Confirmation in God's will: How to Follow by Faith
Let Jesus be your supreme example in all that you do.
When you first learn to drive a car, you quickly learn that the only way the car will turn is when its in motion. If we sit in a car and turn the wheel, while the car is in park all we will get is an arm ache! God cannot direct our way without us getting ourselves in gear. God cannot use us unless we are growing in faith and practice (that is moving for Him)! The confirmation comes out of obedience and patience, and faith!
Life seems like putting together a puzzle without looking at the picture on the box. We pray and hope we are doing it right, but sometimes its like working in the dark. Gods will is a mystery; there is no doubt about it. Mainly because we are not mature enough to handle the truth of what is ahead. If we do know, then we are likely to be cowards and flee! So, God reveals his plan to us slowly, just as you start feeding a toddler. You start slowly and gradually increase in the amount and types of food. Only God knows for sure what our finished life will be like, there is no final picture only a template of trust and obedience. God does offer us the plans and instructions that we walk in His Grace by faith see Hebrews 11, "Without Faith it is impossible to please God." So the basic idea is for us to focus our minds on FAITH, not on worry about the future!
Q: What is the difference to you between moving and not moving?
Q: What is the difference between waiting on the Lord and moving?
Q: What part does faith do in the confirmation process?
Surrender your will to God before anything else.
Cultivate a consistent quiet time with devotions and prayer and Bible reading.
Read the Word of God and let it transform your life.
Never forsake your responsibilities as a follower of Christ or as a family member or in your job.
Discover your natural talents and spiritual gifts, then find people who are mature with the same gifts to disciple you.
Discover your unique calling in life, which is usually found in your natural gifts and abilities.
Remain open to Gods instruction and His interruptions that change our attitudes and ways of thinking.
With most things in life, attitude will make the difference on how we live and respond not only to God but also to those around us. Part of our attitude involves having a heart of a servant.
The mystery and wonder of predestination (that is God chose us and governs us before we were even born) is that our choices made from our free will are actually Gods foreordained decrees! This may contradict our logic and reasoning but this is the wonderful truth of God. Theologians may bicker about exactly how much free will we have and have not. It is supposed to be beyond our comprehension because God is God and we are not! So take comfort, God is in charge.
Look over these next few passages and ask yourself the question,
"How can I follow Gods will with a servant attitude?"
1. PSALM 40:8:
2. MATTHEW 6:10:
3. ACTS 21:12-14:
4. PHILIPPIANS 2:12-13:
5. JAMES 4:13-15:
Keep in mind; we obey Gods will for two essential purposes:
Our purpose in obeying Gods will is that we grow closer in our love relationship and out of this relationship flows our obedience to His will.
Our second purpose is we accomplish Gods purpose, which is greater and richer than we can imagine.
6. MARK 3:31-34 How can you take Jesus words and apply them to your situation?
When we confirm our decision, what we are doing is stepping out in faith. Be willing to take risks but rest assured following Gods will can come in many various forms. It has been my experience (as God usually comes to us in a subtle, peaceful and quiet way that is revealed when we read His word and when we obey the subtle, quiet way of God) that He will richly bless us and GALATIANS 5 will come about in our lives powerfully.
7. ACTS 4:32-5:11 Warning! Do not try to manipulate God into doing your will.
8. I CORINTHIANS 4:1-2; PHILIPPIANS 4:19 Do not try to justify your needs and desires as Gods.
9. PROVERBS 3:5-6; PSALMS 37:23 Relax and trust God for His wisdom. When you confirm your options, rest yourself on Gods promises.
Finding Gods will is not so much a technique but it is a loving relationship with Christ through what He has done for us in which we respond with our obedience, trust and faith. Our search for Gods will is the point of Gods will. That is, in us searching for Gods will helps build a strong and lasting relationship. This is what our life as a Christian is about -- relationships. First, our relationship to God; second, our relationship to each other as believers; and third, our relationship to others around us. Finding Gods will is the means and not the ends. This is what nourishes our faith and obedience to Gods will. This is what it is about. This is why I spend so much time talking about the obedience factor.
10. II CORINTHIANS 6:14 Make sure the decision you make is within Gods moral boundaries. For example, it is never Gods will for you to leave a spouse or sell drugs to make up money for the church.
11. PSALMS 86:11 Do not let your impure desires guide your decision making.
What about suffering? As we look at church history, especially in the lives of many Christian saints throughout time, one key theme runs through it all. From the first century Christians to modern China, that theme is suffering. The path into following Gods will is not always an easy path; it is a path filled with potholes and highwaymen. It is a difficult journey but take heart, our sufferings are very temporary in the scheme of our eternal existence. Check out John 16;33 and I Peter 4:19. Remain faithful and enjoy the ride of life even when you hit a pothole and bump your head.
12. ROMANS 5:1-5, JAMES 1:2 Having difficulties does not mean you made a wrong decision. Gods goals are different than ours. Remember His goal is character and with any great endeavor or work of art, requires patience and struggle.
