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Obtaining God's Guidance to Know His Will
This unreserved surrender to obey, as it is the first condition of entering Christ's school, is the only fitness for receiving instruction as to the will of God for us.
There is a general will of God for all His children, which we can, in some measure, learn out of the Bible. But there is a special individual application of these commands-God's will concerning each of us personally, which only the Holy Spirit can teach. And He will not teach it, except to those who have taken the vow of obedience.
This is the reason why there are so many unanswered prayers for God to make known His will. Jesus said, 'If any man wills to do His Will, he shall know of the teaching, whether it be of God.' If a man's will is really set on doing God's will, that is, if his heart is given up to do, and he as a consequence does it as far as he knows it, he shall know what God has further to teach him.
It is simply what is true of every scholar with the art he studies, of every apprentice with his trade, of every man in business doing is the one condition of truly knowing. And so obedience, the doing of God's will as far as we know, and the will and the vow to do it all as He reveals it, is the spiritual organ, the capacity for receiving the true knowledge of what is God's will for each of us.
In connection with this let me press upon you three things.
1. Seek to have a deep sense of your very great ignorance of God's will, and of your impotence by any effort to know it aright.
The consciousness of ignorance lies at the root of true teachableness. 'The meek will He guide in the way' -those who humbly confess their need of teaching. Head-knowledge only gives human thoughts without power. God by His Spirit gives a living knowledge that enters the love of the heart, and works effectually.
2. Cultivate a strong faith that God will make you know wisdom in the hidden part, in the heart.
You may have known so little of this in your Christian life hitherto that the thought appears strange. Learn that God's working, the place where He gives His life and light, is in the heart, deeper than all our thoughts. Any uncertainty about God's will makes a joyful obedience impossible. Believe most confidently that the Father is willing to make known what He wants you to do. Count upon Him for this. Expect it certainly.
3. In view of the darkness and deceitfulness of the flesh and fleshly mind, ask God very earnestly for the searching and convincing light of the Holy Spirit.
There may be many things which you have been accustomed to think lawful or allowable, which your Father wants different. To consider it settled that they are the will of God because others and you think so, may effectually shut you out from knowing God's will in other things. Bring everything, without reserve, to the judgment of the Word, explained and applied by the Holy Spirit. Wait on God to lead you to know that everything you are and do is pleasing in His sight.