What God Wants

by penielbaptist100@gmail.com December 29, 2020

THE PROBLEM

Would it not be great if God would install a mega-sized neon sign in the sky giving us specific instructions on how to live our lives? I know I have wished that I could automatically know what God wants.

Better yet what if God audibly spoke to us from heaven with a specific plan for our lives. Or He could even just mail a to-do list to our home address. But unfortunately, this is just not the way God works.

We all know that we aren’t suppose to murder anyone or rob a bank. But we all struggle with knowing what God wants us to choose as a career or a multitude of other decisions that we all have to make.

Decisions that are not specifically prescribed in detail in the Bible for us personally. So How can we really know What God wants us to do in our life right now?

THE SOLUTION

God may not blast out our instructions from a heaven-sized microphone but He has provided a pathway to knowing the path He has for us. No matter who we are God has provided a bread crumb trail of sorts that will lead us to the treasure of the great plan He has for all of us.

ASK GOD WHAT HE WANTS

Often we do not know where to start. And lucky for you and me, God is way ahead of us. All we have to do is start the conversation and you will be amazed at the ways in which God responds. Through prayer God will open the doors that He wants you and me to go through and close the ones He wants us to stay away from.

Besides if we want to know what someone wants us to do it’s kind of a good idea to ask them. So why would it be any different with the God of the universe? I think that sometimes we want a much more mysterious and complicated procedure than the simple beauty of laying our hearts bare before our savior.

WHAT GOD WANTS AND WHAT YOU WANT

A golf club in Tiger Woods hands is a winning golf game. A golf club in my hands is pretty much just a heavy piece of worthless iron. A basketball in Michael Jordan’s hands is a winning shot. In my hands, it is simply an inflated piece of rubber.

Often we wonder what is God’s will for our life. When God is saying to us simply take a look at the you I have created.  God creates within us passions , interests, and jobs that we are very competent at. So when we are considering if something has Gods seal of approval it would do us good to ask one question.

Is this a desire or task that we have a natural affinity to succeed with? If the answer is yes then this can be the first checkpoint on whether we are on the right track.

THE NEIGHBORS SEE WHAT GOD WANTS FOR YOU

After you and I become aware of the areas that God has naturally gifted us in it is vital to pause.  There have been many times when I jumped in full force only to discover that I had only listened to part of God’s will. The result of this choice is very similar to the result of eating an uncooked hamburger. It just simply isn’t appetizing. After looking at ourselves, we then run the plan by people of integrity, Godliness, and friends at our church.

Notice what sort of people that I described. We can short circuit God’s will for our lives by getting bad advice from the wrong people. If we listen to a fool we will become a fool. if our idea of what we think God is trying to tell us is in line with ourselves and other wise people it is time to run it through the most important checkpoint.

THE BIBLE REVEALS WHAT GOD WANTS

The final litmus test on whether we are in tune with what God wants us to do is the Bible. We may first look at the desires/talents God has given us. We next get the advice of what the Godly people around us think. But at this point we take our final thought and decision to the foundation of Gods word.

If what we are choosing to do is in line with what God has inspired through holy men in scripture then we know for sure that we are on the right track. But this is not the end of the road. We have to actually follow through with what God has revealed to us. Not doing so is like having a Christmas present under the tree and refusing to open a gift made just for us.

GOD WANTS A FEW FAITHFUL FOLLOWERS

God is a fan of giving us one step at a time. I like quick answers and seeing the reward before I receive the reward of what God has in store. But over the few decades that I have been around, I have discovered as will you that God really does have a great plan in store for each of us.

All we have to do is follow these checkpoints and not jump ship when we feel like we are not getting answers quickly enough. And then one day we will look back from the euphoric mountaintop of God’s fulfilled plan for our lives. Saying wow it was worth it.

So in the meantime let’s all put one foot in front of the other and commit to the next step that God is giving us. Knowing that our day of glory is coming through fully trusting in a Wonderfully good God one step at a time.

Interrupt the Downward Spiral

By Max Lucado

Anxiety is an out of control thought pattern.  It settles over the mind like a severe weather system, spewing thunderclouds and casting lightning bolts.  Life feels like an airplane in a tailspin.  It feeds on what-ifs and worst-case scenarios.

What if the Coronavirus is unstoppable.  What if a pandemic takes over?  I’ll be quarantined for weeks! The economy is sliding into a bear market.  I’ll lose my health.  I’ll lose my job.  I’ll lose it all.  How will I survive on unemployment?

Down. Down. Down.  Don’t give in to this thought pattern.  It’s a sinkhole. Don’t catastrophize your way into quicksand.  Take a deep breath and then…

1.   Pray about it. At the first hint of an anxious thought, Take the thought captive. Don’t tolerate the devil, not even for a second. Lasso the anxious thought with a word of prayer. Lord, there is an intruder at the door! Please take over!

2.   Identify the culprit.  Generalities are not permitted.  None of this: “I’m worried.” Get specific: Lord, I’m worried about the layoffs at work. Now, that’s better. But even more detailed: I’m worried that I will lose my job. Will I be able to find more work? Will we have to move? Specificity disarms anxiety.

3.  Take a reality check.  Is this a legitimate concern? Or is this a vague, ill-defined, rumor-fed possibility? They say layoffs are inevitable. Who are they?

4.  Take an action step.  Assuming the concern is legitimate, what can you do? Make a list of two or three steps you can Resist the urge to try to solve everything immediately.

5.  Ask: “Can God solve this?”  Is this challenge within his skill set? Is he overwhelmed by this setback? Are the angels pounding on the door of heaven trying to convince him to come out of hiding? Is he resisting?

I can’t handle this challenge It is too great. I don’t know what to do! I’m stumped, stuck, and stalled out.

No…I don’t think so either. God is never baffled or belittled. Take the problem to him.

Reflect on this verse: “No weapon formed against you shall prosper, and every tongue which rises against you in judgment, You shall condemn. This is the heritage of the servants of the Lord, and their righteousness is from Me, says the Lord” (Isaiah 54:17).

And, pray it through:

Lord,

Thank you that “before a word is on my tongue you, Lord, know it completely” (Psalm 139:4).  Thank you that there are no surprises with you.  Help me find deep comfort in the fact that you are unshockable and nothing is too great, too terrible, too large, or too heavy for you.  Help me see the problems that I face today in light of how big you are.   Amen.

© Max Lucado  (adapted from Anxious for Nothing, Thomas Nelson, 2017)

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