Later we shall look at how God guides us with regards to specific decisions in life. However, for now I want to look a little at the overall purposes of God into which the details of daily life must fit. It is hard for us to know God’s will in the smaller things, if we ignore the things we know God desires.
We have here in the UK a TV show called ‘Mr and Mrs’, where each partner answer question on the other. Such answers depend on the married couple living together for long enough that they almost ‘know each others minds’. Likewise in our relationship with God, as we walk closely with Him we start to learn the sort of decisions which please Him. The changes the whole way we read scripture, it then becomes not looking for a direct answer for today’s issue, but also stores up an understanding of God’s way.
For example, 1 Corinthians 2:16, talks about having ‘the mind of Christ’, this means that we need have Godly wisdom in the way we live, so it also applies to the choice of a life partner for marriage, but in addition to this is very specific question, we must also know from the Bible the God’s more general guidance that we must not be ‘mismated with unbelievers’ (2 Corinthians 6:14 RSV). We see here that we don’t really need to seek guidance on whether to get into a relationship with an unbeliever, because God makes his will clear on this through scripture. But we should search assurance in regards to believers.
So what do we know about the overall purposes of God? Well Scripture is full of them, but I want to point out a few examples:
- ‘This is the will of God, your sanctification’ (1 Thessalonians 4:3 RSV). – when Paul is talking about how ‘we ought to live and to please God (1 Thess 4:1), he follows it on with this verse. From Scripture we can see that there is an overriding principle that God’s will is that we grow in holiness. ‘Be holy, because I am holy’ (1 Peter 1:15-16)
- ‘I chose you and appointed you to go and bear fruit’ (John 15:16). – Here we see a two fold purpose of God – first to go – both John and Mark (Mark 3:14-15) sees the Jesus sending out the disciples, God’s desire is that everyone may worship him (Rev 5:9). The second purpose is two bear fruit that will last – I think this has two meaning, fruit in regards to our ministry for Him and the fruits of the spirit (Galatians 5).
So we see there are overall principles concerning God’s guidance in scripture and we don’t always need specific leading for every occasions. Yet there are occasions where God gives very specific instruct, just look at the building of the tabernacle or temple for example. The real goal is to walk in close relationship with Him.