Posts Tagged ‘God’s will’

“Father, if it is Your will, take this cup away from Me; nevertheless not My will, but Yours, be done.” Luke 22:42

Today I am studying Psalm 16, a Messianic Psalm. Reading through the verses one can almost envision Jesus in the Garden of Gethsemane, sorrowful and intensely distressed, kneeling in prayer to the Father, in soul-filled agony, blood dripping as sweat from His pores. Psalm 16 is the prophetic picture of this scene.

We also discern a compliant Jesus putting all He had into the hands of the Father, trusting Him on every level. The Gospel of Luke suggests Jesus might have opted for another way, but more importantly it demonstrates that regardless of our thinking, the Father’s plans always take precedent over our own.

Preserve me, O God, for in You I put my trust. O my soul, you have said to the Lord, “You are my Lord, My goodness is nothing apart from You.” Psalm 16:1-2

What is the Will of God

We have touched on the issue before and what the Bible proclaims. As a matter of fact the book of 1 Thessalonians has a bunch to say on the subject. Check out these two passages:

For this is the will of God, your sanctification: that you should abstain from sexual immorality; that each of you should know how to possess his own vessel in sanctification and honor, not in passion of lust, like the Gentiles who do not know God; that no one should take advantage of and defraud his brother in this matter, because the Lord is the avenger of all such, as we also forewarned you and testified. For God did not call us to uncleanness, but in holiness. 1 Thessalonians 4:4-7

Now we exhort you, brethren, warn those who are unruly, comfort the fainthearted, uphold the weak, be patient with all. See that no one renders evil for evil to anyone, but always pursue what is good both for yourselves and for all. Rejoice always, pray without ceasing, in everything give thanks; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you. 1 Thessalonians 5:14-18

That’s some pretty cut-and-dry doctrine right there. I particularly like the last little portion, ‘Rejoice always, pray without ceasing, (and) in everything give thanks.’ When we do those things, God’s precise will for any given situation will be revealed.

Or will it?

When we examine the passages that refer to God’s will, what we actually garner is God’s direction. His will on the other hand is absolute and it encompasses every possible dynamic, therefore it cannot be known in its entirety–God’s direction is a glimpse of His will. In other words when God says, ‘Rejoice always,” given our situation, we might be baffled–the action is but a snapshot of an immeasurable concept. When God gives a directive, He has taken into consideration the beginning from the end and everything in between; such things we are unable to fathom.

So what is God’s will?

Simply put, it’s the choice we would make if we had all the information. It’s also typically the opposite of what our flesh yearns for.

Consider a two year old. Approach the child with a Hershey Kiss and a thousand dollar bill, which one will he choose? We know that without proper guidance, he’s likely going to take the chocolate. If we explain to him why the cash is a better choice, he may or may not change his mind. The problem is the child cannot perceive bigger ideas; they’re too abstract. “Don’t touch the stove,” mom says, “or you’ll get burned.” The problem is that a child has no concept of what it means to be burned.

The same is true for us; our vision is not much better than that of a two year old, but hopefully we have come to trust our Father. So when God says, ‘Abstain from sexual immorality,’ we abstain knowing that we don’t know the bigger picture. When He says, ‘Rejoice always, pray without ceasing, (and) in everything give thanks,’ we obey, despite the fact it might make absolutely no sense whatsoever.

We need to remember that if we had all the information, God’s will for us and our choices would be entirely the same. But we don’t have all the information, therefore the question that remains is, “Do we trust God to guide us in our limited vision?”


You will show me the path of life; In Your presence is fullness of joy; At Your right hand are pleasures forevermore. Psalm 16:11

‘What would Jesus do,’ is a wonderful pronouncement. I see only one problem arising with the slogan; “What if you don’t know Jesus?” If you don’t know what Jesus did, how will you know what Jesus would do? Today, I am confident in saying that it is God’s will that you know Jesus better. Why? Because He will illuminate the path of life. In His presence we will discover joy to its fullest and pleasures everlasting. It’s God’s will.


