Understanding and Doing the Will of God Once and For ALL
By: Dr. Rickey A. Nation, Ph.D.
I believe most Christians have asked this question in their walk of faith. What is the will of God for my life? I know I have asked this question many times. Believe it or not, people in Jesus’ day were struggling with the same issue. What is the will of God?
In John 7:12 we see the people of Jesus’ day wrestling with this issue as the Bible records, “And there was much murmuring among the people concerning Him: for some said, He is a good man: others said, Nay; but He deceiveth the people.” As usual, Jesus took the opportunity to lay a foundation for divine guidance or how to understand the will of God. Jesus states in John 7:16-17 “…My doctrine is not mine, but His that sent me. If any man will do His will, he shall know of the doctrine, whether it be of God, or whether I speak of myself.” Therefore, the first prerequisite to the knowing and understanding the will of God is a whole-heartedness to do His will. One of the main reasons some precious Believers never discover God’s will is because there is not a whole-heartedness to know God’s will. The order of Scriptures is know then do/obey. Are you willing to seek God with your whole heart so He can reveal Himself to you? Proverbs 8:17 reveals, “I love them that love me; and those that seek me early shall find me.”
After purposing or determining in your heart to do God’s will, what’s next? Seek your new identity in Christ. What’s that? An identity means to identify with something or someone. In this teaching , we are concerned about identifying with Jesus. Some identity statements are as follows: “I am the salt of the earth,” (Matthew 5:13); “I am the light of the world,” (Matthew 5:14); “I am a child of God,” (John 1:12); “I am Christ’s friend,” (James 15:15); “I am a servant of righteousness,” (Romans 6:18); “I am a new creation designed for His glory,” (II Corinthians 5:17). These statements reveal what God says about us and whom we now are in Him. These statements, and many more like them, reveal God’s will about whom we are as His children.
So, what is Gods will for our lives? Dr. Neil Anderson, best selling author, reveals in “Freedom In Christ” a devotional, “God’s will for those who believe in Him is to be alive in Christ [knowing my new identity] for the purpose of establishing His Kingdom by overcoming the evil one and becoming fully the people He has called us to be.”
Surrender today and begin asking God to reveal Himself to you as well as committing to grow in your new identity. As you do, God will begin to make known to you His perfect plan for your life.
Have you ever been awakened by fear? You know, things, people or circumstances that concern you now turn into fears—worse yet you’ve awakened to the worse fear of these. Personally, I have been awakened to fear many times in my Christian journey. Here are some suggestions I have found helpful.
First, make sure God is first. Matthew 6:33 reveals,”But seek ye first the Kingdom of God, and His righteousness; and all these things shall be added unto you.” Notice the emphasis in this verse. We are to ’seek’ the Kingdom of God. The word ‘seek’ is a verb and berbs display action. We are to put action into pursing God’s Word, principles and Truths into our needs, struggles and conflicts. When we do, God adds all thing unto us.
Second, fear and faith both ask us to believe something that we cannot see, according to one well known ministers. Fear says, “Believe your negative emotions and circumstances. You lost your job, now you are going under. You are not going to make it.” Faith says, “God is your Sustainer. He will meet all your needs according to ‘His riches in glory’. Philippians 4:19 states, “But my God shall supply all your needs according to His riches in glory by Jesus Christ.”
Fear says, “Your situation will never turn around. You are stuck. You are hopeless.” Faith says, “And if Christ be in you, the body is dead because of sin, but the Spirit is life because of righteousness. What shall we say to these things? If God be for us, who can be against us?” Romans 8:10,33
Here is the freedom principle that is the key in this situation. What you focus upon takes root into your core belief systems. If fear, negativity and condemnation is the focus, then fear will wake you up at night. However, if faith and Truth are the focus, it will set you free. John 8:32 states, “And ye shall know the Truth and the Truth shall set you free.”
If I am awakened to fear, it is a reminder that I need to switch over to faith. As I do, God’s power begins to set me free and He will do the same for you.
Your Question! God’s Answer!
Question: Why has God not changed my situation and/or answered my prayer/s?
Answer: Every day in the Counseling Center individuals come to us in great distress asking this same question. They have prayed and prayed about their situation. They have attempted to fix everything and everyone they can in order to feel better, but they do not. Worse yet their problems is unchanged and most often worse after their efforts.
These individuals are perplexed, tired and just plain worn out. They come because they do not know what else to do. They need our help to figure out what God wants from them.
The answer is simple, yet profound. Easy, yet difficult. It is understandable, yet complex in carrying out. God wants them to stop attempting to fix other people’s problems and work on their own. The problem is themselves. Straight forward answer, but the solution is often leads down paths these individuals have been struggling to avoid.
