God Answers

Matthew 7:7-8 “Ask, and it will be given to you; seek, and you will find; knock, and it will be opened to you. For everyone who asks receives, and he who seeks finds, and to him who knocks it will be opened.”

The thought of asking God for help, provision, health, or anything else we desire has been surrounded in controversy. For anyone that has ever prayed these types of prayers, they can testify they didn’t get everything they were asking for. A prayer for healing might end in a loved one dying. Prayer for strength possibly concludes with a time of falling. Prayer for money or riches sometimes progresses towards a continual lacking and need.

We pray all kinds of prayers but do we forget to ask God if that is His will for us?

Seeking God’s will implies a belief that God’s plans supersedes our plans. If we pray according to God’s will, we trust that He knows more about our situation than we do, He knows where He is leading, and there is a purpose we often do not see.

Jesus often prayed and His directive in how to pray was very specific:

Matthew 6:10 “Your kingdom come. Your will be done On earth as it is in heaven.”

This idea then begs the question: How do we know the Father’s will?

First a look back at Jesus’ teaching in Matthew 7.

Jesus was moving from a discourse on judging others toward asking for gifts. I just don’t think Jesus was jumping all over the place with one thought then another, there was a reason for this transition.

Matthew 7:9-11 “Or what man is there among you who, if his son asks for bread, will give him a stone? Or if he asks for a fish, will he give him a serpent? If you then, being evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your Father who is in heaven give good things to those who ask Him!”

The initial reason someone was judging another was because of sin. Imparting Truth to someone else is great unless the violation of that Truth is evident in your own life. It’s really hard for someone to receive correction from someone who hasn’t mastered it themselves.

The issue Jesus had with certain believers is the attempt to bring some form of spiritual doctrine that is meant for growth and maturity to people who are unbelievers. If someone doesn’t have the Spirit of God in their life, they certainly aren’t going to be able to grow in righteousness.

As a result of trying to correct an unbeliever with spiritual Truth, we in essence are throwing pearls before swine; Truths that are precious are not meant for those who are defiled.

Unbelievers are defiled by sin, they are not under grace but under judgement. They stand as enemies before God and are in essence spiritually blind.

I believe Jesus wasn’t talking about receiving gifts like a new bike, or a new car….I believe the instruction was completely different.

  • What an unbeliever needs is the Bread of Life
  • They need the perfect sacrifice of Christ
  • They need the nourishment of God’s abiding Truth

The gifts that are given to those who seek them are given only by God.

We can’t give the gifts, they aren’t ours to give. We can share the Moral Law with the lost and they can know why they are sinners. We can share the answer to the Law which is grace in Christ. We can lead them to what it means to attain life but we cannot give it.

God calls unbelievers—we don’t.

God heals and restores that which had been lost through Adam.

God sanctifies the sinner by grace and leads them in righteousness.

We are only His servants—doing His will. Which gets us back to the original question;

How do you know God’s will?

God’s Will

Listen to the four ‘I will’s‘ of God presented to Moses on Mt. Sinai

Exodus 33:19 “And the LORD said, “I will cause all my goodness to pass in front of you, and I will proclaim my name, the LORD, in your presence. I will have mercy on whom I will have mercy, and I will have compassion on whom I will have compassion.”

  • God shows mankind His goodness
  • God proclaims the greatness of His name
  • God shows mercy to whom He so desires
  • God shows compassion to those He has predestined

It sounds like to me that everything required for someone to know God, see His goodness in their lives, and then receive mercy and grace comes directly from the throne of God.

This is good news!

If God does everything necessary to bring someone to Salvation…what does He need us for?

Mark 16:15,16 “And He said to them, “Go into all the world and preach the gospel to every creature. He who believes and is baptized will be saved; but he who does not believe will be condemned. “

First, the responsibility for sharing this good news is given to us….His people. This is God’s will, that we go out into the world and shine the light of His Spirit in our lives to others. The work of God’s Spirit restores, heals, and makes new, He forms us in His image and breathes new life into our souls.

Secondly, our responsibility is to obey God’s moral law.

John 14:15 “If you love Me, keep My commandments.”

The moral law is the 10 commandments. They represent God’s righteousness and when broken they bring the judgment of sin (1 John 3:4).

  • When we walk in God’s commandments, we demonstrate our love to Him.
  • We demonstrate God’s righteousness to the world.
  • We testify of His goodness and love.

Thirdly, we must follow Jesus.

John 12:26 “Whoever serves me must follow me; and where I am, my servant also will be. My Father will honor the one who serves me.”

This might sound a lot like being obedient, because essentially it is, but the inflection is slightly different. Following Jesus is a daily seeking after His will. We present ourselves as His servants, and as He leads us our responsibility is to follow. You’ll find that in following you are being obedient to God’s moral law, you are proclaiming His name and goodness in your life, and you likewise are demonstrating your love for God in return.

The Lord leads because He is intentional in our life. He doesn’t just lead us aimlessly through life but He has a specific direction and purpose He is fulfilling in us and through us as we go.

You cannot follow Christ if you never give yourself an opportunity to listen. You must take time to pray, read the Word of God, and meditate on His precepts.

You must spend quality time with other believers, lifting up one another in prayer and exercising the gifts the Spirit is working through you for others.

You must turn away from sin. You cannot walk in the Spirit and be actively sinning, the Lord simply will not accept that as a representation of His name. The Lord would likewise never lead you into sin and therefore we stop following Him when we begin to follow our own way.

You’ll know soon enough if your going the wrong way, sin leads to all sorts of trouble, it exposes you to attack by the enemy, and steals your joy.

Do you want to hear God’s voice in your life?

He’s given you the guidance and tools, now it’s up to you to walk in them. When you walk in them, you’ll wonder why you ever chose to go another way—there is simply no greater life.

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