These ramblings are typically (but not always) a byproduct inspired by God through my personal Bible study at SearchLight with Pastor Jon Courson and with my pastor at my home church, Calvary Chapel Coastlands

Read Full Post »

So he went and did according to the word of the Lord, for he went and stayed by the Brook Cherith, which flows into the Jordan. The ravens brought him bread and meat in the morning, and bread and meat in the evening; and he drank from the brook. And it happened after a while that the brook dried up, because there had been no rain in the land. 1 Kings 17:5-7

It’s a common teaching in today’s church that if a ministry is drying up that it is a sign from the Lord to move on. There was a time I would have unconditionally believed that. However, if that were the case, as the Brook Cherith slowed to a trickle, Elijah might have uttered, “Oh well, I guess the Lord isn’t in this thing anymore, I better get going.” But that is not what Elijah did.

Then the word of the Lord came to him, saying, “Arise, go to Zarephath… 17:8-9

Elijah went to the brook because the Lord commanded him to and he didn’t leave, despite the parched conditions, until the Lord told him to. What’s the Lord told you to do and more importantly, has He rescinded the directive? Is it the ministry that’s bone-dry, or your faith?

Is God Still With Me?

How will you know if God is still in the thing He brought you to? How did Shadrach, Meshach and Abed-Nego know? They knew because like Elijah, they were at peace in their hostile environment; they weren’t burned-out, nor were they freaking out. They were able to rest in the words that they heard.

…And the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus. Philippians 4:7

I recently had an experience hosting a golf tournament to raise money for a Christian ministry; an event that I truly felt led by the Lord to undertake. I found the work associated with it to be unproblematic, but I did struggle with the lack of a response—many had said they would play, but few were actually signing up. I thought and shared with others, including my pastor, ‘is this thing drying up?’ and a few people suggested that I throw in the towel. I didn’t because I believed God led me to it and I hadn’t heard from Him to abandon the cause.

Long story short, the golf event was successful and I believe that the Lord allowed it to progress the way it did (at least in part) to reveal and teach me the lesson that is being conveyed here in 1 Kings 17—if God brings you to a thing, He will be faithful to bring you through it. Moving on is not an option until God says so.

And when Jesus saw great multitudes about Him, He gave a command to depart to the other side…Now when He got into a boat, His disciples followed Him. And suddenly a great tempest arose on the sea, so that the boat was covered with the waves. But He was asleep. Then His disciples came to Him and awoke Him, saying, “Lord, save us! We are perishing!” But He said to them, “Why are you fearful, O you of little faith?” Then He arose and rebuked the winds and the sea, and there was a great calm. Matthew 8:18, 23-26

Don’t Forget the Word That You Heard

Why were the disciples fearful? Because they forgot. They had forgotten what Jesus had said to them at the start; that He had given the command to depart to the other side. Didn’t they know if Jesus said that they’re going over to the other side, that’s exactly where they’re going to end up? Don’t we know? Let us endeavor to stay in the boat God has placed us until He tells us to abandon the ship.

Follow me on Twitter HERE

These ramblings are typically (but not always) a byproduct inspired by God through my personal Bible study at SearchLight with Pastor Jon Courson

Read Full Post »

God stands in the congregation of the mighty; He judges among the gods. How long will you judge unjustly, And show partiality to the wicked? Defend the poor and fatherless; Do justice to the afflicted and needy. Deliver the poor and needy; Free them from the hand of the wicked. They do not know, nor do they understand; They walk about in darkness; All the foundations of the earth are unstable. I said, “You are gods, And all of you are children of the Most High. But you shall die like men, And fall like one of the princes.” Arise, O God, judge the earth; For You shall inherit all nations. Psalm 82:1-8

Justice in Generally

According to Merriam-Webster, justice is the maintenance or administration of what is believed to be fair and equitable as it pertains to reward or punishment. Realize that the definition implies that appropriate justice goes beyond the particular issue for which we are seeking justice. So, when we want justice for that guy who cuts us off in traffic and flips us the bird, a righteous arbitrator must consider each and every time you [and he] have done similarly and chastise all parties. That’s what real justice looks like and anything short of that is a perversion of what justice is–justice for one, by definition, must be just for all. That should compel us to ponder, as justice is being doled out, do we really want to be held accountable too? It is for this reason a wise person should pursue mercy over justice.

