Barnabas Bulletin ~ 0246
THE CHALLENGE OF DOING GOD’S WILL
By Rodney W. Francis
Have you ever wondered why there is such a shortage of Christians getting involved in the will of God for their lives? We are saved to serve the purposes of God, and He has a specific purpose for every born-again, Holy Spirit-filled believer. When we are functioning in that purpose then we experience God in a very different way. We are called to take the Gospel to the ends of the earth, but there is a reluctance in many Christians to get involved in that. Jesus set us the example to follow: “Then Jesus went about all the cities and villages, teaching in their synagogues, preaching the Gospel of the Kingdom, and healing every sickness and every disease among the people. But when He saw the multitudes, He was moved with compassion for them, because they were weary (“harassed”) and scattered, like sheep having no shepherd. Then He said to His disciples, ‘The harvest is plentiful, but the labourers are few. Therefore pray the Lord of the harvest to send out labourers into His harvest’” (Matthew 9:35-38).
The labourers can only be Christians, and it is time that every Christ-confessing believer stood up and accepted the challenge of doing God’s will for their life. There is nothing more fulfilling or satisfying than to know the will of God and to be doing it.
THERE IS A COST INVOLVED!
When we look in the Bible to see the men and women that God used in wonderful and God-honouring ways, we see that they had to pay a price to be fully obedient to the will of God. They encountered criticisms and rejections from those ~ often closest to them ~ and it meant they had to make a decision as to whether they would listen to those negative voices against them, or to stand alone (as it were) and do what God had called them to do.
Consider Joseph, who God gave a dream to about what was going to happen in the times ahead. But when he shared that dream, his own brothers rose up against him in jealousy and set to work to get rid of him. They sold Joseph into Egypt, thinking that they had achieved their ungodly desires, not knowing that God actually used their nasty tactics against Joseph to get Joseph to the country and place where the dream would be fulfilled (see Genesis Chapters 37 to 50). What a shock it was to his brothers when, years later, he revealed himself to them and was used of God to spare them and give them food in the famine. Joseph fulfilled the dream of God, but his brothers lived with a guilty conscience of what they had done to their younger brother.
Consider David. When Samuel was told by God to call Jesse and his sons and anoint one of them to be the next king of Israel, David was left at home with the sheep. He was not even considered important enough to take along to see Samuel. The result was Jesse had to send and get David to come ~ and when he did, God told Samuel to anoint him, for he was the one (see 1 Samuel 16:1-13). Then, when David went to visit his three elder brothers who were in the Israelite army fighting against the Philistines, he was there when the big Goliath came out and challenged Israel to “Give me a man that we may fight together”. The Israelites, including David’s brothers, were greatly afraid of Goliath and no one was willing to accept the challenge. Except David! And when David said he would go and fight “this uncircumcised Philistine” (1 Samuel 17:26), it was David’s very own brothers who rose up against him and ridiculed him. David then had a decision to make. Would he listen to his fearful, unbelieving older brothers; or would he stand on his faith in God and not listen to them? He chose to stand his ground. He had learned by experience how God was with him against the lion and the bear, and he saw no difference between them and Goliath. His simple faith in a Mighty God caused him to stand against his own brothers. We all know the result of that. David went and stood before Goliath (after discarding Saul’s armour) with a simple sling and five smooth stones. When Goliath saw David coming toward him he began to curse David by his gods (1 Samuel 17:43). In spite of his physical might, Goliath reverted to demonic gods to give him the victory over David. But he did not know that the God who was with David was far greater than the gods that were with Goliath. The result was that David killed Goliath with just one smooth stone that entered into his head. David then cut off Goliath’s head with Goliath’s own sword (please take time to read and meditate upon the whole Chapter of 1 Samuel 17). David triumphed, even though his own brothers were very much against him with their false accusations.
All through the Bible we see what great men and women achieved in God when they knew what God had asked them to do, and in spite of the negative criticisms and accusations against them, etc., they rose above those negative happenings and triumphed to the glory of God.
IT IS NO DIFFERENT TODAY!
It is no different for us today. When we know the will of God for our life personally, and set out to do it, we soon find out that we have opposing voices and actions against us. And it is usually from other Christians ~ the very people who should know better and be encouraging us. Over the years we in The Gospel Faith Messenger Ministry have had to stand against people ~ many of them Christian Leaders ~ telling us it is not God’s will; that it is just my own ideas, etc., and the sooner it closes down the better. Here is where it is very important that we know the voice of God when He speaks to us so that we know what His will is for our life. When we know the will and purpose of God for our life, then we are able to make the decisions that we know are according to His will, and not just what we, or others, think. New Testament Christianity is all about a living relationship with Jesus Christ Who is alive from the dead ~ and He speaks today to those who will listen to Him! When I was filled with the Holy Spirit as an 18 year old, the same morning God spoke clearly to me that He was raising me up to be a preacher of the Gospel, and that He would open doors for me to preach straight away. That is exactly what happened, and I have been preaching ever since (over 61 years). In 1964, after rejecting people’s invitation previously to send out written materials to them, God spoke to me to do that and to start writing a monthly teaching to send out to those who requested it. We started with 27 names and addresses. Over the years it has kept growing and growing until this present time when we are touching multiplied thousands of people in over 220 nations of the world through the various departments of The Gospel Faith Messenger Ministry. We are all voluntary workers; yet we have seen God provide our own personal needs again and again. When we do what God asks of us, then He provides our needs for us (Philippians 4:19). I am so glad that we resisted the negative criticisms against us and this Ministry. We soon discovered that when those negative criticisms come against us, then we need to press in closer to Jesus and seek to know what He would have us to do. Like Joseph and David, those negative times became ‘stepping-stones’ and not ‘stumbling blocks’ to us. Hallelujah! The big question is:
- How much do you desire the will of God to be done in your life?
- It is not too late to put all the past behind you and to rise up in obedience to God’s purpose for your life!
- You will be so fulfilled when you know the will of God personally for your life and are committed to doing it.