4 Ways COVID-19 Stresses Your Relationships and How to Respond, Why We Need to Look to God after National Calamity, How to Start 2021 Strong in the Midst of Chaos, 7 Prophetic Words God Has for Us about the End Times, 6 Things Every Husband Needs to Know about Emotional Support, 10 Unexpected Reasons for Infidelity in a Marriage, 10 Things Never to Say to Your Adult Children. No matter what decision you are facing or what obstacles stand in your path, these seven steps will help you discern God’s will in difficult situations, one step at a time. But be perfectly joined together in the same mind and in the same judgement,” I Corinthians 1:10 says. Our boys had been coming all week. In such situations, our choice is to trust God and draw closer to him or to trust ourselves and potentially miss the fullness of his plans and blessings. Romans 12:10 You know who they are – the people who lift you up when you are down, who give you energy to move forward, who consistently remind you of God’s will. Three years later, our son, Judah, was born. Mine—and now Dana’s—was to rely on the Holy Spirit and walk in faith as we sought to discern that plan. . “For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand, so that we should walk in them,” Ephesians 2:10 says. Co-ed Online Bible Study Groups with couples and singles. Judah, six, and Gabriel, four, darted through the packed sanctuary to join their classmates. So when God’s plans differ from what you expect, don’t despair. Her body was alternately stiff and then limp, as if someone had forgotten to tighten her muscles. I also felt called to write, but I had no idea how God would bring these paths together. “Want to hold her?” Allen dropped Ruth into Dana’s arms without waiting for a reply. When we spend quiet time with Him it will overflow into all areas of our life. Use God’s word as a guide when seeking God’s purpose. The following March, we joyously welcomed our daughter, little imagining what God had in store. But as we sought to determine God’s will, we felt that the Great Commission overrode his concerns. Many texts in the Bible are specific, concrete, revelatory expressions of broader, universal realities or theological principles. Many times I wondered, “How can I be effective for the kingdom of God?” or “What does God want me doing?” or “How can I best serve him?” In response to my questions, someone said, “Your ministry will come from your quiet time”. “You remember, honey?”. … If God was calling us to adopt Ruth, we knew he’d call our children as well. Therefore, to determine God’s specific will for your life you must familiarize and submerge yourself in the Word of God. A promise does not make God bend to our will. There are five key questions to ask in order to determine God’s will in a decision-making situation. In a previous article, I wrote about Following God Without Hesitation, referencing Joshua 3:3 and what I said there was that 'we need to determine God’s will and “go after” God without hesitation.' by Selina | Sep 1, 2015 | Blog | 1 comment. Article Images Copyright © 2021 Getty Images unless otherwise indicated. But it's also a matter of practice. That part of the puzzle was God’s. 4. God specifies how He wants us to live as Christians. Since the Scriptures provide us to all good works (2 Timothy 3:16,17), they give all the guidance we need. 4 Ways to Love One Another. Faith is an important component to accepting God’s wisdom. “Twins?” he mouthed silently. Watching her learn and grow was a greater delight than we ever anticipated. How to Rest in God’s Shelter in Times of Trouble. Since leaving our decision to adopt with God, Dana and I hadn’t talked about it. First, I suggest that you give yourself to the word of God. While we knew that adopting a child with disabilities would not be easy, we knew that God was guiding us together. For Dana and I, the idea of adopting wasn’t out of the blue. Should I Think Of Having Children When The World Is So Broken? As Dana and I sought God’s will, he led us to Scriptures encouraging us to share with those in need, feed the hungry, and care for orphans. We can find the Cross first of all through loving sacrifice no matter how small or insignificant or hidden from the … Maybe you’ve faced a similar predicament. Being able to determine God's will in a situation is influenced by our effort to submit to Him and obey Him. While my emotions were all over the place—one moment excited, another moment scared at the possibility of adopting Ruth—God’s Word is unchanging. An ultrasound later revealed only one baby. His aim is that we be transformed, sanctified, freed by the truth of his revealed word (John 8:32; 17:17). Reading and studying the Bible will provide the answers for God’s general will for each and every person. Ruth’s head rolled forward and back, forward and back. Everything else faded—parents filling the pews, Lydia leaning against my knee, our children lining the front of the church. Instead of giving in to fear and doubt, Dana and I set aside two months to pray while waiting to see whether another family would step forward to adopt Ruth. The confirmation of God’s Word Don’t say a word. That night at church, people squeezed against the pews as Allen made his way up the crowded aisle. Sometime later, I walked into a friend’s church for the last night of Vacation Bible School. 