Finding God’s Will For Our Lives Part # 4

“Oh what a feeling…”

Prov 3:6 – “In all thy ways acknowledge him, and he shall direct thy paths.”

 

In this short 12 word verse, we find one of the most precious promises of the Bible… the promise for the Lord’s leadership and guidance in our lives.   But in this same verse, we find one of the most difficult aspects of the Christians life… following the path the Lord desires for our life.

One of the most frequently asked questions is “How can I find God’s will for my life?”   In the next 6 blog entries we will be seeing what God’s word teaches us about this important subject…

  1. What is God’s will ?
  2. Not my will, but thine be done.
  3. Thus saith the Lord
  4. Oh what a feeling
  5. Open and shut doors
  6. Summary of the study

In part number 4 of our study lets study… “Oh what a feeling…”

THE SCRIPTURE:

Acts 17:10-11 (KJV)

And the brethren immediately sent away Paul and Silas by night unto Berea: who coming [thither] went into the synagogue of the Jews. These were more noble than those in Thessalonica, in that they received the word with all readiness of mind, and searched the scriptures daily, whether those things were so.

 

Rom 12:1-3 (KJV)

I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that ye present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable unto God, [which is] your reasonable service. 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. For I say, through the grace given unto me, to every man that is among you, not to think [of himself] more highly than he ought to think; but to think soberly, according as God hath dealt to every man the measure of faith.

Phil 1:9-11 (KJV)

And this I pray, that your love may abound yet more and more in knowledge and [in] all judgment;That ye may approve things that are excellent; that ye may be sincere and without offence till the day of Christ;Being filled with the fruits

of righteousness, which are by Jesus Christ, unto the glory and praise of God.

Phil 2:12-13 (KJV)

Wherefore, my beloved, as ye have always obeyed, not as in my presence only, but now much more in my absence, work out your own salvation with fear and trembling.For it is God which worketh in you both to will and to do of [his] good pleasure.

Eph 5:6-13 (KJV)

Let no man deceive you with vain words: for because of these things cometh the wrath of God upon the children of disobedience.Be not ye therefore partakers with them.For ye were sometimes darkness, but now [are ye] light in the Lord: walk as children of light:(For the fruit of the Spirit [is] in all goodness and righteousness and truth;)Proving what is acceptable unto the Lord.And have no fellowship with the unfruitful works of darkness, but rather reprove [them].For it is a shame even to speak of those things which are done of them in secret.But all things that are reproved are made manifest by the light: for whatsoever doth make manifest is light.

1Thess 5:16-22 (KJV)

Rejoice evermore.Pray without ceasing.In every thing give thanks: for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus concerning you.Quench not the Spirit.Despise not prophesyings.Prove all things; hold fast that which is good.Abstain from all appearance of evil.

THE STUDY:

In our search for God’s will, many times we find ourselves relying on our ”feelings” to help us determine His desires for our lives.  For example, a lack of a guilty conscience can be interpreted as the Lord’s approval for a certain action.  Likewise, a feeling of excitement, or certainty, can be interpreted as the Lord’s urging us forward in our plan of action.  How about a depressed, or anxious, feeling?  That can be interpreted as the Lord putting the brakes on our current life path, showing us a need to seek another. A fleeting thought that enters our mind, can be interpreted as the Spirit revealing to us the path the Lord would have us to take.  Seeing the need in the life of other people, many times, is interpreted as the Lord’s call to a certain ministry.

I am not denying that the Holy Spirit, at times can use our thoughts, conscience, emotions and desires to aid us in the understanding of His will for our lives.  However, we should never rely exclusively on these inward “impressions” to decide the life path for us to take.  So how can we discern the Lord’s will in our life “impressions”?

1 Thess 5: 21 gives us a very straightforward answer to our question… “Prove all things, hold fast that which is good. Abstain from all appearance of evil.”

The Lord gives us some basic principles of guidance to “prove” (put to the test) our feelings thoughts and emotions in Phil 1:9-11:

 … that your love may abound yet more and more in knowledge and [in] all judgment” –

Our life should be centered upon showing love… love for our Lord and love for others around us.

How do we show our love for the Lord?  One way, is to put His will for our lives ahead of our own.  Another way, is to become familiar with His Word (knowledge) and then apply it to our life decision making (judgment).

“That ye may approve things that are excellent” –

Another way to show our love for our Lord is to take the time and effort to put to the test all our life experiences ,and feelings, so we can know which ones He approves.  By using our knowledge of His Word and then exercising Godly judgment, we can discern which emotions, desires and feelings are coming from Him.

This point cannot be underemphasized…. One of the greatest uses of His Word is to use it to prove what is pleasing to Him.  This applies to any area of our life.  The teachings we receive, the world’s influences on our lives, and His will for our lives (including the events we experience and the feelings we have) are to be put to the test using His Word and a mind that is renewed through a growing knowledge of His Word .   See Acts 17:10-11 (the Scriptures), Eph 5:6-13 (the truth) , Roms 12:1-3 (a renewed mind).

