Your testimonies are my delight; they are my counselors — I have chosen the way of faithfulness; I set your rules before me — Lead me in the path of your commandments, for I delight in it. (Psalm 119:16-35)

An important aspect of reading the Bible is knowing how to interpret Scripture correctly. Paul said to Timothy, and what you have heard from me in the presence of many witnesses entrust to faithful men who will be able to teach others also. … 15 Do your best to present yourself to God as one approved, a worker who has no need to be ashamed, rightly handling the word of truth.  (2 Tim 2 & 15). We must seek accurate interpretations — and correctly handle the word of truth! That way we will not only know what the words say, but the intended meaning of the words. Christian apologist Greg Koukl makes this point:

Private interpretations do not yield accurate meaning — there is a particular truth — a determinate meaning — God intends to convey. Individual, personalized interpretations that distort this meaning only bring danger.

Stay out of the danger zone! Applying esoteric meanings to Scripture is irresponsible. Anyone who distorts God’s Word does so “to their own destruction” (2 Peter 3:16).

I haven’t forgotten about John and Tina. Why haven’t they received an answer from God on the Colorado question? A simple yes or no will do. They’re not expecting God to appear to them in a burning bush or through thunder and lightning as He did with Saul. Why the silence?

We may think God intends to reveal His plan — but what if He chooses not to? What if He has no intention of sharing His plan with us? Part of God’s plan for Job’s life was to allow ghastly things to happen to him. What if Job had known in advance about the losses he would suffer, the pain he would have to endure? The man would never have left his tent! God’s plan for Job was that he should suffer more than any man. God never told Job about His plan. And he never found out why he was made to suffer.

God still speaks to us today–but not through a burning bush! He speaks to us through the pages of Scripture.  If we read and study the Bible, we’ll discover that His will for us is not hidden.  In fact, it’s crystal clear.   So why do so many believers agonize over it? I’ll answer this burning question (pun intended) in Part 2 of this piece.  As well, I’ll outline six qualifications that should help Christians determine God’s will for their lives.

Copyright by Marsha West.  All rights reserved.

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4 Responses to Finding God’s Will Is No Deep Dark Secret! Part 1

  1. Evangelina Vigilantee February 19, 2015 at 4:32 pm #

    Acts 16; 6-8
    "They passed through the Phrygian and Galatian region, having been forbidden by the Holy Spirit to speak the word in Asia; and after they came to Mysia, they were trying to go into Bithynia, and the Spirit of Jesus did not permit them; and passing by Mysia, they came down to Troas."
    Acts 10; 9-11
    "On the next day, as they were on their way and approaching the city, Peter went up on the housetop about the sixth hour to pray. But he became hungry and was desiring to eat; but while they were making preparations, he fell into a trance; and he *saw the [g]sky opened up, and an object like a great sheet coming down, lowered by four corners to the ground…"

  2. Evangelina Vigilantee February 19, 2015 at 4:36 pm #

    Hi!

    I gotta say that where there is a real, there is a counterfeit. Yes, the occult has counterfeits to what is real with God and many examples exist. Signs and wonders is just one. Now we can hear from God, that is biblical and not something 'mystical' that only contemplatives and occultists claim as valid. They don't hear from the true God, but are influenced by doctrines of demons. Yet true believers hear God speaking to our hearts, just as Jesus said; "My sheep hear My voice…" and many biblical examples exist such as those I quoted above. I have experienced this myself. But it can be taken on a tangent. Sometimes it is just not that important or there is flexibility, etc.
    ( :

  3. Barb February 19, 2015 at 4:50 pm #

    About Gods will part 1: I think it has more to do with HOW you live rather than where you live, or where should you go to college, etc. my reference is Ephesians 5:15-18.

  4. Bennie Bullock February 19, 2015 at 8:48 pm #

    God does have a will for every part of our lives. He has a place for us to live. He has a person for us to marry. He has plans on if we should attend college and where. He is concerned with every facet of our lives. I have heard it erroneously said before that all Christians need to do is to live right and do whatever they want and that will be God's will for their lives. That is much too simplistic and is in error. God says "My ways are not your ways". I think that philosophy has its roots in Christians wanting to do their own will instead of God's will.

    We are to pray about God's leading in our lives. His Holy Spirit does give us direction, but He never ever contradicts Scripture. Many never are able to discern God's will because they ignore the Bible. There is a key verse in the Bible that has to be heeded in order to know God's will and at least 95-98% of Christians who attend church on a regular basis don't heed that verse on any kind of a regular basis and therefore are usually in the dark concerning God's will. The verse is found in Romans.

    Romans 12:2 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.

    Too many Christians are too wrapped up in this world to be transformed by the renewing of their mind. Therefore they are left in the dark many times where it concerns God's will. Satan knows how to keep us from being in God's will and he keeps many of us entangled in the things of this world via entertainment, books, philosophies, and friendships. When it comes down to it those wrong attachments are more important to them than following God's perfect will for their lives.

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