Have you ever gotten yourself in trouble by doing what you wanted to instead of what God wanted?
All too often, we do what we want and them complain when things go wrong.
Or we tell God what we want to happen. And we tell Him exactly how it should happen.
We talk to God like He’s an old man who is hard of hearing. We talk loud and repeat ourselves to make sure He hears our prayers.
How’s that workin’ for you?
There’s a much better way to pray. It has to do with humility and listening for what God’s will and what He has in mind for you instead of what you want or think is best.
God’s will for you
In this week’s episode, I explore some ways to discern what God’s will is for you. Whatever you have imagined and planned for yourself, God has something much better in store for you.
Here are some things that can help you discover what God’s will for you is, both in the every day choices we all have to make, as well as the bigger choices that change the direction of our lives.
- Ask God: What do You want me to do?
- Be willing to let go of your personal opinions about what should happen
- Trust in God instead of your own abilities to find an answer or solution instead of trusting in yourself, your own abilities, your bank account, other people, etc.
- Does what you’re praying for go against something Jesus said?
- Are you telling God what has to happen?
- Have enough humility to admit you don’t know the answer/solution
“Thy will be done on earth as it is in heaven”
This line from the Lord’s Prayer is a litmus test to discover if something is God’s will or not. Look at your decision through this line of the prayer. Is what you are thinking about something that would be in obedience to God’s will in heaven?
Woah! That’s a pretty high standard, isn’t it? It forces the question whether you really do want to do God’s will or not.
But, assuming you really do want to do God’s will, the Lord’s Prayer as a whole is a wonderful way to figure out if something is God’s will. Does what you’re thinking of doing give glory to God and His kingdom? Does it acknowledge God as the source of your daily needs? Is there a spirit of forgiveness (if needed)? Do you ask God for help when you’re tempted to do something wrong or do you just do whatever you want?
Why should we even bother to obey God’s will?
God has a bigger perspective than we do about what is good for us and what we are capable of doing. It may not always be easy to do what God wants you to, but the joys of life will be much more abundant when you do. And sometimes you can get yourself in a lot of trouble by trying to force things to come out the way you want.
What makes it hard to want to obey God’s will is that we have to give up our own will. Back to the Lord’s Prayer. When you pray for God’s kingdom to come, that necessarily means that you are praying for your little kingdom to go away. And when you pray for God’s will to be done in earth as it is in heaven, it means you are praying for your will not to be done on earth.
It takes humility to give up what we want. But there is nothing more rewarding.
So march yourself down to the bakery and order a nice slice of humble pie. Nothing tastes better once you sink your teeth into it.
Mentioned in this episode
Episode #29: Is It Ever God’s Will You Are NOT Healed When You Pray?
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Bible workshop: Praying with the Mindset of Jesus
Do you ever wish your prayers could be more effective?
In this Bible workshop you’ll learn:
- What it means to pray with the “mind of Christ” (1 Corinthians 2:16)
- How to use the spiritual lens Jesus looked through to heal like he did
- What the main reason is our prayers often fail to bring healing
- How to shift from the Adam-mindset to the Jesus-mindset (and why you can’t combine the two)
- How to regain your inspiration when you feel spiritually bankrupt and your prayers seem like empty words
- How to pray with the spiritual authority and expectation of Jesus
Two Saturdays: April 17, April 24
1:00-3:00 pm EDT
A donation is requested and there is a suggested amount of $30, but you can give whatever is right for you.
To register, go to prayerfulliving.com
Thanks so much for listening and sharing this with a friend.
As always, please let me know if you have any questions or comments about today’s episode. I’d love to hear from you.
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Bible quotes in this episode:
Isaiah 55:8, 9 ESV
8 For my thoughts are not your thoughts,
neither are your ways my ways, declares the LORD.
9 For as the heavens are higher than the earth,
so are my ways higher than your ways
and my thoughts than your thoughts.
Proverbs 3:5, 6 ESV
5 Trust in the LORD with all your heart,
and do not lean on your own understanding.
6 In all your ways acknowledge him,
and he will make straight your paths.
Mark 9:17-19, 25-29 ESV
17 And someone from the crowd answered him, “Teacher, I brought my son to you, for he has a spirit that makes him mute.
18 And whenever it seizes him, it throws him down, and he foams and grinds his teeth and becomes rigid. So I asked your disciples to cast it out, and they were not able.”
19 And he answered them, “O faithless generation, how long am I to be with you? How long am I to bear with you? Bring him to me.”
25 And when Jesus saw that a crowd came running together, he rebuked the unclean spirit, saying to it, “You mute and deaf spirit, I command you, come out of him and never enter him again.”
26 And after crying out and convulsing him terribly, it came out, and the boy was like a corpse, so that most of them said, “He is dead.”
27 But Jesus took him by the hand and lifted him up, and he arose.
28 And when he had entered the house, his disciples asked him privately, “Why could we not cast it out?”
29 And he said to them, “This kind cannot be driven out by anything but prayer.”[footnote: Some manuscripts add and fasting]
Matthew 4:17 KJV
17 From that time Jesus began to preach, and to say, Repent: for the kingdom of heaven is at hand.
Matthew 6:9-13 KJV
9 Our Father which art in heaven, Hallowed be thy name.
10 Thy kingdom come. Thy will be done in earth, as it is in heaven.
11 Give us this day our daily bread.
12 And forgive us our debts, as we forgive our debtors.
13 And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil: For thine is the kingdom, and the power, and the glory, for ever. Amen.
Revelation 21: 4, 27 ESV
4 He will wipe away every tear from their eyes, and death shall be no more, neither shall there be mourning, nor crying, nor pain anymore, for the former things have passed away.”
27 But nothing unclean will ever enter it, nor anyone who does what is detestable or false,
Luke 22:42 ESV
42 Father, if you are willing, remove this cup from me. Nevertheless, not my will, but yours, be done.