Topic: Finding the heart
Focus: Knowing God
Proverbs 19:21 (NCV) People can make all kinds of plans, but only the Lord’s plan will happen.
The Bible really doesn’t have a lot to say about how we can know the will of God. Sometimes people have found an answer to a problem as they flipped their Bible open to a page and their eyes fell on an answer that just ‘popped out’. I guess God can bless things like that. When you truly want an answer from God—a yes or a no kind of answer—sometimes you can find it in the Bible and sometimes you might not find it, in the exact words.
Sometimes people search for scriptures to support what they want to do, instead of seeking the heart of God for His will. You and I both know that people don’t always really want to know what God thinks about what they want to do.
There have been many times in my own life when I thought I was heading through the right door. A few events happened pointing me in a certain direction, everything seemed to be lining up and it sure looked good. Then a thing or two started looking like ‘maybe not’ and a little later…the door slammed shut. At times like that we can be left bewildered. We can wonder, ‘What was that all about? Why did something look so right and then turn out the wrong way?’ Well, that’s when we have to realize that what happened was the right thing, not the wrong thing. What we were hoping for was not God’s plan—it was ours.
God wants so much for us to grow in grace and in the knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ (2 Peter 3:18). The process of ‘trial and error’ is one of the ways God allows us to learn. It would be nice if answers were just written in the sky for us as plain as day, but God has a reason for not doing things that way. One of His greatest purposes is to cultivate a relationship of intimacy with us, and He constantly hopes for that to happen. Through every event in our daily lives. He watches to see if we will seek Him—or not.
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Think of life as a many-layered test. The questions on the test may not always be big and bold. Sometimes the questions might slide right by—if you aren’t paying attention. As we take steps of faith, we have many questions to consider. The first and most obvious question, is whether a particular thing we might want, is from God. Sometimes the only way to find out, is to take a step and see if He blesses it. If we take a step and the door stays open, take another step. Now, obviously we’re not talking about taking steps to do something that wouldn’t agree with the Word of God.
God might allow you to take several steps before a door closes and another one opens…or maybe a door just stays closed and no other opportunity opens up right away. When this is the situation, more questions appear. ‘Should I try another door?’ or ‘Should I wait for more directions?’ Either question might be justified and maybe you’ll have to try one and then the other in the process of getting the right answer.
When this kind of stuff is happening, it’s important not to get discouraged. It’s more important than ever to remember God is always at work bringing about blessings in your life. He says that ALL things work together for good to them that love God and to those who are called according to His purpose (Romans 8:28), so He will even use the times when you tried to go through a wrong door—for good.
What is most important as we walk by faith, is that we keep our eyes on Christ and remember to enjoy the ride. Happiness and fulfillment are not a destination. They should be what we have ‘on the way’ to where we are going. Even when we come to a detour or a dead end, the important thing is that God goes with us and as we talk to Him and learn to trust Him on the way, we are developing that sweet relationship of intimacy He so desires to have with us.
In life, it might seem like a plan we have belongs to us and came from our own mind—but if it’s right and good—it really came from God…if our heart belongs to Him. We can’t manipulate God into doing what we want. He will not conform His will to ours. If we make wrong choices without consulting Him—the mistake is our own, not His.
What God wants, is for us to become one with Him—to the point of knowing Him. But ‘knowing Him’, is not a destination, it’s a process, because there is so much of Him to know. ‘Knowing God’ is something that continues to occur as we go about ‘doing life’ and listening for His voice…but the process is never ending.
When we are completely focused on God, we will never be disappointed. We will be thankful to Him when something doesn’t turn out the way we thought it should. Part of what we are learning is to trust Him in all things and believe that when a door closes—it was for our own good.
Declaration: I will find new strength by trusting God when things don’t turn out the way I had hoped. I will let go of things I can’t change and keep looking ahead with my hand in His—knowing He is in control.
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