“Deo Volente”

Posted: November 8, 2012 in 1 Corinthians, Christian Life, Decision Making

     Far too many people including Christians make plans for their future without taking God into their considerations (James 4:13-15 ).  While claiming to believe in God, they act like “practical atheists.”   God’s Word says, “Trust in the Lord with all your heart, and lean not on your own understanding; In all your ways acknowledge Him, and He shall direct your paths” (Proverbs 3:5, 6).
     Independent.  While it’s true that parents want their children to grown up so they can take care of themselves, we need to realize that we are all dependent on other people for most of our needs.  Try to imagine what your life would be like without all the people who serve you daily at the grocery store, gas station, utility company, bank, and many other places.  Jesus said, “Without Me you can do nothing” (John 15:5).  He is the God-man who gives us life and breath and the good things of life (James 1:17).  Have you thanked Him recently?  
     Plans. People without any plans or goals don’t make it far in life.  Some people make things happen, others watch them happen, and still others say, “What happened?” The Lord’s half brother James gave some very helpful information for us to follow.  “Come now, you who say, ‘Today or tomorrow we will go to such and such a city, spend a year there, buy and sell, and make a profit;’ whereas you do not know that will happen tomorrow.  For what is your life?  It is even a vapor that appears for a little time and then vanishes away. Instead you ought to say, ‘If the Lord wills, we shall live and do this or that.’  But now you boast in your arrogance.  All such boasting is evil” (James 4:13-16).
     D.V.  “Deo Volente” – “God willing.”  We don’t hear people talking this way very often.  Rather than making promises we may not be able to keep, we would be better off saying, “I’m planning to…” or even better, “Lord willing, I will make plans to…”.  This is not a way for you to get out of a promise but an acknowledgment that you are not always able to carry out what you honestly intend to do. 
     Freedom.  God let’s His children make choices in life.  Some are detrimental to us or may even be sinful; others may be good, better, or the best (i.e. what God would choose for us).  How do you make your decisions in life?  If you’re a Christian, do you try to do those things that will glorify God by making Him know to others around you?  This should be our primary purpose in life (1 Corinthians 10:31; Psalm 34:3).
     Prepared.  We never know when a marvelous opportunity will come our way or when a calamity may strike us.  But by our spending time with God in His Word and meditating on it (Psalm 1:2; 1 Timothy 4:15), we will be able to handle the situation better.  God wants us to be ready to give an answer to anyone who asks us about our faith in Christ and the hope that we have (1 Peter 3:15).  He wants believers to display the “Fruit of the Spirit” as the need arises (Galatians 5:22, 23).  How do you respond to the good things that happen to you and to the challenging things that upset your life?  Do you give thanks (1 Thessalonians 5:18; Ephesians 5:20; 1 Timothy 2:1)?  If not, you should.
     Concerned.  God is concerned about the well being of all His children.  Are you one of them or are you a child of the devil (1 John 3:10)?  We all start out life in the devil’s family and need to be born again from above if we want to go to heaven (John 3:3, 16, 36).  God the Father showed His love for us sinners by sending His unique Son, Jesus Christ to this earth to die for our sins…and rise again bodily from the dead on the third day.  As the God-man, He paid the penalty for our sins and made it possible for us to be saved from hell and enter heaven (Romans 6:23).  If you don’t go to heaven, it won’t be because God didn’t make it possible for you to go there.  
     Darkness.  Perhaps you love darkness rather than the light because your deeds are evil (John 3:19).  When we trust in Christ exclusively as our personal Savior, we are taken out of the kingdom of darkness and placed into the kingdom of the Son of His love (Colossians 1:13).  
     Difficulty?  Are you having trouble making wise decisions in life?  You can’t make them if you’re not a true child of God (Proverbs 14:12; Mark 8:36).  But God can/does put thoughts into the minds (spirits) of those believers who are rightly related to God the Holy Spirit (Ephesians 5:18; Romans 8:14).  He energizes us, enables us, and supplies all our needs so we can do His will (Philippians 2:13; 4:13, 19).
     Question.  Are you filled with the Spirit, walking by means of the Spirit (Galatians 5:16, 25), and being led by the Spirit (Romans 8:14)?  This is the only way to really live abundantly (John 10:10).
     Submission.  Believers who want God’s best for themselves and others can/should be willing to submit to His leading in their lives and sing: “Not what I wish to be, nor where I wish to go / For who am I that I should choose my way / The Lord shall choose for me, tis better far I know, / So let Him bid me go, or stay.”  – Austin Miles.  Obviously this attitude won’t appeal to you if you are proud, arrogant, and think you don’t need God or other people.  But some day you and everyone else will bow to the Lordship of Jesus Christ (Philippians 2:10, 11).  This doesn’t teach universal salvation as some false teachers say.  You may not want to go to heaven to be with a holy and righteous God or be with His children. Forcing you to go there would be worse than hell itself.  God won’t do that to you.
     Decision.  If you would like to have assurance of salvation and heaven before you die, we invite you to contact us at 805-238-3549 or visit our web page: www.kelseypeach.com for more help.  These articles usually correspond to our talks on Sundays.  Some of them can be heard on the Internet. 


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