How to Know the Will of God
- Thursday, June 24, 2010
Perhaps you are saying, "Well, these principles are good, but they do not touch the small things with which I am wrestling." You want to know whether you should go to the movies as a Christian, join a bridge club, make friends with the people at work, join in social drinking, or some other thing. Well, let me give you a final principle that covers most of these. Philippians 4:8. "Finally, brethren, whatever things are true, whatever things are lovely, whatever things are of good report; if there be any virtue, and if there be any praise, think on these things." Do you see the instruction? God says that you are to pursue the best things in life. If these things are the best things for you, then do them. If not, you are to go another way. Just be sure that you take your guidelines from Scripture.
The third principle is also important. It is the principle of daily and even hourly fellowship with the Lord. Psalm 32:8 states it like this: "I will instruct thee and teach thee in the way which thou shalt go; I will guide thee with mine eye." Clearly, if God is to guide us with His eye, He must first catch our eye. And this means that we must look to Him regularly throughout the day.
Let me illustrate this by a story. I have a good friend who is a gospel singer and who for many years was a bachelor. He once said, "You know, Jim, it is always easy to find a Christian girl to marry. And it is always easy to find a beautiful girl to marry. But it is not always so easy to find a beautiful, Christian girl to marry." I suppose he was partly right. At any rate, he eventually found a beautiful, Christian girl and married her. And she was perfect in every way but one. The one imperfection lay in the fact that at times she talked with a very shrill voice, especially in the presence of company. And because he was a great baritone singer, her voice often grated on his ears. This was the making of a serious problem in their marriage.
Well, the Lord had given him a great deal of tact among many other talents, and he used his tact to go about the problem in this way. One day he came to his wife and said to her, "Look, dear, do you know the first thing that a drama coach teaches an actress when she begins training?" His wife said, "No." "He teaches her to lower her voice. By nature a woman's voice is shrill, but it becomes warm and pleasing when it is lowered about an octave. A drama coach will teach an actress to say a phrase, count down eight notes, repeat it again, and then practice that repeatedly. I think your voice would be improved if you would do that." When my friend's wife agreed, they arranged a signal by which she would be reminded to lower her voice in the presence of company. The signal was for him to tuck in his chin.
My friend told me that there were times when this produced the funniest effect you could imagine. There they would be, sitting around the dining room table talking, and his wife's voice would be rising higher and higher. He would tuck in his chin and look at her. And then, often right in the middle of one of her sentences, she would catch his eye. She would notice his chin, and her voice would drop like a lead marshmallow and then go on at a pitch one octave lower.
She saw the sign when she looked at her husband. It must be the same in our daily walk with the Lord. The Lord knows that we shall go astray. It is our nature to go astray. Our speech will become unpleasing, or our conduct. And we will always do things that displease Him. But we must get into the habit of looking to Him often—in church, in our quiet time, in the various periods of our day—to catch His eye, to notice His sign. For if we do, we shall find Him watching. He will direct us. And He will guide us with His eye.
Now there is only one more point that I need to make, and it is not difficult at all. If you are serious about knowing the Lord's will and honestly seek it, then you must be prepared for the Lord to guide you into new ways. If there is one thing that I have most learned about the Lord's guidance it is that He does not often lead us in old ways. God is creative. He is infinite. And He is infinite in His plans for His children.
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