Friends, it is not easy at all to admit you have a problem. Harder yet, to admit the problem is yourself. But to admit and to say I have/am the problem is the only path to freedom and healing from the situation/problems that plagues you.
God seeks us out for change and healing in order to carry out his purposes in our lives. Genesis 17:5-7 states that God completely changed Abram. Even his name.
Admitting you have a problem is the first step. The next step is submitting to God and allowing Him to bring about the changes that are necessary in order to be able to live out your life purpose/s.
Changing and healing is difficult work. Yet it is the greatest gift you can do for yourself. Think about it. What choices do you have? Change and heal or remain miserable. Deceive yourself saying you are ok or live openly and honestly with yourself. Miss out on joy and peace that can be yours or know joy and peace. Will there be pain in your future? Yes. But how much easier it will be to go through future pain without past problems plaguing you.
God has done that for me. Here are some verses that describe the healing process. These are precious and sweet Bible verses.
Pray the following prayer to begin to allow God to change and heal you,
Dear Heavenly Father, please forgive me for thinking and believing I am something when I am nothing. That I can do something when I can do nothing. You are the God Almighty, for Whom nothing is impossible. I submit myself to You to change and heal me. To mold me and to create in me a new heart. I want to see with the eyes of Jesus, be a person after your own heart and to have the mind of Christ. Thank You for Your forgiveness. In Jesus Name, Amen.
Question: Why can’t I fix other people?
Answer: No one can really fix a problem for another person. Only God can.
Only God can……… Change a person’s mind
Only God can……… enable someone to forgive
Only God can……… tell someone the truth
Only God can……… heal a wounded heart
Only God can……… help an individual let go of anger
Only God can……… restore joy in an individual’s heart
Only God can……… exchange heaviness/depression for praise
And then He only does so if the individual wants Him to do so!!!
Friend, get busy living out the purposes God has for you and He will bring people into your life that He wants to use you as a vessel to minister to. No place in the Bible will you find an example of Jesus seeking after those who do not want His help. He healed and delivered thousands and thousands of individuals who came to Him wanting His help. These individuals had willing hearts and minds to change. In Matthew 11:28, Jesus said, “Come unto me, all ye that labour and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest.”
In Genesis after Joseph was released from prison he did not seek out his family. He could have. He was second in command of Egypt, but he trusted them to God. And God took care of Joseph’s needs. Genesis 41:51 states, “And Joseph called the name of the first born Manasseh: For God, said he, hath made me forgot all my toil, and all my father’s house.”
Dear Heavenly Father, forgive me for attempting to do only what you can do. I renounce the lie that I have any power to fix or heal. I announce that I am your willing vessel of ministry to those of Your choosing not mine. Help me to walk in truth and righteousness in order to set captives free. Thank You for Your forgiveness. In Jesus Name, Amen.
Question: I believe it isn’t necessary to deal with issues. Why can’t I just ignore them?
Answer: Many individuals believing ignoring problems is a proper way of dealing with problems, but it is not. This is real self- deception and it is a fatal flaw. These individuals go through numerous relationships and cannot understand why they are not able to retain them. They are not able because ignoring relationships is destroys relationships.
Self-deception is a defense mechanism individuals use to protect themselves, but doing so is living a lie. Some examples in which self-deception is employed are abusive marriages, addictions, family dysfunction, etc. The truth is they are not protecting themselves, but causing themselves more harm by not getting the help they need. Galatians 6:7 states, “Be not deceived; God is not mocked: for whatsoever a man soweth, that shall he also reap.” The Matthew Henry Commentary page 658 says, “He supposes it as a very possible for a man to think himself something when in truth he is nothing. Such a one does, but deceive himself. While he deceives others by pretending to what he does not have, he puts the greatest cheat on himself. He is neither free from mistakes not will he be more the secure against temptations for the good opinion he has of his own sufficiency, but rather the more liable to fall into them.”
Individuals are to come out of deception and walk in truth. John 8:32 “And ye shall know the truth and the truth shall make ye free.” It is not an easy thing to admit the truth about your marriage, yourself or your family, but it is the only path to being free and whole.
Friends, choose truth. Choose family and friends. Choose to see the good and not the bad in each other. Help each other. Do good for others not thinking about yourself first. Pray the following prayer to begin to come out of deception and walk in truth:
Dear Heavenly Father, forgive me for trying to myself by self- deceiving. I renounce the lie that ignoring problems resolves them. Help me to walk in truth and righteousness in order to resolve problems and not protect myself wrongly. Thank You for Your forgiveness. In Jesus Name, Amen.
