Six Principles of Knowing God's Will
Six Principles of Knowing God’s Will
During my earlier years as a Christian, knowing God’s will is one of my favorite topics in Christian living. I was so intrigued with this topic because as a young people I was so excited about to know God’s will regarding who will I marry or what will be my profession.
A Christian should always be concern that he is living in the center of God’s will. It is just important for a Christian to know God’s will in all aspects of his/her life may it be concerning his/her marriage, career or ministry.
During my first few years as a Christian I was not so keen in knowing God’s will because I was carnally minded. I was so concern with those things that were appealing to the flesh, so I was not discerning enough to know God’s will then.
In this hub I included six principles of knowing God’s will I learned from Zac Poonen and Terry Edwards . As I mature in faith, I apply these principles and enjoy my Christian life.
Principle Number One : Build A Strong Spiritual Life
“And do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, that you may know what is that good and acceptable and perfect will of God “
A strong spiritual life is the best qualification for being able to hear from God. We must not make compromises with the world and reject being conformed to its ways. Our minds must be renewed daily by the Holy Spirit and the Word of God.
We must develop our spiritual life if we want to be sensitive to the leadings of God. A life of obedience, commitment, daily prayer, daily meditation of the Word, Bible study, worship will give way for its development.
Principle Number Two : Unconditional Yieldedness
“Therefore I urged you brothers, in view of God’s mercy, to offer your bodies as living sacrifices, holy and pleasing to God - this is your reasonable act of worship.”
Romans 12 :1
We are exhorted to present our bodies to God, once and for all a living sacrifice, even as a burnt offering, which was wholly offered to God symbolized the the offerer’s utter dedication to Him. When a man offered a burnt offering he received nothing back. God could do whatever He liked with that offering. It was symbolic of Calvary’s cross where the Lord Jesus offered himself completely to the Father saying ,‘Father not My will but by Thine be done. ‘ This is what it meant to present our body as a living sacrifice to God : we must die to our own self-will and must be willing to bid goodbye to all our choices and desires, as to how and where our body should be used by Him. Only in doing so, we can know His will.
Lack of such yieldedness is usually the main reason why we are not capable of ascertaining God’s will.
Principle Number Three : The Witness of the Holy Spirit
“The Spirit Himself bears with our spirit that we are children of God.”
We are able to discern God’s will and Word by the same means it was first revealed which is by the Holy Spirit.
The Holy Spirit now lives in a believer to be his guide. When seeking God’s will, we need to ascertain what the Holy Spirit is saying to us in our spirit. We need the affirmation of the Holy Spirit. It is just essential that we seek to be filled with the Holy Spirit.
Throughout His earthly life, the Lord Jesus was governed and guided by the inner witness of the Holy Spirit. He never made a decision out of human coercion or advice.
The Holy Spirit speaks to us through an inner pressure on our spirits rather than through an audible voice. He urges us inwardly either to take or not take certain course of actions. Normally, this is the result of much time spent in prayer. The Holy Spirit may also give us sudden urge at times to go somewhere or to do something.(Zac Poonen, 1971)
But sudden impulses to do something ridiculous can come from the Devil too or from ourselves. So we must be careful.The Holy Spirit will never lead us contrary to the teachings of the Bible.
The sensitivity to the leading of the Holy Spirit was demonstrated among the early Christians. In the Acts of the Apostles , we read Philip acting on an inner urging of the Holy Spirit , joined the Ethiopian Eunuch in his chariot (Acts 8:29). Peter obeying the inner voice of the Holy Spirit , went to preach the Gospel at Cornelius household which resulted to the salvation of Cornelius and his entire household (Acts 10:19, 20)
Principle Number Four : The Written Word (The Holy Bible ).
“All scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof,
for correction, for instruction in righteousness.”
Timothy 3 :16
The Bible is the clear declaration of the mind and will of God. Many of our decisions can be answered through the clear statements of Scripture.(Terry D. Edwards, 1984).
For an instance, if we have signed a contract or a bond with any firm or institution, there is no need to seek God’s will on whether we can break the contract, when a more attractive vacancy offers it elsewhere. The Bible tells us that the person who dwells with God ‘keeps a promise even if it ruins him’ (Psalm 15:4) and also that ‘God loves those who keep their promises and hates those who don’t.‘ (Proverbs 12:22 LB).
Similarly, if we see a brother in material need, the Bible clearly teaches that we are to help him. The Bible is filled with precepts and principles that give us wisdom and guidance. In making decisions.
Principle Number Five : Circumstances
“But I will tarry in Ephesus until Pentecost. For a great and effective door was opened to me, and there are many adversaries.”
I Corinthians 16 : 8, 9
We see from the above passage that Paul made a decision to remain in Ephesus because existing circumstances indicated that a great door was opened for the Gospel.
God is a God of Providence. He can control our circumstances and thereby indicate His will. He allows certain things to befall us to confirm the guidance we have received from God through the inner witness of the Spirit or to stop us from taking a wrong step. (Zac Poonen, 1971)
We must also keep in our mind that Satan too can order circumstances to some extent to lead us astray. Many have been deceived in choosing a life partner through being guided by circumstances ordered by the Devil to trap them. Circumstances must be considered with much prayers. We must be extra careful when making circumstances the only indication of God’s will. Other indicators such as presence of godly counsel or an inner witness of the Holy Spirit should also be present. It must also comply with the Word of God.
Some of world’s greatest missionaries were guided to their fields field by circumstances. David Livingstone initially felt led to go to China and took medical training in preparation for mission in that land. When he was ready to go , China was “closed “ due to the opium wars. The London Missionary Society suggested West Indies. He turned it down on the grounds that there were many doctors there already. Finally through contact with pioneer missionary Robert Moffat, Livingstone went to Africa.
God may prevent us from going into paths He has not chosen for us by putting us on a sick bed or by making us miss a train , an appointment or an interview, Disappointments can be his appointments for us if we live under His Lordship.(Zac Poonen, 1971)
When we do not obtain something we greatly longed for and prayed for we can be sure that God has something better in store for us as long as we are living in the center of His will.
Principle Number Six : Presence of Godly Counsel
“The way of the fool is right in his own eyes, but he who heeds counsel is wise.”
One of the most important steps in knowing the will of God is to seek counsel from other Christians.
We should choose godly counselors that have a reputation for wisdom. We should refrain from seeking counsel from those who will tell us things we want to hear rather things that will give us godly instruction.
Spiritual leaders have been set in the church to help instruct and guide the people of God.
They should have a special counseling role in any major decision which we face. (Terry D. Edwards, 1984)
The advice of other godly men will be invaluable in helping us to look at the decision we are taking, from different angles. This is particularly important in making major decisions in life such as marriage and profession.
Finding God’s Will by Zac Poonen
Knowing God’s Will by Terry D. Edwards.