THE THIRD STEP to living in God’s will is to maintain your principles even when it is inconvenient. Oh–this is a tough one, because we always want to choose the EASY way. We don’t want to be inconvenienced. We deal every day with the temptation to tell that little white lie, to go against principal because “no one gets hurt”, to do the easy thing–not the right thing.
Here’s a truth for you: When we fight temptation on what we consider are these small levels–it makes it easier to fight temptation on the higher levels. If you think about it, how could God bless something if we were doing the wrong thing to achieve it? How can God bless that which is wrong? God can only bless that which is right.
Let’s look at Joseph in the Old Testament. He faced one of his biggest challenges when he was approached by Potiphar’s wife (his bosses wife). Look at what it says in Genesis 39: 6-12
Genesis 39:6-12 (TNIV)
6 So Potiphar left everything he had in Joseph’s care; with Joseph in charge, he did not concern himself with anything except the food he ate. Now Joseph was well-built and handsome, 7 and after a while his master’s wife took notice of Joseph and said, “Come to bed with me!” 8 But he refused. [Skip forward to verse 11] 11 One day he went into the house to attend to his duties, and none of the household servants was inside. 12 She caught him by his cloak and said, “Come to bed with me!” But he left his cloak in her hand and ran out of the house.
Joseph could have given all kinds of excuses to give in but he was willing to do what was right in spite of the consequences. And in fact, he was put in jail—but God was with him. The jailer recognized that God was with Joseph and put him in charge of all the jail.
Living in God’s will means doing what is right in the eyes of God. How can we expect God to bless us if we are doing wrong? How could God bless Joseph if he was having an affair?
How can God bless me if I am stealing at work? Or if I hurt people with my words? Or any number of other things. Living in God’s will means listening to His wisdom– and doing that which is blessable.
Maintain your principals, even when inconvenient. Fight temptation on the small levels and become stronger in the bigger situations.
THE FOURTH STEP to living in God’s will is recognizing that God is in control. We bought our first house in 1999. We made a list of all the things we wanted in a house: a fireplace, a pool, 3 bedrooms, a screened in back porch, a nice yard, double car garage and more. We found a house that was just what WE wanted. We made a bid on the house and it wasn’t accepted.
We made another offer…no, they wouldn’t take it. We made still another….no deal. I remember driving away from that house and both my wife and girl’s had deep disappointment in their eyes. Our hearts were sunk down to our knees. This was the house, it had everything!
I remember telling my wife and the girls, “It’s okay, there was some reason (and I have no clue what it was) that God doesn’t want us to have this house.” You see, I have learned that it is better to allow God to be in control of my life rather than me. To be patient and to seek His will, not mine. Oh, we could have paid all the closing cost, putting us on a razors edge financially; we could have gotten in deeper than we could possibly bear….though the house was in our price range. But there was some reason we didn’t get that “dream house”.
Two weeks later our realtor walked us into another house a mile away. My wife, my girls and I all knew instantly that this was the house! It didn’t have everything on the list, but it was so much more! Tiled kitchen floors, built around the kitchen, split bedrooms (master bedroom on one side of the house and the girls rooms on the other). We instantly knew that this was the house that God reserved for us. We made a bid and it was accepted. I am so glad that we let God be in control rather than us–I’ll die in the house we are in now–because it’s the house of our dreams!
Living in God’s will means recognizing God is in control. Here is my prayer for all of us: May you recognize that God loves you and often has a better plan. May you recognize that sometimes, what you want is not best for you. May you walk through those times with God at your side and may you rejoice each day because you are in the arms of our Lord and Savior!
So, let’s sum it all up. As we go through life, stuff happens, we often don’t know why. We react, we often feel sorry for ourselves, we sometimes get bitter, and we look for the bad often ignoring the good. Do you wonder sometimes if God has deserted you or if your life has any purpose at all? If so, maybe you need to go back to God–recognize that He is in control. Truth is….he never left you.
I like to say (and I believe this with all of my heart), that when I lived in MY WILL…. my life was chaotic and I seemed to always make the wrong decisions. As I live in GOD’S WILL, when I look to Him for those answers–He does! He answers! Life is less chaotic and I make decisions that help my life rather than decisions that take me further down the wrong path.
Living in God’s will means recognizing God is in control. Living in God’s will means making the best of bad situations. Do you realize that in the same way……. if your child comes to you and says “Look, I have a new this or that” and you realize that it was not theirs, it was stolen, well, you can’t bless that can ya? To live in God’s will we must live in a way that God can bless.
Living in God’s will means maintaining your principles even when inconvenient. And finally, do you realize that in order to live in relationship with God, that just like any relationship, we must talk and we must listen. We must look to God for refuge, not only in our troubles, but in the good times.
To live in God’s will means recognizing the presence of God in your life.
May YOU be humble each day and look to God for all things in your life. May YOU rejoice in His presence and trust in His wisdom. May YOU live a life in God’s will and may YOU receive peace and comfort in all that is offered you.