The Will of God

People are minded to do their own will more often than not.  Or they might, whether by force or by desire, do the will of another human being.  But the unbelieving world has no concern for the will of God.

The nominal Christian, the ones called by Paul ‘people of the flesh’ and ‘infants in Christ,’ have very little concern for the will of God.  It is sometimes a place of refuge for things they do not understand.  “I guess it was the will of God.”  But the will of God as a thing to be earnestly sought and known and embraced, of this they know little or nothing at all.

But there are many earnest souls who want to know what the will of God is.  The question often comes in the face of a choice.  Does God want me to take this job? Am I supposed to go over here or over there?  Is this my soul mate?  This church or that one?  The car I want or the car I need?

How do you know?  Some people cover their eyes, open their Bibles, and put their finger on a verse.  You might not like the result of that method if, say, you ask that last question.  “The car I want or the car I need?”  And you finger lands on Galatians 5:16.  “But I say, walk by the Spirit…”

The truth is that many things are settled about the will of God and need no searching at all.  Consider this crystal clear and meddlesome statement from 1 Thessalonians 4:3.  “This is the will of God, your sanctification.”  This is God’s will, your holiness.  This is God’s will, your devotion to him.  This is God’s will, walking every day like you are entirely his and no one else’s.

It is amazing how many questions that answers.  Can I go there and be entirely God’s?  Can I take this job and be entirely God’s?  Can I marry this person and be entirely God’s?  I warned you.  It is very, very clear.  It is also very, very meddlesome.  In fact, after you think about it for a while, you might want to close your eyes and open your Bible….  But what will you do when the end comes? (Jeremiah 5:31)

The alternative, of course, is to be entirely God’s, right now.  If I do that, half of my questions disappear immediately.  And half of the other half would disappear, except for the fact that I did not entirely mean ‘entirely.’  As soon as I mean it, they will go away too.  The rest of the questions are real, but when the air is cleared of the smog and the noise, we can see and hear him better.  The answers will come.

John 3:16.  What a Savior!

Of Shelters and Shadows

He who dwells in the shelter of the Most High will abide in the shadow of the Almighty.  Psalm 91:1

You might recognize Psalm 91 as the psalm Satan twisted in the wilderness temptation of Jesus.  Satan has contextual issues.  He got everything out of context in heaven and he has been out of context ever since.  And it is one of his tricks to get us out of context with him.

Satan hauled up verses eleven and twelve as his proof text that Jesus should and could jump from the pinnacle of the temple.  After all, God promised that his very angels would  bear him up.  Go ahead, claim that blessing.

When you pluck the baloney from the midst of the two blessed slices of bread, whatever else you do, you destroy the sandwich.  There are two “because” phrases, one just before and one just after the promise of God’s protection.  In verse nine we find, “Because you have made the Lord your dwelling place.”  In verse fourteen we find, “Because he holds fast to me in love.”  The promise rests in the relationship.  Satan didn’t have it.  Jesus did.

Of course, the very first verse would have been answer enough.  Who abides in that blessed shadow of the Almighty?  The one who dwells in his shelter.  Some want the shadow of his blessing without the effort of dwelling in his tent.  They want the shadow to go where they will, instead of rousing themselves and hastening to the place where the shadow is.  No matter how great we think our faith or how many promises we claim, we are not strong enough to drag the shadow of the Almighty anywhere.

But if we find out where his shelter is and get there, we don’t have to claim or conjure anything.  Where he is, there is his shadow.  Walk with him and you will never be out of it.  Even if the walk takes you through a place where it feels like anything but being borne up by angels, even a place where it feels like something is bearing down on you, like a cross, you will yet be in his shadow.  For the shadow of a cross is the true mark of those who walk with him.

The life of Jesus is the death stroke to all prosperity preaching.  The cross of Jesus is the beginning of a real and enduring relationship with the Most High.

What a fellowship!  What a joy divine!  What a Savior!