Knowing and Finding God’s Will – January 2020 “Tabletalk”

TT-Jan-2020On this last Sunday of the month I finally get to posting something about the first issue of Tabletalk for this new year. The January 2020 issue has the theme of “Finding the Will of God,” always a relevant topic for the believer.

While editor Burk Parsons introduces the issue with his article “Knowing God’s Will,” other main articles cover the subject well:

  • “The Struggle to Find God’s Will” by Thomas Brewer
  • “Defining the Will of God” by John W. Tweeddale
  • “Defining the Call of God” by Joe Holland
  • Examples of Calling in Scripture by Scott Redd
  • Discerning and Stewarding God’s Call for My Life” by Fred Greco

For our purposes tonight, let’s reference a couple of the articles to have some idea of the value of this issue and its treatment of finding God’s will. First, Parsons shows us where we find God’s will and what that means in general:

…The reality is that we cannot figure out the mind of God, and we cannot know God’s hidden or decretive will (will of decree), which is His sovereignly established eternal plan for all creation. On the other hand, we can know God’s revealed or preceptive will (will of precept), which is what God has sovereignly revealed to us in Scripture regarding Himself, His ways, and His law for us. The preceptive will of God tells us what God finds pleasing according to His holy character.

Knowing what we can and can’t know of God’s will frees us to make decisions according to God’s Word. When we look to God’s Word to help us make decisions, we learn to ask the Lord for wisdom and for the guidance of the Holy Spirit; to walk by the Spirit in humility and holiness; to seek wisdom from trusted, wise counselors and elders; to listen to and honor our fathers and mothers; to consider our gifts, priorities, and means; not to walk through a door merely because it is open and sometimes to knock down a door when it seems closed; to sometimes just do something, and to sometimes wait on the Lord until our path becomes clear. For, as Paul writes, “Do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewal of your mind, that by testing you may discern what is the will of God, what is good and acceptable and perfect” (Rom. 12:2).

Then, second, we find some good thoughts at the end of Holland’s article “Defining the Call of God.” Pointing to God’s sovereign, saving call in our lives, he brings out these applications:

The effectual call of God through Jesus that converts us also begins the work of conforming us into His image (Rom. 8:29). That doesn’t mean that we are all becoming more like Nazarene carpenters-turned-­itinerant preachers. It means that God’s work of sanctification in us operates within the guard rails of the creation callings that are already operational in our lives. Under the power of the Holy Spirit, we now fight against sin and pursue holiness. We receive our call to vocation, and we work as unto the Lord with all our might. The husband embraces his call to marriage and loves his wife as Christ loved the church. The wife embraces her call to marriage and submits to her husband as the church does to Christ. The godly child obeys her parents as unto the Lord. The Christian embraces his call to holiness, pursuing holiness in grateful response to God’s grace. The Christian in authority does not lord his authority over others. The Christian under authority joyfully submits to and obeys authority, knowing that God is behind it all. In this way, the major calls of God on our lives—the call to vocation, the call to marriage, the call to morality, the call to submit to authority, the external call of the gospel, and the internal effectual gospel call—work together from creation and through redemption to accomplish God’s purpose in the world, His own glory through the worship of Jesus Christ in the church.

To find the other articles as well as the other rubrics, visit the Tabletalk link provided here.

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