B – GUIDANCE IN DECISIONS – 2
This lesson assumes that we have taken Christ as our Savior and want to live a life that will be a glory to Him. How often do we say, “if God wills”. Do we really mean it when we say it? And then, what does this statement actually mean? If we are living our lives to please our Lord, then whatever He wills or wants from us or wants us to do or perhaps tells us to give up—that is our purpose.
God’s will is of supreme importance. Jam.4:15-17 Those words are so easy to say and many times glibly fall from our lips. So often we know what God wants, then we don’t do it. People sometimes say, “I’ll be in church if the Lord wills”. Do we suppose that He doesn’t want us there?
It is necessary that we understand what the will of the Lord would be in periods of decision. Eph.5:15-17 As followers of Christ, we have an energizing power that will help us in understanding God’s will as we determine our decisions. Phil.2:13 God works in us through the Holy Spirit to will His will. He helps us act or decide what to do according to the good purpose He has for us.
Jer.31:33 God made us. He loves us. He wouldn’t just leave us hanging in midair as we wonder what He would want us to do. “When you don’t know, read the instruction book”. How obvious is that! God has given us His inspired Word to guide us. This is our instruction book with all we need. 2 Tim.3:16,17 We can be assured that God’s Word will equip us with everything we need to live a life pleasing in His sight. Heb.13.21
Even though we live in the Christian dispensation, we can be so inspired by the wise words contained in the O.T. as they realized the need to follow the will of God. As the ark was brought into the temple upon completion, Solomon spoke to the people. Some of his words apply to us today. 1 Kgs.8:58 We need to be sure our hearts are turned to God and His Word. Ps.119:36
Jesus quotes from the O.T. that we are taught by God. Jhn.6:45 Over and over we find David giving his desire to follow God and His Word. Ps.119:11 David was guided in his choices by God’s Word. That was the light that lit his path. Ps.119:105 Jesus also mentions the Word as the Light by which we are guided. Jhn.3:21
Sometimes God has desires for us but leaves us the choice. He has not made us puppets. He has given us minds with which to think and reason. 1 Thess.4:3 God wants us to be set apart from the things of the world; however, the choice is ours. We can either follow God’s will or our own will.
There have been times when God’s will was carried out in full, regardless of human will. Acts 2:23 The plan of God was that His Son would be offered for our sins. That was the only way we could be reconciled to Him so He willed it that way. Matt.26:39
Many of our choices are spelled out specifically in Scripture. Should I become a Christian? God wants all men to be saved. This is a definite will of God. 1 Tim.2:3,4 Is it necessary that we forgive everyone? “This is answered in Matt.6:14,15 Not much choice when we realize that our forgiveness is dependent on the manner in which we forgive others. Love is an important command. 1 Jhn.4:7,8 Many more commands involve specifics of either do or don’t that have consequences according to our choice.
Some choices are very complicated and a specific answer is not given in the Bible. However, moral principles and Biblical principles must be followed as would be within God’s will. As women, modest clothing has been addressed. Being modest is a principle but we must choose wisely to keep within God’s will. 1 Pet.3:3,4 We have mundane choices: do I wear blue or green today? As long as we are modest, God has no will for us in this matter. Modesty involves elaborateness and amount of skin revealed, as well as over-spending within our means. Also it includes why and for whom are we dressing? Do we want to please men or God? Gal.1:10
Our relationships with people can increase or destroy our faith. We cannot be friends with the world. Jam.4:4 Scripture does not tell us not to have Fred or Ollie as a friend. We must follow the principle set forth by God’s Word and make that decision.
Our body is the temple of the Holy Spirit. 1 Cor.6:19,20 We can destroy our bodies in many ways. This is an important principle; however, the ways involved change with time and culture. The principle remains. Presently, it involves alcohol, nicotine, drugs, over-eating among other things.
Stewardship is taught. A steward is a manager. We have been given so many things as children of God. We have to make that choice of how this is done in each of our individual lives. Our choice must follow the principles set forth in Scripture. This involves our finances, talents, abilities, methods of service to others, and even our time. Jesus gave parables about stewardship that can be applied to our lives. Lk.12:42,43 As we have been given, so we must give. 1 Pet.4:10
Idolatry was a problem in Bible times. Today, idolatry is defined in a different way. It can be anything that is worshipped with time, money, effort that takes the place of the Lord. The Lord is set aside to be replaced with other interests. This can happen with those that consider themselves Christians. They attend services but only if the other interests are not compelling them to do or go otherwise. Col.3:5 We need to flee those things that take us away from God. These things may differ according to the individual; however, let us remember—1 Cor.10:12
Our desire should involve being a glory to God and pleasing in His sight. We want to honestly and sincerely do the will of God. His will can be found in our instruction book, the Bible, in command, example, and principle. It is up to us to determine His will by our study. 2 Tim.2:15; 1 Thess.4:1