Posts Tagged ‘will of God’

The narrow road

June 9, 2018

The Verse of the Day for June 9, 2018 is found in Matthew 7:13-14 (New Living Translation):

[The Narrow Gate] “You can enter God’s Kingdom only through the narrow gate. The highway to hell is broad, and its gate is wide for the many who choose that way. But the gateway to life is very narrow and the road is difficult, and only a few ever find it.

The Amplified Bible renders the passage this way:

13 Enter through the narrow gate; for wide is the gate and spacious and broad is the way that leads away to destruction, and many are those who are entering through it.
14 But the gate is narrow (contracted by pressure) and the way is straitened and compressed that leads away to life, and few are those who find it.

This passage brings to mind comments I posted earlier this week on a blog discussing the power of poetry. Readers were asked to share their thoughts on the topic and talk about particular lines of poetry that impacted their lives. In response, I shared my introduction to poetry as a junior in high school when my English teacher required our class to memorize two poems: “Barter” by Sara Teasdale and “The Road Not Taken” by Robert Frost, both of which I committed to memory 60 years ago, and I still find them applicable today.

In a previous blog post, discussing today’s Verse of Day, I make reference to “the broad way” in contrast to “the narrow way” which I connect to “The Will of God.” Also I thought of another work where I refer to the Frost poem: “The Will of God: the Road Less Traveled By.”

When I say that the Will of God is the road less traveled, I recognize now more clearly than ever what that means in light of the poem that I first memorized years ago. Here is the poem that I wrote:

The Will of God: the Road Less Traveled by

I shall be telling this with a sigh
Somewhere ages and ages hence:
Two roads diverged in a wood, and I—
I took the one less traveled by,
And that has made all the difference.

The Road Not Taken
—Robert Frost

Don’t copy the behavior and customs of this world,
but let God transform you into a new person
by changing the way you think. Then you will learn
to know God’s will for you, which is good and
pleasing and perfect.

Romans 12:2 (New Living Translation)

I begin again this year of my jubilee.
Reflecting on life’s journey, I cannot deny
That the will of God is the road less travelled by:
To choose to serve, even though having been set free.
The straight and narrow way I once again select.
I press on, still striving toward the highest good.
In this place we renew our covenant of blood,
Reassured that “As for God His way is perfect.”
I see clearly with new eyes where our paths have led.
In the midst of turbulent times I remain still,
Proving that good and acceptable and perfect will.
I look back, waiting in the now, then look ahead.
Each day God offers another chance to commence:
The choice to do God’s will makes all the difference.

To follow the Will of God is to decide which path you are going to take. Many times it is much easier to follow our own path and seek our own way rather than God’s way or God’s will. This anonymous poem gives us comfort and consolation when we decide to take the road less traveled by and follow God’s will, no matter where it takes us:

The Will of God
Author: Unknown

The will of God will never take you,
Where the grace of God cannot keep you.
Where the arms of God cannot support you,
Where the riches of God cannot supply your needs,
Where the power of God cannot endow you.

The will of God will never take you,
Where the spirit of God cannot work through you,
Where the wisdom of God cannot teach you,
Where the army of God cannot protect you,
Where the hands of God cannot mold you.

The will of God will never take you,
Where the love of God cannot enfold you,
Where the mercies of God cannot sustain you,
Where the peace of God cannot calm your fears,
Where the authority of God cannot overrule for you.

The will of God will never take you,
Where the comfort of God cannot dry your tears;
Where the Word of God cannot feed you,
Where the miracles of God cannot be done for you,
Where the omnipresence of God cannot find you.

Rick Pino sings of “The Narrow Road,” a musical summation of today’s blog entry.

Three poems on the will of God

May 2, 2018
The will of God will not take you

A powerful statement regarding “The Will of God.”

Taken from 1 John 5: 14-15 in the Amplified Bible, the Verse of the Day for May 2, 2018 on Biblegateway.com contains a phrase that never fails to arrest my attention:

1 John 5:14- 15 (AMP):

This is the [remarkable degree of] confidence which we [as believers are entitled to] have before Him: that if we ask anything according to His will, [that is, consistent with His plan and purpose] He hears us.

