by Andrew Wommack
Romans 12:1-2 is the first passage of scripture the Holy Spirit ever really gave me revelation knowledge on. It happened back in 1967 during Christmas vacation. I had just finished my first semester of college at the University of Texas at Arlington and I was desperately trying to find out what the Lord wanted me to do with my life. I had at least three and a half more years of security before I graduated from college, but I sincerely wanted God's will for me. I knew God had a perfect plan for my life and I felt I was presuming upon Him by being a math major and asking God to bless it (I felt no calling to this; it was simply my best subject). So, I began an all-out effort to find God's will for me.
It was during that time, the Lord revealed Romans 12:1-2 to me. I was seeking to know God's vocation for my life, but this verse showed me that the Lord's primary will for me was to be totally yielded unto Him as a living sacrifice, and the perfect will of God, so far as a vocation, would follow. God's will for you is not your vocation, but rather that you be totally submitted to Him, and then, wherever He puts you will be an opportunity to glorify Him. Your vocation is simply your channel of releasing the union you have with God to others. So I switched the direction of my seeking from "God, what do You want me to do," to "Lord, I commit myself totally to you."
Within three months the direction of my life totally changed. I didn't receive knowledge of what ministry He had called me to immediately (I am still learning more about that every day), but I knew that wasn't the most important thing. I had entered into a relationship with the Lord where I knew it would be impossible to miss His perfect will as long as I continued putting Him first (Psalms 37:5).
Some people may have a hard time understanding that I don't consider my ministry to be the most important thing. We've been told through preaching to go out and do a work for God, so much that service has taken preeminence over everything else. But the truth is, God wants you more than He wants your service. If He gets you yielded to Him as a living sacrifice, He'll get your service. Your service to God is important, but it should be a by-product of your total commitment to the Lord; that is His first and foremost will for your life.
If a person did find God's vocation and yet wasn't yielded to Him, as Romans 12:1 states, he would blow the whole thing. This total commitment is an essential first step in fulfilling God's perfect will. Because many people haven't taken this first step of committing themselves totally to the Lord, they are missing the vocation the Lord has for them, or, at best, they are not as effective as they should be.
When a person has to pray "Lord, use me," something is wrong. John 15 shows us He wants to use us more than we want to be used. If we aren't being used, it is because we aren't usable yet. And, the primary cause is that we aren't abiding in Him as we should (Jn. 15:5). The promise of Romans 12:1-2 is that if we yield ourselves to Him and renew our minds by His Word, we will prove the good, acceptable, and perfect will of God. The word prove means to make manifest to the physical senses. That means it is impossible to miss the Lord's will if we are abiding in this relationship. This is the key to entering into every aspect of God's will. The person who misses this step will never enter into that perfect will of God.
So, this is the primary will of God for every person's life, but how do you receive direction on specific things that apply only to you? How do you hear God speak to you and give you direction in everyday affairs?
The first answer to these questions is that He guides us through His Word, the Bible. It's such a simple answer that most of us have to be helped to understand it. God's primary way of revealing His will is through His Word. It's that simple. The vast majority of direction we receive from God comes through the scriptures.
I am aware the Bible doesn't say, "John Doe, you shall go to work this morning." But, the Word of God does spell out the principles we are to apply to every area of our life. For instance, 2 Thessalonians 3:10 says, "... that if any would not work, neither should he eat."
This same principle is confirmed in I Timothy 5:8. You don't have to pray and ask the Lord if it is His will that you work; God's Word is His will. This is one of the major stumbling blocks to finding God's will. Most people don't want to receive God's Word as His will. They would rather have a vision or dream or special word of prophecy or goose bumps running up and down their spines. God does speak through these things at times, but the most authoritative and basic way He speaks to us is through His Word. 2 Peter 1:16-20 reveals the written Word of God as "a more sure word of prophecy" than the audible voice of God. Praise God! Not taking the written Word as the living voice of God to us is responsible for many failures.