7 Steps to Discerning God’s Will in Difficult Situations, California - Do Not Sell My Personal Information. All rights reserved. —John 3:16 The Boast of the Cross May I never boast except in the cross of our Lord Jesus Christ, through which the world has been crucified to me, and I to the world. Do your plans line up with his? God’s aim is a new mind, a new way of thinking and judging, not just new information. In fact, 90 percent of God's will for my life is the same as 90 percent of God's will for your life. Tests that would reveal further disabilities. CBN.com--One of the strongest man-made structures in the world is the suspension bridge. Dana slid Ruth into my arms. She and Dana are the parents of six children and live in a little house in the big woods of midcoast Maine.You can contact Meadow at meadowrue@twc.com or sign up for her weekly blog, Faith Notes at www.meadowrue.com. They were strong and athletic and very graceful. Early on, I felt drawn to Africa and helping orphans. Or that wonderful man you felt called to marry left you feeling lonely and disappointed. I learned that I can know how I should be living by reading God’s Word, discovering what pleases Him and what He desires from me, and then simply living it out. “Two girls were diving off a dock into the water,” she’d told me. More than a year later, as Dana held Ruth in church, I asked Theresa how old she was. As you begin walking in faith, the path will become clearer—as will your blessings and the ability to see with greater clarity His hand and guidance through our difficult situations. “Ruth only started therapy a couple of weeks ago. God had planted a love for orphans in my heart from childhood. Rather than impulsively leaping forward or fearfully turning back, we took seven crucial steps—one at a time. Dana wiggled a finger, holding it out for Ruth to grab. Then my husband and I would adopt. Image Credit: ©Thinkstock/mavoimages Trust God? It struck Dana the same way it struck me. “They sprang up—way, way up—into the air like Olympic divers. Surprisingly, our children were Ruth’s biggest advocates, always encouraging her and cheering her on. (Romans 12:1-2) While we don’t rely on man’s wisdom alone, God often uses people to increase our wisdom. SURRENDER--Am I committed to doing God’s will in this situation? 10 Powerful Reasons to Pray Scripture (And How to Start), Here Are 10 Things Selfish People Always Do in Relationships, 10 Ways Satan Wants You to Respond to the Coronavirus. He has a general and specific … Don’t say it, I thought, handing Ruth back to Dana. If you’re struggling to trust God in the storms of your life, not sure God can really help with your troubles or don’t know where to even begin, I invite you to join the Trusting God study. Along the way, God blessed us with a love for Ruth as deep as for our other children. “If any of you lacks wisdom, let him ask God, who gives to all men liberally without criticism, and it will be given to him,” says James 1:5. From that familiarity with Jesus’ personality and character, we equip ourselves to recognize what His will is for us in all circumstances. A friend once encouraged my wife and I to take on a certain task. 1. And we almost missed it, all because Ruth wasn’t quite what we expected. Copyright © 2021, iBelieve.com. What He requires of us and what pleases Him. You can be confident that God will make any specific plans He has for you clear. So the second stage of God’s will of command is the discerning application of the Scriptures to new situations in life by means of a renewed mind. “I ask you, brothers, by the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, that all speak in agreement and that there be no divisions among you. This modern engineering marvel can carry an amazing amount of weight and strain because of … When facing a decision that doesn’t look the way you expect, take time to reflect on whether this fits your passion and prayers. We also got to know several families with children who had cerebral palsy, asking them their experiences and learning about local programs for children with disabilities. You don’t have to live in fear of His displeasure when you seek His will through these 5 steps. Your job as a Christian is to make decisions according to your desire to please Him —not yourself (Romans 12:2). Then she was scheduled to return to her orphanage, Welcome Home Africa, unless someone wanted to adopt her. That was the decision Dana and I faced after meeting Ruth. This was very confusing at first, but after some time I understood what it meant. Or trust ourselves? With the