Walking In The Will of God: Part 2 – Perfect Will v. Permissive Will

Walking In The Will of God:  Part 2 – Perfect Will v. Permissive Will

Simply put, God’s perfect will is His plan and purpose for your life, not your own.  Elevating your self-will above God’s will leads to God’s permissive will.  Permissive will is when God allows you to make all the choices.  Oftentimes we end up making mistakes, hurting ourselves, and living with regret.  But it’s never too late to change.  If you repent and yield yourself to God, He will forgive you and lead you back into His perfect will.

You see, God will never force you to do anything.  If He did, everyone would be saved right now.  And although it is God’s will for them to be saved (1 Timothy 2:4), He will not force anyone to accept salvation.  The same is true of the will of God.  He will reveal it to you, if you’re willing to listen.  The truth of the matter is, without obedience, God’s will for your life will never come to pass.

I experienced this very thing when I took a position with a law firm about 30 – 45 minutes from my home.  I took the job to earn more money to purchase things I needed.  However, my plan failed because it was not the job God wanted me to have.  And when you’re out of the will of God, things just aren’t right.  You are always struggling to make ends meet, and there is no peace in your life.

When I finally realized I was in God’s permissive will, I repented and made the necessary changes.

Now, just because that job wasn’t God’s will for me doesn’t mean it wasn’t God’s will for someone else.  His plan for me is not His plan for you. Not everyone can be an architect, teacher, or accountant.  You may say, I’m anointed to do all things,” however, the Word says you have to be willing and able.  You may be willing to sing in the choir, but are you able to sing?  Can you even carry a tune?  If I tried to be a surgeon, I’d make a mess of things.  Why?  Because God didn’t call me to be one!

God has a plan and purpose for everyone, but we must be careful not to get weighted down by selfish desires.  It’s not about what we want, but what God wants.  Proverbs 3:5-6 tells us “Trust in the Lord with all your heart, and lean not on your own understanding.  In all your ways acknowledge Him, and He shall direct your paths.”  He warns us in verse 7 to “Be not wise in your own eyes.…” Simply consult God first and trust Him, because He sees the big picture.

When you obey God, you can count on His protection.  Your provision is on the other side of your obedience.  Healing, debt cancellation, deliverance, wisdom, and anything else you need is made available to you when you walk in God’s will. 

Next Time: Part 3 – How To Walk In God’s Will

Walking In The Will of God

God has a specific plan for your life.  His greatest desire is that you operate in this plan daily.  Paul tells us to “…walk carefully, not as fools, but as wise men, making the most of the time because the days are evil.  Therefore, do not be unwise, but understand what the will of the Lord is” (Ephesians 5:15-17).

Why?  So we can enjoy the blessings of God and avoid the pitfalls that come from disobedience.

Many Christians today presume to know the will of God for their lives.  I’ve heard people say they are called to the ministry, and then struggle with finances, marriage, and the people they serve until they become weary in well doing.  We are to walk carefully, cautiously, and prudently.  In other words, we should be cautious of the things we do and the choices we make.

Now, to understand means to comprehend, grasp, or be familiar with.”  To understand the Lord’s will is to piece together, or make sense of it.  The only way to do that is by developing a relationship with the Father.  And it is not something you learn all at once.  It is actually, a steady unfolding of revelation.  The key to receiving this revelation is found in simple acts of obedience.  It’s like a jigsaw puzzle; once completed, the pieces create an entire picture that could not be discerned when they were separated.  As we operate in obedience, we begin to see more clearly God’s perfect will.

Next Time:  Part 2 – Perfect Will v. Permissive Will

What’s Your Reputation?

“The person who is united to the Lord becomes one spirit with Him.” 1 Corinthians 6:17

When Jesus trained the first 12 disciples, He taught them the same strategy He had been using on the earth: “Go, preach, saying, the kingdom of heaven is at hand.  Heal the sick, cleanse the lepers, raise the dead, cast out devils:  freely you have received, freely give” (Matthew 10:7-8).

He also told the 70 disciples in Luke 10 the same thing in verse 9.

“Well, yes, that’s how Jesus said to do it back then,” you might say, “but He has a different plan for us now.”

No, He doesn’t.

His last words before He ascended into heaven were the same instructions: “Go you into all the world, and preach the gospel to every creature. And these signs shall follow them that believe; In my name shall they cast out devils…they shall lay hands on the sick, and they shall recover” (Mark 16:15, 17-18).

Hallelujah!  We have the same new birth, the same Holy Spirit and the same commission those first disciples had.  And you remember what happened to them after Jesus left, don’t you?

They kept right on doing what Jesus had done.  And, the crowds responded to them just like they had responded to Jesus.  They brought the sick to the disciples so they could be healed.  In Jerusalem, they actually laid the sick in the street so Peter’s shadow might fall on them as he walked by.

Why did they do that?  They had heard if you could get to a place where the Christians were, you could get healed.

Christians had a reputation.  It was the same reputation Jesus had.  As a result, the early Church grew at a rate of thousands per day!

That’s the way it should be for us today.

“But I can’t heal the sick!” you say.  “I can’t cast out devils!”

Maybe not…but God can…and He’s in you!  In fact, the Scripture says the person united to Him becomes one spirit with Him.  Think about that for a moment.  You are united with the Lord.  You are one spirit with Him.

Jesus said it this way, “At that day you shall know that I am in my Father, and you in me, and I in you” (John 14:20).

You and Jesus are one.  He is the Head and you are the Body.  You are His instrument in the earth.  Dare to believe that.  Be bold enough to speak the words the Bible speaks and do whatever Jesus tells you to do.

Believe me, people will come to you for help.  The Spirit of God will anoint you – and great things will happen!

Wisdom

Every one of us has been faced with a crisis or a decision that baffles us.  The situation may be simple or complex. It may be relevant for a moment, a day or a lifetime.

Regardless of the situation, the solution is always located about 18 inches below our heads.  It’s tucked deep within our inner man; in our born-again spirit.  All we have to do is get it from our hearts to our heads.

How do we do that?  Ask the Lord for wisdom.

I know that sounds simple, but when crises come, it’s surprising how many Christians forget to ask for wisdom as the first priority to solve a problem. Most of the time they get excited and start analyzing the situation, trying to figure out what steps to take to solve it. Then after using up lots of time and energy, they wear themselves out and finally get around to asking God for His solution.

Proverbs 4:7 tells us, “Wisdom is the principle thing; therefore get wisdom.”

As born-again believers, Christ has connected us forever to the wisdom of God.  As Paul told us in 1 Corinthians 1:30, “God has united you with Christ Jesus. For our benefit God made him to be wisdom itself. Christ made us right with God; he made us pure and holy, and he freed us from sin.”

We need to learn to just slowdown in those situations and turn to Him first, expecting the wisdom of God on the inside of us to rise to meet our challenge and keep us in peace.

Start praising God and say: “Lord, I praise You and thank You for the covenant of peace.  I refuse to let the devil take that peace from me in this situation.  Lord, I know Your Word says that You are with me in trouble and You deliver me. So, I’m asking You now to reveal Your wisdom in this matter. Please reveal to me how to pray and skillfully use my faith.”

Then finish that prayer off with some time praying in the spirit and listening for the wisdom.

Regardless of how confusing your problem may seem, you can pray that prayer in confidence knowing God will answer it because James 1:5 says, “if any of you lacks wisdom, let him ask of God, who gives to all men generously, and without reproach, and it will be given to him.”

God’s wisdom is the most valuable thing you can ever receive from Him.  Whatever your situation, no matter how impossible it may seem to you or anyone else, the Lord has a plan to deliver you. If you’ll make praying through the situation and receiving God’s wisdom a priority, not only will you come through that trouble, but you’ll learn how to prevent getting into it again.

The Past – Part 5: Turn the Tables on the Devil

Once you have received your forgiveness by faith, begin to purge the memory of that sin by speaking the Word.  When the devil starts tempting you to think about it again, open your mouth and give him the same answer Jesus gave when the devil tempted Him.  Say, “It is written ….”  Shut the devil up by telling him what God says about the situation.  Go after him with a vengeance.  Get revenge on that disobedient thought by assaulting it with the Word.

Don’t just do it silently either.  Don’t just try to counter disobedient thoughts with scriptural thoughts.  That won’t work.  If you want to win the battle in your mind you have to use a mightier weapon.  You have to fight thoughts with words.

Words always overcome thoughts because the moment you open your mouth, your mind must stop thinking and listen to what your mouth has to say.  That’s the way human beings are created, and there’s nothing the devil can do about it.  Try as he may to pressure you with negative thoughts, if you will speak the Word, you will defeat him every time.

Most believers don’t realize that so they let the devil get the upper hand.  When he starts putting pressure on their minds, hammering away at them with thoughts of fear or guilt based on their past, they just let those thoughts dominate them.  But that’s not what the Apostle Paul taught us to do.

He taught us to turn the tables on the devil and put the pressure on him instead.  That’s right!  He said, “I forget those things which are behind and I press forward….”  Paul pressed in to his God-ordained future by believing and confessing the Word.  He put the devil in such a pressure cooker of the Word that he and his demonic cohorts were forced to flee.

I’m telling you when you start pressuring the devil instead of allowing him to pressure you, life gets exciting.  But you can’t do that by sitting around feeling sorry for yourself.  You have to consciously choose, on purpose, to have faith in the Word and use that Word to attack the negative thought patterns in your life.  You have to be determined to say what the Word says, and to keep saying it…and saying it…and saying it…until that Word becomes so imbedded in your thought life that it comes out of your mouth without you having to think about it.

You can do it!  You can purge your thought life of all those old hurts and fusses you’ve had with people.  You can uproot and remove from your consciousness all the old sins of the past.  You can take every blue thought, every sick thought, and every tired, old, worn-out, unforgiving thought and replace them all with thoughts of love and faith.

Just roll every rotten thing from your past over on God, set your faith toward heaven and begin to press.  Supernaturally forget those things that are behind and head full throttle toward the mark of the high calling of God in Christ Jesus.

It will take some work, but you can do it, and when you do, you will discover what Paul discovered – it is truly a glorious, victorious way to live!

Be Blessed.

The Past – Part 4: Three Keys to Forgetting the Past

Remember in Part 3 we said, “Every old, ungodly thing in your life – including the bad things other people did to you, the sorrows and pains the devil inflicted on you – has passed away.  Those things don’t exist anywhere on this planet – except in your mind.  The only power or reality they have is what you give them.”

“I understand that”, you might say, “but exactly how do I get rid of the memories that plague me?  How do I stop thinking about them?”

Throughout my studies, I have discovered three keys that help me turn off past thoughts.  If you will keep these keys in mind and act on them, you will begin to take every thought captive and cast down every ungodly memory that rises up against you.

First and foremost, always remember your sin is none of the devil’s business. If he tries to remind you of things you have done wrong, take authority over him ad command him to leave you alone.  At times the devil will try to trick you into believing that God is the One reminding you of those sins but don’t you believe it!  Jesus never reminds you of your sin.  He wiped it out.  He has forgotten it and He wants you to do the same.  So when the devil tries to convince you to mentally rehearse your past, refuse and resist him and he will flee from you.

Don’t even let the devil talk to you about current sins.  It’s not his place to deal with you about them.  Your sin is between you and Jesus.  He’s the One who bought you.  He’s the One who paid the price for your forgiveness.  So when you miss it – in little ways or big – Jesus is the One you need to talk to about it.  Run to Him (not from Him) and repent.  Confess your sin and refuse to allow the devil or anyone else to put you under condemnation for it.

Second, always remember that when we confess our sins to Jesus, “he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.” (1 John 1:9).

Sometimes Christians doubt that forgiveness.  If they still feel guilty after they confess their sin to the Lord, they think God hasn’t done His part.  They believe He is still holding their sin against them.

Don’t ever make that mistake.  Always remember that Jesus keeps His Word.  Every time we confess our sin, He is 100 percent faithful and just to forgive us and cleanse us.  So if our feelings say otherwise, then our feelings must be lying because Jesus will never lie.  He will always do what He says He will do.

Never base your faith on your feelings.  Base it on God’s Word.  The moment you confess your sin, believe Jesus has forgiven and cleansed you regardless of how you feel.  Then speak by faith, call things that be not as though they were and say, “I receive my forgiveness.  I receive my cleansing.  That sin is washed completely away by the blood of Jesus.  I am free of it now, in Jesus’ Name!”

NEXT TIME – The Past – Part 5:  Turn the Tables on the Devil

The Past – Part 3: It’s All in Your Mind

When I think about how completely God demolishes the devil’s work in our past, I am often reminded of the winter home of my dear friend, Carla.  It wasn’t fancy but everyone enjoyed it.

When you came in through the back door, the mud room would welcome your heavy coats, boots and sweaters. There was a cozy living room with a glorious stone fireplace housing a crackling fire.  It was on top of the most beautiful mountain with a spectacular view of the slopes.

One day Carla decided to sell her beautiful winter chalet, much to everyone’s dismay.  A few months later she called stating the man who purchased “Hilltop Haven” had the nerve to bulldozed it.  What was he thinking? I couldn’t believe it!  The entire house was gone!

That’s the same thing that happened to our sinful, old past.  The blood of Jesus demolished it even more completely than that bulldozer!  In the mind of God, it is gone.

Every old, ungodly thing in your life – including the bad things other people did to you, the sorrows and pains the devil inflicted on you – has passed away.  Those things don’t exist anywhere on this planet – except in your mind.  The only power or reality they have is what you give them.