Tuesday, 29 September 2009

Are you in the will of God?

The Bible never, ever, encourages us to look at our circumstances to judge whether or not we're in the will of God.

By that, I don't mean you can't look round at your companions in the local den of drunkards or gossip club and work out that you should be somewhere else. What I mean is, unless your circumstance is one of sin, you cannot judge that God wishes you to be elsewhere simply from the events that happen to you. Bad stuff happening to you does not mean you're in the wrong place; things going well does not mean you're in the right place. These things are not revealed by God to you through events. Rather, you use the wisdom in the Bible, pray, and God will open and close doors according to his will. The reality will be revealed to you when it happens - not by secret signs beforehand.

How can we prove this? Easy. Job.

What happened to Job? Disaster. He lost his family, his home, his business and his health - everything except his life itself.

Why? Because he was wicked? Because he was outside the will of God and in the wrong place?

Nope. It all happened to him because he was the most righteous man on earth. Because he followed God with all his heart, he became a test case - to see if his faith was real, to prove to Satan that God's people love God not just for the earthly blessings, and ultimately to provide God's people through all succeeding ages with much deep teaching that hopefully we can learn without all having to face such extremities ourselves. It all happened to him because he was more within the will of God than anyone else on the planet.

Job ought to be the death-knell of all such secret-guidance theories whose proponents claim that you can read infallibly discern that you are in the right or wrong place through the events that come your way. Same lesson comes from the apostles (1 Corinthians 4). The Bible says that we must enter the kingdom through much tribulation (Acts 14:23). The untroubled, peaceful church is normally the Laodicean church of Revelation 3, not the church that found the heart of God's will. Or in large part the 21st century church of the Western world...

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