It has been said “every failure is first a failure to pray and pray diligently”. While I agree with that statement in principle, prayer may not be working in your situation for three key reasons.
Prayer is my lifeline. I have spent as much as 6-8 hours per day in prayer, My average time now is about an hour to one-and-a-half hours, daily. My time in prayer keeps me focused, balanced and communicating with God about my needs, as well as seeking His will. However, I have discovered three key reasons prayer does not work. Prayer does not work if there is unresolved anger, bitterness or unforgiveness. While all three are related, each one is a separate experience in which a person goes through when hurt, offended, abused, etc.
The Bible has much to say about anger because it is a legitimate human emotion. Also, everyone has experienced anger at some level when not dealt with. Scripturally, anger can cause harm and damage in relationships. Anger gives way to the devil and grieves the Holy Spirit. Those two reasons prevent God from working through our prayers. Ephesians 4:26 reveals, “Be ye angry and sin not: let not the sun go down upon your wrath [intense anger].” Verse 27 tells us why, “neither give place to the devil,” and verse 30 admonishes “And grieve not the Holy Spirit of God, whereby ye are sealed unto the day of redemption.” Anger can be dealt with through repentance, forgiving the offender and seeking God for cleansing.
Bitterness is the second reason why prayers may not be working in your situation. Bitterness is anger left unchecked or dealt with, year-after-year-after-year. Some older people find themselves struggling with bitterness because of not dealing with or overcoming hurts that lead to anger that leads to bitterness. Hebrews 12:15 states: “…lest any root of bitterness spring up trouble you, and thereby many be defiled.”
We now see two damaging affects as the result of bitterness. First, it brings trouble of all types, shapes or forms to the life of the Believers. I don’t know about you but I do not want nor need more trouble. Second, a defiling process takes place within the mind, emotions and personality. I have never been around an embittered person for a long period of time in which their bitterness began to affect me in some negative way. If at all possible, avoid people struggling with bitterness. Bitterness definitely hinders our prayer life and prevents God from working in our situation.
Last, unforgiveness definitely plugs the flow of God’s blessings and workings on behalf of His people. II Corinthians 2:10-11 states, “To whom ye forgive anything, I forgive also: for if I forgave anything, to whom I forgave it, for your sakes forgave I it in the person of Christ. Lest Satan should get an advantage of us: for we are not ignorant of his devices.”
Satan gets advantage of us through unforgiveness, because forgiveness is at the heart of Christianity. Colossians 2:13 “And you, being dead in your sins and the uncircumcision of your flesh, hath he quickened together with Him, having forgiven you all trespasses.” Because God, through Jesus, forgives us of all sins we to must forgive others.
Friends, if your prayer life is lacking it is probably because of unresolved anger, bitterness or unforgiveness. Seek God for cleansing and watch God begin to work on your behalf, because we are to “Let all bitterness, and wrath, and anger, and clamoring, and evil speaking, be put away from you, with all malice. And be ye kind one to another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, even as God for Christ’s sake hath forgiven you.” Ephesians 4:31-32.
Question: How do you resolve conflicts with other individuals?
Answer: You resolve conflicts by looking for the good in each other. Focusing on the weaknesses and wrongs of another destroys relationships. Sadly, this often happens in families.
Follow God’s example of looking for the good and positive character traits of individuals. God does and empowers individuals to become all He created them to be by using these strengths to overcome their weaknesses and faults. God knows all about us. Hebrews 4:13 states, “Nothing in all the world can be hidden from God. Everything is clear and lies open before Him…”
Yet God chooses to love and help us overcome in order to be individuals of godly character and strength. God forgives us and then helps us. John 3:16-17 states, “For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten son. That whosoever believeth in Him should not perish, but have everlasting life. For God sent not His Son into the world to condemn the world, but that the world through Him might be saved.” God seeks us out to save us not only from eternal damnation, but for a better life here on earth.
God desires that each of us have good, godly character and that begins with resolving conflicts with those you love and are friends with. We need to forgive one another and work to help each other to become better human beings. Otherwise, all involved in a conflict may become bitter, angry, and destructive individuals. Galatians 6:1-3 states, “Brethren, if a man be overtaken in a fault, ye which are spiritual, restore such an one in the spirit of meekness; considering thyself, lest thou be tempted. Bear ye one another’s burdens, and so fulfill the law of Christ. For is a man think himself to be something, when he is nothing, he deceiveth himself.”
