When I was a little girl, I loved to play with Barbies. I can remember one of my best friends and I must have played with Barbies for hours and hours. And when I played with Barbies, my Barbies always played out the same story line. Barbie met her husband, got married, became a school teacher, and then had children. I know some of you feminist out there maybe cringing, but my Barbie didn’t go on grandiose adventures to far off lands, she didn’t fight bad guys, nor did she cure disease. My Barbie just wanted to be a teacher with a family.
Now, of course, I dreamed as a kid. After I watch Indiana Jones, I wanted to be an archaeologist. I thought Marine Biology was pretty cool. And even while in college, I loved to learn about the weather. All those things were great for a season, but as I look back, I see that even as a little girl, God put His will in my heart. He gave me desires that played out in my childhood games. He placed many of the answers right in my heart. I only needed to pay attention to them.
Because of this, I never really decided what I wanted to be when I grew up, I just always knew. Many of my decisions didn’t have to be made because the Holy Spirit had already revealed the answer. I even remember as a 16 year old girl sitting in an old white S10, with a blue-eyed boy at the red light in front of Burger King… and it just hit me. This is who you are going to marry. I knew right then. And here we are almost 20 years later…
Man, I am fighting back tears right now as I reminisce on all the ways God has walked with me. So as we go back to Paul’s prayer for the Church of Colossae, he says in chapter 1, verse 9-10, “…We continually ask God to fill you with the knowledge of his will through all the spiritual wisdom and understanding, so that you may walk in a manner worthy of the Lord and please him in every way: bearing fruit in every good work, growing in the knowledge of God” For whatever reason, in many cases, I feel like I have been filled with the knowledge of his will in my life (I must have had some praying parents…), but that is not to say I didn’t need to and still do need to work on the rest of that verse. But I think that brings us to the next crucial part of living a life sold out for Christ, of practically practicing to be better than we were the day before.
We have got to be in God’s will.
We have got to walk in a manner worthy of the Lord.
Fully pleasing to him.
Bible Study and Prayer are essential to a Christian walk, but if you are not living out God’s will in your life, you are just reading a book and your prayers are hitting the ceiling. It is not enough to do what you are supposed to behind closed doors, you have to walk with Him in every part of your life.
Walking with Christ has two key components: Understanding His will in our lives and bearing good fruit.
First, we have to have knowledge of His will in our lives.
We have to search out the path He designed for us, not the path expected by our society or our family or even the path we want, but the path He created only for our feet to walk. I know not everyone may have their life decisions made quite a easily as I did, and I don’t think I was any “better” a Christian because the answers were clear for me (It was all grace) but I do think with prayer God will make his will for your life crystal clear. He is not a God of confusion. I mean think about it…He wants us bearing fruit through living out His will in our lives, so He is not going to make that some unsolvable mystery.
But WE do a couple of things that make it harder to recognize God’s will for our lives. And these aren’t necessarily easy things to deal with.
First, we have sin in our lives. We need conviction and repentance. If you are knowingly sinning, whether it be living a lie, participating in a lifestyle that is not pleasing to God, relying on things to satisfy you that are not Godly, whatever it may be…If you have sin in your life that you have not dealt with, it will be a lot harder to see and follow the will of God in your life. You have let the devil cloud your vision. You are listening to the wrong master, and because of that, you are floundering around, instead of walking on the straight and narrow path. So, before you can start walking with God, you have got to leave the devil alone. You have got to get rid of the sin in your life, confess and repent.
I know this is not easy. Confessing a sin may be one thing, but eliminating a sin from our lives can prove a more difficult challenge. For some, it may mean your life totally changes. I get that. It may not happen overnight, but if you are willing to leave the sin behind and look to the future, God will be with you the entire way, and you will probably end up wondering why you waited so long.
Secondly, we have to understand the knowledge of God. It goes back to that spiritual wisdom and understanding we talked about in the last blog post. You have to have a relationship with God, where you are talking to him daily, through prayer and Bible study, before you can ever walk with Him. Think about it… If you are sent on a mission to find someone you don’t know, how would you do it? It would be impossible until you started to learn more and more information about that person. The more you know about the mystery person the less of mystery it will be to find him. The more you know about God, the more you are going to understand His will for your life. The easier He will be to find. And…. the less you will be listening to other sources of information. The world wants us all working in stressful, high paying careers with maxed out credit cards, cutting the next guy off in this rat race, but that is not how God designed us. That is not His will for our lives. But if we let the world teach us more than God does, then we will never know the difference.
Prayer, Bible study, and the knowledge of God’s will in our lives help to bring fulfillment that can’t be found in other sources. When we practice in these three areas, we won’t have the need for resolutions because we will constantly be looking to improve our lives. And when we continually practice these things, then we will begin to bear good fruit. We will have evidence of our time well spent, and that is what we will look at next week. How can we bear good fruit? What does that look like in our everyday lives?