We discussed how there are three parts to God’s Will. But what happens if you take one of these pieces out? What would that look like? Can we identify it in our own lives if we see it? What exactly is in a Taco Supreme? These burning questions and more in today’s exciting devotional.
As we said in the previous devotional:
Knowing God’s Word + Having the Heart of God’s Word + Applying God’s Word = God’s Will
But what happens a lot of times is we think we’re doing God’s will but in fact, we leave out one of the elements in the equation. That would be like saying: 1 + 1 – 1 = 3 Or that would be like saying a Taco Bell Taco Supreme is still a Taco Supreme without the shell, or the sour cream, or the intestines.
Let’s see what happens when we take one of these things out.
Let’s say Billy hits you in the face. The Bible says to turn the other cheek. “I know God’s Word says to turn the other cheek. I believe that it’s the right thing to do. But instead, I’m going to disobey it and hit Billy in the face with my Taco Supreme.” That’s just flat out rebellion.
Knowing God’s Word +Having the Heart of God’s Word – Applying God’s Word = Rebellion.
What happens if we remove the second element, Believing God’s Word. “I know God’s Word says to turn the other cheek, but I really don’t want to, but I’ll do it anyways.” Or my mom tells me to say I’m sorry to Billy, but I’m not sorry, but I say sorry anyways.
Knowing God’s Word –Having the Heart of God’s Word + Applying God’s Word = Legalism
Legalism is following rules, not because you actually care or understand why, but just for the rule’s sake. What about taking out the first element? Knowing God’s Word. If you don’t base it in God’s Word what are you replacing it with? Your word (or Satan’s, or the world’s). You could be completely sincere about your love for God and do a whole ton for God.
But if it’s not based in God’s Word, you’re calling it God’s Will but really doing your own will. “I believe that that God says in the Bible that I need to punch Billy in the mouth. And God I really want to do your will, so I will not only punch Billy in the mouth, I will do it many times, while praising you.” When done to the extreme you’ll see the crazy type of Christians who, in the name of Christ, kill others or carry protest signs with hateful words.
We have to completely rewrite the equation because none of it would be based in God’s Word. It would actually look like…
Knowing my will + Believing my will is God’s Will + Applying my will = Emotionalism (or in more extreme cases, Fanaticism).
So what do we do?
We need to be in communion with God’s Word if we are to know it, believe it and act on it. God’s Word has to be the core of our day. Devotionals, Bible studies, church, memorized verses all help.
But sometimes we may not be able to pull out a super specific Scripture that tells us what to do – but in the meantime, we still need to act. In those cases, we can live by the greatest command: Love God and Love Others (Matt 22:36-40) and have our heart aligned with verses such as the Fruit of the Spirit (Gal 5:22, 23) or the Love Chapter (1 Cor 13:4-7). I really like these passages because they are those one-size-fits-all type of verses.
Scripture is true no matter what, and these verses sum up a lot of other passages and themes very conveniently. Of course, you need to dig a little deeper because you want a Biblical definition of love, of patience, of goodness. So when you do this… as you go about making decisions, you can be sure that what you are doing is a correctly defined Biblical passage that you can
So when you do this… as you go about making decisions, you can be sure that what you are doing is a correctly defined Biblical passage that you can know, have the right heart and do. And therefore accomplish God’s Will.
And then maybe Billy won’t have to pick out taco supreme intestines out of his busted mouth.
James 2 14 What good is it, my brothers and sisters, if someone claims to have faith but has no deeds? Can such faith save them? 15 Suppose a brother or a sister is without clothes and daily food. 16 If one of you says to them, “Go in peace; keep warm and well fed,” but does nothing about their physical needs, what good is it? 17 In the same way, faith by itself, if it is not accompanied by action, is dead. 18 But someone will say, “You have faith; I have deeds.” Show me your faith without deeds, and I will show you my faith by my deeds. 19 You believe that there is one God. Good! Even the demons believe that—and shudder. 20 You foolish person, do you want evidence that faith without deeds is useless? 21 Was not our father Abraham considered righteous for what he did when he offered his son Isaac on the altar? 22 You see that his faith and his actions were working together, and his faith was made complete by what he did. 23And the scripture was fulfilled that says, “Abraham believed God, and it was credited to him as righteousness,” and he was called God’s friend. 24 You see that a person is considered righteous by what they do and not by faith alone. 25 In the same way, was not even Rahab the prostitute considered righteous for what she did when she gave lodging to the spies and sent them off in a different direction? 26 As the body without the spirit is dead, so faith without deeds is dead.
Today’s Fruit of the Spirit to Work on: Faithfulness (faithfulness to His Word). Take time to Pray: Pray that God would give you wisdom to see when you are missing one of the elements of His will.
Take time to Pray: Pray that God would give you wisdom to see when you are missing one of the elements of His will.