Friends, choose love. Choose forgiveness. Choose to see the good and not the bad. Help each other. Work for others. Follow God’s example. It may cost you something. It did God- His Son. It cost Jesus years of heartache, pain and then a cruel death. Begin to be the strong spiritual person Galatians 6:1 talks about in the relationships in your life by praying the following prayer:
Dear Heavenly Father, forgive me for focusing on the faults and wrongs of others especially those of my family. Help me to see them as You do and teach me all I need to know in order for reconciliation to begin. Thank You for Your forgiveness.
16 Ways To Find Peace and Happiness In 2017 ~ Guaranteed!
By: Dr. Rickey A. Nation, Ph.D.
I have always been intrigued about the story of the Prodigal Son, (Luke 15:11-32). You know the story about the man whom had a son whom had an itch he couldn’t scratch (unmet need).
Here is my version of the story. The son goes to his father and wants his inheritance. The loving father, against his better judgment, gives the son, whom does not know God or Jesus as Saviour, his inheritance. The son goes to the very place his father warns him about—down to Egypt.
While I do not want to focus solely upon the son, I want to mainly focus upon what the father did to experience peace and happiness in this very hurtful situation. It is called “letting go”. “Letting go” means the following:
1). To properly let go in a hurtful situation, means you do not stop caring but you accept the fact you cannot do it for someone else. The prodigal son believed he could live life his way—apart from God and his family. His father knew better. However, the loving father let him go so that the son would learn the valuable lesson of “living according to God’s principles and truths” and being loyal to family.
2). Letting go, in a healthy way, means to not cut yourself off but to accept the fact that you don’t and cannot control another. The loving father did not attempt to control the prodigal son’s every move nor did he attempt to stop the son from going down to Egypt and facing hardship.
3). Properly letting go is not enabling but allowing others to learn from natural cause-and-effect consequences that God has built into life and life’s decisions. The loving father did not say “I know you are going down to Egypt and spend all your inheritance. Therefore, I’ll loan you some money so you will not waste your inheritance. When you come back, you can work to repay all I have loaned you.” NO! That is only enabling! Enabling is an act of helping someone to do something wrong or harmful to themselves, others or both. Also, enabling is short-circuiting cause-and-effect which is interfering with God’s built in correction of choosing a wrong path.
4). This next area is the most difficult for a lot of people. Properly letting go means to admit powerlessness and the outcome is not in my hands but it is in God’s control. The loving father freely admitted powerlessness – probably to his wife and most certainly to God. Also, the loving father surrendered his fears, doubts, worries and all concerns to God. Matthew 11:28 reveals “come unto me all ye that labor and I will give you rest.” In this critical step the loving father gained control by giving up control and giving it all over to God. You can experience the same. Go ahead and give it to God now.
5). Before the Prodigal son left, the loving father did not try to change him; change his mind or blame him for the hurts he was causing. He probably did not say “you can’t leave because you will crush your mother.” Also, the loving father probably did not say “if you leave, we will be short handed. Who will do your job? We have no one to replace you.” The loving father let go. You must let go, too! Go ahead and seek God now for strength to completely let go.
6). The loving father supported his son’s ability to choose even though the choice the prodigal son made was not the wisest and directly against his father’s advice. I am sure the loving father did not give three reasons his son was/is making unwise decisions. He simply let his prodigal son choose his own course. Moreover, he did not attempt to fix or correct the son’s actions but supported his right, ability and responsibility to choose his own destiny – right or wrong!
7). An interesting point to note about the loving father…he did not care more about his son making wrong choices –than the son cared (the son actually did not care because if he cared he would not be making this very unwise decision). In other words, if the loving father did not forbid his son from leaving by refusing to give the son his rightful inheritance. If he did, the loving father would be caring more about the problem than his son. Instead, the wise and loving father is more concerned that his prodigal son learn the Truth that will set him free because it is the Truth that will keep his son from repeating the same mistakes.
8). If we could sit in the living room as the loving father and mother were talking, we probably would not hear words of judgment or condemnation toward their prodigal son. Why? To truly let go means to not judge or condemn others but to allow them to be a human being – even though their actions, attitudes and behaviors are sinful and hurtful to themselves and/or others.
9). Interfering? The wise and loving father did not send servants to ‘check on’ his prodigal son. Why not? Because to truly let go means I am not in the middle arranging the outcome. But allowing others to determine their own actions – right or wrong.
10). The morning the prodigal son was to leave, the loving father did not attempt to protect or shield his son from danger or harm, but he allowed his prodigal son to totally face the reality of his very unwise decision.
11). As painful as it was going to be, the loving father did not deny his situation or the pain that was soon to follow. He made the willful choice to accept it by facing reality. Letting go, as the loving father understood it, meant to accept reality and not deny it.
