Remember the context here, Jesus had just stated that the Father knows we need and desire the things of this world...food, shelter, clothing...but then points out HOW to find these things from God given to us in this life. Seek God first, then He will add what is best for us.
Wednesday, June 14, 2017
Do you know the difference between God's Will and God's Direction?
I am discipling 6 young men right now that are forming a leadership team for the youth ministry at a local Church. I look forward to Tuesday nights very much right now. Last night I discussed with them the difference between God's Will and God's Direction. Afterwards I spoke with several friends and they asked for the material. Years ago I shared some of this in a blog, but felt I should again for any that might desire it.
Scripture does not make a distinction between God's Will and His Direction, the word "will" is used in both cases. However, to help us see it more clearly I chose to use the word "direction" and "will" to understand better the difference and to endeavor to illustrate how this works in the Word of God.
God's will is stated in "black and white," no need for someone to explain, no personal decision required to experience His will - you either obey or disobey! God's Will is universal – “one size fits all” – Every Christian has been called to the same will of God.
Romans 12:1-2 Therefore I urge you, brethren, by the mercies of God, to present your bodies a living and holy sacrifice, acceptable to God, which is your spiritual service of worship. And do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, so that you may prove what the will of God is, that which is good and acceptable and perfect.
There are many more..."do not murder," "do not steal," "Do not live in sexual immorality," "forgive as you have been forgiven."
Basically it is – where you are with God! If you are yielded and offer your life to Him – you are in His will.
God's Direction is very individual – only each individual can know it for himself or herself.
God's will is unconditional, He just states it, we have the choice to obey or not.
God's direction is what He wants for you, but is conditional. If you are not in the will of God, you will not find His direction.
Before I discuss how to move in God's direction, one warning - never move until you are in His will! I have witnessed so many bad decisions due to this. For example, if you want to know if the person you want to marry is someone God wants for you, but are engaging in premarital sex - don't marry, you will regret it. Get pure and then start looking.
How to move in direction
1. Make sure Rom 12:1-2 is a reality, and you are seeking to obey His commands. This does not mean you will not struggle with sin, but if you are rebelliously living in habitual disobedience your eyes will not see His direction. This is the first condition. If you are disobeying God in what He expects from every believer, why would He give you specific guidance. He desires that we are in His revealed will first and foremost.
Matthew 6:33–34 “But seek first His kingdom and His righteousness, and all these things will be added to you. “So do not worry about tomorrow; for tomorrow will care for itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own.
2. Make sure you are honest
Totally Honest - tell God your likes and dislikes, never being irreverent, but totally transparent. What you really want, remember – asking is not demanding.
Psalm 37:4 Delight yourself in the LORD; And He will give you the desires of your heart.
John 16:24 “Until now you have asked for nothing in My name; ask and you will receive, so that your joy may be made full.
Jesus is the great example – He made it clear to His Father He did not want to go to the cross. He was not afraid to be totally honest with the Father. Neither should we.
Matthew 26:39–42 And He went a little beyond them, and fell on His face and prayed, saying, “My Father, if it is possible, let this cup pass from Me.
3. Make sure you are open for “His Direction” no matter where it leads.
Jesus in garden – was honest but yielded to any possibility that would be God’s will. "Never the less" really equals NO except clauses, this is the balance to our honesty and is why it is so important to be totally open with God and yourself. When we know what we really want, yet know that God's desire is in a different direction, He can then give us the grace and strength to obey
Matthew 26:39–42...yet not as I will, but as You will.” And He came to the disciples and found them sleeping, and said to Peter, “So, you men could not keep watch with Me for one hour? “Keep watching and praying that you may not enter into temptation; the spirit is willing, but the flesh is weak.” He went away again a second time and prayed, saying, “My Father, if this cannot pass away unless I drink it, Your will be done.”
James 4:14–5:1 Yet you do not know what your life will be like tomorrow. You are just a vapor that appears for a little while and then vanishes away. Instead, you ought to say, “If the Lord wills, we will live and also do this or that.”
1. What don’t I like about my life? This is important so you will learn what you want to change.
2. Where do I feel frustrated?
3. Am I content?
* What is the difference between discontentment and frustration?
Frustration is a sense that God wants to do something more - it may be where you are at or it may mean somewhere else.
Lack of contentment is when we will not yield to God's place for us at that moment. We refuse to remain where we are, no matter how it might change.
God uses frustration to get us to reevaluate our life and consider is there something more in my life that God wants me to discover. Discontentment is from the flesh and is demanding of God.
4. Am I thanking God for where I am right now? Many have not discovered that one of the most powerful things we can do is praise and thank God for where we are at right here and now. It may even be painful, but when you yield to Who you know God is and thank Him because you know that He is completely trustworthy, that is a Faith God honors!
With our heart we feel and trust. With our mind we know and trust. I believe when we combine the two together, the Holy Spirit will illuminate our vision to see God's direction.
The key question to ask now is, "Am I in the will of God?" if not, repent and get there! If you are, then just move slow asking the important questions and begin thanking God for where you are right now.