Tuesday, April 23, 2013

If The Lord Wills

"Not too many people dream of being average. Take a look at your fantasies, and you will probably find a quest to be noticed." --Ed Welch (Christian Counseling and Education Foundation, CCEF)

Why do we do the things we do? If you are like me the answer is really not that simple. It is often a mixture of a number of things like obligations and responsibilities, needs for provision and needs of the moment, desire and joy, seeking to be noticed or approved, fear of others or fear of loss, or …. But how much does your answer include what God’s desire for you might be in a particular situation?

In the Bible we see exhortations to things like diligence, perseverance, running as if to win, serving one another, and so much more. We also see a recognition that for those who are married, for instance, that we have divided interests such as to please our spouses.

In James 4:13-15 we read, Come now, you who say, “Today or tomorrow we will go to such and such a city, and spend a year there and engage in business and make a profit.” 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.”

“If the Lord wills.” This is the key. And to know what the Lord wills means that we really do need to spend time before Him laying everything that faces us at His feet. We do this in the longer times when we spend time in prayer, reading, studying, meditation, and being still and listening. And we do this in those momentary ones when a situation quickly arises in the midst of walking. Sometimes for those who are used to saying “No” without thinking, you will need to say “Yes.” And, hard as it may seem, sometimes for those who are used to saying “Yes” you might actually need to say “No.”

Coming back to Proverbs 3:5-6, which truly is a guiding verse for me that I have grown in listening to but still nowhere near where I would desire, we read, “Trust in the Lord with all your heart and do not lean on your own understanding. In all your ways acknowledge Him, and He will make your paths straight.”

And Scripture tells us that it is God who makes us adequate for the tasks He intends (2 Timothy 3:17). This applies to being the best husband or wife in Christ, or the best employee in Christ, or the best church worker in Christ, or the best neighbor in Christ. Regardless of the place in life or the situation ahead, we are told to do all things in Christ with the power that God supplies.

1 Peter 4:11 Whoever speaks, is to do so as one who is speaking the utterances of God; whoever serves is to do so as one who is serving by the strength which God supplies; so that in all things God may be glorified through Jesus Christ, to whom belongs the glory and dominion forever and ever. Amen.

Today in “Jesus Calling” by Sarah Young (4/23)

Keep your eyes on Me, not only for direction but also for empowerment. I never lead you to do something without equipping you for the task. That is why it’s so critical to seek My will in everything you do. There are many burned-out Christians who think more is always better, who deem it unspiritual to say no.

In order to know My will, you must spend time with Me – enjoying My Presence. This is not an onerous task but a delightful privilege. I will show you the path of Life; in My Presence is fullness of Joy; at My right hand there are pleasures forevermore.

But my eyes are fixed on you, O Sovereign Lord; in you I take refuge – do not give me over to death. Psalm 141:8

You will show me the path of life; in Your presence is fullness of joy; at Your right hand are pleasures forevermore. Psalm 16:11 (NKJV)

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