Here I would like to introduce you to guest writer Melissa Bickish . She is a dear friend of mine, who has some really good thoughts on the will of God to share with Maid Arise readers. I received such a huge blessing out of reading this, I know you will too. Please make sure to leave your comments!
Just a few thoughts on the Will of God
For several months I have been pondering the idea of God’s will. The idea that He reveals things to some of us, and seems ‘unwilling’ to reveal things to others. I know that this is a very DEEP topic and I do not intend to get into the why’s and wherefores, or to delve deeply into His permissive and perfect wills… etc. This is just a few ideas that have come to my mind from either reading books or the Bible, and I hope that they are helpful to others as well.
At the very beginning we must define what I mean by God’s will. I here begin to quote S.D. Gordon…
“ God’s will is His desires, His purposes, that which He wishes to occur, and that to which He gives His strength that it may occur…. His plan is the most wise, pure, loving plan that can be thought of, and more.”
First of all, is the thought that GOD ACTUALLY WANTS YOU TO KNOW HIS WILL. I don’t know if anyone else had this experience, but I remember when I grew up in church hearing all the time about “The will of God” in hushed reverent, almost spooky tones, as though it were too ‘mysterious’ to be truly understood, or that the simple Christian couldn’t discover it without ‘great’ seeking. I don’t know where this mistaken notion has come from. In my limited 25 years on this earth, I have discovered that God wants me to be in His will. He wants me on the right path… and is desirous that I REMAIN in His will.
The first thing to note is a Bible verse, one that very aptly describes God’s desire for us to know His will.
“ Be ye not unwise, but understanding what the will of the Lord is.”
“ For this cause we also, since the day we heard it, do not cease to pray for you, and to desire that ye might be filled with the knowledge of His will in all wisdom and spiritual understanding.” Col. 1:9
If we are to be wise and understand then that means that we can understand.
“If any man will do His will, he shall know of the doctrine, whether it be of God, or whether I speak of myself.”
“ If a man’s will is really set on doing God’s will, that is, if his heart is given up to do it, and he as a consequence does it as far as he knows it, he shall know what God has further to teach him… doing is the one condition of truly knowing. And so obedience, the doing of God’s will as far as we know it, and the will and the vow to do it all as He reveals it, is the spiritual organ, the capacity for receiving the true knowledge of what is God’s will for each of us….”
----Andrew Murray---( With Christ in the School of Obedience.)- great book by the way-
I believe that herein lies the key. I wonder if we truly ‘will’ to know what God wants because it might, perchance, disagree with what we desire for our own life. God promises in this verse that if we ‘will’ or desire to know His will that we shall know.
God’s will is not arbitrary. He does not seek to ruin you by following Him. He says of His will in Ephesians 1 verse 5 -- “ according to the good pleasure of His will.”
“ How slow we are to believe that God’s will always means our fullest joy!... Let God’s will be done, and done from the heart; and then His creatures will know what true rest and happiness mean.”
---E. H. Hopkins---
Christ as our example said of Himself in Hebrews 10:7 --
“ Then said I, Lo, I come ( in the volume of the book it is written of me,) to do Thy will, O God.”
He also said that He did NOTHING of Himself!
Our greatest aim and desire for our life should be to find God’s will for our life and stay in that path.
Secondly, I’d like to address those of you who have felt that God has left you in the ‘dark’ concerning your futures. There is a cross that includes knowing your future because you then have your faith tested over and over and have to fight doubt all of the time.
The second cross is in NOT knowing your future. It can be very difficult to not KNOW what lies ahead…
If God hasn’t revealed His ‘future’ will or plan for your life --- then REST--- because you are then right where He wants you to be! Ask yourself, “ Am I seeking to know His will or get a glimpse of my own future life, because I dislike not ‘knowing’?” If it isn’t His will to reveal His future plan for your life then you are asking for something CONTRARY to the WILL OF GOD. That is not seeking His will, but your own desire to KNOW! Rest in the face that “He will reveal even this unto you” if something needs to be shown to you, or if you’re in the wrong place. He wants you in His will more than YOU want to be in it! If you are in the wrong ‘place’ or feel you have ‘erred’ it is HIS RESPONSIBILITY to reveal it to you… and if He hasn’t then you can SAFELY rest in the place you are at knowing it is His will for you right now.
Oftentimes, God has revealed to me what I believe to be ‘future’ sorrows that I shall face. If this is the case, Don’t fear future sorrows. The Lord didn’t reveal this future to you so you could spend the proceeding years leading up to it petrified with fear.
The Bible says,
“Fear none of these things which thou shalt suffer”. ( Rev.2:10)
This could be anything that God has shown you that is labeled with a “price-tag” called LOSS! The fear of the future can be paralyzing to your faith. Fear is bondage! The Lord didn’t give you that information so you could lock yourself in a prison of bondage, but so your faith could be strengthened. “Fear none”- in the context of this passage the sorrow listed is that of being martyrd! You’d think if there was one thing we would be ‘permitted’ to fear it would be being killed for Christ’s sake… but NO, God says, “be thou faithful unto death, and I will give thee a crown of life.” Death for LIFE! Isn’t it precious that the martyrs crown is called the crown of life! So, even if you are martyrd one day God says, “for he that overcometh shall not be hurt of the second death.”
