03 Feb Discerning And Responding To God’s Will
Discerning and Responding to God’s Will
Humans are always curious about God’s will, because no one likes to choose the wrong way and suffer loss as a result. In fact, discerning God’s will is not difficult if we are clear about God’s word. However, though God’s word and principles may be the same, life situations can be quite varied. Therefore, it is important to make specific prayers to God in seeking His will. Moreover, we need to crush the misconception that God’s will is always contrary to our delight. In fact, God does not shortchange our happiness and He will make our joy complete in Him, as we obey His will.
Verses to Read:
Gen 24: 1 Abraham was now very old, and the Lord had blessed him in every way. 2 He said to the senior servant in his household, the one in charge of all that he had, “Put your hand under my thigh. 3 I want you to swear by the Lord, the God of heaven and the God of earth, that you will not get a wife for my son from the daughters of the Canaanites, among whom I am living, 4 but will go to my country and my own relatives and get a wife for my son Isaac.”
5 The servant asked him, “What if the woman is unwilling to come back with me to this land? Shall I then take your son back to the country you came from?”
6 “Make sure that you do not take my son back there,” Abraham said. 7 “The Lord, the God of heaven, who brought me out of my father’s household and my native land and who spoke to me and promised me on oath, saying, ‘To your offspring I will give this land’—he will send his angel before you so that you can get a wife for my son from there. 8 If the woman is unwilling to come back with you, then you will be released from this oath of mine. Only do not take my son back there.”
40 “He replied, ‘The Lord, before whom I have walked faithfully, will send his angel with you and make your journey a success, so that you can get a wife for my son from my own clan and from my father’s family.
1. Discerning the will of God.
1) Testing God’s will with God’s word.
- God’s promise:
- “…brought me out of my father’s household” <v7>
- ‘To your offspring I will give this land’ <v7>
- If Isaac had to return to Abraham’s homeland just to have a wife, that would put God second to a wife.
- Pagans should not influence us more than we influence them.
- <2 Co 6> 14 Do not be yoked together with unbelievers. For what do righteousness and wickedness have in common? Or what fellowship can light have with darkness? 15 What harmony is there between Christ and Belial? Or what does a believer have in common with an unbeliever?
2) Discern by praying.
- Specific, instead of vague, prayers.
- Gen 24:12 Then he prayed, “Lord, God of my master Abraham, make me successful today, and show kindness to my master Abraham.
- 13 See, I am standing beside this spring, and the daughters of the townspeople are coming out to draw water. 14 May it be that when I say to a young woman, ‘Please let down your jar that I may have a drink,’ and she says, ‘Drink, and I’ll water your camels too’—let her be the one you have chosen for your servant Isaac. By this I will know that you have shown kindness to my master.”
- Yet, do not be mystical.
- Don’t be hasty to jump to conclusions, but observe further.
- Gen 24:19 After she had given him a drink, she said, “I’ll draw water for your camels too, until they have had enough to drink.” 20 So she quickly emptied her jar into the trough, ran back to the well to draw more water, and drew enough for all his camels. 21 Without saying a word, the man watched her closely to learn whether or not the Lord had made his journey successful.
- Don’t get carried away by prayer answers, but remember to thank God.
- Gen 24: 26 Then the man bowed down and worshiped the Lord, 27 saying, “Praise be to the Lord, the God of my master Abraham, who has not abandoned his kindness and faithfulness to my master. As for me, the Lord has led me on the journey to the house of my master’s relatives.”
- Pray before acting; praise after being answered.
3) Blessed response to God’s will:
- Gen 24:50 Laban and Bethuel answered, “This is from the Lord; we can say nothing to you one way or the other.
- Following Jesus demands drastic faith and price on our part.
- Obey first, whether we like it or not.
- Confirm the benefits and joy of submission.
2. God’s will is not contrary to our happiness, but it will lead to our delight.
- Common misconception: Obeying God is troublesome, with many “restrictions”.
- Gen 24:15b – Rebekah came out with her jar on her shoulder. She was the daughter of Bethuel son of Milkah, who was the wife of Abraham’s brother. 16 The woman was very beautiful, a virgin; no man had ever slept with her.
- God will not short-change our happiness.
- What God gives us will suit us perfectly:
- Gen 24:62 Now Isaac had come from Beer Lahai Roi, for he was living in the Negev. 63 He went out to the field one evening to meditate, and as he looked up, he saw camels approaching. 64 Rebekah also looked up and saw Isaac. She got down from her camel 65 and asked the servant, “Who is that man in the field coming to meet us?”
- “He is my master,” the servant answered. So she took her veil and covered herself.
- 66 Then the servant told Isaac all he had done. 67 Isaac brought her into the tent of his mother Sarah, and he married Rebekah. So she became his wife, and he loved her; and Isaac was comforted after his mother’s death.
3. Our serving attitude.
- Treat the master’s business as more important than own comfort.
- <Gen 24:33>: “Then food was set before him, but he said, “I will not eat until I have told you what I have to say.” “Then tell us,” Laban said.
- Do not allow distractions.
- Joyful yet stressful task.
- We too are commissioned to search for the bride of Jesus the Lamb.
- Need not worry, “What if the woman is unwilling…?”
- “The Lord will give u success; and if the person refuses to follow, then u are also released of your responsibility”…
- How do you usually discern God’s will?
- How can you be more specific in your faith living and your walk with God?
- Testify (confirm) how God’s will does not rob you of your happiness.
- How is your serving attitude like (eg.: mission above convenience, fear of failure, distracted focus, etc), and how can you please God further in your serving?