Here it is.
You call yourself Christian and that is wonderful but are you seeking to live a life within God’s will?
Yes I am.
That is the best answer
But what does that mean?
Maybe after we discuss the “seeking to live a life within God’s will” part of the question you may wonder if you are where you are supposed to be. I hope not, but you may wonder if you are a “real” Christian.
Before we begin, I am not judging you and me. That is not my job. For the most part, I know where I am in my “walk with Jesus.” I know in my heart if I am seeking to live within God’s will. To be honest, it is an up and down affair. At times I feel I am moving along. At other times [usually when I fail in my battle with sin] I am not sure.
Why discuss this in the context of the book Hearing God?
The answer to that question is simple.
You won’t hear from God if you are not “seeking to live a life within God’s will.” [Willard Hearing God].
To begin let’s break down the statement. Seeking means to try to locate or discover, to endeavor to obtain or reach, to go to or toward, you get the picture. To seek something is to want to have it, to work hard to get it, to sacrifice to achieve it.
What is your goal in life?
If your goal is what God plans for you, you may have more direct contact with Him.
Now, let’s stop before we go too far.
When a person is in the deepest bowels of the deepest point in life, will God speak to that person?
I believe He will.
But He will speak to help that person consider a “course correction.” We have all heard of jailhouse conversions and foxhole prayers, times when people are broken or times when people are scared to death. In short, times when people desperately need help.
But I also believe that God speaks to those who seek Him, people who are not in dire straits, people who believe, people who just want more in life and they want more through Jesus Christ.
Let’s turn to some goals. These may sound like clichés and maybe they are but they are significant signs for the Christian who wants more, the Christian who is seeking God.
“My goal in life is to glorify and enjoy God forever.”
“My goal in life is to become more like Christ.”
“My goal in life is to conform to God’s plan for me, that I “be conformed to the likeness of his Son’”
Why is this important? You might be thinking “duh” right now but at the risk of being disrespectful to your intelligence there are many things in this world that people seek other than God. Need we list a few: money, media, human relationships, our routines, work, hobbies/pastimes etc. etc.
If you are truly a Christian, you have a new identity in Christ, along with a new purpose for living. You are on a path to growth with Christ. You seek Him because you need to be inspired by His example.
The second part of the toughest question I want to comment on is “within God’s will”.
What does that mean? On the surface it means little but we are not talking surface here. We are going deeper. When you think about being within God’s will what happens to your will? When you think about being within God’s will, who gets what they want? When you think about being within God’s will, how should you approach God?
In my opinion, here are the answers.
- My will is not important when I seek God’s will. His will is all that matters. I have to be willing to put myself last when it comes to God. I have to choose to let Him have control. Is this easy? No it is not. We want control. We want to steer our own ship. However when God is put in control, what happens? Things work out better.
- Who gets what they want when I am within God’s will? God gets what He wants. What about me? Well, this is a bit hard to understand but the best plan for me in this life is to live God’s plan for me. That plan is based on Jeremiah 29:11 “ For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.” What happens when troubles come our way? Sometimes we may doubt God’s word but then we need to remember James 1: 2 “Consider it all joy, my brethren, when you encounter various trials, knowing that the testing of your faith produces endurance.…” Even when times are dark, God’s plan for us is bigger than we can comprehend but we must have faith: it is good.
- The way to approach God is as a supplicant. It is no fluke that Jesus taught all His followers to pray the Lord’s Prayer with the lines “Our Father who is in heaven, Hallowed be Your name. Your kingdom come. Your will be done, On earth as it is in heaven”. We may ask but we know we will not get what we want unless we are praying in God’s will. Ultimately God’s will is what counts, not ours.
I hope you did not answer the “Christian’s toughest question” with “no I am not.” That is not my intent with this post.
But if you cannot truthfully say I am seeking to live a life within God’s will, you may not be hearing from God.
The siren songs of life may be what you are listening to, or maybe you don’t want to sacrifice, give service to others. Maybe you have to be in a circle of friends where being “Christ like” is not cool. Whatever the case you find yourself in, maybe you are choosing not to hear from the messages that will change your life, the messages that will improve your life, the messages that will give you a purpose that is more satisfying than any message you have ever received.
Words from the Lord.