The expression “His will” or “the will of God” brought to mind three poems based on that topic compiled into what I called a “Triptych on the Will of God.” OxfordDictionaries.com offers this definition of the term “triptych”: “A set of three associated artistic, literary, or musical works intended to be appreciated together.” WordNet 3.6 provides this definition of triptych art, as “art consisting of a painting or carving (especially an altarpiece) on three panels (usually hinged together).” Here is an example taken from the same source:

triptych altar
ONE LEAF OF A TRIPTYCH IN CATHEDRAL OF SEVILLE

Of the three attached poems in my triptych, two are original works while the third by is an anonymous author. The two pieces that I wrote are inspired by quotations and verses of scripture while the anonymous poem does not have any introductory material. A song related to the will of God is also inserted between the second and third poems and at the end of the series.

The Will of God

To find the will of God is the greatest discovery.     

To know the will of God is the greatest knowledge.                                               

To do the will of God is the greatest achievement.

Albert Schweitzer

 

My food is to do the will of Him who sent me,                     

and to finish His work.     

John 4:34 [NKJV]

                                                

To unearth at last the world’s most priceless treasure

And gaze upon the splendor of God’s sovereignty

Is to savor joy unspeakable beyond measure:

To find the will of God is the greatest discovery.

To know intimacy beyond the highest degree,

A confident assurance when I acknowledge

And embrace the path, the destiny, prepared for me:

To know the will of God is the greatest knowledge.

To live life, knowing I am covered by the Blood

Is to walk with no regret, never to lament,

For all decisions work together for the good:

To do the will of God is the greatest achievement.

Guided and protected by the Shepherd’s staff and rod,

I rejoice to find, to know and do the will of God.

 

Listen to “Your Will” by Darius Brooks

 

The Will of God II 

“The will of God, nothing less, nothing more, nothing else”

Anonymous

 

“In everything give thanks, for this is the will of God          

in Christ Jesus concerning you.”

 I Thessalonians 5:18

 

God unfolds before me the mystery of His will.

I may not fully understand, but I will nod

In agreement that I still say yes to His will.

Despite the rugged mountain terrain I have trod,

I persist and press on to fully do His will.

In everything give thanks: this is the will of God.

At all times and places I can fulfill His will.

Whatever comes my way I will serve Him until

The day when He calls me home or Christ returns.

I align my will with His until the two are one.

Ever the eager servant, I am one who learns

To humbly say, “Not my will but Yours be done.”

The will of God, nothing less, nothing more, nothing else,

But truly doing the will of God is something else.

 

“In Everything Give Him Thanks” so says 1 Thessalonians 5:18 and the Brooklyn Tabernacle Choir:

The Will of God

Author: Unknown
The will of God will never take you,
Where the grace of God cannot keep you.
Where the arms of God cannot support you,
Where the riches of God cannot supply your needs,
Where the power of God cannot endow you.

The will of God will never take you,
Where the spirit of God cannot work through you,
Where the wisdom of God cannot teach you,
Where the army of God cannot protect you,
Where the hands of God cannot mold you.

The will of God will never take you,
Where the love of God cannot enfold you,
Where the mercies of God cannot sustain you,
Where the peace of God cannot calm your fears,
Where the authority of God cannot overrule for you.

The will of God will never take you,
Where the comfort of God cannot dry your tears,
Where the Word of God cannot feed you,
Where the miracles of God cannot be done for you,
Where the omnipresence of God cannot find you.

A song connected to this particular poem is written by Deb Zemke; “His Will” is played and sung by Robert Jason.

God’s ways and our ways

March 3, 2018

isaiah-55 8-9

Combining and condensing excerpts from two previous blog posts, the Verse of the Day for March 3, 2018 is taken from Isaiah 55: 8-9 (NIV):

“For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways,” declares the Lord. “As the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways and my thoughts than your thoughts.

