Now the voice from above shouted, "Take a practice swing!" Upon hearing this the golfer stepped backward and took a few awkward practice swings. After a moment of ominous silence the voice again rang out, "Use the old ball!"
Wouldn’t it be nice if knowing God’s Will was that easy? Just listen to the audible voice from heaven and you will know what to do.
Sometimes God’s Will is revealed in a moment like a flash of lightning. This was Paul’s experience as he traveled the road to Damascus (Acts 9:3). As Paul approached the city, a bolt of lightning flashed with such brilliance that Paul fell to the ground. It probably wasn’t an actual lightning bolt that temporarily blinded Paul, but the radiant face of Jesus Christ which is like the sun shining in its full strength (Rev. 1:16). By the time Paul got up from the ground, God’s Will for his life had been revealed.
There are other times when discerning God’s Will involves a process. In Acts 16 Paul launched his second of three missionary tours. After preaching in the region of Galatia, Paul wanted to go into Asia but was forbidden by the Holy Spirit. The time wasn’t right. So he tried to go north into the region of Bithynia, but that door was closed as well. Arriving at the harbor city of Troas on the Aegean coast, Paul was given a vision directing him to go west into Europe. As a result, the great New Testament churches in Philippi, Thessalonica, and Corinth were planted.
Sometime God’s Will is revealed in a crisis moment like a lightning flash. You are suddenly made aware. Other times His Will is made known through a process of elimination, bouncing off closed doors, or coming to a gradual realization. Either way it happens, once God’s Will is revealed, our response should be immediate obedience.
The Will of God is not a mysterious, elusive thing that can only be discovered by going on a spiritual pilgrimage to some remote holy place. As Deuteronomy 30:14 indicates, it is actually very close at hand. God’s Will for our lives is practical, and He will make it known to sincere seekers (Jeremiah 29:13).
May our passionate pursuit be to know and do God’s Will — nothing more, nothing less, nothing else.
Pastor Todd Weston