Rob Buckingham's Blog

Knowing God’s Will

I believe the Bible gives us four principles that help us discover what God’s will is for our life:
Firstly, we need to ask the question, “What does the word say?”  The word of God is the will of God.  Psalm 119:105 says, “Your word is a lamp to my feet and a light for my path.”  In other words, the Bible illuminates where we are right now as well as where we need to walk into the immediate future.  The Bible gives us general guidelines for decision-making so study it!  Know it!  Do it!  The Bible however is a compass not a map.  It helps us set the right direction in life, but it doesn’t always give us the specifics such as who am I to marry?  Which university should I attend?  Where should I live?  What career should I pursue?  Should I leave this job and pursue another?  Is God calling me into church or marketplace ministry?  And so on.  The next three principles help us find the answers to these and other questions.
The second principle is “What does wisdom say?”  That is, something may be permitted by God, but is this course of action wise at this particular time?  It’s like the statement the apostle Paul made in 1 Corinthians 10:23, “Everything is permissible – but not everything is beneficial.  Everything is permissible – but not everything is constructive.”  Wisdom is the ability to put your knowledge into action in the right way.  And so, when making a decision ask yourself, “is this beneficial, is this constructive, is this wise?”
Thirdly, use your initiative!  In Genesis 2:19-20, God gave Adam the job of naming ALL the animals – no easy task.  He has created people with a brain, with intelligence, with a mind and He expects us to use it!  2 Timothy 1:7 says “God has not given us a spirit of fear, but of power and of love and of a sound mind.”  A sound mind means common sense.  In decision-making use your initiative, do the research, find out the facts and the options, and then move forward because it’s easier to steer a moving vehicle than a stationary one!
Finally, make sure you submit every decision to the sovereignty of God.  That’s the truth we find in James 4:13-15, “Now listen, you who say, “Today or tomorrow we will go to this or that city, spend a year there, carry on business and make money.” Why, you do not even know what will happen tomorrow. What is your life? You are a mist that appears for a little while and then vanishes. Instead, you ought to say, “If it is the Lord’s will, we will live and do this or that.”
So, ask what the word teaches and what wisdom dictates.  Use your initiative and submit every decision to God’s sovereignty.  And remember, what God opens, no one can shut; and what He shuts, no one can open (Revelation 3:7).
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