astonishing revelation of Ruth’s age, Dana and I felt emboldened to pursue God’s plan. Since neither Dana nor I knew much about cerebral palsy, we talked to our pediatrician. Keep on reading to find out what God has taught me about His Word and how it reveals His general and specific will for man-kind. When you and I are making a decision “in the dark,” we also can line up the “runway lights” that assure us our decision is in the center of God’s will. 3) Do not assume to know precisely when, where, or how God’s promises will be fulfilled in your life. For Dana and I, the idea of adopting wasn’t out of the blue. The better you and I know God’s general will, the easier it is to determine God’s specific will in particular situations. So, together we prayed, “Lord, if you have another child for us, you will have to bring that child to us.” We wouldn’t pursue it. I knew they were yours.”. The four runway lights that I use to determine God’s will in making a decision are: 1. I’d go to college, get married, become a writer, and have two boys and a girl—in that order. Theresa had told me about her several weeks before. Then they crossed their arms over their chests before spinning down and disappearing into the water with a splash. God's Word clearly indicates that He is willing to give guidance to His children in both the big and the small areas of life (Psalm 32:8; 37:5, 7, 23; Proverbs 3:5-6). Did God ignore our heart-felt petitions? Finding God’s will for your life is not as difficult as we make it out to be. While the specifics of a particular passage may only apply to the particular situation of the biblical audience, the theological principles revealed in that text are applicable to all of God’s people at all times. Ruth’s head flopped against his shoulder. How can we discern what is truly God’s will for our lives compared to the curve balls that sometimes take us by surprise? God’s Will Definition. No matter what decision you are facing or what obstacles stand in your path, these seven steps will help you discern God’s will in difficult situations. “Fifteen…sixteen months?” Theresa ticked off the numbers on her fingers, looking to Allen. Trust God’s love . These might be prayer warriors, ministry leaders, or others with experience in the area about which you are seeking to make a decision. Trusting God is a free 4-week email-based devotional to help you learn to trust God through the storms of your life. God faithfully directs his children. From the time I was little, I’d planned my life in measured detail. This has brought up a good question in conversation: How Can I Determine God's Will for My Life? The will of God (or Divine Will) is the idea that God has a plan for people (Jeremiah 29:11-13). The most obvious answer to the question, “How can I know God’s will for my life?” is to ask Him. When we seek God's direction for specific answers to particular situations, we need to ask ourselves if we are surrendered to God's will and if the answer lines up with His Word or if it seems more in line with our own desires. Verse after verse is filled with practical lessons and instructions for daily life. iStudyEBS is a division of Explorer’s Bible Study. Do you ever wonder what Gods specific will is for your life? To discern God’s will, designate a specific period of time to pray. Post was not sent - check your email addresses! The descriptive Biblical insights aren’t timeless truths for Christians today — though they are valuable for mediation, reflection, and learning about God. God’s Immediate Will. And we talked to adoption agencies and lawyers to find out what steps adopting Ruth would require. But in a quiet moment alone, I’d offered up this feeble prayer: “Lord, if you want us to adopt, you will have to put it in Dana’s heart too.”. This is the greatest discovery we will ever make – God has a purpose and plan for each human being; past, present, and future. Tiny fingers curled into her palms, but she was smiling—a lopsided, baby-toothed “Here I am” smile that creased her cheeks and made her dark eyes gleam. Questions like, “Should we get a divorce?”, “How should I treat someone who persecutes me?”, and “Is it okay to look at pornographic material?” are all answered through Scripture. God had indeed given me the desires of my heart, with one exception. Was this God’s answer to our prayers? Look for the word “if” in the context. All the other steps are pointless if we don’t follow up with action. We welcomed our son, Gabriel, and daughter, Lydia, soon after. The Bible expects us to walk in the good works that God has prepared beforehand for us (Ephesians 2:10). The second thing to keep in mind is that God not only has a general will that includes all of us, but He also has a specific will for each one of us. A sudden urge to protect her overwhelmed me. As we spent time with Ruth, we carefully observed our children’s reactions. “Where there is no counsel, the people fall; but in the multitude of counselors there is safety,” says Proverbs 11:14. Pray, glorify God, study the Scripture, be willing to wait, and trust God’s … This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. 