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Knowing God’s Will

Because more than a few of us struggle with the question, “How can I know the will of God?,” imagine this scenario:

We plead with God to show us what he wants us to do in a difficult situation. That night as we toss and turn, we dream that God shows up to answer our request. In his presence, we sense a love that is far beyond anything we ever imagined. But we are surprised when, after hearing our request, God asks us two questions: “Why are you asking? “What do you want to do?” Then we wake up…

While trying to imagine such an encounter, let’s try to think this through together in light of the way our Lord talks about his will in the Bible.

When looking for what the God “in whom we live and move and have our being” wants us to do,

1.  What can we learn from asking ourselves “Why we are asking?”

2. How important is what we want to do when seeking to know what God wants us to do?

3. How much can we get from  King David’s words when he says, “Trust in the LORD, and do good; Dwell in the land, and feed on His faithfulness. Delight yourself also in the LORD, And He shall give you the desires of your heart. Commit your way to the LORD, Trust also in Him, And He shall bring it to pass” (Psalm 37:3-5)?

I’ve heard it said that there are two ways of understanding the will of God. One way is to see it as a narrow line that we must walk to connect the dots of what God wants us to do– from one specific instruction to the next. A second way is to see the will of God as being like a large circle full of general principles and bounded on the circumference by lines that we are told not to cross.

The first approach amounts to to following a narrow line that requires more specific answers than the Bible gives us. The second says that anything within the boundaries of God’s revealed will represents the freedom that has been given us to delight ourselves in him, while focusing on what he has already told us about trusting him, and about loving one another in love and truth.

While not wanting to dismiss the need for due diligence, or listening to the voice of wisdom, is it possible that sometimes we are far too preoccupied with details, when the Lord is looking primarily for our hearts?


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61 Responses to “Knowing God’s Will”

  1. BruceC says:

    Whew!! Thank you Lord that I am not the only one who “tosses and turns” all night struggling with and praying about a problem. Seems that lately there is enough to pray about for others and for us(wife and I) to keep me in that condition every night.

    “Why are you asking?” Is it out of selfishness? Fear? Doubt? Or is it for God’s glory? For the benefit of another or others? Etc., etc.

    What do you want to do? Glorify me? Glorify yourself? Have it your way? Have it my way? What?

    Good questions that we all should use to examine our prayers and ourselves. We should not be afraid to ask of God either, but should be ready to accept His yes, His no, or His wait. It’s His timing not ours.

    I agree with you Mart that God has set bounds in His will for us and that the picture of a circle rather than a line connecting dots is more of a better picture.
    Within that circle God may connect the dots of our life; and when finished it would appear as a beautiful constellation so to speak.

    One thing I have learned is to be careful of those who claim to know God’s specific will for your life because of a vision they received or because “God told” them.
    Some have used that to manipulate others.

    I think that what the Lord is looking for in our hearts is the willingness to trust in Him to do what is best in His eyes for us. And sometimes that conflicts with what we “think” is best.

    Soli Deo Gloria!

  2. SFDBWV says:

    Mart in truth I know of no subject more complex or a topic more elusive then finding and knowing the will of God “beforehand”.

    I suppose because I am now 64 years old I can spend a lot of time looking back across my life and see God’s hand upon many matters, some great some small.

    However looking ahead or at the moment and “knowing” God’s will in many matters is at best cloudy.

    Each day I begin with a simple “wish” list but give the whole matter over to the unknown will of God in blind trust from me.

    I could say that I can know the will of God by applying all of what I know from scripture to any matter in life, but that doesn’t answer sometimes an immediate need from me to know which way to go or what to do concerning matters far out of my control.

    Paul said that we kick against the thorns when we go against the will of God, though this is a hard way to know whether or not we are in error, I think it is the path that most of us end up on.

    In Isaiah 58: 8 we read that once we do the things outlined between 58: 1-7 the Lord will clearly light our way and tell us where to go and what to do.

    I would suppose this is telling me that to quit dwelling on these personal matters and rather concentrate on the needs of others and somewhere in the matter the Lord clearly opens doors and clears the pathway before us clearly providing His will in our one question….what next Lord?

    It is that one deep yearning I have, to be able to sit or stand next to our Lord and softly ask what He wants me to do concerning any matter and have an immediate and clear answer, then knowing I will succeed because it is Gods will, or knowing not to try as it is not Gods will and doomed to miserable failure from the start.

    When He leaves such decision making to me without clarity I feel like a child walking in darkness not sure of each step I take. So I have learned to take things slower and not be in such a great hurry, to be patient and wait for God to light my way.

    No pat answers from me on this subject, still seeking God’s will every day.


  3. oneg2dblu says:

    Knowing God’s Will for our lives? Attainalbe? Yes! Difficult in the mist of a trial? Yes! Hard to wait upon? Yes! But worth waiting if we must, rather than pressing on in our own will and strength? Yes!
    You can bet one thing, this will you now seek, had better line up with the word of God, or the promting, voices, urges, desires, and will you are receiving, is not from God!
    Although, because we have been given free will, He will not control us, and being a Loving Father, He will allow us the desires of our hearts, even if we desire evil. He will allow us to walk outside
    His Will, and suffer all the Consequences of our Sin. None avoid this outcome, if you desire to be in your sin, you will not be Under God’s Influence, when you live in your sin, separated from His Best Blessing on your life. So,being in the Will of Almighty God, means we must surrender “our will” to Walk in His Protection, Provision, and Promises! His word declares it be so, unless, our will aligns with His! Then, we can walk on victoriously, with Him! Gary

  4. tha.khoza says:

    yup, its definitely good to know i’m not alone when it comes to struggling with hearing God’s voice at “critical” junctures in my life. thanks for the questions you posed Mart.