13. I PETER 5:8 Be prepared for an attack. Whenever we make a decision to walk with the Lord, Satan will do anything and everything to try to stop us. He will use our family, our friends, our finances, our mental health, even car trouble to discourage us from doing Gods will.
Remember, no matter what you have done in the past, when we repent, God cleans us totally and we become part of Gods will. God is not thwarted by our decisions even when they are wrong, He will turn them around for His purpose and His glory. Check our Romans 8:28
The Bible shows us the way, Romans 8:27
The Holy Spirit will guide us, John 16:13
God will draw us into His will, II Corinthians 7:9-10, Ephesians 1:1, Colossians 1:1-2, II Timothy 1:1
God will use others to direct our path, Proverbs 25; 27:17-19; Romans 15:14; Titus 2:3-5, Colossians 3:16
We are to pray and seek Gods specific guidance, Psalms 25:4; 31:3-4; 40:6-8; 43:3; 48:14; 73:23;139:9-10, Proverbs 3:5-6; 4:10
Sometimes a rough road can be a sign that a decision we have made is a wrong one. And the trouble may be just a trick of the Devil to throw us off track. But trouble should always be a time of getting deep in prayer on ones knees, discerning your situation, and seeking what God wants you to learn from it.
Psalm 34:19 Are you in prayer so you can discern what road signs you are observing?
Mark 4:37; 6:48 Jesus disciples were twice caught in bad weather on the Sea of Galilee, what is your weather situation?
Lets look at the life of Christ who led a perfect example of what it means to be a human being living in the presence of God and following His will. Yet, His life was filled with upsets and turmoils to the extent many liberal theologians state that Jesus life at the end was disillusioned and pointless. But, we know for a fact Jesus life and work was to pay our debt and to take on our afflictions and sufferings. Thus, He suffered for us. So, we should expect our lives to have a rough road too.
Gods guidance will bring us out of darkness and into light. But, sooner or later the darkness and the light get skewed because we see them from the standpoint of how the world sees it. Not how God sees it. So, the darkness is part of the way of the cross.
Remember God does not care so much where we live or how we earn our keep, but His concerns are about our character and who we are. Do not get this turned around in your way of thinking.
Matthew 19:14 The disciples had a concern about the children and Jesus set them straight. How can Jesus set you straight?
Self distrust will keep us humble and allow us to lean upon the joy that Christ offers.
So, now that we have done all of these six steps and examined our calls and obedience, what do we do now? Go to Disneyland? Well, maybe, but what we are to do is launch ourselves and rocket skyward pressing on ever closer to God. Here is a simple formula I learned from Navigators years ago:
P-P-P means pray, peace and press on. First we are to pray and not be anxious. Second, we are to have peace as Colossians 3:15 states. Third, after we have done the first two, press toward the goal and do not be afraid to fail. When we do this, two things will happen, we will succeed or we will discover that was not Gods will and have to reboot. Either way, God will use it to help us grow. Mistakes are not sin unless we are being disobedient to God.
A-S-K refers to ask, seek and knock which comes out of Luke 11:9, "Ask and it will be given to you; seek and you will find; knock and the door will be opened to you." Asking means simply are we asking God and/or are we asking qualified people? Seek means are we seeking our options and being honest with ourselves and our abilities. Also, are we seeking reliable information? Knock means to get ourselves moving, do not sit around and wait for your ship to come in because it may have already sank.
So, go with confidence to serve the Lord. Do not be afraid. Enjoy the ride of life. Do not let the decisions you have to make unbalance you and cause you unnecessary struggles. Think of it as a galactic game as a child playing it for the enjoyment and pleasure. And, always be obedient to God. For this is our prime directive.
So, how do we find Gods specific will?
We do not. Sometimes He gives us a clear vision, but most of the time, He does not. We are to pursue Him and grow in character, this is always His prime will, whether you are a pastor, president or fry cook. We are servants called to be obedient. It is the journey of seeking Him is what His will is all about! The process is the plan, is the purpose. It is not necessarily the destination, it is the travel of getting there that is where we learn and grow to give Christ glory. This is His will. It is not jobs, education, where I live, who will I marry
These things are important of course, and we need to follow the Biblical precepts we talked about in the last 6 steps, to make the best decisions possible. But again the destination is only a bump on the map; the road getting there is where His will is at! This is not a disappointment, it is a joy, because the burden is His, He bore it for us. Our yoke is easy Jesus says! Embrace Him and His precepts, and flee from your fallen will.
Do not forget to be honest with people, were you fired, then say so, things will work out for His glory if you allow yourselves to surrender!!! It will work out because God has promised it to us! Make the determination to commit yourself to His plan, and let the perfect and pleasing will of God enfold to you!
We are not rats in a maze, but, Heirs to the kingdom of God! So go in comfort to love and serve the Lord our God. Do this with obedience with passion and conviction! With love and desire!