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BIBLE STUDY - DISCERNING GOD'S WILL (PART 1)

 

 
 

 

We can trust that Godís will for our lives is centered in His love for us and in His desire for what is best. Therefore, He has provided the means for us to wisely seek His will in the decisions we face.

Jeremiah 29:11 For I know the plans I have for you,Ē declares the LORD, ďplans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.

WHY IS DISCERNING GODíS WILL IMPORTANT?

Letís consider why we should make the effort to seek to know His will, beginning with these points.

  1. Godís desire for you to know Him

In his letter to the church at Ephesus, the Apostle Paul wrote

Ephesians 1:15-17 For this reason, ever since I heard about your faith in the Lord Jesus and your love for all Godís people, 16 I have not stopped giving thanks for you, remembering you in my prayers. 17 I keep asking that the God of our Lord Jesus Christ, the glorious Father, may give you the Spirit of wisdom and revelation, so that you may know him better

Paul prayed for the Ephesians believers to receive spiritual wisdom and understanding so they might know God more intimately.

Godís will is not just something you do; it is a relationship with Jesus

  1. Godís will is always the very best for you.

Jeremiah 29:11 For I know the plans I have for you,Ē declares the LORD, ďplans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future

John 15:5 ďI am the vine; you are the branches. If you remain in me and I in you, you will bear much fruit; apart from me you can do nothing.

John 15:8 This is to my Fatherís glory, that you bear much fruit, showing yourselves to be my disciples.

John 15:11 I have told you this so that my joy may be in you and that your joy may be complete.

Romans 12:2 Do not conform to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what Godís will isóhis good, pleasing and perfect will.

Four things to remember

  • God is sovereign. He is in control of everything, and everything He does is right.

  • God loves you perfectly; you can trust Him with your life.

  • God is concerned with the process you go through to become like Him, not just what you accomplish with your life.

  • Godís will is not elusive. He desires to reveal His will more that you desire to know it.

  1. Where to turn to discern Godís will

  • The Bible

Godís written word is our ultimate source of authority in all areas of life. God has already given clear direction in the Bible for most of the decisions we face.

  • Prayer

Philippians 4:6-7 Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. 7 And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.


James 1:5-8 If any of you lacks wisdom, you should ask God, who gives generously to all without finding fault, and it will be given to you. 
6 But when you ask, you must believe and not doubt, because the one who doubts is like a wave of the sea, blown and tossed by the wind. 7 That person should not expect to receive anything from the Lord. 8 Such a person is double-minded and unstable in all they do.


Each of the remaining means of discerning Godís will must be tested against the direction of Godís written Word. If circumstances, input from others, our own desires, or inner impressions are contradictory to the Bible, the Bible wins out every time.

  • Impressions from the Holy Spirit

Philippians 2:12-13 Therefore, my dear friends, as you have always obeyedónot only in my presence, but now much more in my absenceócontinue to work out your salvation with fear and trembling, 13 for it is God who works in you to will and to act in order to fulfill his good purpose.

Acts 16:6-10 Paul and his companions traveled throughout the region of Phrygia and Galatia, having been kept by the Holy Spirit from preaching the word in the province of Asia. 7 When they came to the border of Mysia, they tried to enter Bithynia, but the Spirit of Jesus would not allow them to. 8 So they passed by Mysia and went down to Troas. 9 During the night Paul had a vision of a man of Macedonia standing and begging him, ďCome over to Macedonia and help us.Ē 10 After Paul had seen the vision, we got ready at once to leave for Macedonia, concluding that God had called us to preach the gospel to them.

I donít doubt that the Holy Spirit guides your decisions from within when you make them with the intension of pleasing God. The error would be to think that He speaks only within were as in reality He speaks also through Scripture, the Church, Christian friends, books, etc. Ė C.S. Lewis

  • Input from mature believers

It is often very helpful to get counsel from other believers whom you respect and trust. They may have biblical input, perspective, and additional information you have mist.

Proverbs 19:20 Listen to advice and accept discipline, and at the end you will be counted among the wise.

Proverbs 27:17 As iron sharpens iron, so one person sharpens another.

  • Providential circumstances; seeing God at work

Frequently God uses circumstances to confirm a decision we have made already by faith

  • Our own desires

The longer we follow Jesus and submit to His leadership, the more our heart desires will align with His purpose. People sometimes posses the following mistaken mindset.

It cannot be Godís will if it is something I want or something I would enjoy.

Psalm 37:4 Take delight in the LORD, and he will give you the desires of your heart.

The more we pursue intimacy with God, the more we will desire the things He desires.

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