  5. oneg2dblu says:

    Bruce… Do you not believe that God could use anyone you now know, or even a stranger, to deliver such a message about your need to change direction with your life, even if it Aligns with the Word of God?
    Makes it kind of hard when we are supposed to be the Hands, Feet, and Mouth of Jesus Christ, in this dark world.
    I’m not arguing with you Bruce, for our life experience is definately our greatest self teacher. I’m just making a diffrent point, about who God could use, and where God’s Word could possibly come from.
    But, if someone, even the most followed, praised, and gifted, Preacher of the Word we could name, tells me I can live my life “any way” I want to, and still receive God’s Best for my life. Then, that type of statement, I would not ever believe! For it is a, False Teaching, and stands in direct opposition, to the Word of God! Gary

  6. oneg2dblu says:

    I ask myself… not, Why am I asking about God’s Will? But why am I preaching here on this site, to other Christian Brothers, and Sisters? There is only one answer, we all need to be the Hands, Feet, and Mouth of Christ, in this dark world, with its False Teachers, who [perhaps even unintentionally, slay many with their convincing words! Walking the True Christian Life, for Christ… is more than just resting on your Salvation alone! Gary

  7. steveripley1 says:

    I’m in the middle of searching for God’s will as I never have. Am 60. Lost job 2 years ago. Separated from wife for 1 1/2 years. My daily prayer is for God’s “leading” in my life. I used to spend too much time trying to be “in” God’s will–the narrow path. I am convinced that God gives us more latitude and so my focus is on following hard after God, believing that as I do, He will direct my steps. Yet, in the midst of my current journey, I would like some direct answers! As I look at scripture, I see God’s timetable is far different from mine, so I live today to serve, draw closer to God, follow Him, and as I do, my experience on the journey is rich and given that my ultimate destination is heaven…I enjoy today for what it brings and trust God for tomorrow. (sounds easy…it isn’t)

  8. BruceC says:


    I think you misunderstood what I was getting at. Of course another can give us advice for our life. Brothers and sisters in Christ, Pastors, etc. do it all the time. What I was getting at was those who flippantly say “Well God told me to tell you….” or as one sister said to my wife “God gave me a vision that you were going to move to my town and help with my ministry here”, or “God told me you were going to have a child”. That’s the kind of “God’s will speaking” that I was aiming at. Sorry for the misunderstanding.

    Soli Deo Gloria!

  9. SFDBWV says:

    Steve Ripley, early in my life I found myself going in circles always working but always being laid off, finding work and ending up back where I started over and over and over. I started writing down some of my prayers to God long ago, as if in obedience to an unidentified need to do so.

    It is interesting to now read those prayers and see how very differently God answered them, and led me to exactly where I am today.

    I had to learn the hard way nearly everything in life, but the one thing I have learned is to just trust God, believe that He has my best interests in mind and that somehow everything will work out according to the way He wants it to.

    Odd that at this juncture of my life, if I could get my way, it would be to fix all the broken people in the world and give them peace and happiness, but as I can’t do that all I am able to do is want that for them and pray that God in His time, will.

    We share more than a name Steve, we both love God and need Him.


  10. oneg2dblu says:

    Bruce… sorry! Oh, those types of responses. They leave me wanting to wash my hands, after shaking theirs!
    What I do love about the word, and our sharing of our thoughts, is that someone makes a contrbution, or questions our statements, or challenges our beliefs, and we find we run directly to the word of God, to see what He reveals. We sometimes receive a refreshing new place. When it challenges my already well constructed past leanings, I learn that God is never done teaching us, and we are never done growing in Him. It always Blesses me to know He cares, He corrects us, and He challenges us, through others as well! Gary

  11. SFDBWV says:

    Bruce you are 100% right in being very leery about people who claim to speak for and from God. Especially when it concerns you or someone you love and following the instructions from that person.

    When Paul was blinded following His encounter with Christ, the Disciple Ananias was told to go and heal Paul. No one but the Lord, in a vision, told Ananias to do so. Even then he was skeptical about doing God’s will as it didn’t make sense to him, God had to encourage him by explaining His reasons, giving Ananias the encouragement and extra nudge to follow through with God’s will.

    In this story only God made His will known to Ananias Acts 9:10-17.


  12. Toml5169 says:

    I could use all your prayers on this topic. I am currently evaluating an old building we use at the rescue mission for transitional housing and determine if we should move forward with a major renovation to make it our main New Life Recovery site. We have already invested much time and money into this but new structural and abatement issues have recently come to light that make moving forward a big question mark. I have a long history in construction management and field work but should we red light or green light this project had me thinking deeply about God’s will for this. There are many surrounding issues but if you can take time to ask God to give the Portland Rescue Mission direction I would greatly appreciate it. Sorry to break the line of thought. Be blessed!