1. archangel sent by God to Daniel 2. And how do we really know whether we are in step with God’s plan when it appears so different from what we expected? Or was His answer just different from our expectations? God has a will for all who know Him personally, which is referred to as specific will of God In every situation, what revelation of God must always take precedence written will of God Learn how your comment data is processed. Or perhaps the path you felt God directing you to follow now seems barren and barred by obstacles. Two weeks after Lydia’s. It is one thing to pray for God’s will to be done in your life, but it is quite another to accept His will. This covers what the Lord desires us to do today in our current situation. “Your word is a lamp to my feet and a light to my path,” Psalm 119:105. Submitting to God’s will challenged us in ways we never expected and opened our hearts to other children with disabilities. “Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding,” Proverbs 3:5-6 says. God's word is the best source of guidance for self-help and motivation for self-improvement. His Circumstantial Will. What happens when life’s reality differs from our expectations---and prayers? And Romans 12:2 says, "Be renewed in your mind so that you can prove what is the will of God"—His will, I believe, for you—"what is good, acceptable and perfect." She was scrawny and limp and dressed in a shapeless pink onesie that sagged where a round tummy and chubby thighs should have stretched it tight. James 1:5 says, “If any of you lacks wisdom, he should ask God, who gives generously to all without finding fault, and it will be given to him.” So simply ask for God’s help and then… 3. While Dana’s experience was different, as soon as he held Ruth, God awakened that love in him in a clear answer to my previous prayer. Praying doesn’t have to be complicated. Honor one another above yourselves. BOOK EXCERPT Circumstances and Hearing God's Voice By Craig von Buseck CBN.com Contributing Writer . Unknown to my mom, I was pregnant with our third child. one could Google the question or search the world to know God’s will for your life, your purpose for being but your best option is to spend a little time with God in the Bible and His Truth will open up to you. Usually it's a day-by-day, sometimes minute by minute, method of guidance where we must listen and respond. Ruth’s head was fringed with a thin scrub of curls. Turn to God in prayer and ask Him what He wants you to do. The Gospel of Love "For God so loved the world, that he gave his only Son, that whoever believes in him should not perish but have eternal life." Because my most visited post is 5 Ways to Know if Something is from God which leads me to believe I’m not the only one who struggles sometimes with the specifics of God’s will. To adopt Ruth, our family faced numerous hurdles. Meadow Rue Merrill is an award-winning journalist and the author of the memoir, “Redeeming Ruth: Everything Life Takes, Love Restores,” which releases with Hendrickson Publishers in May 2017. So, I went digging to find verses that might help us know God’s “always” will . Basing your decisions on just one source of direction can often be risky. A whirlwind trip to plan to East Africa. In summary, God's will can refer to His perfect plan known since the beginning of time, God's teachings for all people, God's specific desires for a community of people, or God's unique plan for our individual lives. 1) God’s promises are often conditional. Unless otherwise indicated, all contents are copyright of iStudyEBS. Sorry, your blog cannot share posts by email. Any indepth bible study, such as iStudy, will open His Will up for you to learn and follow. We sent the teams, recognizing the potential danger. Some Bible verses have “timeless truths” that are applicable to Christians today. Other Bible verses are descriptive, which means they describe a specific situation, person, or event that happened more than 2,000 years ago. But my heart was doing flips. “In all your ways submit to him, and he will make your paths straight.”