How Do You Know?? Part 1
Yesterday at Wynne Baptist, I made a public announcement of my plan to preach in view of a call to be the next pastor of the First Baptist Church in El Dorado, Arkansas this next Sunday (June 17th, 2012). I said something to the effect of, “Although I know the timing is weird, and Katie and I deeply love everything about WBC, we truly believe this is the will of God.”
Several have asked me how I knew this was the will of God. It’s a great question. Whether you are thinking about pastoring another church, choosing a lifelong marriage partner, what job to pursue, or whether to have 2 kids or 12. Asking ‘How do you know the will of God?” is a really good and important question.
Over the next several days, I want to walk through the steps I went through to conclude that FBC El Dorado was where God wanted the Pearson family to go. I do believe God has called us to go. I believe He made His will very plain to me [For the record – If the vote goes bad this Sunday, I will write a series of posts on what to do when you miss the will of God. I will also be posting my resume on this site every day for the next month!]. How He revealed it to me is something I believe God does for each of His children in His own particular way and in His own particular timing.
There is no chapter and verse in the Bible that says, “Matt Pearson and his beloved wife Katie, along with their two boys and newly adopted Ethiopian girl are to move to El Dorado, Arkansas in July of 2012.” I’ve looked. It is NOT in there. . . anywhere.
So, how did I know? And how can you know?
For today, let me simply start with this verse from Romans 12: “Do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewal of your mind, that by testing you may discern what is the will of God, what is good and acceptable and perfect” (verse 2).
The first part to discerning the will of God for your life is to determine to be open to the voice of the Spirit of God as He speaks to you from His word. What He says to you will be different from what the world says. Notice Paul wrote not to be conformed to the world but be transformed by renewing your mind. How do you do that? Fill your mind with God’s Word. In order for your mind to be filled with His Word, it has to be empty of other ‘stuff’ and ‘voices’ and ‘influences.’
Before I could begin to entertain the idea of going to FBC, I had to determine in my heart that I would be open to the voice of God’s Spirit in my heart. I was not open at first. I love being the pastor of Wynne Baptist! But when I did become open, it became easier to hear His promptings.
What about you? Is there anything keeping you from part one? Are you open to hear what the Spirit might be saying? Have you determined in your heart to hear from the Lord in His Word above any other voice?
If you think about it, this should be a way of life for a follower of Jesus.