God’s Will for Our Lives

I’ve longed to find what God’s will for my life is.  I’ve searched high and low, looked long and hard and it continuously escapes me and I feel no closer to knowing what God’s long term plan is for me.

I’ve been reading through the book Forgotten God by Francis Chan, and I came across a chapter entitled “Forget About His Will for Your Life.”  He pointed out in that chapter that were very few people in the scriptures who received their life plan (or even long-term plan) in advance.  Prime example is Abraham, whom God told to pack up his family and go, not knowing where or how far or how long or if he’d be back.  Just get up and go…..and he went.

The desire to know God’s will comes from fear.  We fear the unknown.  Will God provide for us?  Will I have a long and healthy life?  Will I be prosperous?  Will I do great things for his kingdom?  So many things we could sit and wonder about, yet all this wondering and worry about the future and trying to figure out God’s will often leads to paralysis.  We do nothing.  God never promised us a 20 year plan, but he did promise to never leave us.

What if we listened to God’s spirit daily, throughout the day in the difficult times and the easy times?  What if we asked, “Where is God leading us today?”  God does have a plan for our lives, even if he doesn’t reveal it to us all at once.  But he is revealing it day by day, hour by hour.  But are we listening?  Are we listening as he whispers in our ears what needs done this hour?  Do we feel the promptings as we decide how to react to a difficult question?

Galatians 5:25 tells us;

If we are living now by the Holy Spirit, let us follow the Holy Spirit’s leading in every part of our lives.

The Holy Spirit is leading us daily my friends.  Are we following?  Or are we still waiting to figure out what God’s will is for our life, so we can map out the next 20-30 years?  I think that dwelling on God’s plan for the future gives us an excuse for not living for God today.  We can always say, “Well, I would do such and such, if only I knew God’s will”.  Or how about, “I would serve here, but I don’t know what God has planned for me.”

We should be joining God on HIS journey and seeing where it takes us, but instead we are inviting Him to come on OUR journey, going where we want to go.  That seems a little backwards when you read it, but I think it’s what we’re doing.  I know I for a long time have asked God to reveal his plan for me, as long as it was something I wanted to do.  I didn’t want it to be too hard, or make me step out of my comfort zone too much.  If I joined Him on His journey instead, it may lead me to uncomfortable circumstances, but I’d know that God is there and with me.  I know that He lead me there, so I’m there for a reason.  I know that God will see me through and that it is for the betterment of His kingdom.

Even as I write this, it is scary thinking about what God may ask me to do.  But, I know that if I pay attention to his promptings, if I’m in communication with God through prayer and his Word, if I invite the Holy Spirit to move within me daily and lead me where he wants me to be, then I’ll be in a better place in my walk with God.  I’ll be following Him to where he wants me to go, instead of trying to drag Him along with me (which never works too well).

God is walking with you every day…right now he is walking beside you.  He wants you to follow him.  Try to stop worrying what God has planned for your entire life and let him lead you there.

2 Timothy 1:7 – Be a fearless Christian

lion-roar-roaring-teeth-mad-angry-I struggle at times with sharing publicly my beliefs.  Sure I write this blog, but it’s easy to hide behind this computer screen and not have to face anyone directly.  I’ve spoken in front of groups and classes at our church, but despite my discomfort speaking in front of crowds, that wasn’t even that bad because I was surrounded by fellow believers.  No it’s those times when I’m out in the world, with friends, family or strangers that I may not know where they stand with God or some I know outright that they are living without an active relationship with God.  Those are the situations where I often falter and live in timidity.  I fear what others will think.  I fear that perhaps they will have a question I can’t answer.  Or they will make an objection I can’t refute.  I back off at those times when I should be the boldest of all and share my beliefs.  Those are the doors that God has opened to talk and share and perhaps plant that seed that may grow into true faith down the road.

In 2 Timothy 1:7 we read:

For God has not given us a spirit of fear and timidity, but of power, love, and self-discipline.

When we accept Christ as our savior, God sends the Holy Spirit to live within us.  We have the very God of the universe living inside of us.  That spirit is not one of fear or shyness.  It is not one that is in us just to make us comfortable and content in our lives.  No, it is a spirit that allows us to boldly live the lives that God has laid out for us and endure the hardships, the distress, the uncomfortableness that is inevitable.  He allows us to face our fears and our doubts.  He allows us to boldly come before God with our prayers and when we don’t know what or how to pray, He does so for us.  Because of that, we can live our lives in power and love and self-discipline.

