Thursday, August 4, 2011

The Will of God (Part Five)

How can we grow in our ability to discern?
1. By consistently practicing the classical spiritual disciplines.
2. By asking God in prayer for and seeking increased discernment in His Word.
3. By developing a healthy distrust for basing our decisions solely on our feelings
4. By consistently putting into practice what we already know to be God’s will.
5. By avoiding unreliable, untrustworthy and ungodly counsel.
6. By seeking a mentoring relationship from a spiritual mature Christian.
7. By being open to the illuminating work of the Holy Spirit in your life.
What practices should we seek to avoid in the process of discerning God’s will?
1. Avoiding taking verses from the Bible out of their complete context.
2. Avoid putting out fleeces—this is not a normative method of knowing God’s will.
3. Avoid the drawing of lots or any other way of putting God in a box.
4. Be careful in what you attribute to God. For example, some people say, "God told me this…" But did He really? Did you hear an audible voice? How do you know it was God?
What questions can I ask in order to make wise decisions?
1. Is the decision in accordance with the clear teaching of God’s Word?
2. Is the decision consistent with what I know about Christ’s character?
3. Is the decision consistent with my understanding of the objective facts?
4. Is the decision consistent with historical, orthodox, biblical Christianity?
5. Is the decision confirmed by other godly Christians who also know me?
6. Is the decision confirmed by a variety of means or sources?
7. Is the decision consistent with my general understanding of God’s will?
8. Is the decision made by prayer and confirmed by a settled peace of mind?
9. Is the decision motivated by a sincere desire to please and glorify God?
10. Is the decision likely to benefit others or is it just selfishly induced?
What is the bottom line?
God always gives His very best to those who leave the choice with Him!

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