By Peter Hammond
Most people, when they think of the Will of God, are thinking in terms of ‘who is the best person for me to marry?’, ‘what is the best career for me to go into?’ and ‘where should I move to?’ However, the Will of God is concerned with far more than marriage and career guidance. God gives the very best to those who leave the choice to Him. Vocation and location become clear when we are studying God’s Word and following His instructions. The Will of God will never lead us where the Grace the God cannot keep us. Where God guides, He provides.
Knowing God’s Word
“Your Word is a lamp to my feet and a light to my path.” Ps 119:105. God guides us first and foremost through His Word. The best way to know the Will of God is to study the Word of God. The main thing is to keep the main thing, the main thing. And the main thing is to know God and to make Him known. His Great Commission must be your supreme ambition (Matt 6:33). When we get our priorities straight, first things first, everything tends to follow from that. “All Scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness, that the man of God may be complete, thoroughly equipped for every good work.” 2 Tim 3:16-17 It is our priority to ensure that we are not conformed to this world, but transformed by the renewing of our minds, then we will be able to prove the perfect Will of God (Rom 12:2).“The steps of a good man are ordered by the Lord, and He delights in his way. Though he fall...the Lord upholds him with His hand.” Ps 27:23-24
Following God’s ways
To be guided by the Lord, we need to be following Him. Have you turned away from this world in order to follow Christ? Have you repented of your sins, taken up your cross and embarked upon this adventure of discipleship, following the teachings and examples of Christ alone? “For to this you were called, because Christ also suffered for us, leaving us an example...”1 Pet 2:21 When we are taught, rebuked, corrected and trained in righteousness through the Word of God, we become thoroughly equipped for every good work. Then we are able to test and discern God’s Will. “Let the Word of Christ dwell in you richly, in all wisdom, teaching and admonishing one another in psalms and hymns and in spiritual songs, singing with Grace in your hearts to the Lord...Col 3:16-17 The Will of God is no mystery for us to discover. He has made His Will abundantly clear in the Bible. “For this is the Will of God, your sanctification; that you should abstain from sexual immorality…for God did not call us to uncleanness, but in Holiness.” 1 Thess 4:3,7
Those people who say they want to know what God’s Will is, this is God’s Will: “Rejoice always, pray without ceasing, in everything give thanks for this is the Will of God in Christ Jesus for you.” 1 Thess 5:16-18. It is God’s Will that you be joyful, prayerful and thankful. And it is God’s Will that you be wholehearted (Col 3:23). “Delight yourself also in the Lord, and He shall give you the desires of your heart. Commit your way to the Lord, trust also in Him, and He shall bring it to pass.” Ps 37:4- 5. When we are Bible-based and Christcentred, we will find that we are Spirit-led (John 16:13). “I will bring the blind by a way they did not know; I will lead them in paths they have not known. I will make darkness light before them, and crooked places straight. These things I will do for them and not forsake them.” Isa 42:16 “Whenever you turn to the right hand or whether you turn to the left, your ears shall hear a word behind you saying, ‘This is the way, walk in it.’” Isa 30:21
The fear of the Lord
We need the wisdom of God. The Bible is clear that the fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom (Prov 1:7). The Scripture tells us that if any of us lacks wisdom, we should ask God who gives generously to all (James 1:5). No one should expect to gain an understanding of the Will of God if they spurn the Word of God. “Then they will call on Me, but I will not answer; they will seek Me diligently, but they will not find Me. Because they hated knowledge and did not choose the fear of the Lord. They would have none of My counsel and despised My every rebuke. Therefore they shall eat the fruit of their own way and be filled to the full with their own fancies...but whoever listens to Me will dwell safely and will be secure without fear of evil.” Prov 1:28-33 Before we should even begin considering guidance questions of vocation, location and a marriage partner, we should ensure that we are right with God. Jesus taught: “If anyone loves Me, he will obey My teaching…” John 14:23
Making right with others
Carefully read the Ten Commandments. “The Law of the Lord is perfect, converting the soul.” Ps 19:7. Is there restitution that you need to do? Have you ever stolen anything, or borrowed something and failed to return it? If you have not yet done restitution for that, make that an urgent priority. Restore that property to its rightful owner. Have you been responsible for damaging someone else’s property? Have you repaired or replaced the item? Have you been guilty of speaking behind someone’s back? Have you repented of this and made right with that individual? If you are concerned to do God’s Will, ensure that you apologise to everyone to whom you owe an apology; that you forgive those who have despitefully used you; that you leave your gift at the altar and go and be reconciled to your brother before you come to worship God.
Love God; love people
This is the Will of God that you love God with all of your heart, soul, mind and strength and that you love your neighbour as yourself. It is God’s Will that you do unto others what you would want them to do unto you. If we are not right with God, it doesn’t matter where we are, or what we are doing or who we are married to, we will take our problems with us.
Leaving the choice to God
However, if we have come to the foot of the Cross, surrendered to Christ and forsaken our sin, are diligently studying God’s Word daily, are delighting ourselves in the Lord and seeking first His Kingdom and His righteousness, we will be a blessing, wherever we are. We will also be more responsive and open to understanding God’s Will and recognising His guidance in our lives. When we are humble, teachable, prayerful, joyful and thankful, wholeheartedly following in the teachings and example of Christ, then we will find the reality of Psalm 32:8: “I will instruct you and teach you in the way you should go. I will guide you with My eye.”
Dr. Peter Hamm ond is a pioneer missionary of Frontline Fellowship. See www.frontline.org.za or call 021 689 4481