"Mothers work wonders once they are convinced that wonders are demanded of them." ~Charlotte Mason

Tuesday, November 20, 2007

Knowing the will of God

I much enjoyed our sermon on Sunday. Our pastor, Jack Graham, discussed the ever-present question: How do I know the will of God? His main point was that "the Holy Spirit leads us to know and do the will of God confidently, every day." I will attempt to summarize his message.

We know we are to follow Christ & listen for God's voice through the Holy Spirit, but how do we hear God's voice? Pastor Graham said we can hear God's voice through His Word, and by walking with the Spirit. Galatians 5:25 says, "Since we live by the Spirit, let us keep in step with the Spirit." Oh, how I do desire to keep in step with the Spirit! It's just that my feet are so clumsy and slow...

The Will Of God sometimes seems so elusive, the unicorn that we chase after but can never catch. We wonder, daily, a million things...

Should I buy that new car? Take that job in Atlanta? Marry that man? Let my kids see that movie? Stay home sick today? Vaccinate my children? Buy a dog?

And on and on, ad infinitum. Dr. Graham gave 3 tips that he uses every day:

1. Offer your life to Christ each day. Even if you did it years ago, you should daily surrender and yield your life to Christ. Recognize the Lord's presence & reign in you. (Romans 12:1, Matthew 6:33)

2. Open your heart each day to new possibilities. God's will may not be what you expected. (Proverbs 4:18)

3. Obey the will of God that you know, and wait on the rest. Sometimes you must obey, and perfect, the step you are on, before you can move to the next one. He gave an illustration that apparently there is always much discussion in golf over which shot is the most important - the long drive or the putt. When reporters asked Jack Nicklaus what was the most important shot in golf, his reply was, "The next one!" This certainly applies to our lives. We may not know what God wants us to do next week, but we do know what we are to do in the next five minutes. Sometimes we must just do what we know for now, and wait for the rest to be revealed.

Here he reminded us that, if you fail, you should repent and move on!

Pastor Graham also gave us 10 ways to test every decision. I think these are golden!

1. Is it in accord with the moral will of God? (1 Thess. 4:3)
2. Is it in harmony with the commands, the truths and the principles of God's Word?
3. Have I sought Godly advice? (Proverbs 15:22, Romans 12:2)
4. Does it help me fulfill the Great Commandment (Matthew 22: 37-40) and the Great Commission (Matthew 28:18-20) in my life?
5. How will it affect my immediate relationships?
6. Will the ultimate outcome of my decision bring glory to God?
7. Will the result of my decision be in keeping with my priorities?
8. What is my motivation?
9. Am I totally committed to whatever, whenever, however God leads me?
10. Do I have true peace in this decision? (Note: Sometimes faith is required & we may not have total peace, yet we still have true peace.)

I love my church!! And I thank God that his mercies are new every morning...

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