How to Know God’s Will in the Things We Encounter

October 7, 2020

In our lives, we will encounter different things both big and small every day. If we don’t know God’s will, we will have nowhere to turn and won’t know what we should do to earn God’s praise. Then do you know how to know God’s will in the things that befall you? Here below I’d like to tell you two paths of practice.

How to Know God’s Will (1): Be Quiet Before God to Pray and Seek

When we come across something that doesn’t fit with our own desires, do you know how to know God’s will? God said, “Ask, and it shall be given you; seek, and you shall find; knock, and it shall be opened to you(Matthew 7:7).

In real life, you must pray whenever anything happens to you. At the very first instance, you must kneel and pray—this is crucial. Prayer demonstrates your attitude toward God in His presence. You would not do it if God were not in your heart. Some people say, ‘I pray but still God does not enlighten me!’ You must not say that. First look at whether your motivations for prayer are right; if you truly seek the truth and often pray to God, then He may well enlighten you in some matter so that you may understand—in a word, God will make you understand.

God’s words show us that when we meet something against our liking, the most important things are to accept and obey, and come before God to pray and seek God’s will. This is the path of practice to know God’s will. When we quiet our hearts before God, and seek and pray to God with an obedient heart, God sees our hearts are correct and will enlighten and illuminate us to understand His will, so that we have a path of practice and gain God’s approval and blessings.

Take Job for example. When all his wealth and property and all his children were taken from him, he came before God to pray and seek with an obedient heart. Through doing this, he understood Jehovah God’s will and knew that it was God’s trial and refinement that had befallen him to test his faith, devotion, and obedience to God. He also recognized that everything he possessed was bestowed by God and so God’s taking away was for a reason. After understanding God’s will, Job said, “Naked came I out of my mother’s womb, and naked shall I return thither: Jehovah gave, and Jehovah has taken away; blessed be the name of Jehovah” (Job 1:21). “Shall we receive good at the hand of God, and shall we not receive evil?” (Job 2:10). Through prayer and seeking, Job understood God’s will, and he not only did not speak sinfully, but bore resounding testimony for God. God therefore commended him, appeared to him from a storm, and bestowed even more blessings upon him. It can be seen that when one encounters disagreeable things, only by praying and seeking with an obedient heart can he know God’s will.

Whenever we come across something that doesn’t fit with our own desires, as long as we seek and submit in our prayers, we can understand God’s will. For example, some time ago, I became seriously ill and was facing death. Although I did not say anything, my heart was filled with misunderstandings and blame about God. I thought I had believed in the Lord for many years and had always worked hard, so how could I get such a terrible disease? Why wasn’t God protecting me? The more I thought about it, the more I objected in my heart, feeling very distressed and oppressed. I realized that my state was wrong, and so I came before God to pray and seek God’s will. I then realized: When everything was going right for me, I could enthusiastically expend for God, and had no complaints no matter how tired I was. But when I got sick, I did not have the same energy that I had had in the past, and became filled with misunderstandings and blame toward God. Then what was my expending for God really for? Was it not just in exchange for the blessings of the heavenly kingdom and for more good fortune and grace? When my desire to obtain blessings was shattered, I became filled with complaints toward and misunderstandings about God—how was I loving and being faithful to God? I was simply trying to bargain with God; I was trying to use Him and trick Him! How could such a faith in God be worthy of His praise? Coming to this realization, I finally understood that God arranged that situation in order to reveal my motives to gain blessings through my belief in God and to reverse my erroneous perceptions of my belief in God.

Having understood God’s good intentions in saving me, I felt especially remorseful. “God is the Creator and I am a created being,” I thought. “To believe in God and worship God is a heavenly law and an earthly principle. Whether I will be blessed or subject to calamity, I must be loyal to God, and shouldn’t make deals with God. This is the conscience and reason I should have as a created being.” So I prayed and made a resolution to God: “Regardless of whether I get better or not, I will submit to Your orchestrations and arrangements and no longer make any extravagant demands of You. No matter whether blessings or disaster come to me, I will perform my duty well to repay Your love.” After I prayed to God like this, I felt at ease and at peace inside. Not long after that, my sickness got better.

