Several years ago (perhaps decades!), I read a book entitled THE MYSTERY OF GOD’S WILL by Charles Swindoll. The book made an incredible impression on me and I took a ton of notes. Since that time, I’ve carried those notes with me wherever I’ve gone to remind me of how I can always improve my walk with God. I’ve copied them here and divided into six sections: God’s Way, God’s Leading, God’s Sovereignty, God’s Plans, God’s Faithfulness, and God’s Surprises. I hope and pray that these brief notes will help your walk with God, will drive you to further study of God’s will, and prompt all of us to continually deepen our relationship with God.
God’s predetermined plan is fixed; much of it we do not expect. We enter a world where the essential parts of our existence are already a part of God’s history. His will is always the safest, most rewarding place to live; even though it’s full of changing and risking and releasing. Listen to God and just do it!
There are five steps to hear from God, or as Swindoll states, “read God’s lips”:
- Accepting frame of mind, free of stress and anxiety. You must remain open, teachable, sensitive, and available.
- Biblical investigation. God’s will is never contrary to God’s word. Use your concordance, study God’s precepts and principles, and spend time with God. You can read God’s lips much more easily if you spend sufficient time in His word.
- Clarification and conviction from the Holy Spirit. God’s Spirit works within us like an inner compulsion. Be patient, God’s timing is perfect, and He knows His plan for us, even if we don’t. Often, the bigger the decision, the longer the wait.
- Determine if peace is occurring. Do you have peace? If you don’t have peace, you’re still churning. If you’re still churning, you’re not there yet. Do not try to talk others into decisions. Do not try to talk them out of decisions. God will do the leading; not you.
- Expect struggles and surprises: The will of God may mean work. Be still and have peace. This is the will of God and it is mysterious!