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Logo of InVerse, 2nd Quarter 2020: How to Know God’s Will for Your Life

03-Sources of God’s Will Part 2

Israel Ramos Justin Kim Sebastien Braxton Callie Williams

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How do we know that what we believe to be God's will is truly His will for us?

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  • April 18, 2020
    12:45 PM

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God speaks to us using the Bible but are there other ways that he speaks to us and what is this Providence thing we'll find on this episode of In verse. Coming to you from Silver Spring Maryland welcome to. The Bible based conversation on my sense of contemporary issues and thought provoking. Now here's your host just in within. Everyone you're watching in verse or in the studio here with my friends and we are in the midst of a study on the will of God Last week we looked at how God speaks to us using the Bible and this week we'll look at how God uses other means other I don't know if the right were media mediums but the mediums you get into the. Other way are avenues I would have anything out there methods other other avenues with so and so have a word of prayer and we get started for today and to operate. Thank you Father in Heaven a you lead your people not just as a corporate body of Christ but also as individuals and so we pray that you have filled this promise for us now that you would lead us and guide us in our study today in Jesus' name amen amen amen amen Let's go to Sean's 23 Psalms 23 I'd be happy to read that you know grace. Kelly good heat for us through the Lord is my shepherd I shall not want he makes me to lie down in green pastures He leads me beside the still waters here stores my soul he leads me in the paths of righteousness for his namesake Yea though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death I will fear no evil for you are with me your rod and your staff they comfort me you prepare a table before me in the presence of my enemies you annoying to my head with oil my cup runs over Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me all the days of my life and I will dwell in the house of the Lord forever amen amen so straight 3 is one of the most famous passages of Scripture it's what I want the Psalms that that everyone knows even the. When though they might not be familiar with scripture and one part that really stands out to me is the 1st 2 in verse 3 is that he leads me he leads me where the famous and him he lead me gets its lyrics from I want to ask you all what are some elements in the song that why is god a shepherd and how does this set us up for today's. Ok you're looking at me like it was like a day but on the 1st question oh. Yeah let's go to the 1st what are you twins already so one of the things that I I love in 23 is is the very 1st verse to say that David is so confident that he will never be unlocked based upon who Shepard is so when we deal with gone leaving this we will never be true and so we may or we may be in need temporarily but not necessarily ultimately lacking and so to me when you when you think about Jesus as a shepherd and myself as a sheep sheep are myopic they're short sighted they can't defend themselves they can't provide for themselves and so it also reinforces that dependence upon gone and the need to actually pursue gone to know what His will is and to make sure that I'm actually following the shepherd I'm not following the wrong Shepherd I'm not following the shepherd is going to lead in confusing ways and so who my Shepherd is is really the fundamental question of life if sheep are one animal that evolution has failed. To that theory that's true every animal has been given some kind of defense mechanism but the ship sheep. Has nothing to ask it's not small it's a medium size it's really small it's strong it's not strong it's not fast can't fly away and it's just kind of like a. Chicken with 4 legs 6 like you know on the ground I mean everyone just waiting to see. Nate Lee needs a shepherd to carry it yeah that's right yeah yeah it's profound it's profound yes. What I love about song $23.00 how it starts is that the focus or the subject of the song is God Yes And so it's interesting though even though the subject of the song is God is talking about many other different things it's not about green pastures still waters you know all sorts of other in the valley the shadow of death the the rod of the. Yet all of these things although they are helpful in the life of the sheep in protecting the sheep and giving life to the sheep and giving rest to the sheep all of them are dependent upon the primary subject of the song which is God And so ultimately what the sub what the song is trying to tell us is that in life there are many different things that help us to assist us that will give us life that will give us comfort that will give us strength that will give us guidance but the overarching responsibility of guidance for our lives is a corner David is the shepherd and the Lord is our ship. Yeah yeah I also just kind of similar but maybe a little bit different. Is in focusing on God being our shepherd and guiding us he doesn't only guide us he isn't just lead us but he restores our souls he comforts us and just sometimes we can we can kind of almost pray like I want I do cool things off figured out I'll come back when I need more guidance but God doesn't just guide us provides all these amazing gifts for. It if you also notice that God is always the one committing