We continue looking at the subject ‘Knowing the Will of God’. In this column I want to focus on a vital point “My Heart”. What do I believe and what am I seeking.
To know and live in the will of God one must have a proper belief and desire. I cannot tell you how important this really is. Please hear me carefully on this.
We shall look at the Bible and Jesus and see how our heart and mind is to view the will of God. Then we will be ready to know it and do it.
I urge you to now to confess what you believe.
Jesus said to him, “If you can believe, all things are possible to him who believes.”
Immediately the father of the child cried out and said with tears, “Lord, I believe; help my unbelief!”
(Mark 9:23-24 in the Holy Bible)
I believe that the Bible ‘is’ the Word of God.
“All Scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness, that the person of God may be complete, thoroughly equipped for every good work.’
(2 Timothy 3:16-17 in the Holy Bible)
There are many writings in the world in all religions and philosophies. Good moral teachings and religious ideas and standards.
However the Holy Bible stands out from all others. I will not take the time during this column to prove the Bible. It can be done and I know it to be true and accurate in all things. I just want to emphasize that to know the Will of God one ‘must’ believe the Word of God. How can you ignore or disobey the clear teachings of the Bible and then expect God to guide you in His Will.
His Will is for you to Do what the Bible tells you to do! God does not contradict His Own word.
Start now, at this moment to Do the clear things you already know to do. Like to Love, to Forgive, to help the needy and suffering, to witness of Jesus and His Salvation to the lost, to love one another and etc. Start now doing what is clear in the Word of God.
My motto has always been “Whenever in doubt ‘PREACH’!”
Should you not know what to do them just do what the Bible says and you will not go wrong! There is enough that is clear in the Word of God to do that could occupy one’s full time, so one can never say ‘I don’t know anything the Lord wants me to do.’
I believe that the Word of God ‘applies’ and is ‘relevant’ to my Life.
The fundamental basic determination of all that I do and say is ‘what the Bible says for me to do’! When people ask, “what do you believe about something?’ I will normally say, “Well the Bible says’¦’ I have had news reporters interrupt me as well as many people and they say; “Now I am asking you, what is your feeling about’¦ I’m not asking about what the Bible says’. My reply is: My personal feeling about all things is what the Bible says about the subject.
The Word of God is to be the first and final word on all matters. Now that does not mean we do not have a mind, but it does mean that our mind is not conformed to this world. Jesus has transformed us into a new person. We follow the Will of God and His Word. The truth and moral teachings of Jesus and the Word of God is relevant to my life in every way. God’s Word applies to me in every way and in all things. My life IS in Christ.
I believe in and seek to follow Jesus as my Lord and Savior. By the grace and mercy of God through Jesus Christ ‘I am saved’!
The most important of all is to ‘know’ that you are saved! That you are born again! Washed in the Blood of Jesus. A true believer in and follower of Jesus! That your name is written in the Book of life! Should you not know this then please go to the this link right now and read the message and pray the prayer of Salvation.
I am crucified with Christ.
“I am crucified with Christ: nevertheless I live; yet not I, but Christ lives in me:
And the life, which I now live in the flesh I live by the faith of the Son of God,
Who loved me, and gave himself for me.’
(Galatians 2:20 in the Holy Bible)
We must reach this point of commitment to be a true follower of Jesus.
It is to be no longer ‘my will’ but ‘His Will’.
Self is crucified with Christ. I must deny my self, my ego, my self-effort, and my will. Until we deny self we simply move from one appealing thing to another. One does what feels good, looks good, will profit, will help others, etc. These can be ‘good’ things’ or ‘bad things’ but of course nothing is good that is out of the will of God for you.
But when the servant follower of Jesus reaches the point of denying self we cry out “Then What?’
I am dead! Dead to the World, Dead to Self, Dead to My Will, Dead to my Flesh!
Jesus is Alive in me! The Holy Spirit is Filling me! God’s Love is in my heart!
Jesus Christ Lives in Me!
My passion and desire is to ‘DO’ His Will!
When He had called the people to Himself, with His disciples also, He said to them, “Whoever desires to come after Me, let that person deny themselves, and take up their cross, and follow Me. For whoever desires to save their life will lose it, but whoever loses their life for My sake and the gospel’s will save it. For what will it profit a person should they gain the whole world, and loses their own soul? Or what will a person give in exchange for their soul?”
(Mark 8:34-37 in the Holy Bible)
I deny myself.
Remember the words of Jesus the night before He was to be crucified the next day. As He sweat drops of blood in agony and prayed, Jesus cried out to the Father:
” O My Father, if it is possible, let this cup pass from Me; nevertheless,
not as I will, but as You will.”
” O My Father, if this cup cannot pass away from Me unless I drink it,
Your will be done.”
(Matthew 26:39,42-43 in the Holy Bible)
Self is no longer our master! The will of Jesus is our passion. His will is our passion. Even Jesus submitted His Will to the Will of the Father.
My will is His Will!
I love the song that Denise and I pray most morning:
“ Yes Lord yes to your will and to your way, Yes Lord yes I will trust you and obey, when Your Sprit speaks to me with my whole heart I agree and my answer will be Yes, Lord Yes!’ (Song by Jessy Dixon)
When one becomes a follower of Jesus then that is the choice to follow Jesus and not follow self.
