knowledge of the Word. His will is to com- bine this with continuing spiritual experi- ences so we move beyond initial salvation.
It Is God’s Will for Us to Serve
It is God’s will for each of us to be of service in the kingdom of God. Just expe- riencing the marvelous transformation of salvation is not sufficient. It is only the beginning of what Christ expects and who we can become spiritually. Discipleship and advancing the King- dom are the key components of this sum- mons. Discipleship is the process by which we mature in Christ. It involves our learn- ing and practicing the spiritual disciplines of reading the Scriptures, praying, fasting,
within the “way of wisdom” seen in the Scriptures. Another view is that God does provide specific direction and expects our compliance. We refer to this as “calling.” Frequently we mistakenly associate calling with individuals being directed into clerical ministry with credentials. However, God can just as easily call indi- viduals into medicine, business, law, edu- cation, or farming. So, how do we sepa- rate our desires from God’s calling which reveals His will?
Begin with a definition of calling. It is a
divine constraint which gives a mysterious feeling of commission, leaving no alterna- tive but to be obedient. It is an inner con- viction given by the Holy Spirit. This isn’t
God’s guidance comes in various ways.
God sometimes guides through opened and closed doors. Guidance may come from that “still, small voice” which speaks to our inner being. Without any dramatic event we know the direction to be taken. On occasions, a godly person may wisely and possibly unknowingly confirm what God has already been speaking to us privately.
God doesn’t need another person to tell
you His will. The Holy Spirit and the Word of God communicate very clearly provid- ed we listen and read. It may take some time for us to grasp how God regularly speaks to us. It requires our studying the Word of God rather than playing some form of “Russian roulette” hoping the
WILL FOR MY LIFE?
WILL FOR MY LIFE?
and stewardship. This doesn’t happen without an effort. And we never reach the place where discipleship isn’t needed any longer. It is the means by which we main- tain a vigorous spirituality. Advancing the Kingdom is the responsibility of every believer. No one is exempt from fulfilling the Great Com- mission (Mark 16:15), ministering to the needy (James 1:27), and active participa- tion in the community of faith. Simply attending church does not meet the stan- dard of advancing the Kingdom. God intends all believers to be “min- isters,” but this doesn’t happen by simply becoming a believer. In the original lan- guage, the word we translate as minister indicates one who is serving. We must be doing, not just claiming a sense of being.
God Gives Personalized Direction
Does God have a specific will for your life in regard to vocation, marriage, and where you live? One view is God doesn’t orchestrate these decisions. His Word provides principles for decision making, and we can choose provided we stay
at all like feelings or hunches which rise or fall. The constraint remains constant.
Understand God doesn’t intend us to be unhappy or inefficient. He knows our
current abilities, latent skills, and future development. He sees beyond the limited scope of our vision and immaturity of thought. He sees clearly who we are and what we can become in His kingdom.
MYSTERIOUS FEELING OF COMMISSION, LEAVING NO ALTERNATIVE BUT TO BE OBEDIENT. IT IS AN INNER CONVICTION GIVEN BY THE HOLY SPIRIT. THIS ISN’T AT ALL LIKE FEELINGS OR HUNCHES WHICH RISE OR FALL. THE CONSTRAINT REMAINS CONSTANT.”p
“THE CALL OF GOD IS A DIVINE CONSTRAINT WHICH GIVES A
answer will just pop out. Wise Christians can be of tremendous help in asking the right questions and sorting out circum- stances. But in the end, we must know in our own heart and mind what God desires for us.
God calls laity and clergy. Too many
individuals state, “I’m just a layperson.” It leaves the implication of God willing them to a lesser position in the church. This is a total misconception. The word laity comes from a root word which simply means “people.” So within the church setting, laity are the people of God. Clergy comes from a word which means “lot” or “inheri- tance.” It implies a person being given a particular responsibility. Neither of the words implies inferiority or superiority. To review, God’s will is summarized in
the words salvation and service. They apply to all believers. Our responsibility is to explore the Word of God and have a sensi- tive heart to the Holy Spirit’s leading.
Jerald Daffe, D.Min., is professor of pastoral ministry at Lee University.
EVANGEL • APR 2010 19
| Page 2
| Page 3
| Page 4
| Page 5
| Page 6
| Page 7
| Page 8
| Page 9
| Page 10
| Page 11
| Page 12
| Page 13
| Page 14
| Page 15
| Page 16
| Page 17
| Page 18
| Page 19
| Page 20
| Page 21
| Page 22
| Page 23
| Page 24
| Page 25
| Page 26
| Page 27
| Page 28
| Page 29
| Page 30
| Page 31
| Page 32