Tuesday, June 15, 2010

How To Figure Out the Will of God without Hearing Voices From Heaven =)

The waiting response is often a wasting response. I've talked to too many young people on Christian college campuses and at summer Bible conferences who are doing little or nothing in the way of Christian service, because they are still waiting for the great revelation as to exactly what it is that the Lord wants them to do. (At least that's what they claim is the reason for their inactivity.) [...] Jesus has already told them, via Scripture, to go into all the world and preach the gospel (Mark 16:15). I don't know what further marching orders they need. It seems to me that if they would be faithful in the little opportunities that are everywhere at hand, then they would be led to the bigger things that God wills for them to do with their lives (Matthew 25:21). I find that those who are waiting for the great revelation from on high before they attempt to do anything for God seldom accomplish much for the kingdom. On the other hand, people who are into redeeming the time (Ephesians 5:16) by getting on with whatever good for God they can do in the present end up being persons in whom we see great evidence of God's guiding hand.

Eastern College, where I teach, offers a well-developed Christian service program. Every student is encouraged to get involved in some kind of outreach to the many needy people who live in the greater Philadelphia area. There are opportunities to tutor disadvantaged urban kids in a variety of afterschool programs, to get involved in prison ministries, or to work with youth groups doing everything from Bible studies to sports programs. Nevertheless, I regularly encounter Christian students at Eastern who are not involved in any kind of ministry whatsoever because they "just don't feel led" to do so.

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[T]here is something wonderful about those people who know what needs to be done, figure that with God's help they can do it, and then just go for it. I tell young men and women quite simply that, if they see a need and realize that they can meet that need without taking anything aay from fulfilling godly obligations to which they are already committed, they should step up and go for it. "Unless there is something better at hand that you are already doing for God," I tell them, "do what you see that needs to be done for God."

Whenever I hear of a Christian copping out of some undertaking for God in order to wait to learn God's will for his or her life, I have to ask, "Where in the Bible does it tell you that God will reveal the divine plan for your whole life? It seems to me that it's just the opposite. The Bible lets us know that God leads us one step at a time." Then I go on to explain that this is the way God keeps us in a constructive and spiritually edifying state of dependency.

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For those who maintain a close relationship with Christ through a daily surrender to the Holy Spirit, there comes a sense of oughtness. I know this may seem a bit subjective at first, but as I will try to explain, there are ways of overcoming pure subjectivity and having the assurance that what you feel really is "His Spirit bearing witness with your spirit" (Romans 8:14-16). Many who nurture a right relationship with God trhough a consistent devotional life give testimony to the fact that they feel a sense of oughtness and affirmation when they are doing the will of God. Contrariwise, they claim to have an inner awareness of when they are not in the will of God. There are a couple of safeguards in all of this to protect us from confusing God's actual will with wht we feel is God's will. These two safeguards are Scripture and Christian fellowship with close friends.

- Tony Campolo, Following Jesus without Embarrassing God

1 comment:

Huanyan said...

Read Garry Frisen's book on decision making. He proposed a similar thesis that many times, the way to figure out the will of God is not through hearing voices from heaven but through the application of wisdom and guidance provided by the bible.