Laurie: Can We Really Know The Will Of God?

Greg Laurie advises, 'Read the Bible, pray for direction and start taking steps'

Does God still speak to people today?

Let’s be honest, when someone says that God has been talking to them, we get a little suspicious, sometimes even a little concerned.

So, does really God talk to us? Does God Almighty actually have a master plan for our lives? And if so, how do we discover it? And how can we learn to recognize God’s voice?

We all need direction in life. But we tend to have inaccurate views about the will of God. We think finding God’s will for us is really hard and that God is hiding it from us. Or, we think God’s will for us is something that is undesirable, kind of like going on a diet.

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It seems like every diet I’ve tried was either boring or horrible. We tend to think the same way about God’s will for us.

But here’s what we need to know: There is joy in the will of God. Writing to the Christians in Rome, the apostle Paul said, “Then, by the will of God, I will be able to come to you with a joyful heart, and we will be an encouragement to each other” (Romans 15:32 NLT).

When you’re walking in the will of God, there is joy. On the other hand, when you’re not walking in the will of God, there is misery. The most miserable place to be is outside of God’s will.

If you are a follower of Jesus Christ, then God, as your friend, wants to reveal his will to you. The Bible says, “The Lord is a friend to those who fear him. He teaches them his covenant” (Psalm 25:14 NLT).

There are things God wants to unveil in our lives, but we need to learn to tune in.

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When the disciples asked Jesus to teach them how to pray, he gave them this template: “Our Father in heaven, may your name be kept holy. May your Kingdom come soon. May your will be done on earth, as it is in heaven. Give us today the food we need, and forgive us our sins, as we have forgiven those who sin against us. And don’t let us yield to temptation, but rescue us from the evil one” (Matthew 6:9–13 NLT).

Notice that before we ask God for something, Jesus said that we need to first pray, “May your will be done on earth, as it is in heaven.”

So we should not only want to know God’s will, but we also should be anxious to know God’s will. Peter wrote, “You won’t spend the rest of your lives chasing your own desires, but you will be anxious to do the will of God” (1 Peter 4:2 NLT). And David wrote in the psalms, “I take joy in doing your will, my God, for your instructions are written on my heart” (Psalm 40:8 NLT).

Thus, the will of God is not something we have to do, but it should be something we want to do.

The will of God is not an option for the true Christian. Having walked with God for more than five decades, I’ve often found that God’s will is something that unfolds as I take steps of faith. God doesn’t audibly speak to me every morning to give me the plan for the day. Rather, he leads me one step at a time.

I read the Bible, pray for direction and start taking steps. And then I find myself precisely in the will of God. That’s because God’s will isn’t an itinerary; it’s an attitude. God’s way becomes clear when I start walking in it.

Let’s not overly mystify this. Let’s understand that God wants to unfold his will to each of us. The Bible says, “The Lord directs the steps of the godly. He delights in every detail of their lives” (Psalm 37:23 NLT).

God does speak to us, so we need to say, “Lord, teach me your will.” And the best place to start is to pick up the manual for knowing God’s will. It’s called the Bible. And the Bible promises that we can know what is the good, acceptable and perfect will of God.

The book of Romans tells us, “Don’t copy the behavior and customs of this world, but let God transform you into a new person by changing the way you think. Then you will learn to know God’s will for you, which is good and pleasing and perfect” (12:2 NLT).

Notice that before you can “learn to know God’s will for you, which is good and pleasing and perfect,” you must first meet the conditions: “Don’t copy the behavior and customs of this world, but let God transform you into a new person by changing the way you think.”

In the original language, the verb translated as “copy” refers to the act of assuming an outward appearance that doesn’t accurately reflect what is within. In other words, don’t masquerade as though you really belong to the world. Don’t pretend to be something that you’re not. That would be patterning yourself inconsistently with who you really are.

Here’s a question to ask yourself: “Am I going to be a conformer or a transformer?” Either we will be conformed to the world, or we will transform the world. We can simply react to and blend in with our environment, or we can be lights for Jesus Christ.

Let’s remember that God’s will is good. Psalm 84:11 says, “The Lord will withhold no good thing from those who do what is right” (NLT).

If God tells us not to do something, then he’s trying to protect us from something bad. If it were a good thing, then he wouldn’t withhold it from us.

Again we read in the psalms, “Taste and see that the Lord is good. Oh, the joys of those who take refuge in him!” (Psalm 34:8 NLT). Our definition of good typically is something we think of as fun, pleasurable, free of pain and in the moment.

However, God’s definition of good is productive, character-forming and eternally focused. We look at the here and now; God looks at the by-and-by. He looks at the big picture. One day we’ll see that. But until then, we need to trust him.

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This article was originally published by the WND News Center.


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