The Message Bible says this:

Isaiah 55:8-9 (MSG)

 “I don’t think the way you think.
The way you work isn’t the way I work.”
God’s Decree.
“For as the sky soars high above earth,
so the way I work surpasses the way you work,
and the way I think is beyond the way you think.

The New Living Translation puts it this way:

 “My thoughts are nothing like your thoughts,” says the LORD. “And my ways are far beyond anything you could imagine.  9 For just as the heavens are higher than the earth, so my ways are higher than your ways and my thoughts higher than your thoughts.

These verses point out distinctions between the thoughts and ways of God and the thoughts and ways of people. The term “way” in the Old Testament is translated from the Hebrew word derek, meaning “way, road, path, distance, journey, manner” and also referred to as a direction, manner, habit, way of life, a course of life or mode of action, a lifestyle. In the New Testament, the Greek word hodos is translated “a way, a travelled way, road, and when used as a metaphor it means “a course of conduct” “a way (i.e., manner of thinking, feeling, deciding).

The passage from Isaiah 55 speaks of “the ways of God” and “the ways of man,” as we see a notable contrast between the two.

2 Samuel 22:31 and Psalm 18:30 provide the same rendering in the New King Version:

As for God, His way is perfect; the word of the Lord is proven; He is a shield to all who trust in Him.

Jeremiah 10:23 provides this reminder:

O Lord, I know the way of man is not in himself; It is not in man who walks to direct his own steps.

The Prophet Isaiah also makes known:  “All we like sheep have gone astray; We have turned, every one, to his own way.” The difference is striking, indeed. The ways of God are righteous altogether; whereas the way of man are wicked and unrighteous.

The Verse of the Day from Isaiah 55 encourages the people of God to turn from their own unrighteous ways and follow the ways of God who is rich in mercy and who will abundantly pardon.

A series of posts on the will of God also speaks of the will of God as a path that believers should ever seek to follow. To follow the will of God is to decide which path we are going to take. Many times it is easier to follow our own path and seek our own way rather than God’s way or God’s will. Like the Psalmist, we should choose to follow the path of truth, and when we choose to follow that path, we take comfort in knowing that as for God, His way is perfect. The following anonymous poem also provides assurance as to where the path that is the will of God will take us.

The Will of God

Author: Unknown
The will of God will never take you,
Where the grace of God cannot keep you.
Where the arms of God cannot support you,
Where the riches of God cannot supply your needs,
Where the power of God cannot endow you.

The will of God will never take you,
Where the spirit of God cannot work through you,
Where the wisdom of God cannot teach you,
Where the army of God cannot protect you,
Where the hands of God cannot mold you.

The will of God will never take you,
Where the love of God cannot enfold you,
Where the mercies of God cannot sustain you,
Where the peace of God cannot calm your fears,
Where the authority of God cannot overrule for you.

The will of God will never take you,
Where the comfort of God cannot dry your tears,
Where the Word of God cannot feed you,
Where the miracles of God cannot be done for you,
Where the omnipresence of God cannot find you.

We conclude with musical summary of the Verse of the Day:  Indeed, His thoughts and ways are not our thoughts and ways, as this Christian Worship and Scripture Song from Isaiah 55:6-9 reminds us:

Knowledge of His will

November 12, 2017

Colossians 1--9

The Verse of the Day for November 12, 2017 is found in Colossians 1:9:

[Preeminence of Christ] For this reason we also, since the day we heard it, do not cease to pray for you, and to ask that you may be filled with the knowledge of His will in all wisdom and spiritual understanding;

A recent blog post examined “the mystery of God’s will,” just as the phrase “the knowledge of His will” is also highlighted in today’s focus.  The intent and purpose of God, the Will of God, is revealed in Scripture. His will for His creation and His people is set out in the Law and the Prophets, which find their fulfilment in Jesus Christ. Central to the will of God is the desire that people of God might be faithful and obey His will once they know it. 2 Timothy 3:16 in the New Living Translation reveals:

All Scripture is inspired by God and is useful to teach us what is true and to make us realize what is wrong in our lives. It corrects us when we are wrong and teaches us to do what is right.

This discussion of the Will of God also brings to mind two poems, one original and one anonymous, touching on this vitally important subject for all believers:

The Will of God

To find the will of God is the greatest discovery. 

To know the will of God is the greatest knowledge. 

To do the will of God is the greatest achievement.

 Albert Schweitzer

 

My food is to do the will of Him who sent me, 

 and to finish His work.

John 4:34 [NKJV]

                                                 

To unearth at last the world’s most priceless treasure

And gaze upon the splendor of God’s sovereignty

Is to savor joy unspeakable beyond measure:

To find the will of God is the greatest discovery.

To know intimacy beyond the highest degree,

A confident assurance when we acknowledge

And embrace the path prepared for us: our destiny.

To know the will of God is the greatest knowledge.

To live life, knowing we are covered by the Blood

Is to walk with no regret, never to lament,

For all decisions work together for the good:

To do the will of God is the greatest achievement.

Guided and protected by the Shepherd’s staff and rod,

We rejoice to find, to know, and do the will of God.

The following could be described as “the second verse to the same song:

The Will of God

Author: Unknown
The will of God will never take you
Where the grace of God cannot keep you.
Where the arms of God cannot support you,
Where the riches of God cannot supply your needs,
Where the power of God cannot endow you.

The will of God will never take you
Where the spirit of God cannot work through you,
Where the wisdom of God cannot teach you,
Where the army of God cannot protect you,
Where the hands of God cannot mold you.

The will of God will never take you

Where the love of God cannot enfold you,
Where the mercies of God cannot sustain you,
Where the peace of God cannot calm your fears,
Where the authority of God cannot overrule for you.

The will of God will never take you
Where the comfort of God cannot dry your tears,
Where the Word of God cannot feed you,
Where the miracles of God cannot be done for you,
Where the omnipresence of God cannot find you.

Among the numerous songs related to “the will of God” is this composition by Deb Zemke; “His Will,” played and sung by Robert Jason.

The will of God: The road less traveled by

October 16, 2017

Romans 12--2 last part

Instead of commenting on the Verse of the Day as we usually do, today we will select the Quote of the Day as a starting point for our blog post on October 16, 2017:

“To know the road ahead ask those coming back.”

Chinese Proverb

The statement brings to mind “The Road Not Taken” by Robert Frost, one of the most popular poems taught in American schools in the Twentieth Century. First published more than a century ago in 1916, the poem, particularly the last lines, is still often recited today. I recall having to memorize the entire poem in my junior year of high school in the late 1950s, and I still know it by heart today. Most providentially, the same poem found its way into a composition and literature class I taught as a college professor twenty years later. Here is the classic poem:

The Road Not Taken

by Robert Frost

 

Two roads diverged in a yellow wood,

And sorry I could not travel both

And be one traveler, long I stood

And looked down one as far as I could

To where it bent in the undergrowth;

Then took the other, as just as fair,

And having perhaps the better claim,

Because it was grassy and wanted wear;

Though as for that the passing there

Had worn them really about the same,

And both that morning equally lay

In leaves no step had trodden black.

Oh, I kept the first for another day!

Yet knowing how way leads on to way,

I doubted if I should ever come back.

I shall be telling this with a sigh

Somewhere ages and ages hence:

Two roads diverged in a wood, and I—

I took the one less traveled by,

And that has made all the difference.

Even more remarkably, 10 years later I recognized a similar inclination to write poetry that has been described as “didactic,” in light of my desire to teach, particularly to incorporate concepts and principles from the Scriptures into my poems. In graduate school while working on my doctorate in English, I took a seminar which deepened my appreciation for the great American poet, having been first “Frost-bitten” back in the day in the middle of the Twentieth Century.

Reflecting on the Quote of the Day also brings to mind the closing lines from the celebrated poem by Frost, the inspiration, in part, for this piece:

The Will of God: the Road Less Traveled by

 

Don’t copy the behavior and customs of this world,

but let God transform you into a new person

by changing the way you think.

Then you will learn to know God’s will for you,

which is good and pleasing and perfect.

Romans 12:2 (New Living Translation)

 

Two roads diverged in a wood, and I—

I took the one less traveled by,

And that has made all the difference.

 

Robert Frost

 

I begin again this year of my jubilee.

Reflecting on life’s journey, I cannot deny

That the will of God is the road less travelled by:

To choose to serve, even though having been set free.

The straight and narrow way I once again select.

I press on, still striving toward the highest good.

In this place we renew our covenant of blood,

Reassured that “As for God His way is perfect.”

I see clearly with new eyes where our paths have led.

In the midst of turbulent times I remain still,

Proving that good and acceptable and perfect will.

I look back, waiting in the now, then look ahead.

Each day God offers another chance to commence:

The choice to do God’s will makes all the difference.

Although one can certainly learn from someone who has traveled the road that one may be taking, each individual must choose the road to take, and I concur with Frost that “the road less traveled by” makes all the difference, particularly in thinking of “the will of God” as that road.

Amy Grant closes today’s entry with her rendering of the hymn “Sweet Will of God.”

Teach me to do your will

September 8, 2017

Psalm 143--10

Psalm 143:10 (AMP) is the source of the Verse of the Day for September 8, 2017:

Teach me to do Your will [so that I may please You], for You are my God; Let Your good Spirit lead me on level ground.

The Psalmist expresses his desire to learn the will of God. He seeks guidance, direction, and instruction from God Almighty that he might know the will of God in order to do it. In a similar manner, as believers, we also seek to know God’s will that we, like Caleb, “might do all the will of the Lord.” Our efforts to seek to find the will of God pleases God, our Father, who also unfolds before us

The Good Pleasure of God’s Will

Having predestined us to adoption as sons by Jesus Christ to Himself,

According to the good pleasure of His will,

Ephesians 1:5 [NKJV]

 

“The safest place in the whole wide world

 is the perfect will of God.”

Contemporary Christian Song

 

God makes all things new in this another new season,

In this place where our divine destinies intersect.

As we finish the work, what we lack, He will perfect,

Far beyond anything our mortal minds can reason.

To abide in God’s perfect will Jesus led the way.

In the garden, he said, not my will but yours be done,

Praying that as he and the Father, so might we be one

To reverse the curse of Adam who chose to disobey.

God’s desire is that we know joy without measure.

In fulfilling God’s will His presence is ever near.

Signs, wonders, and miracles happen when we are here

Where we prove His perfect will and know His good pleasure.

The will of God is a safe haven where we can hide:

In the good pleasure of God’s will we long to abide.

In considering the topic of the will of God, George Muller, a remarkable man of faith and prayer, came to mind.  As a notably influential Christian figure of the 19th Century, the German-born evangelist and philanthropist established orphanages in Bristol and founded the Scriptural Knowledge Institution for Home and Abroad, Mueller offered these insightful comments:

How to Ascertain the Will of God

1.—I seek at the beginning to get my heart into such a state that it has no will of its own in regard to a given matter. Nine-tenths of the trouble with people is just here. Nine-tenths of the difficulties are overcome when our hearts are ready to do the Lord’s Will, whatever it may be. When one is truly in this state, it is usually but a little way to the knowledge of what His will is.

2.—Having done this, I do not leave the result to feeling or simple impression. If so, I make myself liable to great delusions.

3.—I seek the Will of the Spirit of God through, or in connection with, the Word of God. The Spirit and the Word must be combined. If I look to the Spirit alone without the Word, I lay myself open to great delusions also. If the Holy Ghost guides us at all, He will do it according to the Scriptures and never contrary to them.

4.—Next, I take into account providential circumstances. These often plainly indicate God’s Will in connection with His Word and Spirit.

5.—I ask God in prayer to reveal His Will to me aright.

6.—Thus, through prayer to God, the study of the Word, and reflection, I come to a deliberate judgment according to the best of my ability and knowledge, and if my mind is thus at peace, and continues so after two or three more petitions, I proceed accordingly. In trivial matters, and in transactions involving most important issues, I have found this method always effective.

