Last time we began looking at how I can know the will of God.
I finished by saying: “Believers are not led through subjective, mental impressions or promptings to provide direction in making life’s decisions—something Scripture nowhere teaches.”
So then, if it’s not a subjective leading, what is it?
John MacArthur says: “God’s Spirit objectively leads His children sometimes through the
1) Orchestration of circumstances (Acts 16:7) but primarily through:
2) Illumination, divinely clarifying Scripture to make it understandable to our sinful, finite minds (Luke 24:44, 45; 1 Cor. 2:14–16; Eph. 1:17–19; cf. Eph. 3:16–19; Col. 1:9); and
3) Sanctification, divinely enabling us to obey Scripture (Gal. 5:16, 17; 5:25).”
If you do not remember anything else remember this…God’s will is never revealed in some spooky feeling.
We live in a feelings based culture and I find often times my counselees live there too. When it comes to making decisions they are looking for a “feeling” that they assume comes from God.
I have been told, “I feel that God revealed to me I have to divorce my husband.”
That’s spooky. Frankly, to often do I hear this kind of talk from Bible believing Christians: “I feel that God wants me to go to …..” It sounds so spiritual and noble and it’s based on a feeling that amounts to the person saying “God told me” to do this or that or not do this or that.”
The “feeling” is elevated to the status of a specific command to do this or that, thus adding to the Scripture. As noted earlier, much of this is do the influx of the charismatic movement which is experience based, thus very subjective, rather than objective. With an emphasis on subjectivity there is little to no accountability if a person “feels” God is telling them to do this or that. God’s will is never revealed in some spooky feeling.
Most Christian are sincere about wanting to be in “God’s will.” We hear this prayed all the time. People think they are using the Bible in their decision making because they remember something about this passage:
Let the peace of Christ rule in your hearts, to which indeed you were called in one body; and be thankful. Colossians 3:15
We are an “emotional” culture. If it “feels right” then it must be right. So, if I want to buy a new house and I want to be in God’s will, what I would look for is a “sense of peace” in my heart. If I do not have this sense of peace then perhaps I’m not in God’s will. And that’s what they equate with using the Bible for their decision making.
Couple of things wrong with this as it’s a lame application of what this passage means. The interpretation and application of the passage hangs on what is meant by “the peace of God.” I personally think the “feeling based” church culture we live in, a culture, largely ignorant of theology or the principles of interpretation are responsible for the wide spread misuse of the verse. No where in the context of this passage is it implied that this peace of God is related to making decisions.
Instead, the word “peace” is in reference to the call of God to salvation. Remember, that the unsaved person is at war with God-he is not neutral. In salvation, it is God who takes the initiative to make peace. Then this peace refers to the attitude of rest or security we have in God because we know now He has made peace with us.Romans 5:1
Yet, so many people, continue to use the word “peace” as if God gives them a sense of it when making a decision. Friends, you can have a sense of peace, going out and getting drunk, carousing and debauchery but God did not give that sense of peace-you gave it to yourself.
Sensing “peace” is a bad plan for decision making and not found in Scripture.
Next time we will look at the role of prayer in knowing the Will of God