  13. oneg2dblu says:

    Here’s the deal with me… If God’s word is a Lamp to my Feet, and a Light to my Path, I can walk safely with Him, and know I’m am also in His Will!
    So, the daily stuff becomes less threatening, more directed, and even more accomplished, with His Help!
    Now, if I could properly proofread my daily stuff before I click, that would be cool too! :)

  14. oneg2dblu says:

    Right after I signed off, I picked up the book I’m reading, R.A. Torrey, The Person and Work of the Holy Spirit, and this is where I just read: Pg.214 on
    Ephesians 3:3-5 Torrey says,”The Bible contains truth that men had never discovered before the Bilbe stated it. It contains the truth that men never could have discovered if left to themselves. Our heavenly Father, in great grace, has revealed this truth to us His children through His servants, the apostles and the prophets. The Holy spirit is the agent of this revelation.
    There are many who tell us today that we should test the statements of Scripture by the conclusions of human reasoning or by the “Christian consciousness.” The folly of all this is evident when we bear in mind that the revealation of God transcends human reasoning and that any consciousness that is not a product of the study and absorbtion of the bible truth is not really Christian consciousness. The fact that the Bible contains truth that man never had discovered we know, not merely because it is stated in the Scriptures, but also as a matter of fact. There is not one of the most distinctive and preciuos doctrines taught in the bible that man has ever discovered apart from the Bible.
    If your consciuosness differs from this Book, which is so plainly God’s Book, it is not yet fully Christian and the thing to do is not to try to pull God’s reveation down to the level of our consciousness but to tone our consciousness up to the level of God’s word.”
    That is how we know the Will of God, through His servants and His word. Gary

  15. SFDBWV says:

    Tom/5169 seeing how you are already experienced in construction management I would suppose you can apply your learned experience in aiding your decision. Follow that still voice in your heart, even if it disagrees with what may be in your head. If you have a gut feeling either way it may be the Holy Spirit speaking to your spirit.

    Either way you have my personal thanks for reaching out to others in your rescue efforts and my prayers not only for your decision but for your success in your mission work.

    Thanks again for asking me to pray for your efforts.


  16. poohpity says:

    I think the answer is “YES”. God has given His will for us repeatedly over and over in Scripture and it seems to be mostly concerned with our heart and our relationship towards Him. It seems to be like parenting after one has taught their children the basic principles then you let them go and are happy for them to do what delights their hearts.

  17. bratimus says:

    I agree poohpity that God has reveals His will to us repeatedly through out scripture. The one problem is that God’s gift to us of free will, makes us stubborn and hardheaded at times. God’s will in the end will be victorious. God just has to let indiviual wills play out, just try to imagine how hard it would be for us to to weaver are will through 6 billion or so free willed souls, without a lot of death and destuction for yiour will to prevail

    So instead of asking what God’s will is, ask how you can help.

  18. poohpity says:

    Just one example of what God’s will is Micah 6:8 God has told you what He wants (God’s Will), and this is all it is: to be fair and just and merciful, and to walk humbly with your God. Hosea 6:6; Matthew 9:12,13; 12:7,8. Then on to the most predominate will of God was Matthew 22:37-40. That is the will I speaking of when I said yes to Mart’s question “While not wanting to dismiss the need for due diligence, or listening to the voice of wisdom, is it possible that sometimes we are far too preoccupied with details, when the Lord is looking primarily for our hearts?” So not much what we do in life but how we do it. I am not speaking of doing evil because if we are really concerned about God’s will it is to do good which primarily concerns the condition of the heart.

  19. poohpity says:

    Even people who do good things can do them for a wrong reasons like getting noticed or wanting to be known, to get something back or because they are told to them. So it all comes down to the condition of the heart.

  20. Regina says:

    Good Afternoon All,
    Hope all is well with you.
    Love the “stop light/go light” picture in this blog, Mart. I definitely want the Lord to tell me when to “stop” and when to “go!” :-)

    Mart asked, “While not wanting to dismiss the need for due diligence, or listening to the voice of wisdom, is it possible that we’re sometimes far too preoccupied with details, when the Lord is looking primarily for our hearts?”

    This question reminds me of a song we sing at my church titled, I Give Myself Away. If I’ve given myself to the Lord, why would I need details if He asks me to do something? I’ve discovered that I’m only interested in details when God asks or suggests that I do something that requires me to get out of my comfort zone and/or launch out into deep water. That happened a few months ago, and I was totally taken aback at what I heard the Lord say/suggest in my inner man. I felt like it wasn’t the right time in my life…that someone else could do a better job…be better suited for it, etc.

    My Pastor helped me to understand (in a sermon that he preached) that God doesn’t do things for me that I can do (e.g. wash my clothes, vacuum rooms in my house, feed my pet, etc.), He empowers me to do things that I CANNOT do and accomplish goals that I CANNOT accomplish without His help.

    Sunny and warm in Texas today (84 degrees right now).

  21. davids says:

    Great comments!

    It seems inconceivable that God has a certain will for me and that I must somehow discern it among the mixture of “signs” and “messages” that I receive daily. That would make life a confusing mystery under an obsfucating God.

    Some have already reminded us that God looks at what is in the heart. I can ask advice from Godly people, but rather than trying to discern external signs, I need to make sure that I have a heart for God.

    Then I just need to make decisions, trusting that God’s will will always be done. He is always faithful.

  22. davids says:


    While I was carefully writing, you posted similar thoughts in a much better way. Thanks.

    The empowerment message is a great one!

  23. branch says:

    At times God has spoken to me in a dream advising me what to do when I am facing a dilemma, generally His answer comes out of the blue and is usually a complete surprise. Being preoccupied with details is exactly opposite to what God wants. He tells us to simply turn it over to Him, let it go and He will do the rest. What can take me weeks or months to figure out, God can do in 5 minutes if I release fear and indecision for His clarity and wisdom. Thanks for all the helpful sharing.

  24. Regina says:

    You’re welcome, davids. :-) I’m so thankful for the wisdom that the Lord has given me, you, and the rest of our brothers & sisters in Him.

  25. bratimus says:

    James 4

  26. florida7sun says:

    Thank you Mart and BTA family.

    For me, the Lord’s Prayer, concise yet oh so powerful, is the foundation to discerning God’s Will.

    Prayed in earnest, with a heart that desires to honor Him and in obedience to His Word, our Lord and Savior will guide us.

    The flesh will fight His Will for supremacy.

    Through this struggle the Apostle Paul encourages us to: Rejoice always. Pray continually. Give thanks in all circumstances; for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus. Do not quench the Spirit. Do not treat prophecies with contempt but test them all. Hold on to what is good. Reject every kind of evil.” – 1 Thessalonians 5:16-22

    Through prayer I have discovered that the Lord tugs at my heart. I often laugh for I see Him saying, “C’mon, let’s get moving.” Jesus does have a great sense of humor. If I do not move, He tugs harder until I say, “Okay Lord” and then take a step where He is leading.

    If I misstep, He will correct me.

    Looking back on my life I have to praise Him for times of great joy and moments of deepest despair. We all have a story to tell. And we learn so much from the stories of those who preceded us, which are told in His Word.

    But the climax of our lives will be a glorious one: “…we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to His purpose. For those God foreknew he also predestined to be conformed to the image of His Son, that He might be the firstborn among many brothers and sisters. And those He predestined, He also called; those He called, He also justified; those He justified, He also glorified.” – Romans 8:28

    I am very much a Christian under construction. He is still teaching me, and I enjoy being in His classroom.

    Grace and peace, Ray

  27. oneg2dblu says:

    Mart… your picture needs to be updated to the new type traffic signal. Because, it is not all about the stop and go, it is about what we do under the yellow that makes us obey or break the law! We seem to be slow learners to the yellow light conditions in the Word of God. His warnings of obedience, or consequences.
    The new traffic signals I speek of have two yellow lights! They want to make sure we, the slow learners, get the message. The first yellow is solid just as before, and ingnored as before by many of us who then, step on the gas of our will that opposes any restriction on the way we want to go. When we should surrender our will to its authority, and are only allowed to proceed under a cautiousness that is for the benefit of all.
    But, we are in a hurry, we are running late, we are self absorbed as our stuff is more important, and we don’t see the cop at the corner, so we floor it and hope for the best.
    The second yellow that comes on next, for the slow learners, is a blinking yellow. It is your second warning, a second chance if you will, and you had better submit to it, or you will be in violation of
    the law.
    If you are prone to run right through that blinking yellow, why bother stopping for a red light? After all the rules are really made “for others,” but you are special somehow, and feel the authority really owes you your way, your own choices.
    That shear disobedience, never plays well to Our Ultimate Authority. So why do so many of us Christians, feel we ignore His Warninigs, and press on the pedal of our will, taking our chances that we will be shown Mercy, regardless of where our heart strings play?
    Do we stop or go, for God’s Yellow Lights?

  28. SFDBWV says:

    Yesterday a local Pastor’s father passed away, he was 87 years old and in ill health. Also there was an 18 month old killed in an auto accident in a neighboring community, while under the care of his grandmother. The fellow who mows the grass at our local cemetery lost his uncle to an unexpected sudden death.

    I read that death was not God’s will for mankind until Adam disobeyed and brought death to all of his descendants. God allowed Jesus to die on the cross so that all men could live again….So in some twisted way, death became God’s will.

    During those first hours and days following my sons auto accident a friend of mine ask a local minister to pray for his recovery, the Methodist minister said that she did not know God’s will in the matter so could only pray for him in that attitude. My friend was angry at that response.

    Knowing God’s will for ourselves or understanding God’s will for others might sound simple, but God and everything about His desires and will is anything but simple.

    Whereas we are instructed to let our requests be known to God (Philippians 4: 6) we are also warned that when we pray for the wrong things we pray amiss (James 4: 3) evidently because it is against God’s will.

    In truth I can accept the death of an old man being that it was his time to go, but I have difficulty understanding the will of God in the taking of an 18 month old child. My only peace being that God knows best and sees farther into the future than I. Death never welcome is part of life and will remain so until Christ returns…this is God’s will and the way of things, whether I like it or not or agree with it or not.

    Life has bruised and bloodied all of us; few of us have lived without the pain and heartache that comes with living. This may not have been the will of God in the beginning, but I have had to learn to accept the pain that comes from God’s will sometimes not being my will.

