"The Lord will fulfill His purpose for me; Your love, O Lord, endures forever - do not abandon the works of Your hands." - Psalm 138:8 (NIV)
Am I seeking God's will?
That is the question I have to ask myself this morning. Am I truly seeking His will or am I sitting back and just expecting God to reveal Himself and His will to me? I know God has a purpose for my life. Jeremiah 29:11 (NIV) tells me this: "For I know the plans I have for you," declares the Lord, "plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future." God has things for me to do and people for me to help. He has places He wants me to serve. But why should He reveal these things to me if I'm not actively seeking Him and His will? If I'm not willing to do what is necessary - praying to God, searching my Bible, journaling my findings, fellowship with other believers - why would I think I'm ready for God's will to be made known to me?
God knew me before I was even born. In Jeremiah 1:5a (NIV), the Lord says, "Before I formed you in the womb I knew you". He had plans in place for me before I even drew my first breath. But He left it up to me to make the choice to accept His plans or not. If I truly, truly want to know what my purpose is, then I must choose to seek it and not just expect God to show me what it is. It's call free will and it's one of the gifts He has bestowed on me.
At my church, we have some core values for discipleship. They're called the 3 D's...discover, develop, deploy. As I grow in each of these areas, I become more and more like Jesus...I become His disciple. I believe it's while in the discover phase...which, by the way, is a phase that will last my whole life because there's always something new to discover about Jesus...that I can learn what God's purpose is for me. There are keys to this value that will lead me to know God's will...if I choose to do them. Just to be up front, the following came from the message preached at church 3 weeks ago.
Key #1 - Opening
This means being open-minded and considering something I've never considered before. God's constantly looking for me and working in me, even if I'm not looking for Him. I demonstrate this key by being willing to investigate the unknown and being responsive to God's prompting in my heart; to open myself up to possibilities and staying curious about God.
Revelation 3:20 (NIV): "Here I am! I stand at the door and knock. If anyone hears my voice and opens the door, I will come in and eat with him and he with me."
Ephesians 1:13 (NIV): "And you also were included in Christ when you heard the word of truth, the gospel of your salvation.
Key #2 - Seeking
This means looking diligently for something with an open heart. Actively putting in an effort to find out more about God. Adrian Rogers put it this way: "An atheist can't find God for the same reason a thief can't find a policeman." It's because I'm not seeking God that I can't find Him. I demonstrate this key by being willing to pursue all the possibilities (prayer, Bible study, fellowship, church, service, etc.) available to find Him.
Jeremiah 29:13 (NIV): "You will seek me and find me when you seek me with all your heart."
Matthew 7:7-8 (NIV): "Ask and it will be given to you; seek and you will find; knock and the door will be opened to you. For everyone who asks receives; he who seeks finds; and to him who knocks, the door will be opened."
Key #3 - Hearing
This means truly listening for the voice of God. Spending time quietly with Him, waiting to hear Him speak to me. I tend to hear what I'm listening for. If I'm watching my grandkids and listening for their voices, I can hear them over everything else because I am truly listening for them. When I truly, honestly, openly listen for God's voice, He speaks to me. I demonstrate this key by being willing to comprehend (think deeply) about the implications God's Word has for me.
Psalm 46:10 (NIV): "Be still and know that I am God. I will be exalted among the nations; I will be exalted in the earth."
Psalm 131:2 (NIV): "But I have stilled and quieted my soul; like a weaned child with its mother, like a weaned child is my soul within me."
Key #4 - Trusting
This means hearing with faith and acting on what I say I believe. It's taking a risk for something truly worthwhile: a relationship with a living God! Because I am a believer, I trusted Jesus when I confessed my sins, repented and was baptized. I must continue to trust Him by stepping out of my comfort zone and sharing my beliefs. I demonstrate this key by being willing to apply (receive and act on) the truth (God's Word).
Hebrews 4:2 (NIV): "For we have had the gospel preached to us, just as they did; but the message they heard was of no value to them, because those who heard did not combine it with faith."
Hebrews 11:6 (NIV): "And without faith it is impossible to please God, because anyone who comes to Him must believe that He exists and that He rewards those who earnestly seek Him."
I have a choice to make: do I truly want to seek God's will for my life or not? The answer is: Yes I do! Now it's up to me to do what God wants me to do so I can find the purpose I was born for.
"I believe that in every time and place, it is within our power to acquiesce in the will of God - and what peace it brings to do so!" - Elisabeth Elliot
Lord, I want to seek Your will today and not my own. I know You have a plan for my life, Lord. I ask that You let me discover it and live it in full faith. May I never stop seeking Your will and being curious and hungry for You. Use me this day, Lord. In Jesus' name, Amen.