Discerning God’s Will For Our Lives

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Me: Prodigal, Do you realize that you are in a box?

Prodigal: Of course, I am packing. After thinking a lot about it I decided to move.

Me: That can be a big decision, How did you come up with that decision?

Prodigal: I guess the way everyone else does. Is there a certain way?

Me: I do have some checkpoints that might be helpful to others, do you mind if I share?

Prodigal: Go ahead, I am all ears.

I receive this question a lot in interacting with people. Michael Catt in Fireproof Your Life completes a check point with scripture references that I feel is a great foundation when we are discerning God’s will for our lives.

He writes The following questions will help with discerning God’s will for our lives.

Do you believe that God’s will can be known definitely and accurately? (Ps. 32:8; Isa. 30:21)

Are you willing to seek God’s will and do it, or would you just like to know it as an option? (John 7:17)

Have you made a permanent decision of commitment to be yielded to God for the rest of your life? (Rom. 12:1-2)

Is there any known unconfessed sin in your life? If so, stop here and confess it and forsake it. (Ps 66:18, 1 John 1:9,Prov. 28:13)

Are you obeying the known will of God for your life on a daily basis? If not, start today and demonstrate your obedience before going on. (Ps 119:59-60)

Are you in neutral? Are you willing to go either way on this issue? Ask God that His desires will be your desires. (Phil. 2:13)

Are you praying specifically and definitely about it in faith? Make a list of your specific thoughts and pray about them by faith. (Mark 10:51; James 1:5-7)

Are you spending time with God daily in prayer and Bible study? If not, begin today. (Ps 5:3)

Have you asked the counsel of spiritually mature people? (Prov. 11:14, 12:15, 15:22, 19:20, 20:18, 24:6)

Are you willing to wait In faith for God to line up His Word, your peace and the circumstances? (Heb. 10:36)

Do you have an inner conviction or peace about your course of action? (Rom. 14:23)

Will it bring glory to God? (1 Cor. 10:31, Col 3:17)

This is just a really good foundation when we are trying to find God’s will. Sometimes it will take a short time and sometimes it is a slow process. If you really seek God, He will reveal himself to you. Some of you have that confusion today about what direction you should go next week? Take and ask your self these question. See what God says? You may be surprised!

Hebrews 11:6
And without faith it is impossible to please Him, for he who comes to God must believe that He is and that He is a rewarder of those who seek Him

Jennifer Van Allen


This Really Belongs to You….

11-17-14 152

Me: Good Day, Prodigal!
Prodigal: Hello and let me introduce you to Mr. Donkey.
Me: Hi, What are y’all doing on this day?
Prodigal: We took a walk through the town just watching people.
Me: Would you like to stop for a minute of your day to hear a story?
Prodigal: Sure and make it about a donkey!
Me: That I can do!

This is about a story from a newsman who interviewed Billy Graham with Ford Philpot present. The story begins with
“Dr. Graham,” the newsman said, “you travel all over the world and great throngs of people come to hear you preach, and people lavish you with gifts. Just how do you feel about this?”
“Have you ever heard of Palm Sunday?” Billy asked. “Yes,” the newsman replied, “the time when Jesus rode into town through that huge crowd of cheering people.” “You know,” Billy continued. “that donkey Jesus was riding could have really had the big head. He could have thought to himself, “Boy, look at that big crowd, listen to their cheers, they are even throwing down palm branches for me to walk on. I am really something.”

“The donkey would have been completely in error. The crowds had come to see Jesus, the cheers were for Jesus, the palm branches were for Jesus. This is my situation. I am like the donkey, I am the conveyor of Jesus. I merely present and represent the Son of God. The crowds don’t really come to see Billy Graham. They come because they have a hunger to know God and to know his Son.

“Therefore,” Billy added, “some day I want to take every honor that has come to me, and I want to place them at His feet, and say “Thanks you, Jesus, for permitting me to share these for a while, but here they are. They really belong to you.”

I think to many of us in our lives are like this donkey. Let me explain. Most of us have jobs right now or have had in the past. We go to a building clock in and clock out. Most of us have others who look to us to complete that project or this project. End of the week or two weeks or month, money appears in our account affirming us of the work we have done. Day in and day out the same cycle continues. We have different projects talk to some different people but we complete our task and receive our money.

We lose site of the fact that God could be in these task. We lose site that God has control over these task. We place that burden on ourselves and we then take credit for good work or we begin to have low self esteem for work that is not done properly. We lose site that the ultimate approval of what we do in a day is not our supervisor, our coworker five feet away or our parents. It is not our friends or our spouse or our sibling. It is God. With that we surrender our day to the Lord with the task we have to complete that day. We surrender our need to have approval from others and seek God’s approval. We do this because when something looks hopeless, when something looks like it is a mess beyond repairing, our wonderful God can come in and riding on a donkey and change our lives forever with his love that he has given us!

