What We Believe
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October 14 Daily Devotional

(Monthly Theme: Your Will Be Done)

Discerning the Will of God

Rev. Andrew Kuyvenhoven

"Then you will be able to test and approve what God's will is—his good, pleasing and perfect will." —Romans 12:2

Bible Reading

ROMANS 12:1-2

Devotional

When we pray "Your will be done," we are asking for obedience on earth to match the kind of obedience that is practiced in heaven. "Your will be done" must not make us think of a secret decision of God Almighty; it is the will of the Father that we, his children, are supposed to be doing.

How do we know what we have to do? How do we know the will of God for our lives?

This question, which no one may dodge, can become crushingly difficult for a serious-minded Christian. We can all agree that we know God's will in general. But how can we be certain of God's will for our worship and work, for the particulars of everyday living, for the choices we have to make and the decisions we face?

To answer this question, Christians have always tended to go in one of two directions. At one extreme are those who leave it to the experts (the church, the clergy) to spell out the will of God. At the other extreme are the spiritualists who receive private revelations of the will of God and know the mind of the Spirit with a certainty no one is allowed to question.

In the new covenant under which we are living, God deals with us as mature children. A certain amount of self-activity is required. Otherwise we would not be mature. We must now "test and approve" what is good and acceptable and perfect in the sight of God.

When God tells us to discern his will in the ordinary things of our lives, we are expected to do more than say that it's not easy. Many people have made this remark and let it go at that.

Of course it's not easy! Neither is it impossible. After all, our minds have been "renewed," and that transformation must show itself in acts of obedience. We no longer can live in the way everybody lives. We ask for the will of God.

And God is no stranger to us. He is our Father.

REFLECTIONS

When you must make a difficult decision with wide-ranging effects, how do you try to determine what God's will is in that situation?


Andrew Kuyvenhoven's Daylight, a modern devotional classic, was originally published by Paideia Press in 1977. This updated edition is copyright 2009 by Faith Alive Christian Resources. You can order a copy of this revised version of the book directly from the publisher.

A man of many accomplishments, Andrew Kuyvenhoven is probably best known for his contributions to Today (formerly The Family Altar), a widely-used monthly devotional booklet associated with the Back to God Hour. Unless otherwise indicated, Scripture quotations for this updated edition of Daylight are from the Holy Bible: Today's New International Version copyright 2001, 2005 by the International Bible Society.

 

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