I was mulling over the question, “How can you know what God’s will is?” Well, the first thought that popped into my head was “anything that means blessing somebody else comes from the Lord because by nature we are mean and selfish so that would HAVE to be God! 🙂 Then I got to thinking seriously and said “well it would have to line up with God’s Word”. That’s when I had a ‘ha ha’ moment. I remembered the scripture that states we must test the Word of the prophet. I realized that to test something is to prove whether it is genuine or not. So, what is the standard against which you prove something is God’s will? – His Word!!
I was also grappling a little with Romans 12:2, the part about ‘proving that good and acceptable and perfect will of God’. This brought it all together for me. Okay then, the beginning of that verse says, “be not conformed to this world but be transformed by the renewing of your mind” – why? So that you may prove what is that good and acceptable and perfect will of God. The Lord is saying that unless you have a renewed mind, which you get by reading and washing your mind with His Word, you will have no basis of testing whether something is His will. Anything that passes that test of lining up with God’s Word is His will!! Bottom line – the IMPORTANCE OF KNOWING GOD’S WORD!! HALLELUJAH!!
Thoughts come from different sources – memory, God, the enemy. The scripture says in 2 Corinthians 10:5, “Casting down imaginations and every high thing that exalts itself against the knowledge of God, and bringing into captivity every thought to the obedience of Christ.” We have to discern our thoughts to know which ones to allow to lead us and which ones to cast down and captivate. How do we sharpen our discernment so we know which thoughts fall into the latter category? Particularly since some of those thoughts are very subtle and may have become norms to us because of being indoctrinated by society’s culture.
We must renew our minds with God’s knowledge (from His Word) on a daily basis. When we receive the thought we then have a standard against which to compare it, which is no longer the yardstick based on the world’s norms but the yardstick based on God’s truth. Enacting God’s knowledge leads to wisdom and understanding.
Our minds have different compartments – long-term memory, short-term memory, the cerebrum (reasoning section), the amygdala (the instinctive section). We need to get the amygdala under subjection (i.e. temperance, self-control) – a component of the fruit of the Spirit. We cannot be led by the first feeling or emotion that is generated by our thoughts as many of these are spiritual attacks of the enemy. The battlefield between good and evil starts in the realm of our minds. Our thoughts influence our emotions which we interpret through our feelings. Emotions such as anger, sadness, misery, fear, and lust do not come from thoughts that line up with God’s Word. Captivating our thoughts also helps us to control our emotions and feelings. We need to meditate on God’s Word so we have it both in our long and short term memories. When a thought or a feeling comes to us, the Word of God hidden in our memory comes to remind us of what God’s position is with regards to that thought or emotion and if it falls in the category of opposing the knowledge of God we need to rebuke it and then “speak” the Word of God into the atmosphere to cast down that vain imagination!!
In Hebrews 4:12, we are told that the Word of God is POWERFUL, sharper than any two- edged sword dividing asunder between soul and spirit i.e. between what is purely emotional and what is from God. It divides between joints and marrow (joints are external to keep our parts moving [basic] while the marrow is where our life comes from. So knowledge of the Word helps us to differentiate between what is mundane and what is a life and death matter). The Word is also a discerner of the thoughts and intents of our heart (soul) i.e. emotions and feelings. What is the discerner?? The WORD OF GOD!! We must get the Word of God inside us. IT will make the difference between life and death!!
1 Samuel 16:7 says that God looks at the HEART not the outward appearance. Our heart – motives, attitudes, ways of thinking – this forms our personality and influences our character. Proverbs tells us to guard our hearts (that means it is under attack) for out of it flows the issues of life (Prov. 4:23). Hosea 4:6a states that God’s people are destroyed for lack of knowledge. We will be destroyed if we lack the knowledge of God’s Word because then we have nothing in us to alert us to the imaginations and thoughts that are against the knowledge of God and we will then act out of thoughts, emotions and feelings that are fed to us by the enemy and the world.
God’s people must therefore READ, MEDITATE, & MEMORIZE the Word of God for therein lies our VICTORY over the enemy’s devices. We cannot afford to be ignorant or we die (2 Cor. 2:11).