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Knowing God's Will For Your Life
by Clarence H. Wagner, Jr.

Think about how often we contemplate that burning question: "What is God's will for my life?" If we are not asking for ourselves, then we are often helping someone else ponder that seemingly elusive answer, often as though the Lord delights in keeping it a secret from us.

On the contrary, He desires for us to place ourselves completely under His authority and direction, and then to seek His advice on any life-changing re-directions, either present or future, so that we can walk hand-in-hand with Him in fulfilling His will for our lives.

Yet sometimes, knowing God's will seems hard. When we come to those crossroads in our lives where we need clear answers, God is pleased when we seek Him for the answers. In fact, He is clear in His instruction on this when He tells us, "Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding; In all your ways acknowledge Him and He will direct your paths" (Prov. 3:5,6).

We have this promise, yet believers get depressed, confused or fearful when faced with such difficult life-changing questions as: "Do I take this new job?", "Should I marry John?", "What major should I take in college?", or "Should we move to a new location?" Finding God's will for your life should be a joyful experience of determining what adventure you and the Lord are going to engage in next.

Having said this, we must take this a step further and realize that finding God's will for our lives is more than answering the life-changing questions at the crossroads of decision. This is a daily exercise that is for each hour of our lives. To answer the big questions of life, we need to be in fellowship with the Lord on a day-to-day basis.

In this Israel Teaching Letter, I will explore some practical how-toss on "Knowing God's Will For Our Lives," when we find ourselves in the crossroads of decision. However, before we can get a clear line to heaven on the life-directing answers, we need to study some principles on which our lives must stand each day.

God desires to fulfill His overall redemptive plan for the world. We are His instruments to bring this message to the world. Therefore, our whole life, the daily walk as well as the major decisions, are important to God.

God As Savior And Lord

Before we can ask God the big questions of life's choices, we need to be sure that our first fundamental principle is secure. Without a personal relationship to God in which we conform our daily life to Him, we cannot expect answers on the bigger questions. Therefore, in order to avoid getting off the track God has for us, we must make God both Saviour and Lord. This is done through an acceptance of Jesus into our lives on both levels.

As our Saviour, John 3:16 is clear: "For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whosoever believes on Him shall not perish, but have everlasting life."

As our Lord, Jesus said, "All authority is given unto Me in heaven and in earth" (Matt. 28:18). He is the one we follow and from Whom we ask for guidance, not the other way around.

All of us Christians who have accepted the salvation given to us by God by accepting the atonement accomplished in the death and resurrection of Jesus, belong to the Kingdom of God. We are "saved" from an existence and an eternity without God. But, how many of us have taken that second step of making Jesus truly Lord of our lives?

Unless we make Jesus Savior and Lord, we will never know the true will of God for our lives. Why?

Because if Jesus is not Lord, then there may be idols and other outside influences controlling our lives. The biggest idol can be our own ego, which will not step down off the throne of our lives and let God fully "take over." Sometimes our own self gets in the way as we tell God what we are doing and ask Him to bless it. The relationship needs to be the other way around, where we seek Him and He tells us what we can do for Him with the new life He has given to us, and then work to perform it.

How do we put idols in our lives? An idol is not only a graven image, but anything that comes between us and God to hinder our relationship with Him. They distract us and prevent us from full fellowship with the Lord. Sadly, we are the ones who place those idols before God.

Other seemingly harmless things can become idols in our lives: our jobs, our families, even our ministries! In the Name of God and our calling, we can be so busy about the work of God, we lose sight of the God of the work. Please hear me. I am NOT saying that a healthy enthusiasm for our work, or family, or ministry is bad. But, when any of these things become our focus in life, performed in the flesh without consulting God, then they can find a place between us and the Lord, which is idolatry.

Paul speaks of the Thessalonians as those "who turned to God from idols, to serve the living and true God." We who live in the modern western world, where we don't see pagan temples with statues that people bow down to, also don't think we can have a problem with idols. None of us is exempt. John closes his first epistle by saying, "And we know that the Son of God is come, and has given us an understanding, that we may know Him that is true: and we are in Him that is true, even in His Son Jesus Christ. This is the true God, and eternal life. Little children, keep yourselves from idols. Amen" (I John 5:20-21).

Making God both Saviour and Lord, and pursuing this with all our heart, will keep us in right standing with Him.

Simply put, God is interested in the INREACH into our lives before we undertake the OUTREACH. Everything that happens in our lives should bring us closer to being conformed to the likeness of Christ, and to be a shining beacon of light in the darkness of the world around us. This is a basic calling on our lives, no matter where we are or what we are doing.


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