Question about Knowing and Doing the Will of God

(Martin Pitts) #1

I was reading from Henry Blackaby’s Experiencing God:Knowing and Doing the Will of God when a phrase he wrote stood out to me. I questioned the statement, but then had a thought that I wanted to share and hopefully get some feedback on.

Blackaby states, “If this was merely something they wanted to do for God, God would not be obligated to provide for them.”

Naturally, I had a question pop up, “Why?”. If we are seeking to do something for God that would further His kingdom then at first glance it would make perfect sense for Him to provide for it, so why wouldn’t He? Then what hit me was that if we are pursuing every whim and fancy that we have for God instead of focusing on what His specific will for us is then we are robbing ourselves of His blessings and the growth of relationship we would experience if we were following His specific will instead. By pursuing other things, things that aren’t inherently bad and do bring honor and glory to Him but are outside of His specific will for us, we could also rob others of specific blessings and growth opportunities that God had planned for them. This is not to say that God could not redeem that and still give those opportunities for the people they were intended, but just to bring to light how imperative it is for us to first bring everything before God and seek His counsel on if it is something He truly laid on our hearts, or is it something we just really want to do for Him.

What do you think?

(SeanO) #2

@mpitts92 I think all that Blackaby is saying is that simply because we want to do a great work for God does not mean that God intends to use us to do that great work. For example, a man once approached the preacher and told him that God had said he should preach that day. The preacher said God had not told him the same and that the man would need to go sit down. Discerning God’s will is about more than having a desire to do something for God - it requires understanding our gifts, our calling and discerning that together with others in the Body of Christ.

Regarding your question - I think that as long as we are earnestly seeking the Lord He can use all things for the good. Our job is to earnestly seek wisdom and knowledge of the Lord, to pray for His guidance and wisdom and to trust that He will lead. Being the Good Shepherd He will take care of the rest. But it does require that we be humble, learn from our mistakes, learn from other people and be willing to change.

Christ grant you wisdom :slight_smile:

(Lakshmi Mehta) #3

@mpitts92, I agree with Sean’s thoughts above but wish to expand on that some more. I think we can be confident that God will bless what is done through reliance on Him but will not bless what comes out of self-reliance. So when we do something for God, we need to be sure if we are relying on God’s strength or if we have wrong motivators - a good ministry, seeking God’s approval, impatience etc.

Consider the example of Saul’s unlawful sacrifice in 1 Samuel 13. Saul fails to wait for Samuel and instead offers a sacrifice to God himself before going to war with the Philistines.The story reveals Saul’s inability to wait on God, inability to trust Samuel’s inspired words and impatience as he takes on Samuel’s role. Saul trusted in his own understanding more than God’s ways and it costed his kingship (1Sam 13:14). Another example is of how the Israelites decided to go ahead into the land of Canaan even after Moses informed that God will not be with them ( Numbers 14). The simple truth is that God does not bless us when we are not after His heart. Here are a few verses that relate to God’s service and seem to reveal the same truth:

1 Peter 4:11 If any man speak, let him speak as the oracles of God; if any man minister, let him do it as of the ability which God giveth: that God in all things may be glorified through Jesus Christ, to whom be praise and dominion for ever and ever.

Phil 2:13 For it is God which worketh in you both to will and to do of his good pleasure.

John 15:5 “I am the vine; you are the branches. If you remain in me and I in you, you will bear much fruit; apart from me you can do nothing.

So, any service that counts for eternity is birthed out of a vibrant life of dependance on God. Only then God can get the glory. Only then can God shape our will and desires. Our service for God can never be greater than our pursuit of intimacy with God. In things that God has already revealed in His word, it is easy to understand God’s will and we can walk in obedience in those areas. When it comes to knowing our specific calling in God’s kingdom building, it is important that we wait in prayer and rely on godly counsel and it can take years for the calling to take shape. If we are unsure of our calling, it is hard to face opposition that is experienced in kingdom building. If we are sure God has called us to our ministry, then we can also be confident that God will provide in difficult seasons. However, not knowing our exact calling should not keep us from being used of God. We can certainly fulfill a need that comes our way if are able but making a ministry our main focus requires confirmation I think. As long as we are trying to do His will, we can be confident God will direct us (Ps 32:8).

Hope this gives more clarity and is helpful.