Recently, I heard someone remark about being unsure about knowing whether something is God’s will or just their own idea. Since that time, I, via Facebook, came across a quote from Graham Cooke, whom I consider a prophetic follower of Jesus. Graham said, “When we give ourselves to a full relationship with God, His will becomes crystal clear. We never have to ask for a word of guidance again. Instead, it will flow to us out of the largeness of His love for us.”
Have you ever noticed how a husband and wife, who have been married for many years, are able to oft-times accurately predict what the other will say or do in a given situation? Why is that? It is because they have spent so much time together, grown to know each other very intimately.
The same is true for our relationship with God. The deeper we dive into who he is, the deeper we allow ourselves to go in a relationship with him, the better we understand his character, desires and heart better and better. We naturally recognize and anticipate his actions because we KNOW him. The Apostle Paul says that we have the Spirit of God, and who knows a person but his spirit. Therefore, since we have the Spirit, we have a direct connection to knowing God fully and we possess the mind of Christ. Do not ever underestimate the truth and implications of this reality.
The deeper this relationship goes and the more intimate it becomes, the more natural it is for us to act as he would act. For example, in Acts 3 we read how Peter healed a lame man. Have you ever noticed what did not happen? Peter did not pray and ask for God’s leading before he interacted and healed that man. I find that very revealing. Peter knew from his relationship with God that this was the right thing to do at that time. It was not necessary for him to worry or concern himself with whether or not this was what God wanted. It was a natural outflow of his intimate relationship with God.
The same can and should be true for all followers of Jesus. The key to this becoming our reality is this – God’s desires, character and heart must become our own. When this is our reality, no matter where we find ourselves, we can see how that is the place for us to be at that moment.
In my studying this morning in Acts 17, I was struck by something. As Paul and his companions were traveling on the second missionary journey, I believe Paul’s plan for travel was continually being blown up, either directly by God or by God allowing different situations to happen that would cause a change in course. Paul desired to go into Asia province but was forbidden by the Holy Spirit. He then desired to enter in the region of Bithynia, but the Spirit of Jesus did not allow them to do so. In Troas, Paul had a vision that they were to go into Macedonia. So they did. They were kicked out of Philippi which was on the road known as the Via Egnatia, a major road in that area.
The next major city to the west was Thessalonica, so there they went. I’m of the thought that Paul may have had this plan of continuing to visit cities along this road. But when he needed to leave Thessalonica at night, the brothers there did not go that route, but actually went southwest to Berea. I’m thinking that this was not the direction Paul desired to go. Even when finding it necessary to leave Berea, Paul was taken to Athens which was probably not where he envisioned going next.
Paul went with the flow and leading of the Holy Spirit. He knew that his desires mirrored the desires of God through the Spirit. Therefore, he didn’t have to wonder if something was what God wanted. Wherever he went, he sought to fulfill those desires to share Christ and bring glory to God.
If you are wondering whether or not something is God’s will, instead of trying to figure it out, take a look at your own motives and desires. If your motives and desires are pure, meaning that they mirror God’s, then stop wondering if something is God’s will, for he will take you there. Even if you end up in a place which you could never have imagined, if your motives and desires mirrors God’s, then that place is his will for you.
Wherever we are, it is God’s desires that those around us encounter his character, heart and desires through us. If that is what truly motivates you, you are right where God wants you to be right now. And it is an awesome feeling.