June 12th, 2015 by Carl Buffington
Here are some of the responses I got from you all, and you were all so different and each so spot on! Thank you for sharing!
I have included a 3-4 minute video that I intend to show Sunday. It is guaranteed to bless your socks off.
Megan is the 5-year old granddaughter of Patti Brown, our house guest for the past two weeks. You can’t miss it in the parable for this Sunday: it is God’s will that we sow seeds, and it doesn’t take a seminary degree to do that. “I Can Do That.”
I'm sorry I didn't get to hear your sermon, but I believe that I would have been one included in the room because, as far as I can tell, sharing the Gospel message to our children is God's will. And there is no other place I would rather be than in front of His children planting eternal seeds of His Kingdom.
To act justly, love mercy, and walk humbly with God.
Doing God's will is obeying those commands He gives us in our Bible. Easier said than done. To maintain that kind of obedience requires our living in His Presence on a moment by moment basis. This is called by many "Practicing the Presence of God". There are whole books written on how to do this. Enjoying God's presence means we stop trying to prove ourselves to God and decide to love Him and doing those things He knows are good for us. The ideal is to forget self as Mary did, sitting at the feet of Jesus and to gaze "full in His glorious face listening for His whisper and doing all He asks."This is a quote from Frank Laubach, The Practice of the Presence of God, pg 250.
Responding to your request on Sunday about suggestions on how to know God's will, here are some principles I have found helpful:
Basic conditions for hearing from God to receive guidance:
1. A receptive heart (Psalm 25:4-5, 8-9)
2. Committed in advance to following what He shows you. In other words, He does not hand out guidance cafeteria style, for our evaluation: "If you do not like this, then try that." (Proverbs 3:5-6)
3. Distinguishing between major and minor issues. If we get the major guidance right, the lesser ones will fit into place. But not vice versa. (John 6:40). You and I know if you listen to the Lord about whom to marry, a lot of other things will fall in place. But mess that one up, or other major decisions, and it gets increasingly complicated! :-)
4. Understanding what He has already revealed in the Bible regarding His will. (Psalm 119:9)
5. Taking time to listen after you ask God for guidance. Do not hang up the phone just when He has something He wants to say.
6. And or course some of the different ways God can speak to us is through Scripture including its basic principles, our human mind enlightened by the Holy Spirit, circumstances opening and closing opportunities, wise counsel and advice of others, and His inner peace ruling in our hearts (Col. 3:16).
How do I do God’s will?
I think the book The 10 Second Rule has significantly shaped me. I read Scripture, particularly the gospels, so I can know more about Jesus. If I do my best to act like Jesus, who was perfectly in line with the will of the Father, then I am okay. Sometimes what I read from the Bible informs my day—I can see how God uses his Word to prepare me for specific situations I will encounter that day. And I try to respond to the “nudges” I feel or hear, just like the 10 Second Rule said.
The girl on the roadside…and me.
A cool story… last Thursday I was in the parking lot at church at night. I heard the sound of metal scraping the road—a car in trouble along Tuskawilla Road. I couldn’t see much from my vantage point. As I pulled out of the lot and started home I passed a car pulled over by itself. There was no one in the car, but there was a young woman, about 18, standing by the car looking distressed. I have never ever stopped for a stranded motorist in my life—mostly because I am a woman and you read emails about car jackings, psycho killers, etc. But all throughout The 10 Second Rule the author had examples of stopping his car to help people. I remember asking God, “Surely I am excused from this because I am a woman, right? I will help people at the grocery store, just not by the roadside.” But as I drove by that girl (and I knew from the sound I had heard that she had legitimate car trouble), I felt the nudge to stop and see if I could help.
It turns out she was really scared. She had no money to call a tow truck. She had just returned from flight attendant school which was unpaid. Her brother had used her car and tried to “fix” it, but he hadn’t attached the wheel correctly and the whole wheel just sheared off as she was driving. Her stepdad in Apopka told her to sit by the car and wait. He’d be there in 40 minutes. She was frightened, furious at her brother, and worried about how she would pay for the car to be fixed. I sat and waited with her. A man drove up and joined us. He told me to leave and he would wait with her. But I pulled her aside and she said she’d be more comfortable if I stayed as well.
This would be a truly amazing story if she ended up accepting Christ that night, but it didn’t go that way. But I like to think that the man and I kept her calm and safe, and I am sure that is what Jesus would have done. And I am also sure God was looking out for her when he asked me to stop. And the Lord blessed me, too. Two years ago I had prayed to him, “I don’t want to do this because it scares me," and he asked me to do it last Thursday. But guess what? I felt confident, not frightened, following His leading. The Lord made two people feel safe that night. The girl on the roadside…and me.
We do God's will by serving those in need. Whether it be those who are being treated in the hospital when they are sick or whether it be serving our children and the children of others who needed our help. God's grace has been abundant in our lives and we serve God by sharing that abundance with those who need it.
Most days - not all - most days I start by asking Him ... 'What do you want of me today Lord?' Literally, I ask Him ... What do we get to do today? I pray, read scripture and journal what I hear. Many days, I have appointments and a full agenda because of clients' needs - I ask Him to be with me, and I bank on His being there in my thoughts, words and work. I know I am doing God's will because He has brought each client to me ... We / I have not sought out a single client. I know I am doing God's will cuz I am calm, focused, and even if I have to struggle thru something, the calm assuredness remains.
If I believe that we are to make a change or do something 'different', Chuck and I talk about it and then pray and then ask others to pray with us ... We listen. We check it against scripture. And then we almost always get same or similar 'words' from Jesus. So we know to make the change.
So I guess that I know I am doing God's will because He tells me to ... And I choose - most times - to do whatever He tells me. If I waffle, hesitate, negotiate with Him and then finally I decide to be obedient, almost always, I get an immediate 'attagirl' or some kind of affirmation from Him.
God is so very cool ... When I ask, listen and do ... Amazing things happen!
Personally, I believe God wants me to know His will much more fervently than I profess to want to know it. Knowing God's will is just step one. DOING His will is step two. When I am seeking to KNOW what God intends, I pray, of course, get others to pray with me, and then wait. If a door does not open, I then pray, "Lord, I am uncertain about Your will for me, so, by faith, I am going to proceed to do what I believe is Your will: ______________________ " (I fill in the blank with whatever is uppermost in my mind, soul, and spirit). Then I add, "If I have missed Your intentions for me, or if I am following the wrong course, or if my flesh is in control and not fully submitting to You and following the leading of Your Spirit, please stop me before I go astray. I know it is impossible to please You without faith, so, by faith, I am going to ________________.