As Richard Foster says, “Guidance is the most radical of the Disciplines because it goes to the heart of this matter of walking with God. Guidance means the glorious life of hearing God’s voice and obeying His word.”
The goal of this discipline is not only about doing and following the specific calling of God in our lives, but even more so about conformity to the image of Christ. Paul said, “Those whom he foreknew he predestined to be conformed to the image of his son” (Romans 8:28b).
Hearing from God in the specifics of our daily life is simply a product already being conformed into the image of Christ day after day. There are so many who ask, “What is the will of God for my life?” YOU MAY BE ASKING THIS NOW AHEAD OF OUR COMMITMENT SERVICE. How do I know what God is calling me to do? What are His purposes?
The will of God is discovered as we become acquainted with God, learn His ways, and become His friend. As we do this, God will take us right where we are and produce in us the winsome fruit of love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control (Gal. 5:22–23). (Foster) As your relationship with God grows, through prayer, meditation and study of scripture, conformity grows and you will simply know what God is calling you to.
Let me tell you this, the closer and more intimate the relationship with my wife has grown over the past 10 years, I know just simply know by now what decisions to make that they will approve or disapprove of. Now, on top of this, we surround ourselves with scripture, prayer, Godly counsel, and pay attention to the leading of the Holy Spirit when we are facing a decision point in life. All of these help us not to simply listen to every voice that speaks into our life. We know that we have an enemy that wants to destroy us and also is speaking in our lives and world.
Richard Foster says, “But here is the wonder of it all. For, as Jesus reminded us, He is the Good Shepherd and His sheep know His voice (John 10:4). We walk in the light, we fulfill his commandments, we put on the mind of Christ, and as we do, we find the voice of the true Shepherd quite different from all imposters. While Satan may push and condemn, Christ draws and encourages, and it is His voice that we obey.
AS YOU ARE PRAYING AHEAD OF COMMITMENT SERVICE SUNDAY
John MacArthur says, “As believers— people in God’s family— if we do not know God’s will, what are we? Uninformed ? No. Searching? No. We are being foolish. “That’s pretty rough,” you say. “The Bible doesn’t talk like that.” Oh? Try this. “Do not be foolish , but understand what the will of the Lord is” (Eph. 5: 17). Furthermore, the preceding verse tells us we have to get on with it; we don’t have much time. We are to be “making the most of [our] time, because the days are evil” (v. 16).
You say, “But I am looking for God’s will. Maybe I am foolish, but can I help that?” Yes, you can help it. Otherwise, the Bible would not command you to “not be foolish.” The way to avoid being foolish is covered in the very next verse. “Do not get drunk with wine, for that is dissipation, but be filled with the Spirit” (v. 18)
God’s will is for you to be saved, filled with His spirit, submissive to His commands and Word, and set apart. Once we have understood this and we have immersed ourselves in His Word and in prayer, DO WHAT HE IS LEADING YOU TO DO. You can’t be serious right? That’s right. I am not going to tell you what God is calling and directing you to do. I am convinced from scripture that if you are being nourished in the Word and in His presence He will lead you, even the desires of your heart. The psalmist said, “Delight yourself in the LORD; and He will give you the desires of your heart” (Ps. 37: 4).
What a great equation. For those who delight themselves in Him, He gives them the desires of their heart. Catch is, He has a way of changing our desires.
CONTINUE PRAYING, CONTINUE POURING INTO THE WORD, DRAWING INTO HIM, I am convinced He will give you direction for this coming Sunday and beyond.