Developing Leaders – Tom Yeakley

Taking the Mystery out of Leadership

Archive for the tag “will of God”

Making Decisions According to God’s Will – 2

Because God is God, He will have no trouble in communicating to us what He wants us to do.  Our problem is doing God’s will, not knowing God’s will!  We must be willing to do whatever He desires for us, before He will let us know His plan for us.

Note, we are talking about major decisions in our lives, not things like, “What will I have for lunch today?”  But rather such decisions as, “Is God calling me into vocational ministry?”

The Lord uses five means to direct us into His will.  The first is the Word of God – the Bible.  You can expect to have specific biblical passages or Scriptural promises that speak to the decision you are working through.

Obviously, if something is contrary to a direct teaching or command in Scripture, or contrary to God’s character, it is not the will of God (i.e. marrying a non-Christian – see 2 Corinthians 6:14).  But God can also speak to us concerning our specific situations through personal promises from the Bible.  The Holy Spirit will confirm in  your heart that this is God’s promise to you.  For more details, see Praying Over God’s Promises.

In Psalm 119:105 (ESV) we read, “Your word is a lamp to my feet and a light to my path.”  The Word of God is like a small, hand-held, oil lamp that sheds enough light for us to take a few steps, illuminating the path as we move ahead.  It’s only enough light for the next few steps, but as we go, we have light for the next few steps.  See also Proverbs 6:22-23.

When wrestling with decisions have an expectant attitude as you interact with God’s Word.  You may hear Him speaking while in your morning devotions, when listening to a Sunday sermon, or He may bring to mind a passage you have memorized.  His direction from the Word will often be multiple passages, not just a singular one.  He does not want us confused or mistaking His voice for another’s.

Jesus promises us, “My sheep hear my voice, and I know them, and they follow me.”  John 10:27 (ESV)

Making Decisions According to God’s Will – 1

Kingdom leaders want to further God’s purposes in their lives and through their leadership.  They seek to align their decisions in accordance with God’s will.  But given the many choices, how does one discern the Lord’s will in specific decisions?  Here are some foundational thoughts regarding this important topic.

If a Kingdom leader is to know the will of God, they must first commit themselves to doing it.  Often, we desire to know God’s plans for us and then we decide if we want to obey them.  But God’s ways are not our ways.

Jesus says in John 7:17 (ESV):  If anyone’s will is to do God’s will, he will know whether the teaching is from God or whether I am speaking on my own authority.

And again in Romans 12:1-2 (ESV) we read: I appeal to you therefore, brothers, by the mercies of God, to present your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and acceptable to God, which is your spiritual worship. Do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewal of your mind, that by testing you may discern what is the will of God, what is good and acceptable and perfect.

Note that the precursor for testing the good and acceptable and perfect will of God is to first present yourself a living sacrifice to the Lord and become transformed in the renewal of your mind.

In Ephesians 2:8-10 (ESV) we see:  For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand, that we should walk in them.  The Lord is working on/in/through us to do His good works which He planned long ago.  It’s our job to align ourselves with Him and His plan for us and then we will experience His perfectly designed plan for which we were created.

Because God is God, He will have no trouble in communicating to us what He wants us to do.  Our problem is doing God’s will, not knowing God’s will!  We must be willing to do whatever He desires for us, before He will let us know His plan for us.  This can be frightening, but if we really know God and His love, we will also trust Him as we follow His guidance by faith.

May our attitude be that of Mary who, after learning about God’s plan for her to be the mother of Jesus says, …”Behold, I am the servant of the Lord; let it be to me according to your word.”  Luke 1:38 (ESV)

Knowing God’s Will

Leaders are often asked for advice and counsel regarding decisions that others are making.  They want to do what is right and know God’s plan for their life.  Here’s a simple outline for advising others on how to find the will of God.  Knowing how to discern God’s will for ourselves and finding His pathway forward can be challenging for us all. With so many options and competing voices, the cacophony can be distracting or confusing at best. How can we know His will for us as we seek to lead others?
The Lord generally uses five means to guide us as we go forward along His path. While He can and does on occasion use other “spectacular” means (angels, visions, dreams, burning bush, pillar of fire, a speaking donkey), these five means are most often used to guide us.
#1   The Word of God – God will use His Word, the Bible, to guide us. It can be as objective as a command or as subjective as a personal promise. But He will never lead us in a way that would contradict His revealed Word.    Psalm 119:105
#2   Personal Peace – When we pray about our situation His Spirit who dwells within us will confirm with our spirit that we are on the right path. This does not mean that we will have all the answers for our questions or that we may not be anxious in wondering how it will all work out. But there will be quietness within our soul that He is leading us.    Isaiah 30:21
#3   Wise Counsel – As we seek counsel from others God will speak through them to help us discern His will. We are reminded that in the abundance of counselors there is much wisdom. Therefore, we are looking for a general consensus from those we ask for counsel. And we choose counsel from those who are more mature in the Lord than we are and hopefully those who want God’s best for us.    Proverbs 15:22
#4   Critical Thinking – Dawson Trotman said, “God gave you a lot of leading when He gave you a brain. So use it!” We are taught not to “lean on your own understanding,” not “don’t use your own understanding.” I’ll often make a pro-contra or plus-minus list regarding the advantages and disadvantages I can see when making a major decision.    Proverbs 3:5-6
#5   Circumstances – The Lord can direct through open as well as closed doors. But just because there is an open door it does not mean that we are expected to walk through it. Our adversary can also open doors of opportunity to get us off track. Paul was directed by God on his second missionary journey by running into three closed doors until he finally arrived in Troas and in a vision directed to Europe.    Acts 18
So what can we conclude? God wants us to know His will. He planned it and designed us to accomplish it. Thus He will direct us if we ask Him. The key is our willingness to obey and do His will. Romans 12:1-3 confirms that we will know His will if we are willing to do it.  And God being God, He has no trouble communicating. These five means will align and point to a common destination. We will know His path for us; that’s not the problem. The challenge is in following the path. For God’s path usually involves faith and often sacrifice and those can scare us.

Are you searching for His pathway for you? Or perhaps you already know His desire for you, but you’ve not yet yielded to that guidance. It’s time to step up and step out by faith and follow Him!

Post Navigation

%d bloggers like this: