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How Can You Know?
by Larry Lilly
05/19/08
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Larry Lilly's Letter Wednesday May 21, 2008

How do you discern God's will in practical matters of life? Whom should I marry? How do I choose a profession? Which college should I attend? These and myriads of other questions are not, note I said, NOT, answered in the Bible. When you stop and think about it, if these and numerous other questions were answered in the Bible, we could cite chapter and verse and never engage in thought or prayer. The Bible would become a mere Ouija Board.

A friend of mine cancelled all appointments, decided to stay home and write the great American novel. After several months he faced the fact that the only qualification he possessed to become a writer was that he was starving. I myself have learned there is a ton of money in writing as I have put a small fortune into my efforts.

A friend of many years, Beckisue Cosby, and I exchanged a series of emails as she is struggling about professional training. I finally assured her of my prayers and sent a few quotes and Bible verses to encourage her to continue her search. In response she sent the following to me that she had found while reading:

"I saw what indeed I knew before, but never til then so strongly and clearly perceived, that, as a sinner, I had no right, and as a believer, I could have no reason, to complain. Farther, that his sovereignty was connected with infinite wisdom and goodness, and that, consequently, if it were possible for me to alter any part of his plan, I could only spoil it; that such a short-sighted creature as I, so blind to the possible consequences of my own wishes, was not only unworthy, but unable, to choose well for himself; and that it was therefore my great mercy and privilege, that the Lord condescended to choose for me." John Newton

John Newton you may recall was the captain of a slave ship, running the poor creatures from Africa to America. He was confronted by Christ and became a clergyman in England and helped Wilberforce win the fight against the cruel slave trade in which he had engaged. He wrote the moving and famous song, "Amazing Grace." I found his advice on discovering the will of God to be helpful and the above quote also helps to face God's sovereignty in our daily lives. Pastor Newton came to understand the principle of mental peace, rather than simply settling for a "heart" peace and a feeling of peace that may be deceptive. His idea is the grasping in our mind that the Lord is working and when this acceptance leads to a moving on our heart, we have it together and at that point must proceed with the will of God concerning our desire. The Spirit filled mind will guide the heart.

The Jewish people express it, "moach shalit al halev" meaning "The mind rules the heart." Notice the idea is not to dismiss the heart, but to have our feelings in subjection to the mind submitted to the common sense of the Lord. Ephesians 4:3 "And be renewed in the spirit of your mind," is but one of many verses that teach the importance of studying the Book and applying the truth in our mind, letting this truth saturate our thinking and thus our heart, so that we obey Him with joy and zeal.

Larry Lilly Copyright 2008 Use with credit.

If you died today, are you absolutely certain that you would go to heaven? You can be! TRUST JESUS NOW

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