As we seek to position ourselves in the perfect will of God that we might do it, God takes us to the place where we long to be:

The Will of God

Author unknown

The will of God will never take you,
Where the grace of God cannot keep you.
Where the arms of God cannot support you,
Where the riches of God cannot supply your needs,
Where the power of God cannot endow you.

The will of God will never take you,
Where the spirit of God cannot work through you,
Where the wisdom of God cannot teach you,
Where the army of God cannot protect you,
Where the hands of God cannot mold you.

The will of God will never take you,
Where the love of God cannot enfold you,
Where the mercies of God cannot sustain you,
Where the peace of God cannot calm your fears,
Where the authority of God cannot overrule for you.

The will of God will never take you,
Where the comfort of God cannot dry your tears,
Where the Word of God cannot feed you,
Where the miracles of God cannot be done for you,
Where the omnipresence of God cannot find you.

We conclude with a lovely Scripture Song by Sherri Youngward (featuring Taylre Nelson) “Your Unfailing Love”–Psalm 143:8-10:

Filled with the knowledge of His will

November 14, 2016

Colossians_1-9

Although the verse that is central to today’s post was actually the Verse of the Day for this past Saturday, at which time I started the entry, but I did not get to post it until today. This weekend my wife and I travelled to Atlanta for a dual celebration of Veterans Day and my sister’s 70th birthday. Although not specifically designated as the Verse of the Day for November 14, 2016, the subject of the verse relates to “the will of God,” a topic of vital importance every day.

Taken from the opening chapter of the epistle to the Colossians, the Verse of the Day for last Saturday, October 12, was part of a prayer for the believers of Colossae, but it, of course, applies to believers today as well.

Colossians 1:9-10

For this reason we also, since the day we heard it, do not cease to pray for you, and to ask that you may be filled with the knowledge of His will in all wisdom and spiritual understanding; 10 that you may walk worthy of the Lord, fully pleasing Him, being fruitful in every good work and increasing in the knowledge of God;

In reflecting on this passage, the phrase “the knowledge of His will” was highlighted in my mind, as once again I recognized that “the will of God,” is the place where I ever desire to be found. While thinking about this concept, I began composing another poem centered on the “The Will of God.” Colossians 1:9-10 form the introduction to this expression:

Filled with the Knowledge of His Will                

Colossians 1:9-10

 

That we may be filled with the knowledge of His will is God’s desire.

To pursue and fulfill God’s will burns within us as a fire,

This all-consuming desire to apply our hearts unto wisdom.

Even as we press forward to usher in the coming kingdom,

We speak the Word of Life that never fails but shall ever inspire.

 

 

We seek to find, to know, and to do God’s will and ever aspire

To align our desires with His to do all He would require.

We know that as His will is being done, so shall His Kingdom come:

That we may be filled with the knowledge of His will.

 

 

We want to walk in wisdom, and we ask so that we may acquire.

With passion we seek to find the perfect will of God and inquire

Of the Lord Almighty, God of all power and might and dominion.

As we delight to serve; He keeps His Word, giving us our heart’s desire:

That we may be filled with the knowledge of His will.

 

Numerous songs have been written that relate to “the will of God.” Written by Deb Zemke, one particular song, “His Will,” is played and sung by Robert Jason.

Reflecting on the “The Will of God” is a great way to start the day, any day.

To discover and do the will of God

October 20, 2016
Discovering God's Will

“To discover the will of God is the greatest discovery,” says Albert Schweitzer.

Recently I introduced a new feature to Dr. J’ Apothecary Shoppe, a variation on the Verse of the Day,” called the Quote of the Day. Today, we continue with another “Quote of the Day” for October 20, 2016:

“Success is discovering the purposes and will of God for your life and faithfully doing it.”

The accompanying scripture is from 1 Peter 2:15-16 in the Amplified Bible:

15 For it is the will of God that by doing right you may silence (muzzle, gag) the [culpable] ignorance and irresponsible criticisms of foolish people. 16 Live as free people, but do not use your freedom as a cover or pretext for evil, but [use it and live] as bond-servants of God.