“that ye may be sincere and without offence till the day of Christ; Being filled with the fruits of righteousness”  –

What is the result of putting the teachings we receive, the influences of the world, and our life experiences and feelings to the test?

It is two-fold righteousness both an inward righteousness (“sincerity”) and an outward righteousness (“without offence”). These two types of righteousness combine to bring about a life that is fulfilling His will and bearing an abundance of spiritual fruit.

“which are by Jesus Christ” –

Living a life that is fulfilling His will is a work of Christ in our hearts.  Christ, through His Spirit enables us to serve Him in spite of our sinful, fallen nature.

“unto the glory and praise of God” –

Living lives that fulfill His will brings all the praise and glory to the Lord.  Why? Because we are living our life according to His will due to His will because He is at work within us.

Phil 2:12-13

Wherefore, my beloved, as ye have always obeyed, not as in my presence only, but now much more in my absence, work out your own salvation with fear and trembling. For it is God which worketh in you both to will and to do of [his] good pleasure.

THE PRACTICAL APPLICATION

For those who are saved…

We can prove what is His will for our lives, through an attitude of submission to His will and the renewal of our minds.  This renewal comes through a consistent increase in knowledge and application of His Word.

The more we are familiar with His Word, the better we can discern His will for our lives.  The greater our knowledge of His Word, the easier it is to discern if our thoughts, feelings and urgings are from the Lord or elsewhere.

Again, as in our prior study, we find that His Word takes preeminence in our life decisions.  If our feelings, thoughts, or emotions run parallel to His Word we can follow them without hesitancy knowing that we are living within the instructions of His Word.

If however, our impressions, in any way, depart from the principles laid out in His Word, we can rest assured that the impression is not from the Lord, but is being produced from a sinful origin (our flesh, the world, or powers of darkness).  In this case, we are to flee from the path these impressions would indicate we are to follow.

Rom 12:1-3 (KJV)

I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that ye present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable unto God, [which is] your reasonable service. 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. For I say, through the grace given unto me, to every man that is among you, not to think [of himself] more highly than he ought to think; but to think soberly, according as God hath dealt to every man the measure of faith.

In our search for God’s Will to be shown to us in our lives….

Prayer Principle #4 –  We must pray for the Lord’s discernment of His leading in our lives.

For those who are not saved….

The Lord’s will for the life of those who have never trusted in Christ is clearly declared in 1Tim 2:3-6 …

For this [is] good and acceptable in the sight of God our Saviour; Who will have all men to be saved, and to come unto the knowledge of the truth.For [there is] one God, and one mediator between God and men, the man Christ Jesus; Who gave himself a ransom for all, to be testified in due time.

For more information about salvation and the forgiveness of sins, please refer to my blog page found here: http://settledinheaven.wordpress.com/all-about-salvation/

http://www.settledinheaven.wordpress.com

About Rob Barkman

A retired pastor, Bible teacher and author of 20 years, he is currently ministering through Settled In Heaven Ministries. SIH Ministries is an on-line Bible teaching ministry that was founded by Bro Barkman in 2010. Settled In Heaven’s mission is to glorify the Lord Jesus Christ by fulfilling two different roles... rendering encouragement and Biblical knowledge to the saints in an effort to enhance their service to Christ; and proclaiming the gospel message to those who are in need of salvation, explaining to them their urgent need to accept Jesus Christ as their Lord and Savior.
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8 Responses to Finding God’s Will For Our Lives Part # 4

  1. Pingback: Put Your Trust in Jesus | KEVIN NUNEZ

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  3. granbee says:

    Pastor Rob, I was privileged last evening to participate in a study of Romans, Chapter 12. Turning ourselves completely over to the Will of God allows the Will of God to be lived out in us–and we find out about His Will in transit, not before departure on the journey He has set for us!

    • Rob Barkman says:

      Granbee, sounds like a great study. And, yes, at times, the Lord shows us is will one piece at a time. As we take each step of faith, He shows us another step to take. At other times, He shows us His will in any given matter all at once. Whichever is best fo rHis glory, and our good, determines which way He reveals His will to us. Lord bless you. Thanks again for all your wonderful comments.

  4. Pingback: Put Your Trust in Jesus | Kevin Nunez

  5. Rob, I always appreciate your writings, but I think this one is really excellent.

    The Lord leads in many ways, but as you say, it is NEVER outside the principles He has laid down in His Word.

    One of the biggest problems people have in seeking God’s will is not knowing WHY they believe WHAT they believe. When they understand the WHY – the principle behind the belief – they are much more able to accept whatever the Lord is saying. This is so important, and yet I see a distinct lack of will in wanting to really study doctrines and the principles of the Word.

    • Rob Barkman says:

      In a few short sentences you’ve summed up what I tried to say in a couple page blog entry! I believe you do have it exactly correct. It amazes me how easy it is for sincere Christians to follow their feelings and emotions much more quickly than to simply follow the principles of God’s Word. I’m slowly getting to the point in my life (I still have a long way to go) where I count my feelings and emotions as worthless until they are compared to truths within the pages of Scripture.

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