the actions and we are the recipients in this right so he's the one that's me sure I don't want he makes me to lie down he leads me restores my soul leads me walks with me and the only thing that really the individual does in the song is walk through the valley of the shadow of death and then openly he fears an illegal which is still going back to the shepherds present so it just goes to show that the nature of our relationship with God and how we should be relating to the question of knowing. There is a book that is recommended to me I might like fellow compatriots. I'm thinking about Brandon you know it was a book about a shepherd who is writing his meditations on the some 23 I forget within a shepherd's Shepherd's look at some story to show it's a very creative title and so in verse 23 in the verse 123 It's like my you know Shepherd language Shepherd language Shepherd. Which if we have time we go to each line and he start of a shepherd single and in verse 4 I walk through the valley of the shadow of death again as a sheep walking through these these dangerous mountains. Rod in the step again more Shepherd language I really found very interesting verse 5 you anoint my head with oil and my cup runneth over and I always thought maybe this song is switching over to other language but he says it continues this is the shepherd language about how sheep because of their Morse nostrils and their most muscles they go into the ground and they're looking for grass and whatnot and all these parasites would be attracted to the humanity and the warmth of their noses and so they crawl all the way up and some would go into their brain and into their their cerebral cavity and they lay all these eggs and whatnot and so these sheep would all be going around and just be normal one day and the next day with all these things crawling around on its head with banging their heads against the rock in one going crazy and scratching in you know trying to each a scratch scratch scratch an itch that's not it's a bull you know inside your head and so the shepherd before each season would have all the sheep line up and would anoint their heads with oil all over their face all over their nose and these critters would crawl up into a slide on down because the oil would lubricate the nostrils and while this was going to cool insights and I don't know if that's exactly what what David was the there was a talking about but there are there are shepherds allusions here I want to ask you the question is this are some is a comfort song that shows us that all we have to do is follow and God leads us and last week we look that God leads us using the word of God and that is fundamental that is primary that is foundational that is the test of all of God's movings But what are other ways that are secondary to the Bible that God lead us and have to say the one that when I say and that's Providence Providence not what he said he did in Rhode Island. For those who are in Rhode Island we love you. Love the city visit their Brown University campus ministry. Yes it is the providence of the movies of God what God allows and what he does not allow especially when we lay our lives at God's feet and say you know please open what you would and close what you want as well and as God speaks about. Psalm 23 gives us a picture that life is a journey and so if you look at Psalms you can actually see the journey that takes place 1st of all God is leading he leads us in green pastures is not just any kind of pasture but it's green pastures what that tells me about God is that he is intentional that he pays attention to the little things that it's actually necessary for a shepherd to pay attention to little things and if a shepherd is not obsessed with even the smallest details then the entire flock is at risk and so that's that's the the point of you know here it's he's talking about a sheep that is being led by a good shepherd they're also a batch of birds so you have here God leads us to green pastures this is where life is right green pastures means that there's there fresh pastors are not dead it's not dead grass but it's good food and then it talks about. He leads us to still waters this is a journey you eat then you go and you're getting drink and the journey then takes us through the valley of the shadow of death this is an intense moment in life and through all of these different things through every journey in life there God is prepared for that how is God prepared for that is like what Kelly said he's prepared for that through providence in other words the the underlying theme is you did not arrive to these green pastures on your own you arrive there through the guidance of the shepherd the shepherd might have carried you and some ways this is like the direct he is directly in charge of your life miraculously and although in another way if you did not you he did not care you had to walk there yourself but you ended up there not by chance but you ended up there through the divine guidance of the shepherd that led you to these. Places whether they're places of comfort like green pastures or whether they're places of detriment and and whatever fears which is a valley in the shadow of death of so many years thinking back on a I saw a video series on going to the Middle East and I forget what it is visiting the home of the mother not the motherland Holy Land or what one of those kind of shows and this guy was going to Israel and you know when we disperse he makes me to light on green pastures were thinking green pastures like suburb with perfect grass you know it was