Meditating on the Will of God: 20: Finding God’s Will
2 Thess 2:13 from the beginning God chose you to be saved through the sanctifying work of the Spirit and through belief in the truth.
In Christian circles there are always people who worry what the will of God is for them. They assume God has a plan for them – they have got that far – but they don’t know what it is and they are unsure how to find it. I know someone who had this fear as a child – who had “given their heart to Jesus” at the age of five – that God would send them to be a nurse in Africa and for some reason that appeared a terrible thing to them. The outcome, many years later, is that the Lord never did that but called her (very clearly) into teaching where she became a great influence for Him and felt very fulfilled.
Now for some of us this is going to appear very obvious because we have covered a sufficient number of things that by now they ought to be falling into place like a jigsaw puzzle, but for others they still have this concern verging on worry about what God wants for them. So let’s look at our verse above.
The first truth about your life if you are a Christian is that God chose you. To emphasise things we’ve said before, God knew from the foundation of the world that you would come in this time in history and He knew exactly what you would be like. The apostle Peter understood this. In his sermon on the Day of Pentecost, anointed by the Spirit, he found himself saying about Jesus, “This man was handed over to you by God’s set purpose and foreknowledge; and you, with the help of wicked men, put him to death by nailing him to the cross.” (Acts 2:23) God knew how the religious leaders and others would act to bring about the death of His Son. Later Peter wrote, “To God’s elect ….. who have been chosen according to the foreknowledge of God the Father, through the sanctifying work of the Spirit, for obedience to Jesus Christ.” (1 Pet 1:2,3) So God saw your receptivity and so He chose you and His Holy Spirit started prodding you and raising questions in you, and getting you to face your plight and then convicted you, and you surrendered to Him.
So the bringing about your ‘new birth’ was His work and in that He placed His Holy Spirit within you. Now that Holy Spirit speaks to you, prompts you and teaches you. You may not be aware of the source of your thoughts sometimes but they will be Him, He will be communicating with you. So, the second thing is that not only has He chosen you but He has placed His means of communicating within you.
The third thing is that He IS love and love means wanting the best for us. Understand that God wants you to be blessed and fulfilled more than you do! God wants you to enjoy what you do, far more than you want it, because He sees the possibilities. On one occasion when I was feeling very low, the Lord spoke to me through a well-known prophet and said, “I will bless you and you will wonder how it can be that good when you minister.” About a year later I was ministering abroad and the Lord was blessing what was going on and I suddenly felt guilty that I was enjoying what was happening so much – and then the Lord reminded me what He had said. Dare you believe that the Lord wants to lead you into life and service in such a way that you thoroughly enjoy it all. Yes, there will be difficulties, there always are, but overall the Lord wants you to feel good about your life, where you are, what you are doing and how you are being led by Him. Those are His intentions for you!
Do you remember those words to the church in Laodicea: “I stand at the door and knock. If anyone hears my voice and opens the door, I will come in and eat with him, and he with me.” (Rev 3:20) It’s what Jesus does again and again. It’s what happened to Zacchaeus (Lk 19:1-) when Jesus came into his life. He thought he was just observing Jesus but Jesus knew he was there, knew the sort of person he was, knew everything about him – including the inner hunger he had – and so called him out of the tree and invited himself to Zacchaeus’ home for a meal. You can’t have a more intimate time with a stranger than over a meal. That’s what Jesus does with each of us. He says, ‘I want to come in and sit and eat with you so we can chat together and get to know each other. I know all about you and I want you to know about me.’
How does that happen? Sometimes we just start getting thoughts in our mind. Sometimes things just happen in our life that catch our attention in a new way (a burning bush – Ex 3), sometimes He gets other people to say things to us and He uses their words to nudge you or encourage you. Sometimes someone might bring you a specific word of prophecy from Him. In all these ways He breaks into our daily complacency to communicate with us. Sometimes His Holy Spirit will stir a spiritual hunger with us. I know a man at the present who I see as one of the most hungry men I know at the moment. That says to me, how exciting, God is getting him ready for something. Hungry and thirsty people are on the edge of something new and wonderful. It’s just another way God works to bring about His will, His good for us.
Of course in our starting verse it not only speaks about the work of the Spirit but also of our believing the truth. You want to know the truth, you want to know the will of God? Then spend time reading His word. Spend time praying or worshiping. Spend time waiting on Him. In these things you are putting yourself in a place where you can be more open to Him, a place where He can share His heart with you. Perhaps as you read His word, a verse or verses come alive and He speaks a truth into you or provides guidance for you. The same thing may happen as you pray or worship. A thought or words suddenly cross your mind, or you see a picture, catch a sense of something; in all these ways He communicates His heart to you. Do not fear what might come. Remember, His will is good, pleasing and perfect. (Rom 12:2) so everything He has for you is good, you will enjoy it and it cannot be improved upon! Isn’t that great!