How do I make decisions if God is in control? While God’s will is supreme, He gives us the freedom to agree with Him and follow His guidance, or not. Our free will allows us to decide to throw away what we have learned, to simply dismiss what God says and desires for our life, or to maintain where we are and what we currently believe.
As I noted in Part 1, each of us can receive fresh, inspiring thoughts as God shares elements of His will for us. The Spirit of life in us enables us to hear the promptings of God’s Spirit and receive His guidance. Our soft adjustment to God’s “revealing will and ways” helps us become more mature children. As we seek God’s will and yield to His inspiring thoughts, we can benefit greatly and experience added fullness in our life.
The better we grasp the magnitude of God’s love, the more likely we are to deeply desire what God desires for us. And so, we will more readily seek to hear His voice, willingly entrust all areas of our life into His hands, and be sensitive to His leading as we make life decisions.
God’s Revealing Expressions
As a clear visual to facilitate our understanding of His will, God sent His heart expression (His spoken word) to live in the earth as Jesus Christ.
For I have come down from heaven, not to do My own will, but the will of Him who sent Me (John 6:38).
God’s spoken expression came to us in the life example that is provided in the “incarnate word” of Jesus Christ (John 1:1-4; 1 John 1:1-3). We can also read about God’s expressed will for us in the “written word” of Scripture (John 5:39). We can even sense and hear God’s “spoken word” come to us as a “still small voice” (1 Kings 19:12; John 14:16).
Scripture contains many examples of the ways God has spoken and led people. In Created To Relate, Chapter 8 “Will of God Directs Us,” I dig deeper into those specific ways. For instance: God spoke to the Wise Men in a dream about Herod (Matthew 2:12); a Roman centurion received a vision instructing him to seek out Peter while Peter received a vision instructing him to accept the Gentile; God spoke to Joseph in dreams (Matthew 1:20). The full nation of Israel heard God’s voice (Deuteronomy 5:23-24). And, of course, there are many other recorded encounters where people heard God’s voice speak.
Receptive Children Who Yield
One question you may be asking is, “Does God actually speak to us, personally, in our everyday lives?” God indeed speaks to us today. It can be in ways such as a gentle nudge or inclination, through an off the wall comment someone makes, in an inspirational new thought, or in an instruction from a parent or mentor. God is only restricted by our lack of attention or willingness to hear.
God does actually speak to us, personally, in our everyday lives.
He is only restricted by our lack of attention or willingness to hear.
Hearing God’s voice is not beyond you. He wants us to be children who yield to Father’s insightful guidance and learn to be better reflective resemblances of His heart. As we make decisions, we want to learn to stay attentive and be flexible enough to sense God’s guidance afresh for today.
Today if ye will hear his voice, harden not your hearts (Hebrews 3:7-8).
The expressions of God reveal His will for everyone in general and for each one of us individually. His will is revealed to us as we partake of the insights His Spirit reveals. We then experience His will by yielding our will to His revealing expressions (written, displayed, and spoken).
See and Hear Fresh Insight
We want to be aware of this truth – we can settle for what God has said in our past and build safeguards that make it difficult to see or hear fresh insight. When we settle for the past, we complicate our future. Among many other examples, this can be seen with Abraham and the Israelites.
God instructed Abraham to sacrifice Isaac but He did not intend for him to slay his son. The initial instruction was to help solidify Abraham’s obedience to God’s guiding voice. Abraham needed to hear and be responsive to God’s current instruction, to not do what He first instructed.
Holding onto their past, the people of Israel settled for the Law of Moses, when God intended for the Law to lead them to the presence of Christ among them. Christ (God’s anointing presence) would help them accept and respond to the voice of God in their midst (Exodus 25:8, Galatians 3:24).
Abraham’s faithfulness to the voice of God allowed him to be called the father of all believers (Galatians 3:6-7). Our maturing development as children of God requires us to stay soft throughout life, so we can continue to absorb what God is saying and doing today. Are we settling for what God has said in the past and missing His developing intent?
Are we settling for what God has said in our past
or conversing with Him to receive fresh perspective for today?
Let’s not be restricted by the revelations of the past or by our prideful protection of what we currently know. God’s will for us is to ascend into greater heights as children of our Almighty Father. When we converse with our Father, first hand, we are better able to receive and assimilate His fresh perspective regarding our life today.
God’s Will for Our Life Decisions
Due to His nature as our loving heavenly Father, God has endowed everyone with free will. While He truly desires to interact with us daily, every choice we make is actually our own. So we experience God’s will for our life to the degree that we choose to partake of His fellowship and make our decisions based on His guidance.
We can study Scripture and become very familiar with the life and words of Jesus. However, when we hear God’s “still small voice” speak afresh; it is much better than receiving His words second hand.
In order to experience God’s intended best for us as we make life decisions, we want to seek His guidance and make large and small adjustments as He leads.
Since my teenage years, I have enhanced my ability to hear God’s voice by seeking deeper insight into Scripture and asking, “Lord, what have I not yet seen?” This is an extremely meaningful and exciting way to be open to further insights God may desire to share.
I encourage you to try something similar. When we know God as the “I AM” (God of the present), we can trust He will respond to our seeking.
Keith Carroll, Relational Gospel Founder
More resources about our relational God:
Created to Relate, Insights Into Our Design and Purpose, and The Christ Culture, A Way of Life Like No Other are available for purchase on this site, by request in bookstores, and on Amazon.com. We provide the first two pages of each chapter on this site for your introductory perusal. Please check them out!
Many folks are finding my books to be insightful and stimulating. They are excellent for personal understanding, for new believers, and to share in small groups. We provide a Leader’s Guide to facilitate discussions and a “free” study guide that can be downloaded as a pdf.
Sign up to receive our Biblically based insights and teachings bi-monthly via email. “Living Relationally” is a notice of our latest blog articles (and nothing more.) Plus, you’ll receive our exclusive insights “10 Secrets to Secure Healthy Relationships.” Sign up at the top of this page. Mobile readers, go to “Blog – Living Relationally” page to subscribe.
Relational Gospel – Make sense of your faith. Truth is a living and relational reality.