The phrase “the will of God” brings to mind a series of posts on that very subject. One of the blog entries expressed our desire “To find, to know, and to do the will of God.” From that blog entry come some of the following comments:

Throughout the Psalms and elsewhere in the Bible we find great encouragement to do the will of God:

Psalm 40:8 (NLT):

I take joy in doing your will, my God, for your instructions are written on my heart.”

Psalm 143:10 in the Amplified Bible reinforces this message:

Teach me to do Your will [so that I may please You],
For You are my God;
Let Your good Spirit lead me on level ground.

As believers endeavoring to please God, we seek to discover the will of God, as expressed in this poem:

The Will of God

To find the will of God is the greatest discovery.

To know the will of God is the greatest knowledge.

To do the will of God is the greatest achievement.

Albert Schweitzer

 

My food is to do the will of Him who sent me,

and to finish His work.

John 4:34 [NKJV]

                                                

To unearth at last the world’s most priceless treasure

And gaze upon the splendor of God’s sovereignty

Is to savor joy unspeakable beyond measure:

To find the will of God is the greatest discovery.

To know intimacy beyond the highest degree,

A confident assurance when we acknowledge

And embrace the path set before us, our destiny:

To know the will of God is the greatest knowledge.

To live life, knowing we are covered by the Blood

Is to walk with no regret, never to lament,

For all decisions work together for the good:

To do the will of God is the greatest achievement.

Guided and protected by the Shepherd’s staff and rod,

We rejoice to find, to know and do the will of God.

Jason Upton expresses his passionate desire to live for the “Will of God.”

Two ways: The road less traveled

June 9, 2016

Matthew 7--14

The Verse of the Day for June 9, 2014 is found in Matthew 7:13-14 (AMP)

13 Enter through the narrow gate; for wide is the gate and spacious and broad is the way that leads away to destruction, and many are those who are entering through it.

14 But the gate is narrow (contracted by pressure) and the way is straitened and compressed that leads away to life, and few are those who find it.

The passage speaks of two contrasting “ways”: “the broad way” and the “narrow way”—two paths that lead to differing destinations. In a previous blog entry I discussed the concept of a road, a path or a way, looking at the Hebrew word derek which is translated “way, road, path, distance, journey, manner.” It is also referred to as direction, manner, habit, way of life, a course of life or mode of action, a lifestyle.

In the New Testament, the Greek word hodos is translated “a way, a travelled way, road, and when used as a metaphor it means “a course of conduct” “a way (i.e., manner of thinking, feeling, deciding. It is used 100 times with 54 of those times the word is translated “way.”

Upon further reflection, a confluence of poetry floods my mind regarding the term “way”, beginning with a popular poem of the 20th Century by John Oxenham (William Dunkerley):

The Ways

To every man there openeth
A Way, and Ways, and a Way.
And the High Soul climbs the High Way,
And the Low Soul gropes the Low,
And in between, on the misty flats,
The rest drift to and fro.
But to every man there openeth
A High Way, and a Low.
And every man decideth
The way his soul shall go.

A week or so ago, a former high school class mate sent me a photo of our junior English teacher, Mrs. Hortense House, who required our class to memorize two poems “Barter” by Sara Teasdale and “The Road Not Taken” by Robert Frost, both of which I committed to memory 56 years ago, and I still find them applicable today. “The Road Not Taken” found its way into this poem posted in a previous blog entry related to the Matthew 7:13-14 where I speak of the will of God as being “the road less travelled.” I recognize now more clearly than ever what that means in light of the poem that I first memorized years 58 ago. Here is the poem that I wrote:

The Will of God: the Road Less Traveled by

I shall be telling this with a sigh

Somewhere ages and ages hence:

Two roads diverged in a wood, and I—

I took the one less traveled by,

And that has made all the difference.

The Road Not Taken

—Robert Frost

Don’t copy the behavior and customs of this world,

but let God transform you into a new person

by changing the way you think.  Then you will learn

to know God’s will for you, which is good and

pleasing and perfect.

Romans 12:2 (New Living Translation)

 

I begin again this year of my jubilee.

Reflecting on life’s journey, I cannot deny

That the will of God is the road less traveled by:

To choose to serve, even though having been set free.

