What keeps us from knowing His will for us? (Part 4)
-Let’s look at the scriptures-
1John 2: 9-11 Anyone who claims to be in the light but hates his brother is still in the darkness. Whoever loves his brother lives in the light, and there is nothing in him to make him stumble. But whoever hates his brother is in the darkness and walks around in the darkness; he does not know where he is going, because the darkness has blinded him.
- Unforgiveness & anger keeps you in the dark. If you can’t see where you are in the dark, how can you know where you are going? Keeping anger inside you and not forgiving those who have hurt you will cause you to stumble. Your paths are no longer clear to you. We are out of His will when we do this.
- Unforgiveness is very displeasing to God. We are called to be the light of the world. Anger and an unforgiving heart will take us out of the light.
- We are to walk as Jesus walked. Walking in anger and unforgiveness is the complete opposite of how Jesus walked. Jesus came in love & forgiveness of our sins. Get rid of all anger & unforgiveness or you may be blinded to the great plans God has for you.
- Are you stumbling in your walk with God? Do you hit roadblocks?
Are your paths straight and clear? Could anger or unforgiveness for someone or a situation be causing you to be unsure of your path?
- Personal Note: In my personal journey of discovering why the will of the Lord was not clear to me God showed me that I did indeed have issues with anger and unforgiveness in my heart for certain people. If you had asked me I would have honestly answered to you that no, I did not have issues with unforgiveness. So of course, I debated with God that I was fine on that topic. God, being much more infinitely wise than I, began to impress upon me to pray blessings and good things only for every person that had ever hurt me. I have to be honest here; I didn’t want to do it. There were people in my life that had hurt me deeply and at this particular time in my life I was in a time of trial and refinement. My life was not very good at all and God wanted me to pray blessings for people who had been cruel to me and I believed that whatever I prayed over them, God was going to do. All I can say is that is what God impressed upon me.
I was obedient though and one tough day I began to pray solely for every person who came to mind that had ever hurt me. I can remember very clearly how shocked I was at just how hard it was to pray good things and blessings over each and every one of these people that first time. I knew then, that of course God was right, and I did have unforgiveness in my heart. That first prayer was tough and I mean real tough but I did it and I began to do it regularly. It wasn’t long before I actually enjoyed praying blessings and no longer good things but great things for each and every one of these people. God broke that anger and unforgiveness off of me by having me do what? Love them. When God says we are to walk in love, the sum of his commandments, He isn’t kidding!!
Can I encourage you to pray for every person you can think of that has ever hurt you? The catch? Only pray good things for them, blessings, all positive, no negative. If your first thought is that you don’t want to do this, then please let me impress upon you that you may indeed have unforgiveness and anger in your heart. This was one of the best things that God has ever led me to do, please don’t be stumbling around in the dark, unsure of where to go. This is not God’s plan for you. Bitterness, whether you know you have it or not, will choke your root. Please pray this prayer so that you may truly begin this journey walking in love.
Now, are you ready? Forgive yourself too. We will beat up on ourselves all day long won’t we? We will say, “I’ve done too much.” We need to be able to not walk in shame, we need to forgive ourselves of past transgressions and for the future ones also. When you mess up, and you will, ask God to forgive you. Learn from the transgression, don’t live in it. Try doing the same exercise as above but about yourself this time. Pray and ask God to forgive you for any stinky things you can think of that you have done. Yes, this includes how we treat our family. Then tell God that you forgive yourself too and that you are releasing any power that the transgression had on your life. Say to yourself, “I am free from ______________ and I will not let it have any more power over how I see myself or live my life. I will identify myself by who I am in Christ and not by the stinky things I have done. Sometimes before we can move on we need to be able to deal with and reconcile the past. Let it go. It is who you are becoming that is most important, not who you were in the past.
2. Ephesians 5: 15-17 Be very careful, then, how you live – not as unwise but as wise, making the most of every opportunity, because the days are evil. Therefore do not be foolish, but understand what the Lord’s will is.
- Are we wise and seek to understand God’s plans for us or are we unwise and live for our own comfort.
3. James 2:26 As the body without the spirit is dead, so faith without deeds is dead.
- Faith without deeds (works) is dead. What is the fruit of your faith?
- The Bible says without faith it is impossible to please God. Is your faith active or passive?
- Have you ever felt compelled to do something that you may have felt was from God but for one reason or another failed to do it?
- Have you been faithful to what was asked of you in the past?
- How does this verse tie in with Ephesians 2:10? For we are God’s workmanship, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do. What works are we supposed to be doing? His works or our own good deeds that we so desire to do?
- Does this verse tie in with Matthew 7:21-23? (The first verse we studied) Only those who do the will of my Father will enter the kingdom of Heaven. Clearly there are those who know God, who know Jesus but Jesus says he never knew them? Why? God has deeds/works for us to do. If we ignore them or never seek them out, what effect does that have on our faith?
4. 1John 2:3-6 We know that we have come to know him if we obey his commands. The man who says, I know him but does not do what he commands is a liar, and the truth is not in him. But if anyone obeys his word, God’s love is truly made complete in him. This is how we know we are in him: Whoever claims to live in him must walk as Jesus did.
- “If you want to walk in the perfect will of God then you have to do the perfect will of God. This requires the commitment of honoring & obeying God and His word.” - Kenneth Hagin.
- It is not enough to just know about God. We must also obey his commandments. This is how we come to know him more also.
- If you want God’s love truly made complete in you then you must obey his commands.
- We are to model ourselves after Jesus.
What keeps us from being used?
1. Titus 1:16 They claim to know God, but by their actions they deny him. They are detestable, disobedient and unfit for doing anything good.
- The things we do should line up with the things we say.
- If we deny God by our actions (or inaction) we are unfit for doing anything good for Him.
2. 2 Timothy 2:24 And the Lord’s servant must not quarrel; instead he must be kind to everyone, able to teach, not resentful.
- The servant of the Lord is able to walk in love.
- The servant of the Lord does not have unforgiveness in his heart.
3. 2 Timothy 2:16 Avoid godless chatter, because those who indulge in it will become more and more ungodly.
- The Bible teaches us in many places that it is good to think and speak of what is good, positive and uplifting. We can get ourselves into trouble and easily become a stumbling block to others when we engage in certain types of conversations.
- Can you think of a conversation you had with someone that ended up causing more harm than good?
- God does not like gossipers. We are meant to spread love, not rumors.
Are you enjoying the study? I hope so. It has blessed me greatly! Please leave me a comment and let me know if anything has spoken to you or blessed you in any way. I would love to hear your thoughts! As you know we do this study every other Friday because our ladies Bible Study meets every other Thursday and I want to post these studies after our ladies meet. We had a wonderful time last night and we really stayed parked for a long time in the Preparation category on 1 Peter 1:13-16 where we discussed how crucial it is to reflect God.
Next time we will discuss A Workman Approved By God and Loving God, parts 5 & 6 and that will be the end of our study. Please leave me a comment and tell me what you think.
Have a great day,