even talking to Kentucky bluegrass and if you throw in your lawn and and so he says in Israel you don't find that naturally anywhere and it's geography everything is yellow everything is Rocky everything is just horrible you know just whatever dry and he says that when shepherds take their flocks and bring him to quote green pastures where you know there's just dying grass everywhere you've got to climb up this rocky path and there might be the small little plateau question maybe 3 or 4 bunches of of grass and that is a green pasture in the Middle East but the sheep love it and the Shepherd is one who knows where these little patches are guides them through the rocky path passages and says hey enjoy So it's a it's a lot more than here here's grass and just kind of munch on you know lawn through and he's finding these places that are specifically customized for your life and guide you safely to get them more nuance to. Think about the the profundity of our lives you know using that as a metaphor so that when the shepherd is reading So Jesus is reading me right now there's no green pastures from like Jesus really leading me when Jesus is mine it's like we've got to go through these dry pastors to get to the Gruen So it's like I see where I'm taking you but just because you don't see where I'm going doesn't mean that I'm not religious and I think sometimes that can be the tricky thing with Providence is we say well I did. Get accepted and we read the stories of people who applied for 5 times and got in it was like it was clearly God's will on another level it's like they got accepted and they decide well does that make it God's will because you've got the acceptance letter from the university you wanted and in this sense it's like Jesus knows what green pastures are and sometimes getting to green pastures takes us through drive past takes us to dead ones but it's important that Providence is not something where we start using as an acid test to say well is he even leading me is the Lord among us you know Dr pastor we've got to take a break right now I come back we'll come back to greener pastures. Has embraced been a blessing to do you have questions comments or feedback you'd like to leave us find us on social media by searching. On Facebook Twitter and Instagram for you to know that while they join us like us. I handle again and invest 5 nonstate Now back to the discussion. Or so glad that the Lord decide to lead you back to us after the break and a time to have in. The Bible s. week we're talking about Providence and how God leads us in different ways and in different ways especially you were saying that we don't see the full and but God does the bird's eye view and sometimes he gets us through those dry patches room and then something that I want to mention also sticking with where Sebastian was going here it says in verse 4 ye though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death I will fear no evil for you are with me and we also have to take into consideration the fact that there are moments where. There is not going to be life like in green pastures but there is going to be death and so what I appreciate about verse 4 is that it teaches us Year something about the character of God and His ability to lead us to his providence here he saying God doesn't eliminate the valley of the shadow right and rather than avoiding the valley of the shadow of death what he does is he eliminates fear and so the beautiful thing about the providence of God is that we can be 100 percent certain that no matter where God takes is whether it's green pastures whether it's bad pastures on the way to green pastures or whether it's the valley of the shadow of death itself that what God does is he a limb and it's not the trial but he eliminates the fear of the trial which is actually the greater the greater evil right the greater evils the fear that you know listening that and the other thing here that I love about this passage is that it talks about the Valley of the shadow of death and he says the good I walk through the. Value. So he's not saying I'm going to dwell in I'm going to build my house near a boy or a boy but it's something that you walk through in other words it shows an element of conquering right I'm going to get through this trial I'm going to get through this through this challenge so you don't remove them all together which a lot of people pray for he doesn't leave us and then midst of it what some people think God has done to us gives us the strength and if your listeners courage to get us through it I think that's a huge propositions but these are huge and it's not end but through you know if it takes me back to one time I went to visit Israel when he lived in up are going to be great yes you know my compatriot here he lived in the Upper Peninsula of Michigan was basically like Canada but somehow we annexed. And I'm driving back to Washington and you happen to so that we love you and your please don't send us e-mails just send him to Sebastian and so as long as I'm driving in my car all the sudden I start noticing that this check engine light comes on and I'm thinking like oh man I'm in the middle of nowhere and so I'm thinking Ok I'm going to get past these next 3 exits which were highly crossing and I'll be able to stop and pull over but my car literally breaks down like at this crossing of Holly so there's no gas stations there's no exits so I get out the car and I'm thinking man how my going to get help my engines like burned up and then the sign says prison nearby not pick up its doctors. And uses