Daily Seeking His Will
By: Lawrence J. Caldwell, 1.cbn.com
My family and I recently toured a Christian university. My sons enjoyed the campus, the curriculum offerings, and of course, the Christian atmosphere. They felt very comfortable centered in God’s domain. One message delivered by our tour guide reminded me of something I learned much later in my Christian life:
“Here at University, you will find God’s will for your life.”
We hear that many times in Christian forums. It sounds like a great idea. From childhood on up, well-intentioned people ask us, “What do you want to be when you grow up? What do you want to major in at college? What is God’s will for your life?”
Jesus said we have a river of life flowing from us. Oswald Chambers said about that river in My Utmost for His Highest, “’Be being filled,’ and the sweetness of vital relationship to Jesus will flow out of the saint as lavishly as it is imparted to him. If you find your life is not flowing out as it should, you are to blame; something has obstructed the flow.” To know God’s will for your life, treating it as a one-time event could create such an obstruction.
A few years ago, I learned this transforming lesson from Dr. Adrian Rogers of Love Worth Finding. He said that Romans 12:1-2 really starts back at Romans 11:36. Usually, we start at verse one to learn about God’s will. But God says in verse 36 (KJV), “For of him, and through him, and to him, are all things: to whom be glory for ever. Amen.”
Contrast all things to knowing God’s will just once. Look at how much you could miss out on. If we learn to open the flow, we find life constantly filled with wonder and newness. Chambers summed it up like this, “Never allow anything to come between yourself and Jesus Christ, no emotion, or experience; nothing must keep you from the one great sovereign Source.”
Is learning the will of God a one-time experience? Not when all things means a lifetime of experiences with God. In light of this truth, obey verses one and two – be being willed. What is God’s will for your life in this moment, in this course of the river? Not what’s around the bend. Not when you get to the crisis of a plunging waterfall. Not when life is an easy meandering stream. What does Jesus want right now?
“I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that ye present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable unto God, which is your reasonable service. And be not conformed to this world: but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind, that ye may prove what is that good, and acceptable, and perfect, will of God.” (Romans 12:1-2 KJV)
Thirty years ago when God saved me at college, I asked Him what His will was for my life. He wanted me to be a writer. I never asked again until 27 years later, when I learned this principle. Now I ask Him all the time, “What do you want me to write today?” Now I feel His life, His presence, His Oneness with me all the time.
Can you imagine living in a stagnant pool for 27 years? I spent a lot of time wondering, “What next? Is this all there is?” Needless to say, I did a poor job of fulfilling His will. It was just too big.
Now I ask God, “What is your good and acceptable and perfect will right now?” If I am rightly related to Him, He answers right away. Then I go and do the thing. When I am finished, I go right back to my Father and ask, “Okay, now what?” Then I find myself beside still water, as David in Psalm 40:8 (KJV),
“I delight to do thy will, O my God …”
Streams In The Desert
By: L.B. Cowman
Although the fig tree shall not blossom, neither shall fruit be in the vines; the labor of the olive shall fail, and the fields shall yield no meat; the flock shall be cut off from the fold, and there shall be no herd in the stalls: yet I will rejoice in the Lord, I will joy in the God of my salvation. Habakkuk 3:17-18
Observe, I entreat you, how calamitous a circumstance is here supposed, and how heroic a faith is expressed. It is really as if he said, “Though I should be reduced to so great extremity as not to know where to find my necessary food, though I should look around about me on an empty house and a desolate field, and see the marks of the Divine scourge where I had once seen the fruits of God’s bounty, yet I will rejoice in the Lord.”
Methinks these words are worthy of being written as with a diamond on a rock forever. Oh, that by Divine grace they might be deeply engraven on each of our hearts! Concise as the form of speaking in the text is, it evidently implies or expresses the following particulars: That in the day of his distress he would fly to God; that he would maintain a holy composure of spirit under this dark dispensation, nay, that in the midst of all he would indulge in a sacred joy in God, and a cheerful expectation from Him.
Heroic confidence! Illustrious faith! Unconquerable love!
Last night I heard a robin singing in the rain,
And the raindrop’s patter made a sweet refrain,
Making all the sweeter the music of the strain.
So, I thought, when trouble comes, as trouble will,
Why should I stop singing? Just beyond the hill
It may be that sunshine floods the green world still.
He who faces the trouble with a heart of cheer
Makes the burden lighter. If there falls a tear,
Sweeter is the cadence in the song we hear.
I have learned your lesson, bird with dappled wing,
Listening to your music with its lilt of spring
When the storm-cloud darkens, then’s the TIME to sing.
–Eben E. Rexford
Why do You stand afar off, O Lord? Why do You hide Yourself in times of trouble? – Psalm 10:1 NASB
Just a few years after his death in 1610, the Italian painter Caravaggio seemed to be forgotten. Throughout his short, often troubled life, he consistently had been a distinguished innovator. But others with clearly less talent seemingly achieved the fame that eluded him.
Art historians agree Giovanni Baglione imitated Caravaggio’s paintings and style. Baglione gained the popularity that Caravaggio deserved, as unfair as that seems to us.
Baglione even helped to diminish the legacy of Caravaggio by writing a biography of his rival, portraying him in unflattering ways. Among his conclusions were “some people thought he had destroyed the art of painting.”
But as one historian commented, today, “Caravaggio is everywhere acknowledged as a genius, while Baglione has become one of the most reviled artists who ever lived.”
Believers may go through experiences when life doesn’t seem fair. As the psalmist observed, it can appear that God stands “afar off” while we go through problems. It can seem that He is doing nothing. But the psalmist realized that God is “King forever and ever” (v. 16). In reality, He has “heard the desire of the humble” and promises to “strengthen their heart,” incline His ear, and “vindicate the orphan and the oppressed” (vs. 17-18).
Today, remember that God knows your heart and the truth about your life. Seek to be a good steward. Trust Him. Believe that He will reward you for your faithfulness.