I've seen people who sincerely desired to be led of God, who wouldn't do anything until they felt moved upon by God. And, as a result, they didn't see near the results as people who simply acted on the Word as if it was written to them personally. One example is the way Paul the apostle went everywhere preaching the gospel. He didn't wait for a special word from the Lord saying, "Go to such and such a place." This is evident in Acts 16:6-10. Paul was not specially instructed of the Lord to go to Asia and Bithynia, because the Holy Ghost forbade him to do so. The Holy Ghost would not have forbidden him to do something that God had specifically told him to do. No, Paul was just going everywhere sowing the seeds of the gospel. But, Paul was also sensitive to special directions from God. When the Lord spoke to him in a dream, he immediately obeyed and went to Macedonia. We are not to be insensitive to the Lord so that He couldn't miraculously lead us in a special direction, but weare not to wait for special instructions when the written Word of God has spoken. This will be the case in the majority of instances. There are certain times when there is no clear cut scripture relating to your situation, such as, when you have to make certain judgements on a job. In these instances you have to have your senses exercised to discern between good and evil (Heb. 5:14). That only comes from use. And, there are certain scriptures you can use as guidelines.
One of the most basic scriptures that works in all instances is Colossians 3:15,"And let the peace of God rule in your hearts, to which also ye are called in one body; and be ye thankful." Peace is one fruit of the Spirit Satan cannot counterfeit effectively. Once you have experienced the true peace of God, no imitation can compare. God's peace is much more than a temporary absence of problems; it's a perfect calm even in the midst of the storm. So God's peace is easily discernible.
Galatians 5:22 shows us that peace is a fruit of the Spirit. God's Spirit never has a dormant season where fruit is not being produced. There is always a peace in your heart and if you get quiet before God, you can determine the direction peace is leading you, and then, follow it. That's letting the peace of God rule in your heart and it will always lead to the perfect will of God.
The Lord taught me this principle when I was really struggling with whether or not to leave college. I was in my second semester and had made this total commitment to the Lord (the one I've been referring to). As a result, I lost interest in secular school. All I wanted to do was minister for the Lord. I got so involved in studying the Word, prayer meetings, and Bible studies, before I knew it, I hadn't attended my college classes for more than two months. I hadn't intentionally skipped class. I would start to class every day, but enroute, I'd get to witnessing to someone, or I'd try to read one more chapter before class and would get so blessed that I couldn't make myself quit and go to class. I lost all desire to go to school.
At the same time, I was receiving a tremendous amount of persecution about my desire to get out of school. My mother didn't forbid me to quit, but she made it clear that she didn't like the idea. She seldom talked to me during that two-month period. The elders at the church I attended said they weren't sure I was really saved. They didn't believe God would lead anyone to quit college. All of this confused me and made it hard to determine what the will of the Lord was in this matter.
Finally one night, through Romans 14:23, the Lord spoke to me and showed me my indecision was sin. I had to make a decision in faith, whether it was right or wrong. I had been wavering, as spoken of in James 1:5-7. I couldn't receive wisdom from the Lord until I took a stand in faith.
Well, I shut myself in my room that night and began the process of finding the leading of the Lord. One of the first scriptures the Lord reminded me of was Colossians 3:15. Yet, I honestly didn't feel total peace in either direction. I struggled with that for a while until the Lord showed me that this verse said "... let the peace of God rule in your hearts." That word implies there may be opposition, but I was to discern the direction where I had the most peace and head in that direction, subduing my fears to the contrary. Praise God, I did just that. I didn't have total peace about quitting school, but I knew if I had to make a decision and my life depended on it, I had to leave school. I still had a lot of fears about what people's reactions would be, but I began to let the peace of God rule in my heart.
I announced my decision to my mother and everyone I came in contact with, and praise God, the joy and peace of God engulfed me. Within 24 hours of making my decision, I knew I had followed God's perfect will for me. I had to act in faith on the scripture before the total knowledge of God's will came. I am convinced if I had been afraid to step out in faith and make a decision, I'd still be wondering what God wanted me to do. It's like a rudder on a ship. Its purpose is to steer the ship, but when the ship is sitting still, the rudder can spin 360 degrees and never give any direction. But, once the ship is moving, no matter how slowly, the rudder can do its job. As long as I was sitting still in indecision, God couldn't bear witness with His peace or stop me with His conviction. I had to step out in faith.
The principle of letting God's peace rule in your heart is one of the simplest and most basic methods of discerning God's will in very specific situations where there is no clear cut answer from the Word.
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