From here we can see that when encountering something undesirable, we should be quiet before God to seek, for only in this way can we understand God’s will and have a path of practice.

How to Know God’s Will (2): Seek God’s Will in His Words

If we want to know God’s will, apart from praying and seeking, the most important thing is to read God’s words and seek to know God’s will in His words. Just as God’s words say, “How can God and man be joined? How can you come to know God? How does God work on man? He uses words to reveal His will, uses words to guide you to the path you should walk, uses words to try you, and He uses words to tell you of all the requirements and criteria He has for you. Understand this, and you have grasped the root of the matter. Unknowingly, you come to understand all aspects of the truth within God’s words: the principles of getting along with others and handling matters, how to treat brothers and sisters, how to approach church work and your duties, how you should experience trials, how to be loyal to God, how to give things up and how to approach the world. All these truths can be found within God’s words, and God has told them all to you.

We all know that God’s words are the truth, are what God has and is, and represent God’s will. God’s words have told us everything: which people God likes and which people God hates, toward whom God’s fury is directed, whom He punishes, His emotional state, His demands of people, His will for mankind, how people should treat the Lord’s words and how they should welcome the Lord. So, as long as we seek in God’s words when we encounter issues, we will be able to understand God’s will and find a proper path of practice.

For example, when we who believe in God are performing our duties in church, some people urge us to earn money and make a fortune. At times like these, if we seek the truth in God’s words, we will know God’s will. The Lord Jesus clearly told us, “For what is a man profited, if he shall gain the whole world, and lose his own soul? or what shall a man give in exchange for his soul?(Matthew 16:26). “No man can serve two masters: for either he will hate the one, and love the other; or else he will hold to the one, and despise the other. You cannot serve God and mammon(Matthew 6:24). From these words, we know that the Lord’s will is for us to be content with sufficient clothing and food rather than to make a fortune, and that as believers in God, we should pursue the truth and gain the truth as our life, for only in this way can we obtain God’s praise and enter God’s kingdom. If we don’t seek to know God’s will in God’s words, we will think that people’s words also make sense and so give up doing our duties to make money. This way, we will fall into Satan’s scheme and sink into temptation, growing distant from and betraying God.

Let’s look at another example. Now, the great disasters have begun and the prophecies of the Lord’s return have basically been fulfilled, and so the Lord is likely to have returned already. However, many people haven’t welcomed the Lord. How should we know God’s will in His words in this matter? We should seek what God said on the matter of welcoming the Lord. The Lord Jesus said, “And at midnight there was a cry made, Behold, the bridegroom comes; go you out to meet him(Matthew 25:6). The Book of Revelation also contains the following prophecies, “Behold, I stand at the door, and knock: if any man hear My voice, and open the door, I will come in to him, and will sup with him, and he with Me(Revelation 3:20). “He that has an ear, let him hear what the Spirit says to the churches(Revelation 2:7). These words clearly said that when we hear someone testifying the Lord has returned, we should hurry out to meet Him, that the Lord will knock on the doors of people’s hearts with His utterances, and that those who accept after hearing the Lord’s voice will be able to welcome the Lord. Thus, we have a path of practice: Upon hearing someone testify that the Lord Jesus has returned and expressed “what the Spirit says to the churches,” we should seek and examine whether these words contain the truth and whether they are God’s voice. As soon as we confirm that they are God’s voice, we should accept and obey—is that not welcoming the Lord? So, no matter what we encounter, as long as we seek the truth in God’s words we will be able to know God’s will and find a path of practice.

So long as we grasp the two paths above, we will understand how to know God’s will and have a correct path of practice in the people, matters and things we encounter.

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