Most Christians are taught God has a perfect will for every aspect of life and if we miss it we are in His permissive will. But no ever talks about the Father’s “It is up to you to decide” will, and that is actually where we live most of our lives.
We don’t ask the Father if it is His perfect will for us to use the toilet, unless we are far from home and utter a desperate “Find me a toilet Father before I pee my pants” prayer, LOL. But I often get emails from people wanting the Father to reveal His will for a future mate or confirm who it is, should I take one job or another, to what apartment should I move, when to retire, what to do about aging mom or dad, etc.
Very often heaven is silent on these major issues which causes us great frustration. There are time He waits for us to make decisions. There are times He waits for us to come to conclusions within ourselves. How do we know when He is waiting for us, and when are we to wait for Him to reveal His will?
Option #1 to consider – He is waiting for us to realize our need
In Genesis 2:18 the Lord had made Adam, but had not yet made Eve. He concluded within Himself: “It is not good that the man should be alone; I will make a helper suitable for him.” But He did not tell Adam what He had observed about that lack in his life nor what He was going to do about it - because Adam didn’t yet know what he needed. Adam probably thought he knew what he needed, but he didn’t.
Instead, the Lord worked circumstances around so Adam could gain knowledge and experience and figure out what he needed while the Lord WATCHED IN SILENCE: “And the Lord God had made all the animals…and He brought them to Adam to see what he would call them. And Adam gave names to….all the animals but there was not found a mate fit for him.” v19
Notice the Lord saw Adam’s need before Adam did and even concluded He was going to make provision for him, but He remained silent, bringing all the animals male and female by Adam , and watched Adam process it all until he figured out he was missing someone in his life.
An example from my own life
When I was the pastor of a small church in southeast Colorado Barb and I still held close to our hearts the idea we would one day be missionaries to Europe, even with our oldest son with Cerebral Palsy (CP is a brain injury during labor or delivery).
But one day when Chris was 12 he had a grand mal seizure, and we later learned seizures are common with brain injuries, with onset often at puberty, and we knew we’d never live overseas as missionaries.
We also knew our time at that church was drawing to a close as spiritually, our hearts had a larger vision than the people there. Also, Chris now needed to be closer to pediatric facilities that dealt with CP, and we both wanted Jason and Brian (his younger brothers) to be in 1 Christian school for their whole school years from that point on – they were in 4th and 2nd grades at that point.
We had reached crisis time – we needed to leave that church but had no where to go. I told the Father, “Father, since we can’t be overseas missionaries any longer, maybe I could teach those who can go in my stead, what do you think about that?” Immediately He said, “You will become the Director of a Bible school.”
That is just like Adam: He saw the need, He saw that Chris was going to have seizures. He was growing our hearts to be bigger than reaching that little valley we lived in. But He needed me (us) to walk through all those processes before I concluded I may be able to teach others who could go.
As I searched my heart for direction He said, “Where have you always felt most fulfilled?” Here again, He was asking me to commune with my heart and my life experiences to come to some conclusions about myself. When I looked back through my then 34 years I realized no matter what I did, I was most fulfilled with the small groups, the serious ones about the Lord. Not the church of 300, but the 10 teens and maybe 10 adults who really wanted to learn and grow and were in love with the Lord.
When I told Him that suddenly a download happened in my spirit. Instantly He gave me a vivid description of a church He would bring us to, but it wasn’t in Colorado. It was in Tulsa, Oklahoma. I told Him: “OH NO Father, NOT Tulsa. They have Bible school graduates working in convenience stores because there are so many Christians, they don’t need any more!” Silence. I mean silence. Heaven had spoken and that was that.
I called a friend who was on staff at a large church, and described the church the Lord had described in my heart. Right away he said, “That sounds like Victory Christian Center.” The rest as they say, is our history. We moved to Tulsa, I became first Associate and then Executive Director of Victory Bible Institute, their Bible school, and after leaving there and again seeking the Lord, the Lord appeared to me and told me to do house church, which is where we are today.
A little boy’s lunch
In John 6:5 a multitude of about 5,000 men plus women and children, gather to hear Jesus. It is dinner time and Jesus turned to Philip and asked, “Where shall we buy bread, that these people may eat?”
That was a sincere question as Jesus presented the problem to Philip for his consideration. But the very next verse says, “He said this to prove him, for He knew what He was going to do.” The word ‘prove’ here means ‘test’, but more so ‘to prove’, meaning to bring out the faith that He knew was in Philip’s heart.
This is just like what He did with Adam – He knew He was going to make Eve, but He wanted Adam to go through the process to be able to conclude what the Lord had already concluded; he needed a mate. He wanted Adam to know himself and come to his own conclusions. He doesn’t test nor tempt us with evil, but He provides opportunity to prove what He knows is in our heart.
Here the Lord knew what He was going to do, but 3 gospels say He told them ‘You feed them’.* If you read the gospels, this event happened after the 12 had returned from healing and delivering people in Jesus’ name, and just after Jesus (and Peter) had walked on the water and they realized exactly Who Jesus was. His request that they feed the people was to see if they had connected their authority in Him and what they had done, with Who He was and therefore what they could do. They did not. (*Matthew 10:1/14:16, Mark 6:7/:37, Luke 9:1-10/:13)
Philip immediately thought of money: “Even *200 pennyworth of bread wouldn’t be enough that each of them could have even a tiny morsel.” v7 (*200 pennyworth is equal to 200 days of wages) Andrew, Peter’s brother, said to him, “There’s a boy here with 5 barley loaves and 2 fish, but what is that among so many?”
Not a single disciple considered they had just healed incurable diseases and cast out demons with His name, nor had they considered Peter had just walked on water as had Jesus, and the wind and waves obeyed Him. When Jesus told them to feed the people, He was telling them to think outside the box and rise up and walk in their authority – but they weren’t ready for that, so He made provision.
He knows what He will do, what He wants to do, but He often waits for us to know ourselves, to ponder, consider, draw conclusions – to go through a process until we cause the vague to be firmed within us. He also sometimes watches and waits to see if we will rise to the occasion in the faith He knows that is within us. The grace is that when we don’t, He knew it ahead of time and has made provision anyway.
Have you ever had times when you knew the Lord was watching you? Those were times He was watching you process and go through a process to discover your own heart and draw conclusions so He could then reveal His provision.
Next week; His “I will go with what you decide” will. Until then, blessings,