05 July 2006

Hearing His Call and Discovering His Will

Recently, I picked up my mom's copy of Keep a Quiet Heart by Elisabeth Elliot and haven't been able to put it down. Here are some juicy tidbits I came across this morning...
Three questions may help to clarify the call of God. Have I made up my mind to do what He says, no matter what the cost? Am I faithfully reading His Word and praying? Am I obedient in what I know today of His will?
"Cause me to hear Your lovingkindness in the morning, for in You do I trust; cause me to know the way in which I should walk, for I lift up my soul to You" (Psalm 143:8, NKJV).

There are two very simple conditions to discovering the will of God. Paul states them clearly in his letter to the Romans, chapter 12. The first is in verse 1 (NKJV): "... present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable to God..." The place to start is by putting yourself utterly and unconditionally at God's disposal. You say
Yes Lord. You turn over all the rights at the very beginning. Once that's settled you can go on to the second, in verse 2: "And do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind..." I said conditions were simple. I did not say they were easy. Exchanging a No Lord for a Yes Lord has often been painful for me. But I do want a "new mind" -- one that takes its cues from the Word of God, not the mass media. I pray for a clear eye to see through the fog of popular opinion, and a will strong enough to withstand the currents -- a will surrendered, laid alongside Christ's. He is my model. This means a different set of ambitions, a different definition of happiness, a different standard of judgment altogether. Behavior will change, and very likely it will change enough to make me appear rather odd -- but then my Master was thought very odd.
Paul goes on to say that these conditions are "the only way to discover the will of God and know what is good, what is that God wants, what is the perfect thing to do." No wonder we scratch our heads and ask, "What is the secret of knowing the will of God?" We haven't started at the right place -- the offering of that all-inclusive sacrifice, our very bodies, and then the resolute refusal of the world's values.

Teach me to do Your will, for You are my God; Your Spirit is good. Lead me in the land of uprightness. (Psalm 143:10)

Show me Your ways, O LORD; teach me Your paths. Lead me in Your truth and teach me, for You are the God of my salvation; on You I wait all the day. (Psalm 25:4-5)


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