Friday, October 4, 2013

What's God's Will For My Life?

by Donna L. Watkins

We all have a designed purpose in life. Each of us is unique and there is nobody else that can fulfill the detailed specifics of what God has made us to be and do during our time on this earth.

Donna at Brookgreen Gardens
Murrells Inlet, SC
However ... most Christians do not know what God's will is for their life. Many people look at what they're good at doing, or what comes naturally, and believe that is what their destiny is all about. It's comfortable doing good in your own skills and talents and a worthy thing, but living a lifetime of doing "good things" is not the same as living our divine destiny of "God's thing."

The real problem with doing things that come easy is that we don't have to think about or listen to any instruction on how to get things done. We are full of knowledge and skill in those areas and can plug along for quite a long time without a bleep.

What I see in the Bible is that God seemed to choose people who were totally unqualified for the calling on their lives. In 1 Kings 17, a woman was out gathering sticks so she could use the last portion of grain to make the very last meal for her son and herself, and then were prepared to die. Elijah comes along and tells her to make him a small cake first. She could not do that in her own strength and skills, but she obeyed as unto God.

In verse 14, Elijah tells her, "For thus says the LORD God of Israel, The barrel of meal shall not waste, neither shall the cruse of oil fail, until the day that the LORD sends rain upon the earth." As hard as it was for her, she did what she was asked and found a reward greater than one could imagine.  It's when we can't do something in our own strength that God can work through us and bring to pass miracles and promises we wouldn't believe. I Corinthians 2:9 tells us that "no eye has seen, no ear has heard, and no human mind has conceived, the things God has prepared for those who love him."

In Philippians 3:4b-7, the apostle Paul recounts his pedigree: "If anyone else has a mind to put confidence in the flesh, I far more: circumcised the eighth day, of the nation of Israel, of the tribe of Benjamin, a Hebrew of Hebrews; as to the Law, a Pharisee; as to zeal, a persecutor of the church; as to the righteousness which is in the Law, found blameless. BUT! whatever things were gain to me, those things I have counted as loss for the sake of Christ."

As we know Paul was called Saul before he became a Christian and was certainly most qualified to speak to the Jews about Christ after his conversation, but that is not what God had designed for him. He was told to go to the Gentiles. How difficult is that? What about all the learning and knowledge and understanding he had about Judaism? Seemingly worthless and yet Paul recognized that all that was at one time gain to him was nothing compared to Christ.  One translation says, "and do count them as dung."

© Donna L. Watkins
Male Eastern Tiger Swallowtail on Crabapple Tree
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Don't you see that what we can do naturally doesn't give God much room to live through us. The Holy Spirit wants to direct and guide our lives and when we're in a position that is "comfy" and "natural" we aren't looking up much for help or answers. We've got enough ideas and plans and methods to last a lifetime operating in our own strength. But what great disappointment there would be to get to the end of our lives only to find out that all those "good things" were not "God things" and that we totally missed the destiny that was placed inside of us.

So, now we have to wonder how on earth do we get to find out what God's will for our lives is. I've pondered that often and read books and listened to messages, but the Word is always the best place to look for Truth. God will speak to us through His Word if we are willing to sit and read and listen. God does not operate as this fast-paced world in a "New York minute" mode. He tells us to "Be still and know that I am God" (Psalm 46:10).

If we participate in the lightning speed lifestyle that is being promoted, we cannot expect to hear God. God wants a relationship with us first and foremost. Everything else will flow out of that. As you know relationships take time to build and they take time to maintain and make them rich. In Jeremiah 29:13, God says, "You shall seek me, and find me, when you shall search for me with all your heart."

Many of us are parents. We want our children to have the best of life and all that we can offer them, but if they have the attitude that they can just spend time with you when they want something, you would be wise not to reinforce that kind of behavior.

A good parent reinforces behavior that will be healthy for the child when he becomes an adult. God is our Father. He wants the best for us and have given us many precious promises, but they are promises that come with relationship. He's a good Daddy and does not reinforce behavior that He knows is not good for our mental and physical health. We need to get caught up in the love of God like we did when we found our first love. Every minute of the day we couldn't wait to see that person and be with them. All of life revolved around them.

As we sit at His feet and learn from Him, we get more and more from the Word and we find more and more of the part of ourselves that God designed for His glory. It amazes me that I can read a Scripture 100 times and then suddenly I see a word a different way and it all comes alive. That's one of the jobs of the Holy Spirit, to teach us all things (John 14:26).

© Donna L. Watkns
Red Rose - Lynchburg, VA
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I was reading Romans 2:2, “And be not conformed to this world: but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, that you may prove what is that good, and acceptable, and perfect, will of God." and had one of those ah-ha! moments. There it was! How do we find out the will of God? By renewing our mind to the mind of Christ that was placed in us at our salvation. We renew our minds so that we can prove what God's will for us is. Read the Scripture again.

You could turn that around and say that if we don't renew our minds, then we will not be able to prove what God's will for us is. WOW! The world before and after salvation has filled our minds with many wrong thoughts, teachings, traumas, terrors and all that the devil has dumped on us in our lifetime, but we have the ability to convert our minds back to the original design. God would not tell us to renew our minds if we couldn't do it.  Do you know that you can change your DNA with your thoughts?  [Read: Our Thinking Can Change Our DNA]

The brain is made to be rewired. What we wired in that was not Truth, we can rewire back out as we plant a new healthy thought to counteract that toxic thought. It's a process and an exciting one. I've been doing Dr. Caroline Leaf's 21-Day Brain Detox program since June and it's quite amazing. Each day she tells you what was happening in the brain as you did the previous day's lesson.

The physiology of it and how the Holy Spirit works within it is fascinating. Because you are focusing on one toxic thought, it allows the mind to be centered in on what the Holy Spirit is telling us. And yes, amazingly so, it actually enables you to be able to stick with the issue at hand as the Holy Spirit guides you to all the branches of this thought and to its root so it can be severed to die off and be replaced with your new healthy thinking.

I am absolutely thrilled at the reality of this and how differently I react to things.  My husband said he's never seen me so peaceful.  It feels like all the waves of life coming at me just stand up like the Red Sea for my passage through.  Things that would've kept me awake or at least had a reaction or a bit of worry simply don't have any power over me.

Is there any doubt on why people say they don't know what God's will for their life is? We have too much mumbo-jumbo in our minds that block our knowing God's will. No wonder we are so confused. How wonderful that God has empowered us to do what He wants us to do when we just choose to do it!!

Reminds me of where God says before us is life and death - blessings and curses, and then just in case we don't get it, He tells us to choose life so we and our children shall live. (Deuteronomy 30:19). We choose life when we choose to obey the Word in renewing of our minds. Choose life and live!

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