Putting Out the Fleece, Part 4: Becoming the kind of person God can lead

During my teen years, I received some useful advice from a dear friend in response to my anxious queries about the subject of finding God’s will. “If you’re concerned about finding God’s will, why not see what the Bible has to say about it?”

I was unsure how I could find information in the Bible regarding where to go to school, what vocation to pursue, whom to marry, or any of the other hundreds of questions I had regarding the will of God. At my friend’s urging, I used a concordance and found passages where the phrase, “the will of God,” or something similar, occurred.

Here are a few of the texts I came across:

    * 2 Peter 3:9 “The Lord is not slow to fulfill His promise as some count slowness, but is patient toward you, not wishing that any should perish, but that all should reach repentance.”

    * 1 Thess. 4:3-4  “For this is the will of God, your sanctification: that you abstain from sexual immorality; that each one of you know how to control his body in holiness and honor. . .”

    * 1 Thess. 5:16-18  “Rejoice always, pray without ceasing, give thanks in all circumstances; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you.”

You’ll no doubt notice right away the same “disconnect” I noticed. We want to know more information about choices we have to make. God wants us to focus on character. According to just these few verses above, God’s “will” is that I be saved, sexually pure, and learn to joyfully, prayerfully trust Him in every circumstance.

So, here is the third simple principle for discerning God’s will that I’ll add to the two previously discussed:

Principle #3 – Concern yourself with becoming whom God wants you to be, and He’ll take care of the “where, with whom, doing what,” in His good time.

You see, as we work hard at becoming God’s kind of person (loving what He loves, turning away from what displeases Him), we will intuitively make the kind of choices that are in harmony with His plans for us. As we internalize His written Word, we share more of His heart.

Augustine probably did not exaggerate when he advised, “Love God with all your heart, and do whatever you want.” As we become progressively more like Christ, our “wants” are His “wants.”

About Sam Harbin
I am the President of Calvary Baptist Seminary in Lansdale, PA as well as the Chair and Professor of Pastoral Theology.

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