I like this quote from Tertullian, and early Christian author:

The Lord challenges us to suffer persecutions and to confess him.  He wants those who belong to him to be brave and fearless.  He himself shows how weakness of the flesh is overcome by courage of the spirit.  This is the testimony of the apostles and in particular of the representative, administrating Spirit.  A Christian is fearless.

A Christian is fearless.  Oh if we could all live like that, if we could live without fear and boldly proclaim the joy and the hope that we have in Jesus Christ.  We will face hardships, we will face challenges, some may face even death because of our faith in Christ.  We are given the power to face all these and live boldly and fearlessly.  With the fear of God, you need fear nothing else.

Now I know it’s difficult to change overnight.  Some may have a dramatic transformation once they decide to live boldly, others if you’re like me, will still struggle and this will be a work in progress.  But know that God is right there with you, so you can endure through any shyness or fear.  And as with just about anything else, once you face your fears and realize that God has helped you through, the fear is lessened each time. Before long, it’s gone completely.

For my friends, family, coworkers, and other acquaintances out there reading this.  No, I won’t come with Bible in hand and beat you until you believe.  If you ask, I will share.  When you see me live my life, despite still being a sinner and with many struggles in my life, I hope you’ll see someone with hope and joy and I’ll  be happy to share where my joy comes from.

Decide to Believe

So often I read things on how I should act or think or believe and it makes perfect sense.  I know that if I just reacted a given way, my thoughts and feelings would move in the direction I should be moving.  Always easier said than done.

I don’t understand myself at all, for I really want to do what is right, but I don’t do it.  Instead, I do the very thing I hate. -Romans 7:15

As Christians, we need to decide to believe.  We want to understand everything, but God doesn’t always give us understanding, our mind then refuses to believe what it doesn’t understand.  I think that our minds are often bound up by the enemy to keep us from believing what we know to be true.

But God provides us help here too.

And the Holy Spirit helps us in our distress.  For we don’t even know what we should pray for, nor how we should pray.  But the Holy Spirit prays for us with groanings that cannot be expressed in words. -Romans 8:26

I’ve talked about this verse before in one of my Bible Study Minutes.  It’s amazing to think that we have someone praying for us even when we don’t know we need prayed for.  Remember James 1:2-8 where we see we can ask God for  wisdom in trials and he will give it to us and show us what to do.

Bible Study Minute – Romans 8:26 – Holy Spirit

Romans8-26-2As often happens in my Bible study time, I’ll begin reading one section of scripture, only to be lead to another which was what God really wanted me to see at that time.  So it happens today, when I was reading Romans 8:28 and I accidentally read Romans 8:26 (I guess at 5:30 in the morning, my eyes have trouble with the small print).

And the Holy Spirit helps us in our distress.  For we don’t even know what we should pray for, nor how we should pray.  But the Holy Spirit prays for us with groanings that cannot be expressed in words. -Romans 8:26

After my initial confusion, since it wasn’t what I was expecting to read, I realized, that God was speaking to me in that verse.  My Bible study took a decidedly different turn than what I had set out to do.

The Holy Spirit seems to be forgotten quite often.  I know I often forget about the great gift that God gave us in the Holy Spirit.   Jesus tells us God is sending the Holy Spirit to us.

And I will ask the Father, and he will give you another Counselor, who will never leave you. – John 14:16

This promise that God will be sending us the Holy Spirit who will never leave us, who is with us always should show the importance and power of what God has given us, yet I tend to forget that He is there.  Looking back on Romans 8:26, we see that the Holy Spirit will pray for us when we don’t even know how to pray.  Moving on in verse 27;

And the Father, who knows all hearts knows what the Spirit is saying, for the Spirit pleads for us believers in harmony with God’s own will. -Romans 8:27

So when we don’t know what or how to pray for a situation in our lives, the Holy Spirit does, and the Spirit knows what God’s will is and will pray in accordance to God’s plan.  So we can be assured that whatever our issue is that we are trying to pray about, the Holy Spirit will make sure it get’s before God on our behalf.

There are times when I’m praying about something, that I find myself fumbling for words or how to pray about it.  At those times, I often would just say “God, you know what I’m trying to say” and at that point I usually find a peace about it.  I believe that at those moments, the Holy Spirit takes over, puts my prayers before God and comforts me by giving me a peace about it.  I now believe that what is playing out, is exactly what Romans 8:26,27 are talking about.