Does God still speak to people today? Does He actually have a master plan for your life and mine? If so, how do we discover it? How can we know the will of God?
The answer to the first question is yes. God still speaks to people today. But let me also say that after years of walking with the Lord, I have not discovered a foolproof method for knowing the will of God under all circumstances.
However, I have discovered certain principles from the Scripture that, if applied, will better enable you to hear and respond to the voice of God.
The good news is that God does not play hide-and-seek. He wants you to hear His voice even more than you want to hear it. But far too often, we may not like what God is saying and, thus, we will be resistant to it.
The goal is to discover the will of God for our lives and then to walk in it. Here is something to consider: in the long run, God’s will is always better than ours.
I use the term “long run” for a reason, because there are times when we have difficulty understanding why God is doing certain things or why He is not doing certain things.
Remember that God is always looking out for your spiritual and eternal welfare, where we tend to look out for our physical and immediate welfare. What is good now is not necessarily good for eternity, and what is difficult now may be the best thing for eternity.
We tend to look at things in the short-term: What will benefit me now? What is easier for me now? But God looks at eternity, and the ultimate plan of molding and shaping me into the image of Jesus Christ.
I am interested primarily in the physical, while God is interested in the spiritual.
The Bible tells us in 2 Corinthians 4:17-18, “For our present troubles are quite small and won't last very long. Yet they produce for us an immeasurably great glory that will last forever! So we don't look at the troubles we can see right now; rather, we look forward to what we have not yet seen...” (nlt).
So if we want to know the will of God, then we must look for it. And the best place to begin is in the pages of Scripture.
Today, God primarily speaks to us through His Word. Therefore, the Bible is the bedrock of truth that we must measure all other truth by. We must not interpret the Bible in light of contemporary culture; we must interpret contemporary culture in the light of the Bible. It is the absolute.
The Bible is the clear revelation by which we must measure all so-called human revelations. It is the rock of stability by which we measure our fickle human emotions. That way, we know what is right or what is wrong in the light of Scripture.
Everything you need to know about God is found in the Bible. As 2 Timothy 3:16 says, “All Scripture is inspired by God and is useful to teach us what is true and to make us realize what is wrong in our lives. It straightens us out and teaches us to do what is right” (nlt).
Yet so many people today are not taking time for the Word of God. So many people today are not acting and thinking biblically. Instead, they are allowing this world to squeeze them into its mold and are not looking at things in light of what the Bible says.
The only way we will be conversant with the Scripture, however, is by spending time in it in on a daily basis.
Psalm 1 tells us that the blessed, or happy, person meditates in God’s Word day and night. This is something we all need to do in our lives. And as we search the Word of God, He will speak to us. When you read the Bible, you are disciplining and preparing yourself to think and act biblically.
God has given us His Word, but we must look for His will. As you apply the principles of Scripture to your life, pray and ask the Lord to lead you. Nothing is too insignificant or too minute to pray about.As the Jewish proverb says, it is better to ask the way ten times than to take the wrong road once.
The story of Johnny Cash’s life and spiritual struggles offers hope to anyone who has had trouble staying on the straight and narrow path—and reminds us that God redeems broken lives and makes them whole again. My new book, Johnny Cash: The Redemption of an American Icon is a fascinating look at a unique and talented musician and follower of Christ!