Come now, who you say, “Today or tomorrow we will go to such and such a city, spend a year there, buy and sell, and make a profit”; whereas you do not know what will happen tomorrow. For what is your life? It is even a vapor that appears for a little time and then vanishes away. Instead you ought to say, “If the Lord wills, we shall live and do this or that” (James 4:13-15 NKJ).
Pastor Rick Warren, the founding pastor of Saddleback Church in Lake Forest, California, the author of the bestselling book, “The Purpose Driven Life” injected this simple and yet heart searching reality – “What on earth am I here for?” His book has blessed millions of followers of Christ all over the world. And it follows the same line of thought and conviction – finding the will of God in your life.
The same question rings over and over again: What is the will of God in your life? Are you dreaming to become one of the rich and famous, or be satisfied to be just an ordinary citizen of this planet? What are your goals and ambitions? Are you focusing on building up for your name? Are you that hungry and dying for recognition? And how are you going to reach your dreams and ambitions, and to what expense? And why are you so driven in such a craving of personal success?
Many “Motivation and Success” advocates are reaping millions and millions of dollars into their pockets by simply telling stories that make someone “feel good” for a moment. Unknowingly, they borrowed some principles of God and followed some steps for success and positive living that reflects some teachings that are actually in accordance to the Scriptures. They teach with passion without mentioning or giving credit to God. Nevertheless, what they’re actually selling is just another “bubble” that is ready to burst at any given time.
One of the many blunders of believers is the failure to identify God’s specific will in their life. It is sad to note that there are believers who have been in the faith for many years and still struggling and coping to survive life just because they missed the perfect will of God. They let pass the opportunity of receiving the blessings of serving God. They never learned the seasons of times. They failed to see the sign posts along the road. They either rushed or waited too long. Remember that God makes everything beautiful in its time (Ecclesiastes 3:11).
Someone said that because faith is “now,” then “now” is the perfect time for everything. It follows then that there’s no tomorrow or yesterday, and every instance in life is in the “now” mode. This is absurd and based on false pretense. Of course faith is “now,” however, there is a process involved in the development of our faith, especially when dealing with the specifics and details of practical living.
The only matter in life is accomplishing what the Lord has required us to do. Ultimately, we all give account to our God. And He will say, “Well done, my good and faithful servant. You have been faithful in handling this small amount, so now I will give you many more responsibilities. Let’s celebrate together!” (Matthew 25:23).
It is dangerous to pursue man-made dreams without God on the scene. A life spent in search for self-gratification was a wasted life. James warned us to seek the specific will of God: Instead you ought to say, “If the Lord wills, we shall live and do this or that.” Life is so short my friend and we cannot afford to waste it by chasing after the wind.
One of the classic acts of chasing after the wind is in Proverbs 10:22, “The blessings of the Lord makes a person rich, and he adds no sorrow with it.” Countless have claimed that they made it in life because they have super extra cash in their pockets. But they failed to see that the blessing of the Lord is unlimited in supply. He gives not only riches but a peaceful mind with a joyful heart – and no sorrows at all! You can sleep like a log at night with all the sweet dreams you can get. Praise God!
It is important to pray and ask His specific will and then do it by faith. The key point here is prayer and obedience. Learn from the apostle Paul. Before he does something that will affect his future, he considers what the will of God is, “But I will come to you shortly, if the Lord wills …” (1 Cor 4:19). Paul’s secret of success is that he first considers God’s insight before doing anything either personal or ministry. The key word is “If the Lord wills.”
Paul again considered the will of God prior to embarking another journey of faith. In Acts 18:20-21 When they asked him (Paul) to stay a longer time with them, he did not consent, but took leave of them, saying “I must by all means keep this coming feast in Jerusalem, but I will return again to you, God willing.” And he sailed from Ephesus. Again, the key word is “God willing.”
When the brethren failed to convinced Paul not to travel to Jerusalem because his life was in danger, they gave up and left everything to God’s will. In Acts 21:14 So when he (Paul) would not be persuaded, we ceased, saying, “The will of the Lord be done.” Once again, the key word is “The will of the Lord be done.”
The Lord reveals His specific will to every believer’s heart, but fear overcomes it and therefore, the specific will of God was never followed and it never came to past. It was another missed opportunity to do great things for the kingdom of God. It was another blunder made over and over again by sincere believers who operates in fear rather than living aggressively by faith.
Why do sincere believers are missing the perfect and specific will of God in their lives?
The answer is fear. Fear is the enemy of faith. Fear creeps in because of lack of trust in the integrity of the Word of God. Instead of believing in the spiritual aspect of life, such as faith, fear operates in the physical and material possibilities instead. Fear will never step out of the boat and begins to walk on water not until there is that physical or material assurance that he will not sink in.
A fearful man always needed some material or physical guarantee or insurance before launching into what he calls “faith,” but that is not faith at all. That is faithless. He might consider his actions as God’s gift of being wise in dealings in practical issues. But again, that is not God’s wisdom. That is faithless.
The biggest problem of believers is the lack of experience in living by faith. They have great knowledge and understanding of faith and about faith, but the application of faith in practical living they have not. When the need arises, the first thing they consider is to locate a flesh and blood that will able to help them. Instead of stepping out to prayer and intercession, they chase after the wind of human help.
It is so easy to say that God will supply all your needs when you have a very stable and a secure job. It is also easy to confess that you were healed by the stripes of Jesus when you only have symptoms of flue or headache. But when you lost your job or diagnosed you have cancer, then fear kicks in. Now you are in struggle to apply faith to overcome your negative situation.
To eliminate fear, faith must be developed. Faith can only be developed through increments of overcoming negative situation in life. It is like working out. You cannot build strength and muscles overnight. You cannot have endurance of running five miles overnight. You cannot plant seed of vegetable or fruit and reap the fruit overnight. A new born cannot talk, walk, run like a five year old overnight. It takes practical application of faith or experiencing how to operate in faith in the real life of practicalities, not theories or head knowledge. It takes quality time and quality experience to develop faith.
Are you afraid to obey the specific will of God in your life? Then begin to learn the applied practical faith.