Zechariah 9:9

9 “Rejoice greatly, O my people! Shout with joy! For look—your King is coming! He is the Righteous One, the Victor! Yet he is lowly, riding on a donkey’s colt!

Jennifer Van Allen,

Darkness of Pride

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Me: Howdy Prodigal! It is so dark out here.
Prodigal: Wow, I did not even notice how dark it was around me.
Me: Yeah at the end of the day the darkness can creep in and we adjust to it and it takes another person to make us pay attention.
Prodigal: I guess that it is what just happened.
Me: Speaking of darkness, I found some information about our hearts that I think as Christians we tend to ignore much like the darkness.
Prodigal: Please begin then!

Edward Welch describes a problem with all of our hearts.
Legalism is more common than you think. It is another one of those human instincts that you will find lodged in every heart.
Have you ever said, “I just can’t forgive myself’?
Is your life one long, “If only….”?
Have others called you driven?
Are you burdened by past sins?
Do you believe God is chronically disappointed in you?
Do you believe that God likes you more when you are really good?
Do you make deals with God: “If you…I will…”?
Can you hear within these questions the conviction that your relationship with God rests more with you than with him?
Now consider what you might add to the gospel. Life is found in God + __________.
Serving in church
Reading my Bible
Not being too mean
Being relatively honest
Not getting drunk
Being sexually careful
Notice that these are good things. What makes them ugly are the motives that drive them. If you do these things to find favor before God, they are worthless. When they become activities in which we trust, they are abominations because they replace God. We make these additions to the gospel because they allow us to feel good about ourselves apart from God. They also give us a basis for judging others. If we have successfully gone through a day and measured up to our new law, we are a success (however temporarily). And we are now entitled to judge others who don’t measure up. Even God himself doesn’t escape our judgment. “I have been a good daughter even though I have had to live with a messed-up father. Why is God doing this to me?” If we have done the right thing, we feel we have a right to get something in return, and we can become angry or depressed when we don’t get it. With this in mind, add some other signs of legalism.
After all I have done, this is the thanks I get?”
Life isn’t fair
There are small, short-lived payoffs to legalism, but the emotional cornerstone of legalism is a lack of joy (Gal 4:15). Could you expect anything else? If you believe that your most important relationship is dependent on appeasing an angry or irritated God, no matter how much you do, you will never be sure it is enough. In reality, whatever good deeds we do are intended to be a response to what God has done, not a cause of it. God’s grace and love to us precede our own good works. He loved us before we loved him or even acknowledged him. Given this fact, why do we now think that we can earn his approval?

I want to say that I am sorry. Legalism has been in my heart and my actions. Truth being told, I can remember sad times I have judged others with reason only to puff up my own pride. I am sorry. I am sorry for condemnation that you may have sensed and any hurt that may have been from me. God is challenging me to grace with his children he loves. God has instructed me that those that come to me, I will give nothing but grace and I plan to be obedient. I am to share with them all the grace that God has given to me.

Hebrews 4:16 Let us then with confidence draw near to the throne of grace, that we may receive mercy and find grace to help in time of need.

Jennifer Van Allen

All Religions Are not the Same

01-30-14 100

Me: Prodigal, Did you go to church today?

Prodigal: Yeah, I am not sure why I should go to church though and is God really found in Church?

Me: Well those are good questions that a lot of people ask. I can talk all day about that but Ravi Zacharias makes a couple of points that I think can clear up some of the thoughts about God.

One of the most common statements we hear from others today is that all religions are the same and that they all point to God. So we tell ourselves it is not important to look at the details. So we go from one day to the next avoiding looking into what God is about. Nothing changes in our lives. All these people miss out on the peace of Jesus just by starting and ending the day the same year after year.

Ravi answers the question of about religions pointing to one God the best.
All religions are not the same. All religions do not point to God. All religions do not say that all religions are the same. At the heart of every religion is an uncompromising commitment to a particular way of defining who God is or is not and accordingly, of defining life’s purpose.
Anyone who claims that all religions are the same betrays not only an ignorance of all religions but also a caricatured view of even the best-known ones. Every religion at its core is exclusive.

Ravi then goes on to describe the change in is life and the growth he has had with a personal relationship with Jesus. This spoke to my heart because I see the same benefits and I praise Jesus today for what he has done in my life.

I came to Him because I did not know which way to turn.
I have remained with Him because there is no other way to turn.
I came to Him longing for something I did not have.
I remain with Him because I have something I will not trade.
I came to Him as a stranger.
I remain with Him in the most intimate of friendships.
I came to Him unsure about the future.
I remain with Him certain about my destiny.
I came amid the thunderous cries of a culture that has three hundred and thirty million deities.
I remain with Him knowing that truth cannot be all-inclusive. Truth by definition excludes.

Jesus answered, “I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me. John 14:6

Jennifer Van Allen