this procedure but I don't you know break down to do it where nobody's going to help with it like that guy just got out of prison I got swept and it's. Like oh yeah he's definitely a prisoner and so I don't walk into my office and the very next gas station I get off with this marathon gas station and then there was. A different one across the street and so I'm like Man which we should i go to the other one was like oh this is like be a jerk whatever it was like what they're going through the other way and that's probably the thing to do. So when I go to this other gas station. I told the girl my counties are phoning to call someone you know to pick me up so she's like sure so I make a phone call and after I make the phone call I'm sitting there and I have my book I was reading on The Book of Revelation and how Jesus in the Book of Revelation and so as I'm sitting there reading this she's like well you know what book are you reading so we have this conversation and next thing you know she's like I've been really seeking God about how where is God in crisis and this is there what the book is about is doing with Jesus in crisis and so I'm like well I explain through the book The people who are picking me up are like 20 minutes away and right before they arrive I'm like you know what just take the book etc etc etc And she's like man this is like such a blessing because I was not supposed to be at work today the person literally called out and they called me from home and I literally drove in Iraq right before you walked in and there's a whole can I use the phone and so it just showed me in Providence that here I am frustrated and I broke down near an area this is don't pick up prisoners but your god is like listen you may feel like you're in the Valley of the shadow of death and like this is the worst situation possible but it ended up being one of the greatest blessings of my life to encourage me in from the fact that wow I love that guy so you're thinking I'm going God was leading me the whole time but in my mind as my car is breaking down very very soon. Another story not quite like that but story this one is you're talking about going through the valley the shadow of death is in my life I just found I feel like I feel closest to Christ not when he brings me through it like after at the end but like as I trust him during it and I I think about when I was doing my masters I had set up something to be a teacher and I needed to do a part time job and I set it up like 2 years in advance and everything was fine I was fine I was fine just fine until a month of fossils to do it and I go by the was going to work so I didn't have a way to finish my master's and it's July and you know teachers are hired in July they're hired in February and March again today. Anyone know that you don't care for it so so like always I can do and so my dad you know like what is your message out so email some people so I like when I guess I will so I did and very long story short I got a full time job in a week at the very end of July and classes start like August 13th that never happens but what I take so much courage from that story isn't just that Jesus came through in that clear way but I remember when I got the call and I hung up and I was like everything that I planned last 2 years a little is fell apart but I just prayed and like Jesus I have no idea what's going to happen but I know you saw this coming so please help me to trust you and I think that's one of the 1st times that I really look to God in a time where all of my plans of falling apart and like I have people calling that you Are you Ok I'm like I am God but I don't know what's going to happen that's right and that itself I think is even the greater miracle that God can hold our hearts even we don't know what's coming you know just and one of the one of the other sources that I really also enjoy it and have been really crucial in my life in God's will is actually getting counsel from other people and having mentors I'm going to go to a Bible rest for sure to proverbs that I was 15 verse 221522 probably 1520. 5 or so I was says went out counsel planes go awry but in the multitude of counsellors they are established. And when you look at this text we see that God doesn't just use these these kind of supernatural means or it we call it the natural course of human events like Providence and how God is able to orchestrate the decisions of free will but here we see that God sometimes puts wisdom in the life of someone else that is needed to guide you at a specific juncture in life and I remember my you know I had a female mentor and we were having a conversation about a serious decision I was going to make about confronting some mistakes in my past and I was like you know if I confront this like you not go to jail it's cetera et cetera and I was really worried about it and she was she when she finished listening to me express all my emotion about it she said to mash and you know you don't choose where you serve you choose who you sir. And the important element is that you chose to serve Jesus and of Jesus allows you to go to jail for the thing he wants you to serve him in jail but in terms of who you serve has never ever change and it was such a powerful idea because it completely opened up my mind in my approach to the entire situation is like this isn't about you know that things happening to a good person or you know I'm trying to do the right thing why would God allow it was about I'm always serving God no matter where I find myself so I don't choose where I serve but to school I