Social Justice

As we think in terms of justice beyond that which affects us personally, the waters begin muddy. Social justice is hard to define and harder still to execute primarily because as a global society we cannot agree what the words ‘just’ or ‘fair’ or ‘equal’ mean. To make matters worse, the further one travels down the social-justice road, the more it begins to resemble the social-ism road. Should property and wealth be shared equitably with the whole world? You should find comfort in knowing that that decision is not yours to make.

Or do you not know that your body is the temple of the Holy Spirit who is in you, whom you have from God, and you are not your own…For by Him all things were created that are in heaven and that are on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or dominions or principalities or powers. All things were created through Him and for Him. 1 Corinthians 6:19 and Colossians 1:16

Answer this simple question, “Can a person borrow his neighbor’s lawnmower and then legally give it away?”

The answer is of course, ‘No,’ he can’t. Therefore, since everything belongs to God; including our own bodies, is it not selfishly presumptuous to suppose we can give away that which does not rightfully belong to us unless the Owner directs us to do so? The very truth of the matter is that the maintenance and administration of social justice is God’s concern. Our concern is to be in agreement with the Creator and to be compliant to His directives. We give as His Holy Spirit guides us to give.

“For My yoke is easy and My burden is light.” Matthew 11:30

Hopefully that gives you peace. Our calling is to be obedient—period.

The Social Justice Problem

The question for the church is not whether or not we mete out social justice; the Father in His word is precise in His mandate to care for the poor and the needy. Therefore the issue, as it pertains to the Christian, is one of priority over practice. Lest we forget, every believer’s first calling is to share the Gospel message and facilitate the making of Christian disciples. Social justice always takes a back seat to the Good News.

Don’t Freak Out

Understand what I am saying. It’s true in my car (and probably yours as well), that wherever the front seat goes, the back seat goes too. Do you get the picture? Where the Gospel goes, so goes justice! But we should never, ever fail to remember that one has priority over the other. When social justice travels alone, we promote the task of making folks more comfortable over God’s will, which is to keep them from unknowingly waltzing into hell. When that occurs it’s not love, nor is it the Good News.

The Lord is not slack concerning His promise, as some count slackness, but is longsuffering toward us, not willing that any should perish, but that all should come to repentance. 2 Peter 3:9

Read the verse again. What’s God’s will? That none should perish.

Does This Mean…?

Does this mean that a Christian can’t simply give a homeless guy on the street a few bucks without sharing a Gospel message with him? After all, in those situations, it’s not practical to do more. Can’t my Christian deed stand alone; won’t my actions serve to draw this person closer to Christ?

A Good Deed Only Draws People to Christ if They Know You Are a Christian

Is it really asking too much to hand a person a Gospel tract with your gift? Is it really to difficult to tell a soul that Jesus loves them or to ask to pray over them? Is it really unreasonable to inquire if the recipient knows Jesus Christ as Lord and Savior? The most awful thing they could do is decline your offer.

Read Full Post »

Also the Lord tells you that He will make you a house. 2 Samuel 7:11

David’s first official act as king over Israel was to recover the Ark of the Covenant. His second official act was going to be to build God a Temple that would house the Ark. David’s heart was in the right place, his desire was biblically sound, and he had the spiritual support of the prophet Nathan, but what he didn’t have was God’s approval. Through Nathan, God would in effect tell David, “Did I ask you to build Me a house? I anointed you as king because you’re a shepherd, not a builder. I have a builder in mind and you ain’t him!” We might think this would be upsetting to David.

God Never Says No

Or more accurately, God never says just no. In other words if our Father seemingly vetoes our plans, it is only because He has something better in store for us. That’s a very good thing to remember when we pray. The fact of the matter that David was not qualified to build the temple because of the blood on his hands is not relevant—God had bigger plans for David since time began and the good news is that He has bigger plans for us also.

But What About Psalm 37:4

Didn’t David write in the Psalm, “Delight yourself also in the Lord, And He shall give you the desires of your heart,” and wasn’t building God’s Temple the desire of David’s heart? It most certainly was his desire. But the reality is that when we pray and when God rejects our plans, we better learn to pray according to God’s will. The lesson David learned was that his desire (initially) was not God’s desire. Twenty four hours later, when David got the word from Nathan, he knew God’s heart as it pertained to this matter and as a result he was ecstatic.