    So in living I have also learned that sometimes we have to have courage and take chances, praying we are in God’s will and trusting Him especially when He is silent.

    Wet and very green in the mountains this summer morning, I pray all is well for all of you where ever you are.


  29. oneg2dblu says:

    bratimus… thanks for sharing God’s word in ,James 4.
    Such a wonderfully convicting message given from James,
    or was it really given by the Ultimate Judge, but only delivered by a human?
    That is where we need to be submitted to God alone, but instead, we in our corrupted humanity choose to judge, that any oopposing words of others, are only given to by others, to judge us.
    What if someone were to be chosen like James, chosen to deliver words that go against others and their human nature or self-chosen will, and others choose to find the deliverer being judgemental, instead of being convicted by God’s words?
    Have not we set ourselves agianst that opposition,
    and we make the judgement, saying, “Who are you to judge me? Your filled with pride, and you are not going to tell me what I should, or should not do, because then you are being judgemental!”
    Everybody loses in that scenario, and God’s words go unheaded, God’s given intentions then become mute, but only by to those who judge for themselves, as seeing only the judgement others. Just a though…
    What if we were to ask God, where are all the modern day prophets?
    I think many of us would be shocked to learn, that He chooses to use us today, to spread His Word. Gary

  30. tracey5tgbtg says:

    “How can I know the will of God?” I liked the dream illustration of God asking, “why are you asking this?”

    Job went through a lot, and he questioned and pondered. He said he trusted God, but he still wanted to know why. God never did tell him why, but God did speak to Job and Job was a new man.

    Why do I want to know God’s will? Maybe I am impatient and can’t wait for the passing of time to know the answer. Maybe I am afraid of making a mistake and getting hurt and I want to avoid that so I want God to tell me the right way to go. Maybe I don’t have enough trust in the Lord to say “Your will not mine be done.” Maybe God isn’t making sense so I feel something must be wrong or else I would understand why.

    Isaiah 30:10 Yet it was the Lord’s will to crush him and cause him to suffer…

    God knows where we need to go and He takes us there.

    Love God with all your heart and soul and mind and strength and you will stay in God’s will.

  31. tracey5tgbtg says:

    I mean Isaiah 53:10

  32. florida7sun says:

    The Will of God…

    I have a friend who was a successful businessman. One day he was entertaining clients on his boat. His wife called him and said he had to get to the hospital right away. He asked her what was wrong. She was beside herself in panic and told him, “Just get to the hospital.”

    He excused himself from his guests, and while driving to the hospital, he heard a news report that a young boy had a can of gasoline poured on him and was set afire by neighborhood boys. He sensed that that boy was his twelve year old son, and he called his wife while driving. She said he was and he should hurry.

    His son had third degree burns over most of his body and could not be treated at that hospital. He was flown to a distant Shriners Hospital to be cared for.

    Neither the father nor the son knew the Lord.

    For three months his son was hospitalized. The father deeply loved his son and left his business to stay and visit him at the hospital daily. “Why did this happen?” he kept asking himself.

    During this interim, he eventually lost his business; and the strain on his marriage ultimately led to divorce.

    The Shriners Hospital was in a large city. At night he would walk the streets and seek answers. He so desperately wanted his son to be healed. He told me that many houses of worship were locked at night, and he could get no peace.

    One day, as he visited his son, his son asked him, “Do you know Jesus?” Not to disappoint him, he said, “Yes, I do.” His son asked him to place a cross atop his bed. He said, “Jesus is taking me to heaven.”

    His son had never mentioned the Lord before.

    Not to displease his son he did place a cross on the bed’s headboard. However, he assured him, as best he could, “You will not die. You will be healed.”

    That evening, as the father walked the city streets, he heard God’s Word shared at a neighborhood mission. His heart had been crushed and prepared for a seed to enter. That evening he received the Lord and became a new man in Christ Jesus. He so desperately wanted his son to be healed.

    The next day his son entered God’s Kingdom. The father, saved through the life testimony of his son, came to understand that his son was more than healed. He was given a brand new body by our Great Physician.

    A true story, the father continues to share his testimony today and has led many to Our Lord and Savior.

  33. Toml5169 says:

    I have just read all the posts and Marts original thought all over again. From each of you I learned new insights and perspectives on knowing the will of God. The most humorous to me being new double yellow traffic lights, kind of like putting a period and an exclamation point at the end of a sentence. What has been said in many ways is that when Paul said in Gal.5:25 “Since we live by the Spirit, let us keep in step with the Spirit.”, he gave us wisdom and a mystery all in one. To keep in step, to know God’s will, is a great walk of faith. We sometimes stumble in darkness while at others are given great insight and light; but no matter what we walk by faith. Faith in God and faith in His love and interaction in our lives. Be blessed as you walk today!

  34. SFDBWV says:

    Ray I like life stories, thank you for the story you shared. I will share another.

    When Matt was about two years old, the mine I was working at shut down completely to never reopen again. I was devastated; my life was here with my parents next door to me living the dream in my home town. Now what to do?

    I was right away offered a job that would take me to another place away from the life I wanted but an offer of a good job a new house and the likelihood of a more safe employment.

