I read this in a devotional a few nights ago and I thought I’d share because it is so thought-provoking! Definitely worth pondering…
“I seek at the beginning to get my heart in such a state that it has no will of its own in regard to a given matter. Nine tenths of the trouble with people generally is just here. Nine tenths of the difficulties are overcome when our hearts are ready to do the Lord’s will, whatever it may be. When one is truly in this state, it is usually but a little way to the knowledge of what His will is.
Having done this, I do not leave the result to feeling or simple impression. If so, I make myself liable to great delusions.
I seek the will of the Spirit of God through, or in connection with, the Word of God. The Spirit and the Word must be combined. If I look to the Spirit alone without the Word, I lay myself open to great delusions also. If the Holy Spirit guides us at all, He will do it according to the Scriptures and never contrary to them.
Next I take into account providential circumstances. These often plainly indicate God’s will in connection with His Word and Spirit.
I ask God in prayer to reveal His will to me aright.
Thus through prayer to God, the study of the Word, and reflection, I come to a deliberate judgment according to the best of my ability and knowledge; and if my mind is thus at peace, and continues so after two or three more petitions, I proceed accordingly.”
Written by George Muller, excerpted from My Time with God: 15 Minute devotions for the Entire Year
Wow! Although I had certainly known about each of these different ways of seeking God’s will, I had never come across such a succinct explanation of using them in a coordinated fashion. I love the way it begins – saying that we need to come to a place where we have no opinion about the outcome! I agree that desiring a particular outcome probably often clouds my own judgement as to God’s will.
And to have the patience to seek after God’s will in such a way! I must confess that I have a hard time waiting for an answer after I’ve prayed about it… once. I’ll pray about it, then act according to my impression of the correct course of action. As the commentary states, I’m probably leaving myself open to “great delusions” by doing this!
I am going to be pondering and digesting this information for a while. I pray that God uses it to help me be more diligent in seeking His will.
Matthew 6:33 “The thing you should want most is God’s kingdom and doing what God wants. Then all these other things you need will be given to you.” (New Century Version)
How do you usually try to seek God’s will in a particular matter?