serve and that just resonated with means that a powerful way in guided me through that entire situation as a great principle about the counselors how how do you choose counsellors though hold Who do you ask is sometimes we can you know the heart is this faith. And you can choose or let you know a counselor is over just you know one side what do you say what you doing all you all think that well this is clearly to God right I mean we manipulate the will of God sure that that stands out to me and she's in it you know Jesus said You shall know them by their fruits I've just seen the kind of people everyone can a lot of people can preach or sound nice but just seeing the trajectory of their life seen how they interact. There are family members and I remember there was a ton I did choose between 2 different mission colleges and I talked to basically the program hands of both and I ended up choosing the one that is like I want to be more like this person this is the person that I want to follow and so because I think Jesus like it's true that people are deceitful but like Jesus really does show you peephole when you're when you're open to seeing people who care and if it's if you look at the same problems 15 verse 21 the verse right before the one that's about to read is this is folly is joy to him who is destitute of discernment but a man of understand he walks up rightly and so I think here we have also an insight into who is a good counselor person who walks up rightly and a person's life like Kelly has already said a person that you're asking counsel for should be a person that you feel that in that area that you're asking counsel for you can you can emulate right and so if if for me if I'm going to seek marriage counseling from someone I'm going to seek counseling from a person who has a marriage that I think is worth emulating right if I if there's a professional individual if I want counseling in terms of academics I'm going to look for a person who has succeeded in that area and a person who foundationally walks up rightly they have they have on their head on their shoulders they have a head that is leaning towards doing the things of God. And the mentors that you choose are eventually people that you will become like yes so if you want godly godly counsel you find people who are Godly you know who have you know and of another another attribute I look for in counsel is to make sure they have your best interests in mind and that there's no agenda because you know in the story that I shared about on a previous episode about praying and breaking up with a girlfriend I had called a counselor at that time and I asked the person for advice so we're going back and forth and what they were advising me just was not jiving with what I was. Unsing from prayer and from my study of scripture and so the likes of ash you know you're just afraid the kid may or 3 said or instead of like what was what I'd be afraid you know to get married and then after 2 hours of like multiple conversations the person just came out was like you know what I just want you to get married you know that about it on I'm lying no way. Yes So this whole time you're giving me advice but actually you're like projecting your own issues right you're living vicariously through me in saying like well you know my marriage is initially the best marriage and that a so I just want you to get married I mean what does jesus want 1st of all and 2nd of all are you sure that's best for me at this time and so it's so critical that when we're getting advice from people who are choosing counselors. That they have our best interests in mind and I think of Abraham Isaac Isaac knew that Abraham had his best interest let me switch gears here and I ask you this question and how do we know when we hear from the Bible or from counselors or from Providence and whatnot that they were not deceiving ourselves what's what's the test Some people say I'll just I rely on common sense but sometimes common sense and I don't you know know well the foundational principle in scripture is that you will seek Me and find me when you search for Me with all your heart and so God is not in the business of you know making people fail or making people have a hard life just for the sake of you know you just needed that God has God has our best interests in mind he wants us to succeed he wants us to he wants us to be happy and to achieve our high schools and he wants us to be saved and so an individual and I think every every large decision it's a call for self reflection and so the 1st thing that an individual should do whenever I get a big thing in my life is I need to re calibrate my spiritual walk with God is my heart leaning towards God and on that note we want to ask you out there how many of you have surrendered your life to God leading whether it's the Bible whether it's impressions whether it's Providence or that's counsellors maybe we need to take some time out and get on our knees and ask the Lord wherever I am I want to be exactly in the center of your will That's our prayer hopefully that's yours thanks for joining us we'll see you next week here on in verse. You've been listening to inverse a Bible based part of the station the callee word is wrong Jonathan Walter Sebastian Braxton. And your host Justin. Inverses brought to you by the hope channel television that changes like this and more inspiring episodes there's an inverse Dr Hope t.v. news that Origen find us on social media hashtags in verse 5 until next time this isn't verse.

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