    As was and is my habit, I took the matter to the Lord. I went for a long walk up to the top of a mountain close to home, where I could overlook the world I was familiar with and thought where I was to be. I sought the Lord in my decision.

    Somewhere in the pleas and prayers from me a great peace came over me and instead of worry, joy came into me and I began to sing and praise God. All alone on that hilltop, had someone seen me I am sure they would have thought the strain had broken my mind.

    I continued to feel bold and sure and filled with praise, still not really having an answer, I had peace. When I got home I received news that two other mines in the area had called wanting me to come work for them as soon as I could….

    The rest of this story is history, my life here has been fraught with joy and sadness, confidence and confusion, good times and very bad times, but I know now it was all the will of God. So as I continue on I look forward to His hand upon my life able to more easily accept the good with the bad knowing that it is His will not mine that guides my life, wherever life takes me I surrender my will to His.


  35. poohpity says:

    I think at times we have misunderstood our will to be God’s will. We like to be in control so much that pretty soon God’s will goes out the window for us to do what we think is best to do. I believe as we have talked about in the past if we remain in the Vine we will then display the fruit of God’s Spirit working through us Gal 5:22-23. For those who like to be in control what is the use of asking for God’s will to be done when He has repeatedly shown us that His ways are not like our ways because God is more concerned with a person’s heart but we still do not hear or see. God has given us free will but it seems like we like to inflict our will on everybody else so how can we walk humbly with the Lord when we are trying to be lord to others.

  36. florida7sun says:

    Thank you for sharing Steve. You and BTA are a blessing.

    25 years ago I also sought an answer from the Lord. I was employed as executive vice president of a prominent bank. The Lord kept tugging at my heart telling me to leave.

    I sought counsel from my brothers in Christ; many of whom said God would never close a door without first opening another. The Lord, however, kept tugging at me. I sensed Him saying, “Where is your faith, Ray?”

    I needed to be obedient to His Will and needed to leave my employer. I did.

    During the months that followed I learned a great deal from Jesus. Eventually, He took me to a cross in the road where I had to make a decision. What do I do now? How do I interpret His Will?

    At that time I loved to run among the cornfields in southwestern Ohio where my in-laws lived.

    There is something special to me about running next to tall stalks of corn praising the Lord with their leaves outstretched and tall tassels gleaming as their crowns. The pods implanted in them growing the bread of life, nourished by the sun.

    Then, due to His leading, I needed to make a choice on a given hot day in July (no other); I fretted on deciding which fork in the road I was going to take. I went to the Lord in deep prayer and then opted to run alongside the swaying fields of corn that reached for the heavens. I too was reaching for Him. I needed an answer.

    As I ran the Spirit within me impressed upon my heart a desire that I should walk back 100 feet and sit beside the road. I did. I wondered and prayed. I thought this was strange. I soon noticed that the circle of corn before me was flattened by an evening thunderstorm.

    I sensed the Lord’s presence there. I felt Him and others, as if I was surrounded by a great cloud of witnesses. It was not a burning bush I saw, but I knew the ground before me was holy. I continued in prayer. He assured me He was in control.

    After a time, I got up and quietly walked home. Hot and sweaty I poured a glass of ice tea and the phone rang. Before my wife answered I told her that was the Lord’s response. She picked up the phone, and sure enough the Lord revealed to her and me the fork in the road I should take.

    He has done this so many times in my life. He is faithful and trustworthy. He has proven Himself time and time again.

    I know He has with others in so many ways.

  37. SFDBWV says:

    Ray I love your story, like you I have many wonderful encounters with the Lord and even as I write this now tears come to my eyes in just how faithful the Lord is.

    I could tell more startling amazing stories of how God has led my way and seen me through many an adventure, but I hope like you others share their life stories so as to encourage others that no matter what the circumstance in our lives Jesus is the one that sticks closer than a brother and never leaves us.

    Thanks Ray


  38. oneg2dblu says:

    Ray, thanks for sharing that story. We all have one, and to keep it to ourselves, serves none other than our self.
    I once interviewed for a job, that I felt in my heart God had led me to. It was a totally new direction for me, involving children. Although, I was hired at that interview, there were no openings. I was told they would call me when something became available.
    Six months went by, talk of being tested. Then, one day I had my fill, and when having my morning time with the Lord, I told him I’m done waiting, and I would go out and get a job today, even if it was flipping hamburgers. Those were, my exact words.
    I got dressed and before I could get to the door, the phone rang! :)
    I Praised my God that day, with a touch more vigor to say the least, as I was no longer, hired, and offically unemployeed! Gary

  39. poohpity says:

    So is it about getting those jobs or answers to prayers where God has provided. Or could it be how we undertake or do our jobs while we are in the work place no matter where we are employed. Could God’s will be how we respond to those who are hurt, lonely, unemployed, who disagree with us, or are our enemies, or those with different beliefs. If we are angry, or belittle people or talk down to others are we as concerned about God’s will in those areas as we are for getting direction or answers to prayers. “Why are we asking for God’s will?” will it bring Glory to God or do we hope to have our character developed in such a way that God’s love will be lived through us?

