"How much easier it would be if God would just tell me what to do-you know just send a written message on the wall."
What on earth was I thinking when I made that statement to a Bible study group I was recently leading? We were studying how to know and live the will of God. During one of our sessions I used a make-believe telephone call from God, a make-believe letter from God, and "writing on the wall" from God to demonstrate how He could give us written instructions on how to live our life.
Ofcourse, instructions don't come to us from such sources, which was my point. Knowing how to be a Christ-follower, a prayer warrior, a spiritual discerner, or even a child in His will does not happen at the moment of our conversion. This comes from a life-long commitment of pressing toward that goal. (Phil. 3:13-14) But to babble about the "writing on the wall" as I did in that Bible study was truly one of my "senior moments."
To give a little history about the infamous wall writing, one needs to take a quick look at Belshazzar. Belshazzar was a young king of Babylon. He co-reigned with his father from 553-539 B.C. While his father was away on business, Belshazzar made a Kingly decision that he did not live long enough on this earth to regret. He decided it was a good time for everyone to "party down"! He invited thousands of important people and their families and the celebration quickly turned into a drunken brawl. After imbibing for a time, Belshazzar thought of another way to mock the God his ancestor, Nebuchadnezzar, had finally come to praise and honor. He brought in the goblets from the temple in Jerusalem and everyone drank from them. As if that was not mockery enough, they even began to praise and glorify these objects.
Suddenly, the fingers of a human hand appeared and began writing a message on the wall, "Belshazzar, your days are over!" The Word says that as the King watched the hand as it wrote, the blood drained from his face and his knees knocked! No doubt! I would still be sucking air. That very night Belshazzar was killed and the kingdom was taken over by the Medes. (Daniel 5)
Needless to say, I don't want to see any writing on the wall! When I become discouraged that my spiritual growth has spent so much time on the step and not on the rise of the growth ladder, I just go to the Word. "Be confident of this very thing, that He which hath begun a good work in you will perform it until the day of Jesus Christ." (Phil.1:6) I'm not where I want to be, but God has a hold of me, and He will bring me where He wants me. My responsibility is to "...live up to what I have already attained." (Phil.3:17)
Knowing the will of God is not something we turn off and on. Facing a major decision, problem, or trial often brings us to say, "O.K. God. Tell me what to do here." How much better it is to rise each morning seeking the heart transplant from Jesus placing His desires into our heart. When our heart is purged of its own desires and replaced with His desires, we will be in the Will of God.
"Give me a new heart Lord, but please don't let me ever see fingers on my wall!
Read more articles by Donna J. Gilpin or search for articles on the same topic or others.