Shalom my friends,
God has blessed me with a loving father who has patiently answered (as well as he can), all the questions that I have thrown at him … from when I was a little girl, until now. Because of this, I have wisdom “from him” that I would like to share with you.
One day I asked my dad, “When you think God wants you to do something, how do you know it really is His will and not just something you want to do?” He went to the bookshelf, took out a pamphlet, and gave it to me. He said that he didn’t agree with all of it, so I needed to read it carefully to get the good out of it, but that it would answer my question. The name of the pamphlet was “Interpreting God’s Will” by Dr. James Dobson. I read it, and was very shocked to find that Satan can influence me by pretending to be a messenger of God!
“For Satan himself transforms himself into an angel of light.” – 2Corinthians 11:14
Dr. Dobson wrote many true life examples. One was of two lovers who wanted to do something that would be a sin. Both came from a religious family, so they prayed about it. Because they felt a “peace” about it, they went ahead and did the sin anyway. Satan tricked them into disobeying God’s Word and it destroyed their lives. The “peace” those two felt was definitely not from God.
Then there was a lady who, during a prayer, “heard” what she thought to be God, say that she was going to die so others would come to Him. For over thirty years, she kept this horrible thing to herself. She suffered from persistent anxiety and depression. Finally, she came to Dr. Dobson and told him about it. She is doing a lot better now. But do you think that God wanted her to die? I don’t think so. Satan was trying to ruin her life. We need to be careful.
“Test all things; hold fast what is good.” – 1Thessalonians 5:21
How then do we test whether what we “hear” or “feel” is God’s will or not? The answer is to pray, study, and ask questions … but what questions? Dr. Dobson gave reference to some tests that a man named Martin W. Knapp came up with. I think that they are good, but no man- made thing is ever perfect. So gird up the loins of your mind, get ready to work your brain muscles (?), and see what you think. Martin Knapp recommends that we should test it very carefully in four different ways.
Is what you “heard” or “felt” in agreement with the Bible? Study the Bible and see for yourself. Not just portions of the Bible; it must be in agreement with the whole Bible, so as not to take things out of context. And don’t think that He might have changed His mind over time. God is the same now, as when the Bible was all written down.
“Jesus Christ is the same yesterday, today, and forever.” – Hebrews 13:8
“For I am the LORD, I do not change;” – Malachi 3:6
For that reason, this is a reliable test. It can’t be His will if it is against the scriptures.
Is it right? It may not always be what we think we want, but God isn’t crazy. Whatever He would want us to do would still be right. Dr. Dobson gave an example of a situation that was not right. There was a family consisting of a father, mother, and four young children. The mother felt that she was “called” to leave her family and enter full time evangelistic work. She quickly left her children (who needed her), and her husband … abandoning them. Her husband already worked six to seven days a week, so he couldn’t take care of the children very well at all! God put a sense of right and wrong in all of us.With His help, we can use it to decide whether what we “heard” or “felt” is right or not, and that wasn’t!
He will always open the doors for us to do His will.
“And when he brings out his own sheep, he goes before them; and the sheep follow him, for they know his voice.” – John 10:4
He calls and His sheep follow – the sheep don’t lead. He goes before us to prepare the way. If we find that we have to push doors open our own way; it may not be His will. We need Him to lead us, if we want to do His will. Of course, you still need to walk through the doors that He opens, and it takes work.
Dr. Dobson gave an example of a providential circumstance. He and his family needed to move, because their house was becoming too small for their growing family, so he prayed about it. Without the help of a realtor, he put a “For Sale” sign out on the lawn. He decided that if the house sold, then it would be an answer from God that they should move. For four weeks, no one came to their door or even called, so he perceived that God had given him a “no” answer. Dr. Dobson waited a year before he asked God again. This time the house sold right away. He sold it for what he had wanted, and he didn’t have to pay a realtor. He gave tithe on what he sold it for, since God was the one who had really sold it. He said that he had no doubt in his mind that this time it was God’s will they move.
“I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that you present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable to God, which is your reasonable service. And do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, that you may prove what is that good and acceptable and perfect will of God.” – Romans 12:1
Paul states that presenting ourselves to do God’s will is a reasonable service. So we need to ask ourselves, “Is what I think He wants me to do reasonable?”
Are you capable of doing what you think He wants you to do? If not, pray, wait, study things that pertain to it. If God provides what you need to make it reasonable, He must be saying, “Yes”. When someone hastily acts without thinking, they are not using reason. A quote from G.D. Watson states, “The devil wants you to be in a hurry and rush and go pell mell and not wait for anything, whereas Jesus is always quiet and He is always calm and always takes His time.” (Boy, that was a lot of ands’ and always’!)
I think Mr. Watson is right about Satan. Sometimes he makes us think something is reasonable and tries to keep us from searching it out, so he can deceive us. So be on your guard and wait on the Lord.
“Put on the whole armor of God, that you may be able to stand against the wiles of the devil. 12 For we do not wrestle against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this age, against spiritual hosts of wickedness in the heavenly places. 13 Therefore take up the whole armor of God, that you may be able to withstand in the evil day, and having done all, to stand. 14 Stand therefore, having girded your waist with truth, having put on the breastplate of righteousness, 15 and having shod your feet with the preparation of the gospel of peace; 16 above all, taking the shield of faith with which you will be able to quench all the fiery darts of the wicked one. 17 And take the helmet of salvation, and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God; 18 praying always with all prayer and supplication in the Spirit, being watchful to this end with all perseverance and supplication for all the saints.” – Ephesians 6:11-18
“But they that wait upon the LORD shall renew their strength; they shall mount up with wings as eagles; they shall run, and not be weary; and they shall walk, and not faint.” – Isaiah 40:31
“Wait on the LORD; Be of good courage, And He shall strengthen your heart; Wait, I say, on the LORD!” – Psalm 27:14
“Therefore do not be unwise, but understand what the will of the Lord is.” – Ephesians 5:17
This was a very big eye opener for me, and I felt like I needed to tell everyone that I could about the devil’s ugly tricks. I hope this has helped you, as it did me. However, most of this is man’s words and not God’s, so it is incomplete. As my dad would say, “You need to find the good and keep it; recognize the bad and throw it away”.
It is impossible to do and know God’s will without His help. So ask Him to help you to understand and read the Bible to find out who He is, so you can better recognize His call.
“I will instruct you and teach you in the way you should go; I will guide you with My eye. Do not be like the horse or like the mule, Which have no understanding, Which must be harnessed with bit and bridle, Else they will not come near you. Many sorrows shall be to the wicked; But he who trusts in the LORD, mercy shall surround him.” Psalm 32:8-10
There are times that He keeps us in suspense and does not reveal His will to us as we would like Him to, and most of the time we don’t know why. Just remember that as long as we obey Him, He has promised to never leave us.
“Be strong and of good courage, do not fear nor be afraid of them; for the LORD your God, He is the One who goes with you. He will not leave you nor forsake you.” – Deuteronomy 31:6
“Let your conduct be without covetousness; be content with such things as you have. For He Himself has said, ‘I will never leave you nor forsake you.'” – Hebrews 13:5
May our Father in Heaven bless and keep you all safely in His arms. Please, if you judge this to be a good test, let others know. It makes me so angry and sad when I hear stories of how Satan has deceived someone. I pray that this might make a difference. For His is the Kingdom and the Power and the Glory forever. Amen. Shalom and Love in Yeshua,