“Who am I, O Lord God? And what is my house, that You have brought me this far…what more can David say to You? For You, Lord God, know Your servant. For Your word’s sake, and according to Your own heart, You have done all these great things, to make Your servant know them…You are great…there is none like You, nor is there any God besides You…For You have made Your people Israel Your very own people forever; and You, Lord, have become their God…O Lord God, the word which You have spoken concerning Your servant and concerning his house, establish it forever and do as You have said…let Your name be magnified forever…O Lord God, You are God, and Your words are true, and You have promised this goodness to Your servant” 2 Samuel 7:18-28 (abridged)

Does this sound like a man whose desires and plans were rejected by God? Absolutely not! David got it; he saw the bigger picture. God didn’t tell David ‘No,’ He told him, “I’ve got better things for you my son!” The truth is that God has better things for us too, regardless of how He responds to our prayers. Like David, He wants to build a house for us as well! Check this out…

…As living stones, are being built up a spiritual house…no longer strangers and foreigners, but fellow citizens with the saints and members of the household of God, having been built on the foundation of the apostles and prophets, Jesus Christ Himself being the chief corner stone, in whom the whole building, being joined together, grows into a holy temple in the Lord, in whom you also are being built together for a dwelling place of God in the Spirit. 1 Peter 2:5a + Ephesians 2:19-21

If you’re not fired up, you should be. God’s building a house for Himself and we are that house! Like David, we should proclaim to Him, “Who am I, O Lord God? And what is my house, that You have brought me this far!”

Read Full Post »

So you shall serve the Lord your God, and He will bless your bread and your water. And I will take sickness away from the midst of you. No one shall suffer miscarriage or be barren in your land; I will fulfill the number of your days. “I will send My fear before you, I will cause confusion among all the people to whom you come, and will make all your enemies turn their backs to you. And I will send hornets before you, which shall drive out the Hivite, the Canaanite, and the Hittite from before you. I will not drive them out from before you in one year, lest the land become desolate and the beast of the field become too numerous for you. Little by little I will drive them out from before you, until you have increased, and you inherit the land. Exodus 23:25-30

“When is my life going to get better?” a new-believer asked me recently.“What if it doesn’t…Is Heaven enough?” was my reply.

There is an expectation on the part of God for us to ask questions of this type. This is reckonable because, as we read our Bibles, we see that He has blessed us with the answers to our questions before we have asked them. The key to spiritual comprehension; i.e. receiving the correct answer to our specific inquiry, is to examine what the Lord has to say on the matter as a whole—contextually, otherwise there will likely be misunderstandings.

Do not be deceived, God is not mocked; for whatever a man sows, that he will also reap. Galatians 6:7

The truth of the matter is that God will bless us when we commit ourselves to serving Him and for some, those blessings may only be made manifest once they cross over form this life to the next. God is very clear that although our sins have been washed cleaned by the blood of Christ, there are still earthly consequences for iniquity. This must be so because our God is a God of order. Could you imagine if the two billion people who call themselves Christian were suddenly released from their punitive responsibilities? There would be worldwide anarchy contrary to what God has established

“The Lord, the Lord God, merciful and gracious, longsuffering, and abounding in goodness and truth, keeping mercy for thousands, forgiving iniquity and transgression and sin, by no means clearing the guilty, visiting the iniquity of the fathers upon the children and the children’s children to the third and the fourth generation.” Exodus 34:6-7

There is a godly process to restoration. The doctrine being established in Exodus 34 maintains that our behavior (good or bad) will have an affect on generations to come. If a father is an alcoholic (for example) and repents towards Jesus after his children have grown, there is still going to be an inevitable residue left upon his family. God is not saying those kids are cursed, but affected—there is a difference. The ‘reaping and sowing doctrine’ does not disappear merely because we have given our hearts to Jesus. In actuality it is the ‘reaping and sowing doctrine’ that declares (by God’s grace) we can sow anew and reap afresh.

