1. Welcome to Baptist Board, a friendly forum to discuss the Baptist Faith in a friendly surrounding.

    Your voice is missing! You will need to register to get access to all the features that our community has to offer.

    We hope to see you as a part of our community soon and God Bless!

Knowing God's Will

Discussion in 'Pastoral Ministries' started by MRCoon, May 23, 2006.

  1. Brandon C. Jones

    Brandon C. Jones New Member

    Joined:
    May 3, 2005
    Messages:
    598
    Likes Received:
    0
    I would quickly say that, using Friesen's arguments against "Experiencing God," one of the problems with the "personal plan for your life" or "God's intuitive special call" theology is that it takes extraordinary events from Scriptures involving a select few and declares that every believer should expect that to be the norm for his/her life.
     
  2. Bible-boy

    Bible-boy Active Member

    Joined:
    Sep 1, 2002
    Messages:
    4,254
    Likes Received:
    1
    I am leaving for a mission trip to Scotland and will not be back until July 16, 2006. I would love to discuss this issue further when I get back. Please be in prayer for the lost folks we will encounter while on the mission field.:praying:
     
  3. John of Japan

    John of Japan Well-Known Member
    Site Supporter

    Joined:
    Sep 22, 2005
    Messages:
    17,567
    Likes Received:
    1,352
    Faith:
    Baptist
    And that is where I will forever disagree with Friesen. I don't believe that there are only a few special individuals for who God plans a special life. I believe that God, who is our loving Father, cares enough about each and every believer to guide us with His Holy Spirit into the job that would be best for us, the mate who could best serve the Lord with us, and other matters. This belief, based on Scripture, led me to seek God's leading for my life and my wife.

    I prayed for 9 years that God would guide me to the wife He had for me because I believed the direct statement of the Bible, "A prudent wife is from the Lord" (Prov. 19:14). It would take much too long to tell the story here, but suffice it to say that God led us together in a way that glorifies Him, and even chose our wedding date, leading us to know that date separately.

    Our story is not that unusual. I have two little books compiled by missionary statesman Don Hillis, For More Than a Diamond and Love Is.... These books tell the stories of how God led many different couples together in clear, wonderful ways. Quite a few of them were missionaries, but I don't believe all were. God is even willing to lead the average believer in His will for them!!

    After coming to Japan, I learned that I truly enjoy languages, something I never realized in the States. This is an area God has gifted me in, but following Friesen's advice I don't believe I woulld have discovered it. I had to step out on faith, obey His will and come to Japan.

    The Holy Spirit is called a "paraclete," or "one called alongside to help." He is willing to help anyone who doesn't know what to do with their life or who to marry or where to live. :thumbs:
     
  4. John of Japan

    John of Japan Well-Known Member
    Site Supporter

    Joined:
    Sep 22, 2005
    Messages:
    17,567
    Likes Received:
    1,352
    Faith:
    Baptist
    Have a great trip! :praying: And be sure to ask those missionaries what they think about the subject. :smilewinkgrin:
     
  5. LeBuick

    LeBuick New Member

    Joined:
    Jun 8, 2006
    Messages:
    11,537
    Likes Received:
    1
    You said peace of GOD about something as in future tense. In all your responces, including Jesus (remember, that was his third prayer, read the first two again) you showed peace acquired in the storm. This is as I said, "When you find peace IN the the storm, you found GOD."

    All I am saying is having peace regarding a direction is not always indicating GOD's will. Sometimes GOD will is that we have problems, if not, HE can never show you HE's a problem solver.

    I apologize, but I am not one who teaches pray and turn it over to Jesus and everyday will be sunny. I more agree with David, HE's a very present help IN times of trouble.
     
  6. John of Japan

    John of Japan Well-Known Member
    Site Supporter

    Joined:
    Sep 22, 2005
    Messages:
    17,567
    Likes Received:
    1,352
    Faith:
    Baptist
    Actually, what I believe is that a sign of being in the center of the Lord's will is having peace about it. The fact is, you don't get God's peace until your mind is off yourself and stayed on Him. And you don't look for peace. It comes WHILE you do God's will. And if God's will is that we have problems, then we can have peace in the middle of the problems.

    Absolutely. I know all about the storms. There have been many stormy times during our 25 years in Japan: going two hours one way for language school down in Tokyo for almost two years, our son being bullied, our son hospitalized, surgery for me, a huge tumor (benign) for my wife and then blood clots in the lungs after surgery that almost killed her, the dollar going down to 70 yen per dollar (imagine losing 30% of your salary within a few months), three leaving our church including one I had led to the Lord, the Bible institute I taught in refusing to allow the students to candidate in my church--I could go on and on.

    In the midst of it all, God's peace was with us. But if we had not been in the center of God's will, our minds would not have been on Him, and we thus would not have had peace, according to Is. 26:3.
     
    #26 John of Japan, Jul 2, 2006
    Last edited by a moderator: Jul 2, 2006
  7. LeBuick

    LeBuick New Member

    Joined:
    Jun 8, 2006
    Messages:
    11,537
    Likes Received:
    1
    Sorry to assume but it was as I first posted, "Or maybe I mis-understand what you mean by peace of GOD." After seeing your storms, there is no hope for you if your soul is not ankered in the LORD. Nobody but Jesus could you bring you through all that.

    I guess I get sensitive to this new "path of least resistence" teaching going on in some Churches today. Jesus guaren-told us, "for wide is the gate, and broad is the way, that leadeth to destruction, and many there be which go in thereat: Because strait is the gate, and narrow is the way, which leadeth unto life, and few there be that find it."
     
  8. John of Japan

    John of Japan Well-Known Member
    Site Supporter

    Joined:
    Sep 22, 2005
    Messages:
    17,567
    Likes Received:
    1,352
    Faith:
    Baptist
    I certainly don't recommend the "path of least resistence," though being over here I don't really know what teaching you are talking about.

    I believe that to do God's individual will for them, a believer must offer his body as a living sacrifice to God (Rom. 12:1-2), and take up his or her cross and follow Jesus. Some people are called by God to do something and reject His will. Why? They are not committed to Him. They are not willing to say with Paul, "I die daily."
     
  9. Rhetorician

    Rhetorician Administrator
    Administrator

    Joined:
    Feb 1, 2005
    Messages:
    2,208
    Likes Received:
    68
    Faith:
    Baptist
    Response to OP

    MRCoon,

    As I have read through the posts it seems to me that everyone who has tried to help you has give you something formulaic or a "pat answer" to know God's will.

    Jesus could say "thy will be done" for he knew what it was intimately. "But" & "and" he told us to pray "thy will be done as it is being done in Heaven." So, we are continually to pray for God's will to be done.

    I have not read Frisen's (sp?) book, but it has been talked about and considered down through th years enough for me to think I understand his thesis. I think he is on to something but his view, understanding, and personal experience must not be used or made into a "transparency" that can be thrown over any or all circumstances.

    It seems to me, IMHO, that we tend to want to make a "one size fits all" for not only other folk but for ourselves. What God has done or shown us at one particular time in our lives is not necessarily what or how he will show us what is "the next thing' in our lives.

    It also seems to me, IMHO, that we want this thing of "knowing God's will" to be "wooden," "cookie-cutter," or "one plan for life." And there is nothing further from the way God works; either in the Bible or in our own lives.

    I remember when I was a kid that the "call to missions" was a lifelong endeavor. If a missionary came home thy were almost in disgrace. But, I think we have found and recognized that "God's call" is more fluid and in a state of flux. Not in a state of flux from God's perspective but from ours.

    It also seems to me, IMHO, that all that has been said has some ring of truth subjectively from each of the contributors above. Instead of searching for this "transparency" or this "one size fits all" we probably need to "delight ourselves in the Lord" and "walk by faith" today. If we were to give ourselves to "finding God's will n the details" of what He has already called us to do where we are, then the bigger picture I believe would become more clear at the correct time.

    And evangelist friend of mine taught me a long time ago what he thought God's will was and it has worked very well down through these years:

    God's Will is:

    "Doing what God wants, where God wants, at the time God wants, and with the power he wants you to have, and will his provision!"

    I know that this might seem eclectic, but it is a way to walk by faith and "be in the moment" and also integrate most if not all of what has been recommended above.

    Thinkaboutit!

    sdg!:type:

    rd
     
    #29 Rhetorician, Jul 7, 2006
    Last edited by a moderator: Jul 7, 2006
  10. Rhetorician

    Rhetorician Administrator
    Administrator

    Joined:
    Feb 1, 2005
    Messages:
    2,208
    Likes Received:
    68
    Faith:
    Baptist
    Follow up: Spectrum

    Hey Gang:

    As I have read back over this thread, it occurred to me that there is one dynamic that has been implied but not discussed outwardly. That is this:

    How does the continuum of the scholarly understanding of hard and fast precepts of the Word of God (call this the objective understanding), work with the personal and subjective understanding of the "Holy Spirit's leading" "in the here and now" work with/against one another in this thing called "God's Will?"

    That is rather wordy but I hope you understand the concept?

    And subservient to that above is the whole issue of personality types. And example of this would be myself. I was reared in a SBC, IFB, country Missionary "shoutin'" Baptist background. So, I like to "feel" the spirit when someone testifies. But, that can be very dangerous when it comes to finding and knowing God's will. Do you get it?

    Factor this into our equation and discussion.:laugh:

    sdg!

    rd
     
  11. John of Japan

    John of Japan Well-Known Member
    Site Supporter

    Joined:
    Sep 22, 2005
    Messages:
    17,567
    Likes Received:
    1,352
    Faith:
    Baptist
    This is a thoughtful post by Rhetorician, and I wanted to comment on this specific aspect of it.

    There is a real sense in which we can never know God's will for tomorrow. In fact, we are told exactly that in James 4:13-16, "Go to now, ye that say, To day or to morrow we will go into such a city, and continue there a year, and buy and sell, and get gain:Whereas ye know not what shall be on the morrow. For what is your life? It is even a vapour, that appeareth for a little time, and then vanisheth away. For that ye ought to say, If the Lord will, we shall live, and do this, or that. But now ye rejoice in your boastings: all such rejoicing is evil."

    Do you believe in the imminent coming of the Lord? That He may come this very day? Then you have no right to be sure of anything tomorrow. Do you believe that you have an appointment with death that you cannot change (Heb. 9:27)? That appointment may come tonight, and you may never see tomorrow.

    Though I believe very strongly in God's individual leading for each believer as to a vocation, location, mate and many other matters, that leadership is really a direction in light of the uncertainty of life. It can never be a certainty about tomorrow, but only a direction for today. So what should we do? Commit all we have to the Lord Jesus, pray daily for His direction, do His will for today, and walk with Him throughout the day and night. If you are doing these things, then you will know each step to take in your life at the right time--and not sooner.

    It is late in Japan. I'll be heading for sleep soon. May God keep me until the morning, so I can prepare tomorrow for Sunday. But if Jesus comes before Sunday, I'll see you in the air!:sleeping_2:
     
  12. John of Japan

    John of Japan Well-Known Member
    Site Supporter

    Joined:
    Sep 22, 2005
    Messages:
    17,567
    Likes Received:
    1,352
    Faith:
    Baptist
    I agree that God deals with each of us individually concerning His will, though I still think that my post concerning George Mueller's method was very important. You cannot do God's will unless you are completely committed to God, and have no desire whatsoever for your own will: "I die daily." Friesen does not seem to believe in this concept of "death to self," but strangely he portrays the "traditional view" as specifically opposing Mueller's statement on p. 74!

    Notice these kinds of call that I've culled from the Bible. (There may be others.) Each one of them is different and individual:

    1. Through the will of man, volunteering (Is. 6:8, 1 Tim. 3:1)
    2. By force through the power of the Holy Spirit (Ez. ch. 2)
    3. Through preparation from the womb (Jer. 1:4-10, Luke 1:15, Gal. 1:15)
    4. Through a vision (Amos 1:1, Nahum 1:1, Acts 16:9-10, 26:19).
    5. Through the Word of God (Jonah 1:1-2)
    6. By a miracle (Ex. 3:1-10)
    7. By the laying on of hands (Deut. 34:9)
    8. Through the words of a man (1 Kings 19:15-21, Matt. 4:18-21, 9:9)

    Now, Friesen does not believe that God calls anymore in this way. In Chapter 19 of my edition, he teaches that God does not call in the Bible way anymore, and that all of the calls of the Bible were "supernatural revelation" (p. 313). However, notice in my list above that Isaiah volunteered, Moses laid his hands on Joshua and Elijah threw his cloak on Elisha. None of these were supernatural revelation, but each of them was clearly God's will. In the New Testament, while Jesus called Saul/Paul supernaturally, He usually called His disciples by simply asking them to follow Him--not by miracles! "Follow me, and I will make you fishers of men!" (Matt. 4:19).
     
  13. John of Japan

    John of Japan Well-Known Member
    Site Supporter

    Joined:
    Sep 22, 2005
    Messages:
    17,567
    Likes Received:
    1,352
    Faith:
    Baptist
    God took the love away!

    I want to comment some more on marriage according to God's will. Friesen disagrees with the idea that God will lead you to that "special one" for your life in Chapter 17 of his book. I have a few comments concerning this.

    (1) If Friesen is right, then why did God say, "A prudent wife is from the Lord" (Prov. 19:14)?

    (2) If he is right, then why do we have the beautiful story in Genesis 24 of how Abraham's servant prayed for a wife for Isaac and saw that prayer specifically answered? If we are not to imitate this, then why does the NT teach that the OT saints were our example (James 5:10, etc.)? The NT says to pray at all times (Eph. 6:18, etc.).

    (3) If we should simply decide for ourselves with wisdom on such matters, why are we commanded to “Pray without ceasing” (1 Thess. 5:17), and to be “Praying always with all prayer and supplication in the Spirit, and watching thereunto with all perseverance and supplication for all saints” (Eph. 6:18) and to “Be careful for nothing; but in every thing by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known unto God” (Phil. 4:6)? Jesus prayed all night before choosing His disciples (Luke 6:12-13), so surely a Christian ought to pray long and carefully before choosing a mate.

    I said before on this thread that I prayed for nine years for a wife. During my college years I fell hard for a certain young lady who we will call Mabel. I was madly in love with her for about two years. It was during this time I prayed two things. First of all, I told the Lord that I wanted God’s perfect will for a mate, and if that was not Mabel, I did not want her. Secondly, I prayed that if God wanted me married, He would lead me to her in such a way that He would be glorified, that all who saw our romance would say, “Look what God is doing.” That prayer was certainly answered, as I wrote before in this thread. Every time we tell our story, people are amazed at what God has done!

    At times Mabel would lead me on to where I thought I had a chance with her, but at other times she wanted to be "just friends." Ever heard or said that line? :laugh: Anyway, after a couple of years of on again and off again, I began studying friendship in the Bible and learned some interesting things. One day I walked Mabel home from classes and talked friendship over with her. According to every thing I had learned from the Bible about friendship, she was not my friend.

    We sat down on a little wall next to her driveway and fell quiet. I then said softly, "Goodbye." Mabel said, "What do you mean by that?" but I didn't answer. I merely stood and walked away. At that moment, God took every bit of romantic feeling towards her away. One minute I fancied myself madly in love, and the next minute there was nothing there. From then on, any romantic feelings for Agnes were completely gone. Whatever you may think, to me it was a true miracle after I had struggled for years with my feelings. I only talked to her one more time after that, and that was at the beginning of the next school year, when she apologized to me for how she had treated me. (She had been to a Bill Gothard clinic!)

    I have two close relatives who did not follow my philosophy. One thought that any Christian was okay to marry. She ended up with a jerk who continually abuses her verbally, and has gambling and porno habits, though a professing Christian. She is a wonderful, wonderful servant of Christ, but suffers. The other is also a wonderful Christian, but felt you could simply choose wisely who you wanted to marry, and it would be okay. She married a good Bible college grad, who seemed to love the Lord, but got involved in one of those pyramid schemes, and was always trying to “get rich quick.” They are now separated after he became physically abusive after 10 years of verbal abuse, and she has had to go to court several times because of his breaking and entering, threats, etc.

    If you are a single young person considering marriage, I urge you with all of my heart: pray for God’s will! He will hear you if you are absolutely committed to whatever He has for you, and He will answer! :praying:
     
  14. MRCoon

    MRCoon New Member

    Joined:
    Mar 7, 2006
    Messages:
    439
    Likes Received:
    0
    Well, the Lord is so amazing!! I'm overwhelmed when I think of how He works and confirms His leading in our lives. Over the years I wanted and desired to do certain things and sometimes I felt the Lord's prodding and other times I didn't care to listen to His guidance. But as my initial post [quoted above] stated we have been looking for the Lord to open/close doors and to confirm His will in a very real and plain way.

    Praise the Lord! Not only has He closed the doors of the military (I'm currently being medically retired) but He has opened a church for us to serve at. I had sent out my resume and even built a "virtual resume" website to make the job search easier and due to my current location. A number of churches responded to my resume but one thing or another closed the doors but now the Lord has opened a door for us to serve as Associate Pastor in Pepperell, Massachusetts!! Everything we prayed and asked God for (i.e. available housing, a christian school, work with youth, strong ministries for each of us to get involved with, etc) is at this church...the Lord is so good! We have been well received by many members via email or through our family website.

    When you think that I live in Japan, am still a Marine with no set date to start at the church, uncertain to what benefits/compensation I'll receive from the military, have not candidated/preached for them, have not completed my college degree and the only communication have been via telephone, email and through my resume website. Now of course on my resume website a church is able to download/view family pictures, video samples of my preaching, singing, and song leading. I have also included my beliefs, my testimony, my experience, and other items of interest.

    This just shows how good the Lord is in taking care of His children and providing for our needs! This also confirms the Lord's leading into full-time service and is also a testimony for answered prayers to my family and our church who has been aware of our goals and searches! I've been licensed to preach by my church for nearly a year, have been preaching for over 5 years, and I'll be ordained in 3 weeks. As the psalmist said, "Great is our Lord and greatly to be praised"!
     
    #34 MRCoon, Jul 24, 2006
    Last edited by a moderator: Jul 24, 2006
  15. John of Japan

    John of Japan Well-Known Member
    Site Supporter

    Joined:
    Sep 22, 2005
    Messages:
    17,567
    Likes Received:
    1,352
    Faith:
    Baptist
    Praise the Lord, brother!
     
  16. LeBuick

    LeBuick New Member

    Joined:
    Jun 8, 2006
    Messages:
    11,537
    Likes Received:
    1
    Good to hear, the Lord does move in mysterious ways...
     
Loading...