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019: How Can I Know God’s Will for Me?

Feb 8, 2016

Dr. Rick Reed, President of Heritage College and Seminary, talks to us about God's will, how we can discern His directing for our lives, and how we can walk along others helping them to determine where God is calling them.

Rick Reed and his wife Linda, live in Cambridge Ontario, where he serves as the President of Heritage College and Seminary.  He served as senior pastor at Metropolitan Bible Church in Ottawa for 14 years.  He’s been involved in leadership development and in global missions.  Rick’s passion is to equip men and women for life in ministry.

Will you share a bit about yourself and how you came to be passionate about God’s work?

  • I grew up in a home where I saw a passion for God modeled. My father was a pastor and we always had missionaries visiting and in our home for meals.
  • I saw the passion for the gospel and for the Lord lived out. This was imprinted on my heart as a kid.
  • I thought I would spend my life as a missionary. I attended seminary where I re-met my wife and for the last 30 years we’ve sought to serve the Lord and focus on his passion for global missions.

What do we mean when we say ‘the will of God’?

  • Scripturally, when we talk about the will of God, we need to divide it into a couple of categories:
    • God’s determined will – what God has determined will happen – “our God is in the heaven’s. He does what he pleases.”
      • We don’t know much about God’s determined will.
    • God’s desired will – What God desires to have happen. We find that in all of the commands and invitations of scripture.
      • An example would be that God desires that all would believe and be saved.
      • Today we are asking, what is God’s desired will for me?

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Show Links:

Heritage College and Seminary

Metropolitan Bible Church

Rick and Linda’s Blog

Today we are asking, what is God’s desired will for me?

Does the will of God just apply to people who serve in vocational Christian service?

  • After my wife and I graduated from seminary, we applied to go overseas to Brazil. We waited for over 2 years and never received our visa to go to Brazil, and yet we thought we were called to Brazil. This led me to a life time of digging into scripture to learn about how God calls people.
  • As we look at the Scripture, we can say that God desires for all believers to engage in the mission of God.
  • On the most basic level, all believers have the privilege and responsibility to join in spreading the Gospel.

What are some of the ways that God does reveal his will and directs his people?

  • From the book of Acts, you can determine that God leads his people through the Spirit of God. Based on Acts 16, there are 3 primary ways that God leads his people:
    • Through providential provision – he provides circumstantially for people
    • Through direct intervention – this is the supernatural way that God leads us
    • Through spiritual wisdom – I would argue that this is the most common way that God leads his people.
  • We often say, “God, give me the dramatic spiritual thing.” Sometimes he does, but most common, he develops a wisdom in his people through His spirit.
  • In the book of Acts, the believers go out doing their best through their spiritual wisdom and then God either confirms or redirects them through providential provision or direct intervention.
  • There is an ongoing interaction between our initiative and God’s initiative.

As we look at the Scripture, we can say that God desires for all believers to engage in the mission of God.

What are some of the steps that Christians can take to set the stage for direction through spiritual wisdom?

  • Pray for spiritual wisdom – Paul is always praying that God would give people spiritual wisdom. Philippians 1:9, Colossians 1:9.
  • We saturate our minds and souls and hearts with His word – we know that this is going to give us the foundation for seeing the world the way that God sees it.
  • If we want to develop spiritual wisdom, we need to keep developing our relationship with God.
  • We should also surround ourselves with Godly people.

What mistakes or misunderstandings can we make in discerning the will of God?

  • We can think that discerning the will of God is something I do in isolation of other believers. We need to seek out trusted spiritual people and seek their input and prayer.
  • God’s leading is not always a linear path forward – it isn’t always a succession of victories. He often takes his people on a circuitous path. The mind of man plans his way, but the Lord directs his step.  We need to stay dependent on God to continue leading us.
  • Discerning the will of God is not a one-time thing, but involves ongoing listening.
  • We can be paralyzed by not knowing everything God is asking us to do. We may try to wait until he tells us everything, and that will result in waiting forever.

We often say, “God, give me the dramatic spiritual thing.” Sometimes he does, but most common, he develops a wisdom in his people through His spirit.

What advice do you have for pastors or mission committees in walking alongside people in their congregations and helping them in discerning the will of God?

  • Intentionally pray that God would raise up those who he has designs to move into some kind of frontline ministry or to be sent out from your congregation. Pray for those people.
  • Look for these people and engage them in conversation proactively. Don’t wait for people to approach you saying, “I think God wants me to go overseas, or to do this.”  When we see the glimmers of spiritual greatness, lets cultivate relationship with them, start a conversation and then support their training.

Would you take a minute and share with our audience about Heritage and how is God using Heritage?

  • Our passion is to honour Christ by helping the church – we exist for the church. My heart beat is to see people come and be trained to grow and lead the church.

If people would like to learn more about you or about Heritage, how might they contact you?

  • Heritage College and Seminary Website
  • RickandLindaReed.com

 

God’s leading is not always a linear path forward – it isn’t always a succession of victories.  He often takes his people on a circuitous path.

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