Another one of my values is racial reconciliation. So when I get an invitation to go to Africa, I accept! Why? Because I want my actions to be consistent with the values God gave me. I go because I want to be a source of healing among people who don't look like me. Since Africa has many such people, I go.
Directed by Joy
I want to leave you with three things you can do to enhance your ability to hear and do the will of God. If you do these things, you will learn how to use joy as an indicator of God's will for you in your daily walk.
1. Pray. I pray this prayer regularly: “God, I'll do whatever You want me to do, wherever You want me to do it.” And then I have faith that God is going to direct my interests, using my joy as an important factor.
2. Have faith. If God wants you to do His will-and He does-then He must reveal what His will is. If you are asking God to reveal His will, then He will answer your prayer. You must have faith that you are receiving the answer.
Jesus said that our heavenly Father is no different from earthly fathers who know how to respond to the requests of their children (Luke 11:11-13). After I've prayed, I don't expect God to trick me. Nor do I put my trust in my ability to figure things out. I am learning how to trust my God more and more to reveal His will to me.
3. Write down your values and act. James wrote, “Thus also faith by itself, if it does not have works, is dead” (James 2:17). If you are praying and believing, then you must also be doing. Do something, allowing God to use even your missteps to direct you in the path He has for you.
Here's how to start. Spend 10 minutes writing down what's important to you. If nothing else, write down what you do that gives you joy. Then determine to do something about each one of the things you wrote down.
If the unborn are important to you, pick up the phone and call a pregnancy center to volunteer your services. Write a check, no matter how small, toward a pro-life publication or cause. If cooking gives you joy, then how can you cook more often? Can you bake and donate your baked goods to the poor? Have faith and act.
In John 7:16-18, Jesus says in essence, “If you commit to do God's will before you know what it is, then God will reveal His will to you and you'll know it.” Some refuse to believe it is that simple, but I believe it is. Doing God's will-not finding it-is the hard part.
If you do nothing other than follow your joy, you will be well on your way to fulfilling God's will for your life. If you have made a sincere commitment to doing His will, He will show you what it is-perhaps by no other way than your having joy in what you do.
Don't over-spiritualize the guidance process and don't ignore the answers when they come. Pray, have faith, determine what is important to you and then take action. Do what you can do and God will do the rest.
John Stanko is an author, speaker and consultant who travels extensively talking about purpose and productivity. His website is purposequest.com.
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