Gray Areas Call for Gray Matter

I wimped out on posting this Facebook status:  “I’m transcribing a sermon about discerning God’s will—while eating leftover pizza.  —Is that wrong?”

We know God’s will is for men to be saved—and for Christians to be Spirit-filled, sanctified, and thankful.  We pray, rejoice, and comfort the faint; we warn the unruly, and refrain from revenge. God didn’t leave us a shortage of instructions.

But what about those gray areas?  Who to trust?  What job? Which neighborhood? Where for school? When to retire? How to proceed?  Occasionally, I look back on my youth and ask myself, “What was I thinking!?!?”  Hindsight is 20/20; I just thank the Lord that He superseded where needed.  (Whew!)  But I’m not dead yet.  I need to keep my noggin in gear.

Today’s sermon gave five principles.  NOTE: It begins and ends with a qualifier.

Discerning God’s Will in Gray Areas

= – =

QUALIFIER: “Always, we want to let the Word of God inform these other principles.  They should never clash.”

= – =

1)  CircumstancesGuidance from God’s providence.

Eccl. 7:13-14 Consider the work of God: for who can make that straight, which he hath made crooked?  In the day of prosperity be joyful, but in the day of adversity consider: God also hath set the one over against the other

= – =

2) CounselGuidance from godly counsel.

Prov. 18:1  He who separates himself seeks his own desire, He quarrels against all sound wisdom.

Prov. 12:15 The way of a fool is right in his own eyes: but he that hearkeneth unto counsel is wise. 

Prov. 13:10 Through presumption comes nothing but strife: but with those who receive counsel is wisdom.

Psalm 1:1 Blessed is the man that walketh not in the counsel of the ungodly

= – =

3) Common Sense. Guidance from thinking.

Titus 2:12 The grace of God has appeared… instructing us to… live sensibly, righteously and godly in this present age

1 Peter 4:7 The end of all things is near; therefore, be of sound judgment and sober spirit

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4) Peace. Guidance from your heart.  PRAY, PRAY, PRAY!

1 Cor. 14:33 God is not the author of confusion, but of peace

James 3:16 For where jealousy and selfish ambition is, there is confusion and every evil work.

James 1:8 A double minded man is unstable in all his ways.

Col. 3:15 Let the peace of God rule in your hearts

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5) Follow the Desire of Your Heart Guidance from what will bless you.

Psalm 37:4 Delight thyself also in the Lord: and he shall give thee the desires of thine heart.

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QUALIFIER: “Use caution.  Don’t overdo it, but don’t ignore it.  We are very capable of taking any one or all of these five, and governing our life by them instead of letting them be governed by the Word of God.”

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