  40. foreverblessed says:

    Mart has 2 options, walking a narrow line, and the other living within God’s will, with a vast array of possibilities (this word looks so strange now, is it spelled allright?) for us to choose.
    As what I have learned from many christian writers:
    there are 2 different kind of christians:
    -the ones who live their lives in God’s will, with a bit many things to choose from, relaxed.
    -the ones who have seen Christ, and are totally absorbed by Him. They no longer choose themselves what to do, but are totally led by the Holy Spirit, they do not do anything unless the Spirit specifically tells them to. Otherwise they quietly do their daily tasks. Oswald Chambers writes about it in one of his devotions.
    The apostle Paul was one of them, Jesus has taken hold of him.
    Corry ten Boom was one of them, she would not undertake anything unless the Holy Spirit had showed her what to do. One time she did go into a prison, while she had no green light from the Spirit, when she was inside, she knew it was not God’s will, Luckily the german guardian was not too bad and let her go. She never ever went anywhere without God’s green light after that. She was an apostle, we are not all apostles. Many of us just lead their quiet lives, choosing this job or that, and above all, as Pooh writes: serving our fellow men, faith in GOd, loving our fellow men.

    If we pray that our lives will be totally His, Jesus our Lord, then at some time He will come and totally claim it.

  41. bratimus says:

    A lesson on God’s will and how God reveals His will to an individual is in the book of Job.

  42. florida7sun says:

    Pooh, I believe it’s all of that and more. I love Hebrews 11. Throughout time many have placed their faith in God. There are countless stories to tell. As you have said, only the Lord knows our hearts. In our walk we all stumble and fall. We all make mistakes. Yet, he longs for us to rely on Him for direction in every aspect of our life. He gave us His Word and loves us that much.

  43. poohpity says:

    I agree Ray. Faith is a very important gift from God and it is what Hebrews 11 refers to. I was just wondering if we may not be confusing faith and answered prayer to what God’s ultimate Will is for us. I feel sometimes like God’s will for us is more on a character development sort of thing. When I am feeling angry or hurt by someone do I ask God, “what is your will Father in how I handle this situation?” when I have read in scripture exactly how the Lord has instructed me to do so yet I end up doing it my way anyway. You are so right we do make many mistakes for me that would be many, many so does that mean after knowing God’s will is it possible for me to do exactly what that will is. To answer ugly with kindness and gentleness (God’s Will) or respond with name calling and aggression.

    I was just wondering if we pick and chose what Will of God we want to know and follow?

  44. poohpity says:

    bratimus, so many, many lessons to learn in Job especially when it comes to questions on the why’s of the things God does and allows to happen. Job was living God’s will yet.

  45. florida7sun says:

    Pooh, I struggle with that too. Believe me, you are not alone.:-)

    In my heart I know Jesus would have me reply with gentleness and respect. There have been instances though when I sensed a demonic spirit in the person I was speaking with. Sometimes even in animals. One was a pastor in New England. Another a cat in West Palm Beach. Then, there was terrorist I met in Daytona Beach. I could go on. As Steve mentioned, we all have numerous stories we could share.

    In those difficult circumstances I try to keep my mind focused on a few verses of Scripture to give me strength. As Jesus said to Satan, “It is written…”

    I recognize it is not flesh and blood we fight. We are subject, like Job, to be influenced and sifted like wheat. The same is true for everyone we interface with.

    Our strength is His Spirit and His Word… and in each other as believers. In that respect, the expression of His love is the best way to interact.

    We all can learn from each other. I know I have through BTA.

  46. oneg2dblu says:

    I would say if God gives you a mission, and God gives you a job that relates to the mission, and you accept both, even as an answered prayer, you may well be in the Will of God. But, it is not all about jobs.
    bot that may be for those who feel led to change direction, pray for that change, and take it on when it becomes a reality.
    So, if correctly dealing with ugly is your problem, or your mission, and you pray to God to help show you a resolve, and you take up that which you feel led to do as a job, you may well be in the Will of God.
    What if God says your resolve is to not see anything as ugly, but by His Spirit turn it into something else you can deal with more properly. Finding ugly always in your path, may mean you are making the wrong choices about what you now see. Just a thought…
    Like seeing something as half full,instead of half empty. The result of what you choose to see, affects you differently, depending on how you choose to see it.

  47. poohpity says:

    Even if it were demonic or a terrorist God’s will is for us to respond in the beatitudes from Matthew 5 not to return evil for evil. We know God’s will do we follow it? How come we then ask for God’s will for a job or what the next step is to take when we do no want God’s will for dealing with anger. That is what I am confused about. It seems like the things that God has already showed us very plainly what His will is, then we ask what or next step should be, is that congruous?

  48. oneg2dblu says:

    Like when Charles Stanley describes Attitude. Most of what happens to us in life, like when we see ugly, may be more about how we react to it, then what it really is, or how much we allow it to have a negative effect on us. Some lessons take forever.
    I remember battles with such things years ago, before I knew Christ, and found a book about, Pulling your own Strings. It was very helpful at that time, and allowed me to see the root of many errors. Allowing others to control my peace and happiness, was very destructive, until the lesson is learned, we all continue to suffer needlessly. I’m not totally exempt of those feelings, or cured of my nature, but much better today, because I have a Helper, in the Holy Spirit.

  49. poohpity says:

    So Gary is God’s will more concerned about the things that happen or the way we respond to them?

