This week we’ve been pondering on what it means to “Live well, Live wisely, live humbly” (James 3:13, MSG) as we search for God’s will for our lives. Today we concentrate on how ‘living wisely’ can help us on our quest for God’s will.
What could living wisely be? Maybe it’s recognizing what in life has eternal value and embracing it with everything we’ve got.
Don’t love the world or the things in the world. If anyone loves the world, the love of the Father is not in them. Everything that is in the world—the craving for whatever the body feels, the craving for whatever the eyes see and the arrogant pride in one’s possessions—is not of the Father but is of the world. And the world and its cravings are passing away, but the person who does the will of God remains forever. (1 John 2: 15-17, CEB, emphasis added)
The deeper we are rooted in God’s word, the healthier our faith is.
The longer roots in Christ we have, the stronger our faith is.
The more grounded our faith is, the more wisely we live.
Still there is no shortcut to learn to live in God’s grace. We just need to faithfully practice what we believe. And thank God in every situation. Because when God says “no” to us, he protects us from what is less than his perfect will for us.
Rejoice always. Pray continually. Give thanks in every situation because this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus. Don’t suppress the Spirit. Don’t brush off Spirit-inspired messages, but examine everything carefully and hang on to what is good.(1 Thessalonians 5: 16-21, CEB)
Prayer is indeed the key into conversing with God. And continual conversation with God is the way to discern God’s will for our lives. But conversation is not a monologue. We also need to learn to listen to God. How do we do that?
God can speak to us through Bible-reading and spiritual journaling. But let’s not forget that God also speaks through other Christians, grace-incidences, closed and open doors, and spiritual disciplines. We don’t practice Christian disciplines for the sake of performance but to learn to live in God’s will. Spiritual disciplines help us to get rooted deeper in Christ. And the deeper we are rooted in Christ, the better we hear God’s voice.
When we yearn to surrender to God in everything, God will certainly guide us. What it means each and every time is ours to figure out. God will show us his will when we are eager to find it out. But even then we don’t all the time know what is God’s will for us and we just need to keep on praying, searching and acting in faith. Don’t get discouraged, Thomas Merton was a faithful man of God and still he wrote in his book Thoughts on Solitude this way:
My Lord God I have no idea where I am going.
I do not see the road ahead of me.
I cannot know for certain where it will end.
Nor do I really know myself,
And the fact that I think I am following your will
does not mean
that I am actually doing so.
But I believe that the desire to please you,
does in fact please you.
And I hope I have that desire in all that I am doing.
And I know that if I do this
You will lead me by the right road,
Though I may know nothing about it.
Thank you that You guide us
even when we don’t see it.
Thank you that you change our worries
to grace and peace.
Teach us to recognize your will and
readily to respond to it.
Root us deeply in you.
In Jesus’ name,
Q4U: When have you experienced God’s guidance? How have you recognized what is God’s will in your life?
Be blessed, my fellow pilgrim, as you discover God’s will in your life!
Giving thanks today for
#391 God desiring continual conversation with each of us
#392 God protects us by saying ‘no’
#393 we can trust God taking care of us
#394 surrendering to God brings peace
#395 the biggest adventure in life is to seek God’s will
#396 we can rest in God’s grace while discerning
#397 God’s plan for us is perfect
#398 we can live stress and worries behind when we trust God
#399 living wisely means living in grace
#400 basking in God’s love and grace
The last winner of the Common English Bible softcover edition is Debbie! Congratulations! All these CEB giveaways were possible because I am participating in the Common English Bible Blog tour from Ash Wednesday all the way to Pentecost. Let’s check out this fresh new Bible translation!
Image courtesy of Jeff Boriss. Parts of this post have been previously published 4/2010. Linking up today with Wordfilled Wednesday, God-Bumps & God-Incidences.