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The big question: Just how do we know God’s will?

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Calhoun, RL                      RL Calhoun

Pastor’s pulpit with RL Calhoun

The truth has already been established – God has a personal and specific plan for all of us. Not only can we his children know his will but we must know his will if we are to make the right decisions vital to following his plan for our lives.
The dilemma we all face has to do with the “how” of knowing God’s will. An important decision has to be made, a significant step to choose or reject. Which way do we go?
Unfortunately, when it comes to knowing the will of God, there are confusing voices in Christian circles. They offer simplistic formulas for believers to use in discerning God’s guidance. Yet, simplistic formulas don’t work in the real-life decisions we have to make. To make matters worse, simple formulas are sometimes contradictory.
One says: “Love God and do whatever you desire.” Another insists: “To know God’s will, you have to deny your personal desires.” One biblical teacher says: “Look for the logical alternative to choose if you want to find God’s will.” Another says: “Abraham went out not knowing where he was going. Go and do likewise. Throw all reason to the wind.”
A Christian counselor advises: “You can know God’s will through your intuition. Check your inward feelings and move on accordingly.” Another counters: “Feelings will mislead you. God directs us through our rational thought process. Use your reason to determine what God’s will is relative to a particular decision.”
Believe it or not, some people claiming to be Christians encourage the use of astrology, Ouija boards, séances or palm reading to ascertain the guidance of the Lord. They are like the blind leading the blind as, in reality, they are being led by Satan himself into eternal destruction.
Two facts must be stated at this point. First, never despair – God wants you to know his will for your life! That truth cannot be emphasized too often. Remember Jesus’ words: “My sheep hear my voice, and I know them, and they follow Me.” Now that’s guidance with a capital “G”.
Jesus is the Good Shepherd. He leads all of us who are his sheep down life’s difficult, trying pathway. Through the many pitfalls and dangers, ups and downs, bright days and dark stormy days, the Good Shepherd is always with us.
Second, confusion about how to know God’s will can lead to tragic consequences. The Bible tells us that Satan is able to transform into an angel of light. Some well-meaning believers have thought they were doing the will of God only to discover they had missed the mark totally. Some of them have become angry and bitter toward the Lord and turned their backs on Him.
As God wants us to know his will and personal plan for our lives, the question is: “What must we do to understand exactly what his will is in a given situation?” Next week, we’ll begin focusing on actions that lead to the discovery of God’s will.
RL Calhoun is pastor of New Life Fellowship church in Texas City.

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