In planning for a mission trip to Peru, one of the inevitable questions that arises in my mind is, “How do I know this is really what God wants me to do?” Do you experience similar feelings as you debate whether or not to engage in some activity or pursuit? So how do we know what course of action to take or refrain from taking?
Fortunately, Scripture gives us helpful information. Before launching any major initiative, we need to follow the advice of King Jehosphaphat who before agreeing to go into battle with King Ahab, said, “First, please ask what the LORD’s will is” (2 Chronicles 18:4). We can obtain God’s counsel through studying the Bible, prayerfully listening to the Holy Spirit, and through seeking counsel from God-fearing sages. It is presumptuous and foolhardy to act without first seeking God’s will.
We ought to examine our motivation. The reason God blessed the prophet Daniel is made clear in the following passage. “Then he said, ‘Don’t be afraid, Daniel. Since the first day you began to pray for understanding and to humble yourself before your God, your request has been heard in heaven. I have come in answer to your prayer’” (Daniel 10:12 NLT). Jesus said that we are to make the Kingdom of God and what has His approval our primary concern (Matthew 6:33). Am I acting in humility before God and is my heart’s intent the furtherance of His will!
God is more interested in our character and our relationship with Him than He is in our activity. He calls me to love Him with all my heart, mind and strength (Deuteronomy 6:5). If my first priority is to love Him it follows that my actions will result in obedience to His leading. If He does not lead, then I need not feel any pressure to go. What is most important is not the activity I engage in, but rather that my heart is right with my Lord.
Recently, I received an e-mail message from a good friend. It turns out that he and another friend will be in Lima, Peru, the exact days I am scheduled to be there. He expressed a desire to help with our mission work. Now what are the chances of two personal friends spending the exact days in the precise city in the same country without any advance knowledge or planning that an Encounter team would arrive? Hmm, nothing happens by chance under the watchful eye of an Almighty Father. As we pursue Him, we begin to see more clearly His hand at work. Therefore, circumstances often help us see more clearly what God desires we do.
Jeremiah 29:12,13--You will call to Me and come and pray to Me, and I will listen to you. You will seek Me and find Me when you search for Me with all your heart.
Nothing happens in any particular unless God’s will is behind it, therefore you can rest in perfect confidence in Him.—Oswald Chambers in My Utmost For His Highest
Who of us can see, behind chance and in chance, God? Who of us can see the finger of God in the weather? When we are in loving touch with God we begin to discern that nothing happens by chance.—Oswald Chambers inRun Today’s Race
©2002 Daniel York ARR. Reveration is the weekly devotional ministry of First Cause. If you would like to receive these devotionals go to www.firstcause.org and click on the “Click here to receive weekly devotionals” box. Unlimited permission to copy this devotional without altering text or profiteering is allowed subject to inclusion of this copyright notice.
Ecclesiastes 12:10-The Teacher sought to find delightful sayings and to accurately write words of truth. (Holman CSB)