Pastor’s pulpit with RL Calhoun
When it comes to discovering God’s will through searching the scriptures, Charles Swindoll asks this vital question: “Do we know anything for sure?” The answer to that question is a resounding “Yes!”
God’s Word clearly reveals his will for every believer when it comes to the specifics of daily living. The Bible teaches emphatically that there are certain things we must never do. On the other hand, it declares that there are things that a child of God must always do.
With respect to these negative and positive matters, there is absolutely no question regarding God’s will whatsoever. So, we don’t have to “find his leading”. All we have to do is to study his Word and then choose to do what it says.
For example, we cannot possibly be doing God’s will and at the same time be involved in sexual immorality. The Bible says in 1 Thessalonians 4:3: “For this is the will of God (my emphasis), your sanctification: that you should abstain from sexual immorality.” Case closed!
The Ten Commandments reveal God’s perfect will in what has been called “a full and complete list of divine prohibitions” – for example, “You shall not murder”, “You shall not commit adultery”, “You shall not steal”, “You shall not bear false witness against your neighbor”, and “You shall not covet your neighbor’s house; you shall not cover your neighbor’s wife”. These are absolutes of God’s will. Case closed!
So much for the don’ts of God’s will contained in the scriptures. Now here are some positive things that every believer is to do continually: “Rejoice always; pray without ceasing; in everything giving thanks for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus” (1 Thessalonians 5:16-18); Have an attitude of gratitude (Philippians 4:6); Love others (1 Corinthians 13); Assemble with fellow believers for the purpose of worshipping the Lord (Hebrews 10:25); Proclaim Christ to those who do not know Him (Acts 1:8); Embrace heavenly values, not worldly ones (Colossians 3:2) – and the list goes on and on.
With regard to so many issues, we should have no confusion at all concerning the will of God. It is as Blaine Smith says in Knowing God’s Will: “Chief among the means of guidance God has provided for us is a lighthouse: his Word. He has blessed us with the scriptures as a rock-solid, immutable testimony to his will and purpose for human life.
“The revelation of scripture is as unchangeable as the nature of God himself and its guidance is as non-negotiable as the beam of illumination from a lighthouse.”
If you neglect studying the Word of God under the Holy Spirit’s leadership, how do you expect to know and to do God’s will? There is no doubt that too many believers are spiritually shallow when it comes to knowing what the Bible teaches. Fleshly pursuits often gobble up too much time that should be spent with the Lord.
While it is a fact that we all are busy, it is also a fact that each of us has the same 24 hours in a day, no more and no less. There is ample time for us to search the scriptures if we make up our minds to do so. We are all creatures of habit. Feeding on the Word of God is a good habit!
So, if you want to know God’s will, in the words of Robert Jeffress: “Don’t be tempted to treat the Bible like a piece of third-class mail addressed to occupant.” Next week, we will consider the importance of prayer in knowing God’s will.
RL Calhoun is pastor of New Life Fellowship church in Texas City.