Posts Tagged ‘God’s will


You Have Not Because You Ask Not

Good Monday morning to you! There is a battle raging inside of us. We want what we want and we want it right now. So we’ll do anything we can to get what we want. But the one thing we should do, we don’t do. Listen to what James says:

What causes fights and quarrels among you? Don’t they come from your desires that battle within you? 2 You desire but do not have, so you kill. You covet but you cannot get what you want, so you quarrel and fight. You do not have because you do not ask God. – James 4:1-2 (NIV)

People covet and steal and kill to get what they want, but they don’t pray. We don’t turn to the One who can give us the desires of our hearts. We don’t submit to God or His will and instead we resort to sinful means to get what we want. So what is it that you truly want? Have you asked the Lord to provide that which you desire? Trust Him that, if it is His will, He will, in His time, give you what you need and what you want.

The Double-Minded Doubter

James wrote that when we doubt God in our prayers that we are like waves tossed about by the sea. He continued:

That person should not expect to receive anything from the Lord. 8 Such a person is double-minded and unstable in all they do. – James 1:7-8 (NIV)

God is willing and able to answer the prayers we pray according to His perfect will. The question is, “Do we truly believe?” Or do we doubt God’s power and His love before we ever bow in prayer? James says that we are double-minded. When you pray today, pray in faith. Trust the Lord to provide. Trust God for healing – whether it is physical or emotional. Know that our God can move mountains if mountains need to be moved. If He doesn’t move mountains, He can carry you over them. Too often, though, we don’t even pray. I’ve heard it said that God will not answer the prayers we don’t pray. Humble yourself before Him. Pray in faith. Surrender to His will. Know that He knows what is best and will take care of you. Take a moment to pray to Him now about the most pressing need you have. May His will be done in your life today.

God’s Will and God’s Ways

John 7:10-13 (NIV)

 However, after his brothers had left for the festival, he went also, not publicly, but in secret. 11 Now at the festival the Jewish leaders were watching for Jesus and asking, “Where is he?”
12 Among the crowds there was widespread whispering about him. Some said, “He is a good man.”
Others replied, “No, he deceives the people.” 13 But no one would say anything publicly about him for fear of the leaders.

One of the questions I have about the first part of John 7 is why Jesus said that He wasn’t going to go to the Feast of Tabernacles in Jerusalem and then went secretly to the feast.  John 7:8 (NIV) says:

You go to the festival. I am not going up to this festival, because my time has not yet fully come.

While some Greek manuscripts translated it as, “not yet,” that’s not what the best manuscripts said. Did Jesus lie to His brothers about not going to the feast? He did not. He said that He would not go to the feast because His time had not yet fully come. God the Father did lead Him to go to the feast with His family as was the custom. Instead, God the Father directed Jesus to remain in Galilee until later when He could go to Jerusalem in secret instead of publicly.
Why did Jesus sneak into Jerusalem? Again, the time was not right for Him to be crucified. Under the Father’s direction, He had to remain in secret. He wasn’t afraid of the Jewish leaders. Jesus knew what was coming – the cross. The time wasn’t quite right just yet. The day would come when Jesus would reveal Himself and would face the Jewish leaders and go the cross to suffer and die. This was not the right time and that is the focus of the passage.
We would do well to remember that God’s timing is not always our timing. God’s ways are not our ways. We want our will to be done in our lives and in the lives of others. Jesus’ brothers wanted Jesus to hurry up and do what He had to do. God’s timing was, and still is, best. So let us trust the Father to do His will in HIS timing and rest in knowing that His will and His ways are best.
PRAYER: Father in Heaven, thank You for Your Son, Jesus. Thank You for His willingness to go to the cross to suffer and die for my sins. I rejoice in the salvation You have given to me by Your grace through Your Son. I pray that You will help me to remember today that Your will and Your ways are best. Help me to wait upon You to do Your will in Your timing. In Jesus’ name, amen.

Our Plans And God’s Purposes

In his heart a man plans his course, but the LORD determines his steps. — Proverbs 16:9 (NIV)

Many are the plans in a man’s heart, but it is the LORD’s purpose that prevails. — Proverbs 19:21 (NIV)

We think we know.  We think we’ve got it all together.  We think that we’ll just be-bop through life as though we are in charge and everything will just come together.  We make plans to do this and plans to do that.  How we love to plan.  We plan our days.  We plan our futures.  We plan parties.  We hire wedding planners.  We make weekend plans.   We obsess over things like retirement planning.  We carry around daily planners.  We are a people who love to plan things.  We calculate and save and coordinate.  Why?  Because we have plans.

What happens when our plans go awry?  What happens when that bright future we planned out is interrupted or derailed?  What happens when life smacks us in the face so hard that all of our plans come crashing down around us?  We come to realize that the second half of these two proverbs is true.  We can make all kinds of plans, but God is the ultimate Planner.  He is our Life Coordinator.  The Lord determines our steps and His purposes prevail.  We often throw around the phrase (especially in difficult circumstances) that “everything happens for a reason.”  That is true!  We may not understand the reasons, but God does.  He determines our steps.  His purposes prevail.  He has His reasons for the way our lives go.  Our plans may fail, but God’s purposes are perfect.

The New Testament tells us that God will work everything together for good if we love Him and live according to His will (Romans 8:28, paraphrase).  May our trust and faith be in Him who knows and directs our futures.  May we understand that He is good and His love endures forever.  May we be faithful to Jesus and may the Holy Spirit guide us as we journey through this life.  May you have peace today and may your plans align with the One whose purposes will prevail.

PRAYER: Father in Heaven, I pray that You would reveal to me Your will for my life today. I want to know what it is that You desire for me to do. I pray that You will give me the strength and the courage to go ahead and do it. In Jesus’ name, amen.



Proverbs 16 is so full of good stuff!  Look at verses 3 and 9:

Commit to the Lord whatever you do,
and your plans will succeed. (Proverbs 16:3, NIV)

In his heart a man plans his course,
but the Lord determines his steps. (Proverbs 16:9, NIV)

These two verses show us that God is in charge.  If we commit ourselves to doing GOD’S will, we know that our plans will succeed (verse 3).  We also see that we can make all kinds of plans, but if it is not God’s will, we will fall.  We can plot and plan, but it is God who determines our steps (verse 9).  It reminds me of James 4.  Verse 15 (NIV) says, “…you ought to say, “If it is the Lord’s will, we will live and do this or that.”  We can make all kinds of boasts and plans, but if it is not God’s will, we will not succeed.  We must surrender to God’s will and His plan each day.  That’s kind of a scary thing to do, but we need to do it.  Why?  Because Father knows best!  Our Heavenly Father knows what we need.  He loves us and wants to do what is best for us.  We can rest assured knowing that God’s will is for our best.  We may not always understand how what we are going through is for our best, but at some point we will understand more fully.  Either on this side of Heaven or when we see Him face to face.
PRAYER: Father, I want Your will to be done in my life today. So whatever plans I make, may they be done according to Your will and in Your time. Help me to remember that You know what is best. Thank You for blessing me with so much. Amen.

It’s Time To March

The Bible is full of strange, almost crazy stories.  God uses some pretty amazing means to accomplish His will.  Here are a few examples:
  • Moses being called into service through a burning bush that did not burn up
  • God speaking through a donkey to Balaam (Numbers 22)
  • God using the least likely of individuals (Joseph, David, Paul, etc) to do great things
  • Dry bones coming to life (Ezekiel 37)
  • God becoming flesh to suffer and die for the sins of the world in the person of Jesus

There are many others to be sure.  Here in Joshua 6, God reveals the battle plan for the taking of Jericho.  The Israelites are going to march around the city for six days and then on the seventh day, they’ll march around it seven times and blow their trumpets and the people will shout and the walls will come tumbling down.  A fortified city with 2 walls that were each about 6 feet thick and together stood about 50 feet high.  The city was about 3,000 feet all the way around.  This was a major city in Canaan and yet it was no match for God.

God doesn’t always do what we think makes sense.  But God’s got a plan.  He has a purpose.  While we may not see the big picture of what He’s doing, He knows what He’s doing.  It’s hard to remember and keep that in mind sometimes when we’re in the midst of what we’re going through. God is calling out to you, “Trust Me.”  What He is calling you to today may sound strange or far-fetched.  It may make you uncomfortable.  It may cause you to have to get outside of your box.  But the God who brings down fortified walls with marching and trumpets has a plan for your life.  When He says, “March!” let’s march.  And you can be sure that you will see the walls come tumbling down.
PRAYER: Heavenly Father, I pray today that You would tear down the walls in my life that are keeping me from doing Your will. Help me to hear Your voice and to march. I pray for a movement of Your power in my life through the Holy Spirit. In Jesus’ name, amen.

The Will And Plans Of God

Zechariah 4:8-14 (NIV)

Then the word of the Lord came to me: “The hands of Zerubbabel have laid the foundation of this temple; his hands will also complete it.Then you will know that the Lord Almighty has sent me to you.

10 “Who dares despise the day of small things, since the seven eyes of the Lord that range throughout the earth will rejoice when they see the chosen capstone in the hand of Zerubbabel?”

11 Then I asked the angel, “What are these two olive trees on the right and the left of the lampstand?”

12 Again I asked him, “What are these two olive branches beside the two gold pipes that pour out golden oil?”

13 He replied, “Do you not know what these are?”

“No, my lord,” I said.

14 So he said, “These are the two who are anointed to serve the Lord of all the earth.”

Zerubbabel was the governor of Judah and the angel told Zechariah that Zerubbabel would finish building the temple of the Lord in Jerusalem. What had once seemed impossible would be a cause for great rejoicing. When the people of Israel and Judah had been carried off into exile, they probably had no idea that they would one day return to rebuild the temple. But God had other plans.
It works this way in our lives, doesn’t it? A door will close to a situation or a possibility and we think, “Well, that’s the end of that!” But God has other plans. We would do well to ensure that we are in the center of His will. His plans are perfect and they never fail. If we are constantly seeking His will, we will never be disappointed. Instead of trying to accomplish our own purposes and plans, let us seek to fulfill the plans of God. He knows what He’s doing! We need to be more like Jesus who prayed, “Not my will be done, but Yours.” Just when thing seem bleak and hopeless, God works His will out for the best. Don’t give up on God or your faith in Him. Let Him accomplish His purposes in your life.
PRAYER: Father in Heaven, I want to seek Your will today. I want to be right in the middle of Your will so that I may accomplish Your purposes and plans. Help me to remember that Your ways and plans are perfect. I may not understand them right now, but I know that You will work them out for  good. Thank You in Jesus’ name, amen.

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