Sent: Wednesday, January 30, 2002
Subject: What is God’s Will for My Life?
Dear Ethan & Emily:
I don’t know of a question that Christian young people ask more than: What is God’s will for my life? I remember agonizing over this in my younger days, and this profound question still gets my attention. I have to admit that it was not until the last part of Pastor Clyde’s ministry when he began preaching through the “Experiencing God” series that I began to understand this subject more completely.
Pastor Byron’s mention of Henry Blackaby yesterday reminded me of the workbook that this author co-authored with Claude King: “Experiencing God…Knowing and Doing the Will of God.” One of the purposes of these morning studies is to share with you books that have been milestones in my life (i.e. Peace with God by Billy Graham), and right at the top of the list would be this workbook.
As we begin this new year, I want to ask again that you take the time to go through this book…either for the first time or as a refresher. If you will take just one chapter or subchapter each day, I guarantee you that by the time you finish you will be a different person. I know because that is what happened to me, and as I progressed through this study, my relationship with God and my approach to understanding what God’s will for me is became clearer than it had ever been before. It was because of the practical applications I found in this book that I got involved in the children’s ministry at our church and other activities….all of which have been a blessing to me. The key was…I stopped waiting around for direction…and started looking around to see where God was working…and got involved.
This book is very, very practical, and this morning I would like to share with you just one small section concerning this key question: What is God’s Will for My Life?
The authors start out by saying that this question “…is not the right question. I think the right question is, What is God’s will? Once I know God’s will, then I can adjust my life to Him. In other words, what is it that God is purposing where I am. Once I know what God is doing, then I know what I need to do. The focus needs to be on God, not my life!
When I want to learn how to know and do the will of God, I can find no better model than Jesus. During His 33 years on earth, He perfectly completed every assignment God gave Him to do. He never failed to do the will of the Father. Read John 5: 17, 19 – 20. This is one of the clearest statements of how Jesus knew what to do. I would outline Jesus’ approach to knowing and doing God’s will like this:
– The Father has been working right up until now.
– Now God has Me working.
– I do nothing on My own initiative.
– I watch to see what the Father is doing.
– I do what I see the Father already is doing.
– You see, the Father loves Me.
– He shows Me everything that He, Himself is doing.
This model is for your life personally and for your church. It is not just a step-by-step approach for knowing and doing the will of God. It describes a love relationship through which God accomplishes His purposes. I would sum it up this way: Watch to see where God is working and join Him!”
Right now God is working all around you and in your life. One of the greatest tragedies among God’s people is that, while they have a deep longing to experience God, they are experiencing God day after day but do not know how to recognize Him. By the end of this course, you will have learned many ways to recognize clearly the activity of God in and around your life. The Holy Spirit and the Word of God will instruct you and help you know when and where God is working. Once you know where He is working, you will adjust your life to join Him where He is working.
You will experience His accomplishing His activity through you life. When you enter this kind of intimate love relationship with God, you will know and do the will of God and experience Him in ways you have never know Him before. I cannot accomplish that goal in your life. Only God can bring you into that kind of relationship.”
Well, I hope that whets your appetite as this sets the tone of the entire book…really knowing and really experiencing the presence and power of God in your lives on a daily basis. I gave each of you copies of this workbook several years ago. Would you find them today and make a commitment to read through the book this year? How about starting now? It is not often that I ask you to do something like this…to read a book…but I ask you to do this as a favor and in response to my request..but soon you will keep reading because it will change your life…for the better…and it will bless you as you find answer questions that you may have been asking for years.
Start reading…and may you have the reading adventure of a lifetime!
All my love,