  50. florida7sun says:

    When I mentioned the term “fight” I did not intend to mean “return evil for evil.” I am sorry if it was received that way. What I meant was our flesh wars against our spirit. It is only through reliance on the Holy Spirit and internalization of God’s Word to draw on that we are empowered to overcome our sin nature.

    When God leads we are tested. We are also tempted. We need to be prepared, as Paul urges us to put on the full armor of God.

    In our walk with Christ and our desire to share His love, we will be attacked. That is a given.

    A friend of mine was a pilot of Air Force One. Prior to that he was a fighter pilot with a distinguished record. He saw combat and crashed a few planes.

    In sharing his wonderful testimony, he notes that the best way you know your on top of the enemy is when you receive heavy flak. The same is true in sharing the Gospel and performing God’s Will. Satan hates Jesus. He knows his time on earth is short and running out. He seeks to kill and will always take shots at believers desiring to do God’s Will.

    The Lord tells us to take up our cross daily. Hopefully we are getting some flak from the enemy. Jesus did.

  51. Regina says:

    Thank you, Ray and Steve for sharing some of your life stories. I love life stories too. I don’t have a life story to share with yall right now, but I’m sure (if the Lord tarries) I’ll have a life story or two to share before we have the awesome honor and privilege of living with our LORD in heaven for all eternity.

    Sunny and warm in Texas today (90 degrees right now).

  52. Regina says:

    florida7sun said, “I recognize it is not flesh and blood we fight. We are subject, like Job, to be influenced and sifted like wheat.”

    I do have many life stories regarding spiritual warfare, and the LORD reminds me constantly that my fight is not against flesh and blood “but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places” (Eph. 6:12).

  53. BruceC says:

    Amen Regina!
    Today’s “Our daily Bread” speaks of Job and how he accepted the permissive will of God in his life during that “spiritual warfare”. Tis true that when we hunker down into the work of the lord the enemy will at time s attack even fiercer that usual.

    Soli Deo Gloria!

  54. oneg2dblu says:

    Pooh… Gee, I could wonder that way also. But, if I read the bible, and I understand what it says about something “that happens,” like the call to respond to God appears before all men. Then, I would know what the Will of God is for every one, and that is,He wants none to perish. So, how we respond to that, is definately shown as His Will, but many choose wrongly!
    God also allowed something to “happen” to Job. He allowed Satan to make him suffer. But, His Will was that Job would not suffer to death, and that Job would remain making right choices, and remaining in His Will. Gary

  55. poohpity says:

    What if you read the bible? I think you will keep on learning like all of us.

  56. jon614 says:

    Have really been inspired to think more deeply the past few weeks reading Mart’s thoughts and the continuing comments by his readers. This discussion on God’s Will has made me think of another Biblical character who knew God’s Will but didn’t like it. Jonah is my grand-daughters’ favorite story and they are starting to see that the important part isn’t the living through the swallowing but Jonah really swallowing the direction he is to go. I knew the ‘moral’ of the story but it took the eyes of the 9 year old to really show me that the disobedience and then the obedience to what Jonah already knew of God’s Will was of utmost importance. Faith, my granddaughter, told me she thought the important part of the story was Nineveh, not Jonah. To listen to your thoughts on this blog reminds me of that and as I relate your thoughts to my life, I need to remember that God has a purpose for me and it might be a Ninevah and not Jon. thank you all for helping me see even more of what both Faith, my granddaughter realized, and what my faith needs to grow to.

  57. poohpity says:

    Wow thank your granddaughter for me too! I have not looked at that in light of Nineveh either. That is really the point of all of our walk with the Lord is how it effects those who are yet to believe. I am afraid of what they would say to some of my responses. I am feeling very convicted.

  58. oneg2dblu says:

    Pooh… I really have no comment that would edify the saints here, or could lend itself to your satisfaction about such an inflamatory premise. I concede to your upper handedness, by your confessed greater biblical knowledge, not to mention your humility that you always seem to express. Gary

  59. poohpity says:

    Gary, I have grown weary of your constant criticism and judgment of me as a person obviously if you have put yourself in that place it keeps your eyes on my faults, of which I have many, but prevents you from looking at your own. As Mart referenced in a previous post Romans 2:1; You, therefore, have no excuse, you who pass judgment on someone else, for at whatever point you judge another, you are condemning yourself, because you who pass judgment do the same things.

    It is one thing to disagree with something I say but to put me down as a human being with things you really know nothing about is presumptuous on your part and there is no truth in it.

  60. bubbles says:

    If someone came along and told me that what was being said was unkind and mean, I would try to change what I was saying and the manner in which it was said. Do you think peace is much more important rather than discord? Peace is more important than always being “right” and having the last word.
    Please consider this. . .
    Thank you.

  61. oneg2dblu says:

    bubbles…I said I have conceded. Now, I guess I will illucidate my unrecognized position. “I will no longer respond to demeaning, inflamatory remarks made here.”
    You choose to take a side, and I choose to concede. How else can this constant discord find remedy?
    I will take the hit again, and take “ANOTHER” 40 days away from this constant type of response.
    May it provide some type of healing for those who are now find thier victory in this consession. May God Bless those who support others, and continue to give them the desires of their hearts. Gary

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