The straight and narrow way I once again select.

I press on, still striving toward the highest good.

In this place we renew our covenant of blood,

Reassured that “As for God His way is perfect.”

I see clearly with new eyes where our paths have led.

In the midst of turbulent times I remain still,

Proving that good and acceptable and perfect will.

I look back, waiting in the now, then look ahead.

Each day God offers another chance to commence:

The choice to do God’s will makes all the difference.

To follow the Will of God is to decide which path you are going to take. Many times it is easier to follow our own path and seek our own way rather than God’s way or God’s will. This anonymous poem gives us comfort and consolation when we decide to take the road less traveled by and follow God’s will, no matter where it takes us:

The Will of God

Author: Unknown

The will of God will never take you,
Where the grace of God cannot keep you.
Where the arms of God cannot support you,
Where the riches of God cannot supply your needs,
Where the power of God cannot endow you.

The will of God will never take you,
Where the spirit of God cannot work through you,
Where the wisdom of God cannot teach you,
Where the army of God cannot protect you,
Where the hands of God cannot mold you.

The will of God will never take you,
Where the love of God cannot enfold you,
Where the mercies of God cannot sustain you,
Where the peace of God cannot calm your fears,
Where the authority of God cannot overrule for you.

The will of God will never take you,
Where the comfort of God cannot dry your tears;
Where the Word of God cannot feed you,
Where the miracles of God cannot be done for you,
Where the omnipresence of God cannot find you.

George Strait offers “The Road Less Traveled” which captures the essence of the passage from Matthew 7:13-14 and the poetry that it evokes:

 

According to His will

May 2, 2016

1 John 5--14-15

From 1 John 5:14-15 (KJV) comes the Verse of the Day for May 2, 2016:

And this is the confidence that we have in him that, if we ask any thing according to his will, he heareth us: And if we know that he hear us, whatsoever we ask, we know that we have the petitions that we desired of him.

Here is the passage from the Amplified Bible:

1 John 5:14-15

This is the [remarkable degree of] confidence which we [as believers are entitled to] have before Him: that if we ask anything according to His will, [that is, consistent with His plan and purpose] He hears us.

John 9:31 (NLT) also offers this reminder as to whom God responds as individuals pray:

We know that God doesn’t listen to sinners, but he is ready to hear those who worship him and do his will.

There is further encouragement to seek His will found in Proverbs 16:3

Commit your works to the Lord [submit and trust them to Him], And your plans will succeed [if you respond to His will and guidance].

The reference to “His will” brings to mind a series of posts on the Will of God. One of the entries expressed my desire “To find, to know, and to do the will of God.” From that post come some of the following comments:

Throughout the Psalms and elsewhere in the Bible we find encouragement to do the will of God:

Psalm 40:8 (NLT):

I take joy in doing your will, my God, for your instructions are written on my heart.”

Psalm 143:10 in the Amplified Bible reinforces this message:

Teach me to do Your will [so that I may please You],
For You are my God;
Let Your good Spirit lead me on level ground.

Since a child, I have been endeavoring to discover the will of God for my life, as expressed in this poem:

The Will of God

To find the will of God is the greatest discovery.

To know the will of God is the greatest knowledge.

To do the will of God is the greatest achievement.

Albert Schweitzer

 

My food is to do the will of Him who sent me,

and to finish His work.

John 4:34 [NKJV]

                                                

To unearth at last the world’s most priceless treasure

And gaze upon the splendor of God’s sovereignty

Is to savor joy unspeakable beyond measure:

To find the will of God is the greatest discovery.

To know intimacy beyond the highest degree,

A confident assurance when I acknowledge

And embrace the path, the destiny, prepared for me:

To know the will of God is the greatest knowledge.

To live life, knowing I am covered by the Blood

Is to walk with no regret, never to lament,

For all decisions work together for the good:

To do the will of God is the greatest achievement.

Guided and protected by the Shepherd’s staff and rod,

I rejoice to find, to know and do the will of God.

Darius Brooks offers a passionate rendition of “Your Will,” one of my favorite songs focusing on the will of God: