North Santa Rosa

Living With Purpose

I can remember sitting on the second row in the sanctuary of First Baptist Church in Atmore, Alabama. It was 1992 and the speaker was Dr. Morris Chapman, former Executive Director of the Southern Baptist Convention. As he was finishing the sermon he closed his Bible and said, “Folks, let me be very clear. The safest place to be is in the will of God.” It hit me hard and I accepted the call to ministry whenever and wherever God chose to send me. I’ve discovered, since that day, to know God’s will is the greatest gain. But to do God’s will is the greatest experience. God has a will for every life; including yours.
A man was once offered a job with a larger salary than his current one. He would also be in line for a future promotion. But on the other hand it meant moving. He would have to take his children out of school, leave both sets of parents, and leave a great church. What would you do in this situation? Is it possible to know for sure what God’s will is in a situation like that? We can have confidence that most of God’s will can clearly be found in the Bible; commands to love our neighbor, help others, and love God with all our heart. Sometimes there isn’t a clear command to follow a particular direction, so we’re called upon to use some discernment.
Acts 16:10 says, “So we decided to leave for Macedonia at once, having concluded that God was calling us to preach the Good News there.” The word “concluded” in this verse means to knit together. Since the Apostle Paul was kept from going east and north, he knit together God’s will and turned westward. There’s four primary elements that will help you “knit things together” to find God’s will: 1)Counsel from the Bible. God directs us when we read His Word (John 15:7), 2) Convictions; inner impressions upon you conscious will captivate you and keep you aware of priorities (Colossians 3:15), 3) Companions; God can speak to us through our friends (Proverbs 11:14), 4) Circumstances; God will open doors and He’ll close them (2 Corinthians 2:12). Bringing these four elements into your active considerations are very wise ways in discerning God’s will. Your spiritual success depends on using these tools to help navigate through your options.
Accomplishing God’s will in our lives matter more than anything else. Serving God has greater reward than money. Faithfulness to God brings joy, rejoicing, and fulfillment. God responds positively to those who are faithful in using what He has entrusted to them. God will reward you and bless you in private and public ways. When you’re in God’s will He’ll give you increased opportunity and responsibility. We can all choose to share in His joy. In the closing moments of his time on earth Jesus commissioned his followers to make, baptize, and nurture disciples. He gave us the church as the best way to carry out all that’s involved in our tasks.
Many people are exposed to evil and are less than successful in their spiritual lives than God ever intended for them. To be in God’s will is to be at your best and I hope the following points will encourage growth and progress in your life.
We live in a “now” generation. Many expect their desires and fancies to be realized without delay. Lack of patience has destroyed the moral fiber of homes and nations. Buy now and pay later attitudes get people in a heap of trouble these days. We should learn to wait on the Lord. God’s time is always best. When we wait on the Lord prayerfully and patiently, our strength is renewed and we become spiritually successful.
Secondly, we should walk as the Lord. Some profess to be a Christian, but their lives are a contradiction. They’re complacent, critical, and think negative of all things. Christ loved us so much that he gave his life for us. We should strive to follow his example in our words, thoughts, deeds, and actions. “Love is kind; does not envy. Seeks not her own; thinks no evil. And never fails” (1 Corinthians 13:4-8).
We should also work with the Lord. All of us should schedule time for doing God’s work. We have to learn to give Him first place in our lives (2 Corinthians 5:15). When it comes to doing service for God, we miss opportunities He presents if we’re not looking for them. Our carnal nature chooses to invest our time and efforts on selfish pursuits. The Lord will help us as we help the needy, visit the sick, and witness to the unsaved. Working with Him brings spiritual success.
Although the world is permeated with violence and greed, we don’t have to be fearful. Christians who are watching for the Lord’s return will not be overwhelmed by the present world. The promise of Christ’s return gives comfort as we cling to the hope of his return. Until then, discovering the best course of action for your life will take prayer and work. Ask God to help you develop a heart to use your passion, gifts, and talents to serve Him.
• This weekly column is written by Matt Dobson. A graduate of Florida State University and Liberty Baptist Theological Seminary. He’s the author of the “Living With Purpose” book series, “TBH The Truth Will Set You Free”, and “Running With Purpose”. Matt can be reached by email: He welcomes your thoughts concerning faith, belief, and Christian living. Visit the Living With Purpose website at

Posted by on Feb 22 2015. Filed under Churches, Living With Purpose, Local. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0. You can leave a response or trackback to this entry

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