As a 20 something college student, I used to worry so much about being in the will of God that I would stress over it. I laugh now remembering the anxiety my prayers conveyed. Can anyone relate? Do you ever think back on what seemed important once?
I relax now when considering whether I am in the will of God, knowing that the One who has brought me thus far over 30 years will surely bring me safely home to Him. Being in His will is still vital to me, but I’m more confident now that He who has begun a good work in me, will see it through to completion.
Being in God’s will is not something my friends and I discuss often. Life as a Spirit filled believer plugged into the electric current of daily relationship with the triune godhead ensures we will stay in the will of God. I liken life in the Spirit to ruts formed in the road by vehicular traffic after a heavy snowfall.
Life in the Spirit is living joyfully within the ruts. The word of God and His Holy Spirit are the snow barriers keeping you heading straight on His narrow path designed uniquely for you. The Spirit filled life can also be likened to floating on the Lazy River at Wet-N-Wild, my favorite central Florida water park. On the Lazy River, we don’t worry about propelling ourselves. We just float along, relaxing in the warm Florida sunshine while the current guides our direction as we rest in Him to carry us to our appointed daily decisions.
Concern about being in the will of God will always exist in the life of a Christian, this side of heaven, however, it is lessened if we abide in the vine, for then we will be in His will.
John 15 tells us, “I am the true vine, and My Father is the vinedresser. Every branch in Me that does not bear fruit He takes away; and every branch that bears fruit He prunes, that it may bear more fruit. You are already clean because of the word which I have spoken to you. Abide in Me, and I in you. As the branch cannot bear fruit of itself, unless it abides in the vine, neither can you, unless you abide in Me. “I am the vine, you are the branches. He who abides in Me, and I in him, bears much fruit; for without Me you can do nothing. If anyone does not abide in Me, he is cast out as a branch and is withered; and they gather them and throw them into the fire, and they are burned. If you abide in Me, and My words abide in you, you will ask what you desire, and it shall be done for you. By this My Father is glorified, that you bear much fruit; so you will be My disciples.”
The Holy Spirit is the one who reveals the heart of the Father to and through us (see John 16:12-15).[i] As the Holy Spirit revealed the Father’s will to Jesus, so He reveals the Father’s heart to us. [ii] Revealing His will is revealing Him. Jesus became the ultimate revelation of the will of God on earth.
Contemplative and Conceptual Reflection Activity: In your prayer time, meditate on the verses in John 15. After reading them to yourself twice, read it a third time, aloud. Now make up an impromptu prayer incorporating these verses. Speak them in the past tense, for example, “Father, I thank you that I abide in Jesus, the true vine. I can do nothing apart from you, Jesus, for in you I live and move and have my being.” That is a start, now finish your prayer, telling Father how much you appreciate that He is the husbandman, the vinedresser who tends you, prunes and fertilizes you to help you grow in Him. As you perform this exercise, you will feel the Presence of the Lord come upon you. Recognize how it feels. Make a mental and actual note, jotting down what it felt like to pray this way.
[i] Johnson, Bill. Hosting the Presence.
[ii] Ibid, page 143.
Like this post? It is excerpted from my new book, working title: Tattooed King: A 60 Day Devotional and Activity Journal. Stay tuned for more in the days to come. Love and blessings, Kate