. Paul desired to preach here 3. compared Paul's word with Scripture 4. circumstances which God arranges for His purposes 5. prayed to understand the meaning of a vision 6. the chief prince angel 7. a prophet who refused God's will 8. praiseworthy qualities that we should think upon 9. second channel marker If so, it looked radically different from what I expected. Ask God for His wisdom. Clearly, adoption is in keeping with God’s desire. Yes, we still walked through all the other steps of discernment, but we did so with greater confidence. Then proceed to the next step. Let us study 12 specific, practical steps the Bible gives to show us how to change and improve our selves to become what God wants. Her skin was the color of gingerbread, and she was beautiful, stunning, with a high, rounded forehead and a fat little pucker of a nose. Does "God's will" only apply to moral decisions or is there a framework or guidelines/advice for identifying what God's will may be? Instead, she wrinkled her nose and let out a deep “hee-hee-hee” that stiffened her entire body. . God rarely gives us a specific list of GPS directions for our lives. When none did, we took this as God’s leading to spend more time with Ruth and see what caring for her was like. Not once. lean into His grace and mercy. I had been praying and dreaming of this moment for decades, but not once had I imagined adopting a child with disabilities. “When the Spirit of truth comes, He will guide you into all truth,” John 16:13 says, “… He will tell you things that are to come.”, Two years before we met Ruth, God gave my mother a dream in which Dana and I had twin girls. That long prayed for job or ministry opportunity lacks the outcome you imagined. Before you were even born, God created you with a passion and a purpose, and he will prepare you. But he wasn’t sure we were ready. Believe He will guide you. Two weeks after graduating from college, I married my high school sweetheart, Dana. Or have you ever wondered how you are supposed to determine both God’s general and specific will for you and for others? “It’s too early to tell.” Theresa shrugged. The day we returned from our honeymoon I landed a job as a reporter for a small Maine newspaper. Lawyers to hire. Yet here Ruth was, smiling from the cradle of my husband’s arms. Recall what brought you here. God’s Desired Will. 2) God gives us promises to help us better submit to His will and trust Him. Towing sixteen month Lydia through the crowd, Dana and I slid into a pew beside my friend Theresa. p.p1 {margin: 0.0px 0.0px 0.0px 0.0px; font: 12.0px Helvetica} He does not leave us wandering about in doubt and confusion. When we fail to live up to God’s standards, He wants us to know how we should respond to these circumstances. But through it all, we kept walking faith, confident that adopting Ruth was indeed God’s plan. Ruth, who had cerebral palsy, was here for six months of physical therapy. “God is going to give you the desires of your heart,” three separate ministers had told me on three separate occasions, and I believed them. Paul explained … By Dr. Ann Shorb . The thought of spending the rest of our lives taking care of someone who might never be able to take care of herself scared me. Her right eye turned weakly toward her nose. Jesus said that His true relations are those who know and do the Father’s will: “Whoever does God’s will is my brother and sister and mother” ( Mark 3:35 ). “If any of you lacks wisdom, you should ask God, who gives generously to all without finding fault, and it will be given to you.”. Then I saw the baby dangling from his arms. The Bible outlines God’s general will for all man-kind. God responds to a two word cry for help in the middle of a busy afternoon, just like He does to a focused prayer time after reading Scripture in the morning. What Would the Apostle Paul Say about Wearing Face Masks? ( James 1:5) “Ask and it will be given to you; seek and you will find; knock and the door will be opened to you. God’s will is found in the Cross. I was blessed to grow up with a God seeking, Bible-believing, Spirit filled mom who encouraged me to search out God’s plans for my life. I couldn’t see his face, couldn’t tell what he was thinking. I couldn’t take my eyes off her. Dana was looking too. For being so weak, Ruth’s happiness was contagious, and we laughed too. The better you and I know God’s general will, the easier it is to determine God’s specific will in particular situations. There was money to raise. Amazingly, Dana said it for me, “So, do you want to adopt her?”. The pathway to knowing the will of God is found in loving imitation of the Lord who laid down His life for His friends. Be devoted to one another in love. God had … It took me a moment to remember the baby that Theresa and her family were hosting from an orphanage in Uganda. Over the years we’d been married, Dana and I had often talked of adoption. How to Determine God's Will . To discern the will of God, analyze your gifts, motives, and desires in light of God’s sovereign purpose of being glorified among the nations. Study, such as iStudy, will open His will through these 5 steps, was born 12:2 ) we! S reality differs from our expectations -- -and prayers a reporter for a small Maine.. ) is the idea of adopting wasn ’ t despair ( or Divine will is... Help you learn to trust God through the crowd, Dana and had... Stiffened her entire body for each and every person I walked into a ’! Your Blog can not share posts by email of Explorer ’ s general will for my life in measured.. We kept walking faith, confident that adopting a child with disabilities would not be easy we! 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