Knowing and Doing God's Will
Trust in the LORD with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways acknowledge him, and he will make your paths straight (Prov. 3:5-6).
George Mueller was a pastor in England during the nineteenth century who knew what it meant to live a life that was focused on knowing and doing the will of God. God led him in a walk of faith that has become an incredible testimony to all who hear his story.
Whenever he lacked for something, he prayed for the resources. During his ministry in Bristol, England, George built four orphan houses that cared for 2,000 children at the time. When he died at the age of 93, over 10,000 children had been provided for through his orphanages, and he had distributed over eight million dollars that had been given to him in answer to prayer.
How did he know and do the will of God?
"I never remember a period that I ever sincerely and patiently sought to know the will of God by the teaching of the Holy Ghost, through the instrumentality of the Word of God, but I have been always directed rightly." Here is how George summed up the way he entered into a "heart" relationship with God and learned to discern God's voice:
1) "I seek at the beginning to get my heart into such a state that it has no will of its own in regard to a given matter.
2) Having done this, I do not leave the result to feeling or simple impression. If so, I make myself liable to great delusions.
3) I seek the will of the Spirit of God through, or in connection with, the Word of God. The Spirit and the Word must be combined.
4) Next, I take into account providential circumstances. These often plainly indicate God's will in connection with His Word and Spirit.
5) I ask God in prayer to reveal His will to me aright.
Thus, (1) through prayer to God, (2) the study of the Word, and (3) reflection, I come to a deliberate judgment according to the best of my ability and knowledge, and if my mind is thus at peace, and continues so after two or three more petitions, I proceed accordingly."*
Consider these five steps when discerning God's voice in your life.
*Henry Blackaby, Claude King, Experiencing God, Lifeway Press, Nashville, TN, p. 33,34