Tag Archives: how to know God’s will

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.

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

GPS – “The God Positioning System”

God’s system of directing us doesn’t work very much like Google Maps or the GPS device in your car or smart phone. (My friend calls hers  “Garmin” after the brand name on the front, so we’ll use that from now on as we talk about the satellite-operated system. And since hers has a woman’s voice, we’ll refer to Garmin as a she. OK?)

You tell Garmin where you want to go and she tells you how to get there in the most direct way possible. But with the God Positioning System – as long as you haven’t lost your “whatever” – rather than try to program him to get you where you want to go and how you want to get there; I advise you to begin with the premise that you’re not the one in charge. You’re the led and he’s the Leader. You can tell Garmin where you want to go, but for “Whatever Christians” God reserves the right to demand his own preferred destinations for each of us. He’s not the least bit programmable, and doesn’t operate like a satellite-driven device. With him in charge, you’ll do best to start your trip with a couple of questions:  “Where do you want me today, Lord? What can I do which could bring you some glory? Whatever you want, Lord – I’m in!” Continue reading

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

Signs & Fleeces

[Chapter 21 in “How God Guides.” For anyone beginning here, please note tht this is the 21st post and not the 1st. Looking for “signs and fleeces” is not where you begin with determining God’s will for your life. But it is a factor and something which should be addressed.]

Gideon doubted God’s promise to bring victory to him and his fellow Jews in their impending battle with their enemies, so he made a deal with him that he’d proceed to do his part if the Lord would prove his intent (and his ability) to do his (Judges 6). One night Gideon put some fleece on the ground and proposed that if in the morning the fleece was wet, and the surrounding area dry, he would do what God was asking him to do. The next morning it was evident that God had complied and made the fleece damp while leaving the ground dry. But still Gideon doubted, so he requested the reverse of the sign. Low and behold, the next morning the fleece was dry and the ground around it was wet! Continue reading