Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Discerning the Will of God-Part 1

I am sure that this topic is one that has confused many honest and sincere followers of Christ. Just the sound of it, Discerning the will of God, seems somewhat like a mystery. I don't believe that it is God's intention for us to be confused in regards to accomplishing His purpose through our lives. Our Church language can add to the mystery. When we speak of spiritual realities, like, being the Body of Christ, that in itself can add to a sense confusion or misunderstanding.

What follows is my understanding of scripture, in explicit terms, and in looking at events and characters that shed light on the topic. The conclusion of this will be based on personal experience, based on many years and a very slow and gradual understanding of God working in my life. In all of this, it is imperative to remember that what follows is my understanding and my experience.

First, understanding the will of God needs to be looked at in general terms and a wide scope. When that is completed and understood the focus can be upon individuals. The desire and plan of God covers all of creation and time and must be examined by reading His revelation, illuminated by His Presence, and confirmed in humanity by His seal and witness.

The message of scripture is Gods' great desire to have fellowship with the people He created. That desire has been communicated in many ways and methods. In the Old Testament God used very explicit and easy to understand methods. Visions, angels, direct voices, theophanies, burning bushes and many other methods directed individuals to understand the desire and will of God. The experiences left little or no doubt in the life of the person on the receiving side.

In the beginning of the New Testament the desire and will of God was also explicit, yet at times not easy to understand. Jesus spoke the eternal mind and heart of the Father. The character of the Triune God was made visible through Christ. But, even in the presence and words of Christ, the early followers did not understand everything.

On the Day of Pentecost the followers of Christ experienced the imparting presence of the Holy Spirit. Jesus promised that the Great Illuminator would come and teach all things and bring the important to remembrance. It is apparent to me that the methods of communication between God and man have slowly changed. The changes seem to coincide with the passing of the early followers of Christ. That point is purely speculative on my part, as scripture ends with one of the greatest revelations imagined.

I must add that later church history will detail many miraculous manifestations of God and His presence. The period that we know as the, Dark Ages, seems to show us a general change in the direct explicit communication between God and men.

In a sense of overview of this portion we can understand that God desires communication and fellowship with all of humanity. Peter's second epistle is quite clear, God is not willing that any should perish, but all come to repentance. The communication and invitation to fellowship is open to all. Paul leads us to another understanding of the desire and purpose of God, This is the will of God, even your sanctification. It is the will of God and desire that we have a relationship based on communication and love.

1 comment:

  1. You asked about hearing the voice of God. One only has to listen. We are surrounded by it. Any natural sound be it a gurgling brook, the crash of ocean waves, a whispering breeze or the scream of a hurricane, those are the sounds of God's voice. When you tune out the human noise, it's there. One only has to listen.
    Discerning God's will? Why. God's will is that we believe. We muddy the notion up, not God.