Does God still speak to man today?
Is He interested in what happens to us as individuals? Does He really have a master plan for our lives? If so, how do I discover it? How do I hear His voice? How do I know the will of God?
These are important questions … and not easily answered. We all need guidance concerning the great questions of life: Whom should I marry? Should I make a certain move? How does God want me to serve Him with my life?
The answer to the first question, “Does God still speak to man today?” is an unqualified yes! We as Christians are not “victims of chance,” blindly feeling our way along life’s maze, hoping our luck won’t run out or we won’t run into a dead end. Just as God led men and women throughout the pages of Scripture, so He wants to lead us.
But how? you ask. How does it happen? How will I know?
I wish I could give you an easy “1-2-3” method on how to discover the will of God in every life situation. But in my walk with Jesus Christ of 30-plus years, I have found that the will of God unfolded in my life – one decision at a time – as I took steps of faith, trying to the best of my ability to live by the principles of Scripture.
Yes, there have been those times when He has spoken to me in a rather tangible way, but most of the time it has been a journey of faith.
And that is what the Scripture tells us again and again: “The just shall live by faith.” God’s will is not an itinerary, but an attitude.
Just start walking
Clearly, God is vitally interested in the lives of His sons and daughters. He does speak. He delights to guide and counsel. God does not play hide-and-seek. He wants to lead you even more then you want to be led. God is more concerned about keeping us in His will than we are to be kept in it!
Though God may not necessarily speak to us like you would speak to your neighbor over the back fence, He is very interested in showing us His desire and purpose for our lives day by day.
Did you know that there are passages in Scripture that declare God’s will for you at this very moment? Perhaps one thing He is waiting for before He reveals the specific plans He has for you is for you to act on what He has already clearly revealed in as plain as day in the pages of the Bible. We may find ourselves crying out to God, “Show me Your will, show me Your will!” while holding the answer right in our hands.
Let’s say you were having a problem programming your new DVD player. So you tell yourself, “I need the people at Sony Electronics to transmit a special message to my mind right now!” No, you need to open up the pesky little thing called a “User’s Manual” and read it. And then you need to actually do what it tells you to do. (If you’re like me, you try to find people to read them for you and then explain it.)
We need to look at what God has already declared in His “User’s Manual.” Obedience to revealed truth guarantees guidance in matters unrevealed. The first one will seem obvious, but we can’t miss it. Otherwise, all the others are of no real value. Are you ready to know God’s will? Here it comes!
1: You must be a believer.
The Scripture says that “God will have all men to be saved …” (1 Timothy 2:4). “God is not willing that any should perish but that all should come to repentance” (2 Peter 3:9). So, before anything else is said, God is telling us it is His will that we turn from our sin and put our faith in Jesus Christ as Savior and Lord. I know that’s a “no-brainer” but we need to start there.
2: You need to be filled with and controlled by the Holy Spirit.
Scripture tells us, “Be filled with the Spirit. Speak to one another with psalms, hymns and spiritual songs. Sing and make music in your heart to the Lord, always giving thanks to God the Father for everything, in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ” (Ephesians 5:15-20, NIV).
Take a close look at the phrase “be filled.” In the original language, this term appears in the present tense. In other words, “constantly be filled.” It is also a command. It is the unmistakable will of God that every believer be continually filled with His Spirit. So God is saying, “It is my will, my very command to you my child that you be constantly filled with my Holy Spirit.”
Are you being obedient to the clear command of the Lord? Are you opening your heart to the filling and leading of His Spirit? By the way, to be “filled with the Spirit” has little to nothing to do with you emotions. That word filled comes from a word that means “controlled.”
God wants you to yield to the leading of His Holy Spirit each and every day.
3: You need to live a pure life.
“For this is the will of God, even your sanctification that is, that you abstain from sexual immorality” (1 Thessalonians 4:3). How’s that for clear and direct?
The word sanctification means holiness, consecration and dedication to God. This speaks to single people to remain sexually pure until marriage and faithful to one’s spouse after. There are no exceptions to this rule of Scripture. God will not lead you to do something His Word clearly forbids. Period.
I bring this up because I have actually had unmarried couples tell me that the Lord told them is was OK for them to sleep together. This is clearly not the case, as evidenced by this and many other passages of Scripture.
4: You need an attitude of gratitude.
“In everything give thanks, for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus concerning you” (1 Thessalonians 5:18).
Do you see it? “This is the will of God…concerning you.” There’s nothing vague or foggy about that, is there?
This is simply an attitude that recognizes that God is in control of all circumstances that surround your life. He leads us to both still waters and stormy seas. It’s all a part of the process of making us more like Jesus. He wants you to give thanks to Him as a discipline of your life.
Now, having received some specific biblical guidelines for your life, there is absolutely nothing wrong with asking the Lord for personal direction as well. The apostle James tells us, “If you need wisdom – if you want to know what God wants you to do – ask him, and he will gladly tell you. He will not resent your asking. But when you ask him, be sure that you really expect him to answer, for a doubtful mind is as unsettled as a wave of the sea that is driven and tossed by the wind. People like that should not expect to receive anything from the Lord” (James 1:5-8, NLT).
An old Jewish Proverb says, “It is better to ask the way 10 times than to take the wrong road once.”
We men have a reputation for not being fond of asking for directions. That’s probably why the Israelites wandered for 40 years when they could have reached their destination in 40 days. None of the men wanted to ask for directions! That was meant as humor, but the fact is God does want us to ask Him for direction in our lives.
He reminds us “You have not, because you ask not.”
Ask God to reveal His will for you.