“The future is not ours: we may never have a future; or, if it comes, it may be wholly different to all we foresaw. Let us shut our eyes to that which God hides from us in the hidden depths of His wisdom. Let us worship without seeing… .what matter, so long as He is glorified, and His will is fulfilled in us?.... Live quietly from day to day, without thinking about the future. Even the present is not really yours, and you must only use it as is consistent with the will of God, to whom it actually belongs.” ---Francios Fenelon----
Fourthly, I’d like to discuss God’s will in the everyday. (which is just a piece of life and how life is lived… day to day) This subject is where the rubber meets the road so to speak.
When was the last time your conscience pricked you about something ‘small’ and you convinced yourself it wasn’t worth ‘bothering’ about, or it was so small that it didn't matter, or it wasn't worth all the ‘fuss’, etc? If you deny the Spirit of God revealing His will through your conscience then you won’t be told ‘greater’ things. “faithful in little… faithful in much!” If God can’t trust you to correct little things, how can you expect Him to reveal larger areas to you?
I had a very funny experience with this same idea a few months ago. I had just purchased a large tub of Hummus from Costco… it wasn’t really expensive, but it was something that I ‘could actually eat’ as my diet had become so limited. Lizzy and Jeffrey (sister-in-law and brother) were coming over that night and as I got into the fridge for some other item, I spied my tub of hummus sitting ‘right out in the open’ for ‘grabs’. Lizzy and her girls and Jeffrey all LOVE hummus… and I knew that if it sat there ‘exposed’ they’d eat some. So, I very selfishly put the hummus at the back of the fridge behind some other items of ‘less value’ to me. As soon as the fridge door closed, the Lord pricked my conscience and told me to put it back where it had been. So, I obeyed…. not without first thinking of what a sacrifice this was! Hahah This story is comical to me know… but at the time it was very ‘close’ to home. Can God trust you to hear His voice in the every day and that you’ll obey His will when He shows it to you?
Fifthly, Have you ever stopped and asked GOD if there was anything in your life that is contrary to His will for you? It could be something your parents allow, that you’ve allowed for years- but it may not be in line with God’s personal, specific, will for you! Are you willing to have different standards than your siblings or even your parents if it is God’s will for you? Are you willing to be thought ‘weird’ even by your own family to be where God wants you? Are you sensitive to God’s leading in the ‘small’ everyday things of life?
“ I am not conscious of keeping anything that is displeasing to Him. But the first point is : Have I made diligent search? Have I come to God and honestly asked Him to search me? There may be recesses in my being which I know have not been brought under the penetrating power of His holy light. There may be corners in which ‘doubtful things’ are still lurking, and which would no longer be doubtful, if I honestly asked God to show me His will concerning them. The fear lest such a surrender of one’s being would involve a complete clearing out of a multitude of things may still be keeping the soul back in a state of partial consecration.”
“ There may be many things which you have been accustomed to think lawful or allowable which your Father wants different. To consider it settled that they are the will of God because you and others think so may effectually shut you out form knowing God’s will on other things.”
---- Andrew Murray---
“If I am holding something in my life that the Master does not like, if I am failing to obey when His voice has spoken, that to me is sin. It may be wrong in itself. It may NOT be wrong in itself. It may not be wrong for another. Sometimes it is not the thing involved but the One involved that makes the issue. If that faithful quiet inner voice has spoken and I know what the Master would prefer and I fail to keep in line, that to me is sin…. There are a great many things that can be proven to be not wrong, but that are not best, that are not His preference.”
--- S.D. Gordon---
The more you seek to know His will, will to will, and OBEY His voice the more God has the liberty to speak to you! You can hinder Him with your unbelief and unwillingness to obey His leading. If He knows you aren’t intending to obey, will He speak? God allows Himself to be limited by our unbelief.
“Take heed, brethren, lest there be in any of you an evil heart of unbelief…. today if you WILL hear His voice, harden not your hearts..” (Heb. 3)
You must have a soft, willing heart in order to hear the voice of God in your life.
Let me encourage you not to compare yourself with anyone else, because if you do, you’ll begin to wonder why God spoke to ‘that’ person, and not to you. Each of us has our own path and they are never the same.
God WANTS you in His will and the ‘place’ He has chosen you to be in.
“ Any uncertainty about God’s will makes a joyful obedience impossible. Believe most confidently that the Father is willing to make known what He wants you to do.”
--- Andrew Murray---
“The highest possible ambition for a life is to reach God’s plan. He reveals that to us bit by bit as we need to know…. I must keep in touch with Him so He has an open ear to talk into. I must delight to do his will, because it is His. “
---S. D. Gordon---
The Lord says in Hebrews 13 verse 20-21…
“ Now the God of peace, that brought again from the dead our Lord Jesus, that great shepherd of the sheep, through the blood of the everlasting covenant, Make you perfect in every good work to do his will, working in you that which is wellpleasing in His sight, through Jesus Christ; to whom be glory for ever and ever. Amen."
So, in conclusion let me just encourage you, He has a desire and a thought toward you and His thoughts are always thoughts of peace. One of my favorite words in Psalms 119 is God’s JUDGMENTS. These are His decisions… His plans, His choice for your life… ultimately, His will.
“ the judgments of the LORD are true and righteous altogether.” Ps. 19