I signed a little card when I was in college as I faced this decision of my will and the will of Christ. That card said:
“Lord, glorify Thy self today at my expense,
I will not bargain,
Glorify Thy Self,
I’ll take the consequences!’
I battled in my spirit as I looked at that card. The forces of Satan were pulling one way, the force of Self was pulling another. But it seemed like Jesus was just standing there looking at me. I will never forget laying in the floor of my dorm room and with tears flooding my face I took my pen in hand and signed away all rights to my life and my will. From that day forward I have had only one passion Thy Will Be Done, Glorify Thy Self I’ll take the consequences!
I take up my cross.
To best understand the call of Jesus to ‘take up your cross and follow Me’ I think it best to consider the environment and condition at the time Jesus said these words. What did they mean to those who heard it?
Jesus was not yet crucified. Crucifixion was one of the cruel means of death that the Romans who ruled Israel at that time used to create fear over those they ruled over. When you saw a person carrying their cross it meant one thing. They were on their way to die! I believe Jesus was saying what He meant.
Take up your cross. Take up your symbol of Death. The cross meant Death.
Now refresh yourself with the words used earlier in this column: “I am crucified with Christ.’ The cross carrier is a ‘dead’ person now alive in Christ!
I have several times in very dangerous moments said “you can’t kill a dead man’. All you can do is ‘Transfer’ me to heaven. You can’t kill me. I am already dead. All that is left is the transfer to Glory!
The dead person is a free person but Alive in Jesus! Nothing to lose everything to Gain! See you can’t even steal from me. It’s all God’s! So when you take something from me you have taken God’s property! Wow. What liberty in the Holy Spirit to live and do the will of God.
Now we move on to the mission and calling!
I will follow Jesus
There are many directions in life to choose from. But the person deciding to do the will of God makes a decision to Follow Jesus. Over and over around the world as people ask me what I am I reply “a follower of Jesus’. This cuts beyond religious terms and points to The Person of Jesus. I almost never find a person with anything against Jesus. Our call is to Follow Jesus. Not religion, not a church, not a teaching, not a preacher, not a clan, not a leader, but JESUS! Live in His Way, Follow in His Lifestyle, Obey His Commandments, And Seek His Will.
Follow Jesus. This is to be the passion of the person seeking to do the will of God. All else is behind us. Jesus is before us.
My constant prayer each day goes like this:
“ Lord Jesus, take out of me anything that does not look like You! Put into me all the things that look like you that I do not have’
I urge you to Look at Jesus! Study His Life in the Gospels and pattern your conduct and words and attitude to be like Jesus. I remember even as a child on through my teen years on to today my passion and prayer has been for Jesus to make me like Jesus. Now I don’t mean divine as you well know but that my life reflect Jesus.
Have you ever been around a person that reminds you of Jesus! That should be each of our desires.
As you seek to know and do the will of God. Remember this “It should look like Jesus!’
Whatever the call you get from God it will reflect Jesus or it is not the call of God.
I want to close with one final story. I met with Pope John Paul II in 1979. The man I spent most time with was Father Maloney. As I left Rome, Italy to carry the cross on to Assisi I share the following story.
It was a cold, rainy and snowy morning as I arrived to get my cross and say goodbye to Father Maloney. He was a wonderful man. He had arranged my visit with the Pope and interpreted for me in the streets. We had eaten together, prayed together, talked together for many hours. I had said each time that I left him, “I love you,” but he had never replied or in any way acknowledged my expression, but seemed to want me around all the time. I put the cross on my shoulder, said a prayer, and said, “Goodbye,” and “I love you,” then started off.
“Arthur,” I heard him say.
“Yes,” I stopped and looked back.
“I like you.” He walked slowly toward me as he spoke. I am commanded by Christ to love everyone, but I don’t like everyone I love. I don’t like the way some people curse, or rob or steal or hate or murder. I love them, but I don’t like what they do. But I like you. I like to eat with you, I like to talk with you, I like to interpret for you, and I like to pray with you … you don’t even read your prayers. I like you and I love you”
We embraced. What a beautiful man, he taught me so much. How many people say, “Oh, I love God, I love Jesus”, but let me ask you, do you like Jesus? Do you like what Jesus says, ‘love your enemies, forsake all, seek ye first the kingdom of God’. Do you like how Jesus lived? Do you like the life of Jesus? Do you like to live this life of Jesus? Do you like God? His words, His commandments… His ways? If you really like, it would be much easier for us to live for Him if we like His life. Many people want Christ as Savior, but don’t like to live with Him. They don’t really like Christ.
“Oh, God. Oh, my Lord Jesus, I love you and I like you!”
God bless you. The next column will deal with Hearing God and Know His Voice. This will be exciting and life changing. I trust that you have found strength and knowledge in the past columns as I have sought to lay the foundation for knowing the Will of God. Some may have wanted me to get right to the point but in a teaching that is this important and the only time I have ever written or taught on this subject it is necessary to say all that has been said. I encourage you to study this column and the first column and prepare yourself for the next column on Knowing the Will of God. In the meantime DO what you now to do.
Look forward to next week! God willing.
Pilgrim followers of Jesus,
Arthur and Denise Blessitt