12). As the prodigal son leaves, the Bible does not record the loving father lecturing, nagging, scolding or attempting to convince his rebellious son to not leave. Instead, the loving father focused upon his own life and the different lessons, he too, was learning.
13). The next day after the prodigal son left, the loving father made the most of his current situation. He did not attempt to adjust everything to his own desires or needs because the loving father wisely knew this rebellious situation is not so much about himself but God and his prodigal son. Moreover, he learned to take each day as it comes and cherish the moment.
14). The loving father continued to be focused upon his own life and the divine destiny God had given him. He kept his own dreams alive by being in touch with God, daily.
15). As the days turned into weeks and the weeks into months, the loving father did not live in the past but stayed focused on his bright future by keeping hope in God. The loving father did not make his son his very reason for living because he already put God, first.
16). As time went on, the loving father grew in his love for his son instead of focusing upon fear, anger, revenge or unforgiveness.
By applying these timeless principles, you can experience peace and happiness as never before. I apply them regularly and am amazed at the freedom they bring no matter what I am facing.
Question: How do I find security for the New Year?
Answer: Every individual needs to be secure. Secure in relationships, finances, position, etc. Yet security cannot be found in these (relationships, finances, position).
Security comes from trusting God as Yahweh Yireh- the Lord Who Provides. Abraham trusted Yahweh Yireh even when facing the death of his son Isaac at God’s command. Genesis 22:7-8 states, “And Isaac spake unto Abraham his father, and said, My father: and he said, Here I am my son. And he said, Behold the fire and the wood: but where is the lamb for the burnt offering? And Abraham said, My son, God will provide himself a lamb for a burnt offering: so they went both of them together.”
Abraham trusted God in the face of great anguish. He trusted that God would provide for him and for Isaac. He could trust God with his son in life and death. He believed God’s promises to him and those included that a great legacy through Isaac. Even when it seemed God was contradicting Himself, Abraham trusted God for his future and the future of his son.
Read Hebrews 11-12:3. These verses gives the account of a long list of believers who trusted God by faith and God provided for them. They were not spared hardships and cruelty, but were given the grace to endure them as good servants of Christ. Verse 11:, 3 states, “these all died in faith, not having received the promises, but having seen them afar off, and were persuaded of them, and embraced them, and confessed that they were strangers and pilgrims on the earth.”
They were able to do this by following the example of Christ life here on earth. They knew the promise of the joy that is to come in eternity while endure trials here on earth. Hebrews12:2 states, “Looking unto Jesus the author and finisher of our faith; who for the joy that was set before him endured the cross, despising the shame, and is set down at the right hand of the throne of God.”
Friends, security is found in the promises of God. Your faith in Yahweh Yireh brings a sense of peace that passes all understanding. Pray the following prayer to begin finding security. Dear Heavenly Father, forgive me for looking for security in people, places and things. I renounce the lie that my security is based upon my performance, the opinions of others, or acceptance. I announce that You love, accept me and give me security because of Christ death, burial and resurrection. Thank You for Your forgiveness.
YOU ARE PEOPLE PLEASING WHEN: YOU ARE LOVING PEOPLE WHEN:
- Tell them what they want to hear. 1. Tell them the truth they need to hear in a loving spirit.
- Offer your opinion or advice when it is not sought 2. Only offer your opinion or advice, after after or received. asking permission to share it.
- Probe or investigate into other’s life for the purpose correcting them. 3. Only receive, from the Lord, what He reveals about others for the purpose meeting their needs and to become a willing vessel to meet that need, if He so leads.
- Do what others do just to fit in even though there is 4. Politely state “that’s not something I can compromise in standards or convictions. participate in.” Be ready to give a valid principle / truth as to why without judging or condemning others. (careful thought & prayer) or consideration must be given in advance.
- Easily offended over petty offenses. 5. Not quick to take offense but display love and consideration in the midst of prefer- ences and differences and delays.
- Offenses go unresolved. 6. Each offense in addressed both people win.
- Other’s are first. 7. God is first.
- You always say “yes”. 8. You can say “no”, also.
- You immediately change whom you are in their 9. Stay the same. presence.
- Talking about others behind their backs (betrayal). 10. Staying loyal and true and faithful despite conflicts and differences and preferences and habits.
- Constantly pointing out the faults of others. 11. Trusting God to deal with differences, preferences and delays and always point out their strong points. FOR MORE INFORMATION CLICK HERE! https://abundantlife4me.org/people-pleasing-disastrous-harmful/ https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Codependency