Discerning the Will of God (September 1, 2011)

The Problem: How do I, as a child of God live in accordance with the plans of God? How do I know what God’s will is for my life?


Mystical Views:


  1. Impression/inner peace/still small voice: From 2 Kings and Elijah, while the prophets heard from God in this manner, there is nothing in the New Testament that suggests that we should seek such “small voices.”
  2. Circumstances/Situations: If COPS is on, you think that’s God’s voice telling you to be a police officer.
  3. A Sign: A woman once prayed that she would know whether God wanted her to take a flight to see her son, and looking up at the clock the time displayed: 7:47. She took that as a sign that she should take the flight. Seriously. True story.
  4. The fleece: From the story of Gideon, a man who lacked faith in God, not one who was mighty in it. In addition, the action of a man isn’t necessarily the mandate to use the same strategy. See Samson, Barak, Saul, etc.
  5. Picking a text: This is an arbitrary name it and claim it, blab it and grab it kind of strategy. One such system led one man to say that Luke 4:7 was his verse for the day. Luke 4:7 says, “If you, then, will worship me, it will all be yours.” It sounds nice and spiritual and Joel Osteenish, but the problem is that the verse is a quote from the devil tempting Jesus in the wilderness to ABANDON the will of God to worship the devil. Yeah, not a very good verse for any day.


All of these mystical views are nonsensical and thus they cause us to have a large degree of uncertainty about the will of God and then we feel like we are apt to miss it and regret sets in when we fell like we have indeed, “Missed God.” The problem with these views is actually the Bible.

  1. Acts 7:38 [Moses] was in the assembly in the desert, with the angel who spoke to him on Mount Sinai, and with our fathers; and he received living words to pass on to us.
  2. Hebrews 4:12 For the word of God is living and active. Sharper than any double-edged sword, it penetrates even to dividing soul and spirit, joints and marrow; it judges the thoughts and attitudes of the heart.
    1. I hope you sense the powerful message from Christ: that his Word (the Bible) is complete, sufficient, and thoroughly powerful for the completion of the faith and life of every child of God. [Repeat!]
    2. We are often told to listen to these Scriptures.  We are never told to seek other voices.  In fact we are warned against listening to other voices. So what we have here is a long and patient life style of reading the word and internalizing it, and applying it to the decisions of life.  This is a function of loving the Lord our God with all our mind.
    3. This is a great liberating truth.  It frees us from the anxiety that comes with all these other methods of “seeking God’s will.”  And, perhaps more importantly, it frees us to hear what God is really is saying to us in His word.  And we are free to trust Him.  And this trust glorifies Him.




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