Tag Archives: God’s will

Sometimes it takes some serious seeking

They fasted that day until evening… and inquired of the Lord… They asked, “Shall we go up to battle with our brother Benjamin or not?” The Lord responded, “Go, for tomorrow I will give them into your hands.” Judges 20:26-28

One day as these men were worshiping the Lord and fasting, the Holy Spirit said, “Dedicate Barnabas and Saul for the special work to which I have called them.” Acts 13:2 

guidanceSince it’s the beginning of a new year, I thought I’d share a few thoughts about how to know and do God’s will. It only makes sense that when we’re looking for God’s will about serious life situations that we’d take extraordinary measures to seek him. I’m not saying that in those circumstances that he always requires such seeking, because sometimes he just drops the clear picture on us without us making any effort at all. But I’ve found that he does sometimes require some more serious seeking than usual in order to dispense his guidance. It’s certainly not because he needs me to pray harder or longer or at an earlier hour in order to be able to give me his leading. It’s most likely because I’m supposed to get closer to him, and he’s using my crossroads to pull me in. So for me, in times of significant transition, in addition to praying about it, asking my friends to pray and advise me, being particularly attentive to anything God might want to speak to me in the Word – I’ll often spend an unusual amount of time conversing with him and might do some fasting, which is often part of serious seeking. Continue reading

Advertisements

Whose Will Be Done?

I know, O Lord, that a man’s life is not his own; it is not for a man to direct his steps. Jeremiah 10:23 

A man’s steps are directed by the Lord. How then can anyone understand his own way? Proverbs 20:24

Calling ourselves “followers of Jesus” implies he’s going somewhere and we’re going the same places he goes. At the beginning of each New Year a lot us set goals for ourselves and make plans. As the wise spiritual sage, Woody Allen said, “If you want to make God laugh, tell him about your plans!” It’s not that planning is a bad idea. We should do it with our ears open to heaven.guidance

Many of us who routinely pray the Lord’s Prayer zip over the part about “Thy will be done.” We say it about as meaningfully as grace over breakfast. But if we’re honest with ourselves, do we really want his will to be done – I mean not just about world peace or a more stable economy? Do we want him to meddle in our lives as far as to tell us what he wants us to do? Continue reading

The Day I Got My “Whatever” Back (part five)

At his beck and call…

This is my final post on “Whatever.” In the first four offerings… I confessed my hiatus from praying for “whatever” God wants and then how I returned to it as a default. Then I referred to a bunch of Bible passages that show God’s demand for “whatever” and his prerogative to do “whatever.” With that in mind, I talked about the “God Positioning System,” and how it assumes our “whatever” posture. Let me conclude with our ABC’s…

If you know me, you’re aware that I like acrostics and acronyms (I’ve never quite understood the difference between the two). For example, I’ve used ABC for years to summarize how a person might come to a saving relationship with Jesus (Admit, Believe, Commit). But I have devised another ABC for the one who has already come to believe in Jesus. It’s sort of a second story ABC for someone who wants to know how to proceed in his or her friendship with God and be a “Whatever Christian” – At his Beck and Call.

Since I got my “whatever” back – I’m at his beck and call.I’ll try to do what he calls me to do, and it shouldn’t take more than his “beck” to get my attention. (“Beck” is an old English word, the shortened form of beckon, which means a subtle gesture or mute signal like a nod or a slight motion of the hand.) I hope to live in such a way that he needs but to nod or look my way to get my attention and direct me to do whatever he has in mind.

Oops, I missed it…

[At long last, we’ve come to the 25th and final chapter of “How God Guides” (along with a brief conclusion. I began by saying that this is no exact science, and that even the best of us miss (or avoid) God’s leading at times – even lots of times. Well, I’m saying it again, not only because it bears repeating, but also because I’m sure I’ve missed it since I began writing all this! But don’t be so smug, for no doubt you have too. Anyway, thanks for reading. But do yourself and the needy world around you a favor and don’t be satisfied with reading about the will of God, begin doing it!]

Let’s be honest and admit that we’re not always going to get it right. We’re going to be mistaken sometimes about what we think God is saying to us. I said before that if I had a nickel for every time I missed the cues that God was sending my way, I’d be a rich man! Continue reading

Notice the repeated notices…

[Chapter 24 of “How God Guides.” He’s nice enough to repeat himself to those of us hard of hearing (or of doing).]

Peter had a series of things happen to him in three’s.  He denied the Lord three times, Jesus asked him three times if he loved him, the sheet-like object containing un-kosher animals came to him in a vision three times, and it was three men sent by Cornelius who came to the door. When Pharaoh dreamt about the seven years of plenty and seven years of famine, he had the same dream twice, only with different characters (Genesis 41).  When Joseph interpreted the dreams he said, “The reason the dream was given to Pharaoh in two forms is that the matter has been firmly decided by God, and God will do it soon” (Genesis 41:32).  Jesus’ life is recorded in fourGospels. The last of Moses’ books is called, Deuteronomy, which means “Second Law.”  The key word of the book is “remember,” because it’s basically the repetition of what was already recorded in Exodus and Leviticus. God knows our tendency to forgetwhat he says – so he says it again! Continue reading

Sometimes he sends a prophet…

[Chapter 23 of “How God Guides.” Prophets and prophecies are not just Old Testament. With one exception, all the passages I refer to here are from the New Testament. While much more could be said on the subject, what I offer here is a tiny primer on prophecy and how God sometimes uses it to guide us.]

Among the prophets and teachers of the church at Antioch of Syria were Barnabas, Simeon (called “the black man”), Lucius (from Cyrene), Manaen (the childhood companion of King Herod Antipas), and Saul. One day as these men were worshiping the Lord and fasting, the Holy Spirit said, “Dedicate Barnabas  and Saul for the special work to which I have called them.”  Acts 13:1

Timothy, my son, I am giving you this command in keeping with the prophecies once made about you, so that by recalling them you may fight the battle well1 Timothy 1:18 Continue reading

Dreams, visions, and angels…

[This is chapter 22 of “How God Guides.” Now it’s getting exciting! Does God still use these as means of leading his kids? Well, I have no evidence ot the contrary, biblical or otherwise. I don’t encourage you to insist on such methods, but don’t resist them if they come your way either.]

Your sons and daughters will prophesy, your old men will dream dreams, your young men will see visions. Joel 2:28

An angel of the Lord said to Philip, “Go south to the road…” Acts 8:26

Now there was a believer in Damascus named Ananias. The Lord spoke to him in a vision calling, “Ananias!” “Yes, Lord!’ he replied.”  Acts 9:10

 About noon…Peter…fell into a trance and saw heaven opened and something like a large sheet being let down… Acts 10:9-11

That night Paul had a vision: A man from Macedonia in northern Greece was standing there, pleading with him, “Come over to Macedonia and help us!”  Acts 16:9

One night the Lord spoke to Paul in a vision and told him, “Don’t be afraid! Speak out! Don’t be silent! For I am with you, and no one will attack and harm you, for many people in this city belong to me.”  Acts 18:9

I saw a vision of Jesus saying to me, “Hurry! Leave Jerusalem, for the people here won’t accept your testimony about me.” Acts 22:18

As far as I know I’ve never seen an angel, though it is hard to say since sometimes they show up undercover. But I have had a number of visions and several dreams that I would call, “prophetic dreams.” Continue reading