Little by little I will drive them out from before you, until you have increased, and you inherit the land. Exodus 23:30

An Explanation

God does not always offer explanations for His actions, so when He does we need to pay very close attention. Exodus 23:30 outlines a process by which we might grow spiritually and faithfully; a process that requires His perfect timing. Any attempt to circumvent His timing can only result in a deficiency in the blessing or perhaps even demolish the opportunity all together. The bottom line is that God is not making us to wait as retribution for behavior past, but so we ‘increase’ as a result of His perfect work in us. If God’s provision in this regard were instantaneous, the transformation in us would likely never come to pass. And do not be fooled into thinking this is just about patience…

My brethren, count it all joy when you fall into various trials, knowing that the testing of your faith produces patience. But let patience have its perfect work, that you may be perfect and complete, lacking nothing. James 1:2-4

Read Full Post »

Sacrifice and PraiseSo Israel took his journey with all that he had, and came to Beersheba, and offered sacrifices to the God of his father Isaac…Then he sent Judah before him to Joseph… Genesis 46:1 & 28

It Seemed Like the Right Thing to Do

I can scarcely begin to tell how many times I have advanced a decision to do something based exclusively on the notion that it seemed like the right thing to do. By God’s grace, not every choice was dreadful; sometimes things turned out well and other times, not so well. Our Father would rather our movements be in harmony with His and so, through His servant Israel He provides instruction, that if pursued will facilitate discerning His will before we leap haphazardly.

Digging Up the Past

Israel is about to enter Egypt and he stops. I suppose his memory drifts back to the days of his grandfather Abraham who found himself in a similar predicament—there was famine in the land and he too went to Egypt for resources. At the time, to Abraham it must have seemed like the right thing to do, but his grievous error was in not seeking God’s will. Despite the fact he returned a wealthy man, part of his yield included a slave girl named Hagar, who would bear him a son named Ishmael, the likes of which the world still struggles today.

I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that you present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable to God, which is your reasonable service. And do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, that you may prove what is that good and acceptable and perfect will of God. Romans 12:1-2

Israel is unquestionably anxious to see his son Joseph and to obtain provision for his family, but he stops just short of entering in and inquires of God. While impatience, eagerness, and enthusiasm are my customary stumbling blocks, Israel demonstrates that selfishness will not stand between him and his relationship with his Father. Subsequently, God honors that sacrifice by authorizing and confirming Israel’s entry into Egypt.

“I am God, the God of your father; do not fear to go down to Egypt, for I will make of you a great nation there. I will go down with you to Egypt, and I will also surely bring you up again; and Joseph will put his hand on your eyes.” Genesis 46:3-4

Ready, Set, GO!

Not so fast. This is the stage where many of us would proclaim, “Gentlemen, start your engines!” as we geared-up to move forward with God’s blessing, but Israel’s reaction is quite different. Relaxed and poised he selects his son Judah to go before him and to greet Joseph. Why Judah? Because the name Judah (in Hebrew) means praise—Israel moves forth with praise and praise leads the way! Let us by sacrifice seek His will and then proceed with our praises toward Him.

Enter into His gates with thanksgiving, And into His courts with praise. Be thankful to Him, and bless His name. Psalms 100:4

Read Full Post »

National Day Calendar

Fun, unusual and forgotten designations on our calendar.

Overcoming The Times

Be not overcome of evil, but overcome evil with good.

The Motherhood Marathon

Finding the humor, beauty, and purpose in the mess of motherhood

Greater Cause

Addressing Daily Issues From a Biblical Worldview

Disciples of hope

Living the hope that comes from Christ


Thrift Store Tripping and Frugal Living at its Best

In the Little Things

Finding Meaning in the Madness and the Mundane

The Perfect Dad

Every man dies. Not every man truly parents.


Mark 16:15 Go into all the world and preach the gospel to every creature.

Let's Talk Gospel

Christian Encouragement and Entertainment

Kendall Lyons

Christ, Cartoons, and Coffee

God charts the road

A road that represents the course of those who desire to follow God

The Master's Meadow

Lush pasture, living springs, and marked paths

Servants' Journal

A blog about Christian life and Biblical teaching.

Don Charisma

because anything is possible with Charisma

%d bloggers like this: