Determining Gods Perfect Will PT. 3
We shall continue with what we have been considering in our last two studies, as to how we can find the perfect will of God for our life, in the different decisions we have to make in life. This is the way our life can be brought to maximum effectiveness for God.
We have been looking at a number of questions that we need to ask ourselves, which will help us to be sure concerning God's will for our life. In this New Covenant age, God doesn't speak to us through prophets or with voices from heaven primarily, but through our renewed mind. The Bible says in Romans 12:2, "Be not conformed to this world but be transformed by the renewing of your mind that you may prove what that will of God is, which is good, acceptable and perfect."
When we are in doubt concerning God's will, we need to ask ourselves these questions. We have already considered seven of them. Let me repeat them for your benefit. Firstly, we need to ask ourselves this question: 'This thing which I am considering, this step which I am taking, is it contrary to any of the teachings of Jesus and the Church or is it contrary to the spirit of the New Testament, as far as I know?' Secondly, 'Is it something I can do with a clear conscience?' A third question that we need to ask ourselves is, 'Is this something that I can do for the glory of God?' A fourth question you need to ask yourself, 'Is it something I can do in fellowship with Jesus? A fifth question that we could ask ourselves is, 'Can I ask God to bless me as I do this particular thing?' A sixth question, 'Will my doing this blunt my spiritual edge in any way?' A seventh question, 'Is this spiritually profitable?
Now we go to the eighth question.
We need to ask ourselves, when we are considering a particular course of action, 'Would I be happy, if I were found doing this, at the moment when Jesus returns to earth?'
That means, supposing while you are doing this particular thing, whatever you are planning to do, Christ returns! Would you be ashamed of what you are doing or would you be perfectly happy that the Lord found you doing that when He returned? 1 John 2:28 says, "Now, little children, abide in Him, so that when He appears, we may have confidence, and not shrink away from Him in shame, at His coming." There are people who are going to shrink away from Him in shame, because they have done so many things that have dishonored the Lord; so many things that they would not want to be found doing, if Christ returned at that moment. So He says, 'Little children abide in Him so that, if He appears suddenly, we will have confidence.' So, that is a good question to ask ourselves: 'Would I be happy, if I were found doing this, at the moment when Jesus returns to earth?' Now don't think that, if it is a Christian work or something like that, definitely Jesus will be happy if you are found doing that. No. There are so many types of Christian work in the world today, and you need to know what particularly the Lord wants you to do.
A ninth question, which is a very important question, particularly for younger people. I mean young spiritually; those who are not very matured in the Lord themselves.
'What do wiser and more mature brothers think about this?'
Let me show you three verses from the book of Proverbs. In Proverbs 11:14 we read, "Where there is no guidance the people fall, but in abundance of counselors there is deliverance or victory." Where there are many counselors, there is a safety, because people can tell you different aspects of that particular matter that you are considering, which you may not have thought of yourself, particularly spiritual aspects. So it is good for us to consult with wiser and more mature brothers. The same message is found in Proverbs 15:22, "Without consultation, plans are frustrated, but with many counselors they succeed." So, if you are fortunate enough to have godly counselors who can advise you, it is good to get their opinions and see what they think about your course of action. We don't have to become slaves to their opinion, but it is good to take their advice. Again in Proverbs 24:6, "By wise guidance, you will wage war and in abundance of counselors there is victory." So, there is a great value in considering what other people think about this particular course of action.
Another question (10th) that we need to ask ourselves is,
'This particular thing that I am thinking of doing, will my doing it bring dishonor to God's name if others know about it, or ruin my testimony if others know about it?'
Maybe you are considering an action which other people will not be able to find out. Maybe it is a secret thing; maybe it is a thing in which there is very little likelihood of anybody discovering it. But that is not the point. The point is if other people discovered it, would it bring dishonor to God's name? Or, if other people discovered it, will it ruin your testimony? If you say, 'Oh well, only as long as I keep it secret, it is okay' but, if others come to know about it, God's name will be dishonored, my testimony will be ruined. Then you know, perhaps the best course of action for you is to avoid doing that altogether. Because it is something shady, it is something that you know will bring dishonor to God's name if other people know about it and so you don't want other people to know about it. You try your best to conceal it.
The eleventh question that we can ask is,
'Will my doing it cause others to stumble if they know about it?'
Fortunately, other people don't know what you are doing or planning to do. But supposing they did know, would it cause them to stumble? Or, are you going to say like Cain, 'Well, I am not my brother's keeper.' But the Lord said you are. We are our brother's keeper. Paul said, 'If something I do is going to cause another person to stumble, or fall away, I won't do it at all in my life. I will just avoid it altogether.' So it is a very good question to ask: 'Will my doing this cause others to stumble if they know about it?' For example, in Romans 14:13 we read, "Therefore let us not pass judgment on one another any longer, but rather decide never to put a stumbling block or hindrance in the way of a brother". Again in 1 Corinthians 8:9, "But take heed lest perhaps this your liberty become a stumbling block to the weak." So there are two things we need to ask: if other people know about this, will it dishonor God's name and will it cause them to stumble? If it is going to dishonor God's name, then we should avoid it. 2 Corinthians 8:21 says, "Providing for honest things, not only in the sight of the Lord, but also in the sight of men." It is also important. We should not cause anyone in the world to stumble by the way we live or do something. Paul said, 'I will not even eat meat if it causes other people to stumble.'
And the last question we could ask ourselves is,
'Do I feel free in my spirit to do it?'
Ultimately that is the way we decide after having asked all these questions. We finally ask, 'Do I feel free in my spirit to do it.' 1 John 2:27 says, "But the anointing that you received from him abides in you, and you have no need that anyone should teach you. But as his anointing teaches you about everything, and is true, and is no lie—just as it has taught you, abide in him." That is the Holy Spirit witnessing within our spirit that something is in line with God's will.
So as you ask yourselves these 12 questions, you will come to know very clearly in your mind whether some course of action you are considering is God's will or not. Let us go through that list again:
1. Is it in line with the teachings of Jesus and the apostles and the New Testament, is it contrary to any of their teachings, as far as I know?
2. Is it something I can do with a clear conscience?
3. Is it something I can do for the glory of God
4. Is it something I can do in fellowship with Jesus?
5. Can I ask God to bless me as I do it?
6. Will my doing it blunt my spiritual edge in any way?
7. Will it be spiritually profitable and edifying to the best of my knowledge?
8. Will I be happy if I were found doing it at the moment when Jesus returns to earth?
9. What do wiser and mature brothers think about it?
10. Will my doing it bring dishonour to God's name or ruin my testimony if others know about it?
11. Will my doing it cause others to stumble if they know about it?
12. Do I feel free in my spirit to do it?
After asking these questions if you can get a positive answer, the right answer to these questions, then we can move forward, because the Bible says in Romans 8:6, "The mind of the spirit is life and peace." You will have peace in your spirit as you move forward and you can fulfill God's perfect will.