In this episode of the Everyday Jesus podcast, we dig into the question of God’s will. How do you find God’s will for your life? What is His plan? Our Good News is about a young
girl who’s incurable tumor simply vanishes. Our unreached people group is the Uyghur of China and Today’s Word is about the woman at the well.
Today we want to discuss how the Holy Spirit guides Christians. One of the most asked questions by young Christians is, “How can I know what God wants me to do with my life?” Or, “What is God’s plan for my life?” Some people will use the phrase, God’s will. What is His will for your life?
And this question is not just asked by young Christians, but older Christians as well. It seems that everyone is asking the same thing. But what about an answer? What is the common answer to this? Pray about it. Or read the Bible. And I’m here to tell you, both of those answers are correct. You should definitely read your Bible to find out God’s will for your life. And you should definitely pray asking to know God’s will for your life.
But this is where most people stop. Most people get paralyzed by fear waiting for God to respond with a road map. They want detailed directions on how to get from where they are to where God wants them to be, turn-by-turn. They want to know every bump in the road, with no surprises. And unsurprisingly, they do not get what they are wanting.
So, since this is a new year. Let us resolve not to do this anymore. Not to expect God to give us a complete list of directions on where we will be going over the next 20 years. Let’s instead look at how God led Christians in the book of Acts via the Holy Spirit.
- You have to do something. I know this sounds crazy but bear with me for a minute. People sometimes get so scared thinking about what they should do, that they don’t do anything. They just sit there, waiting. And typically, this inaction only happens when it comes to doing something for God. No one waits for God to tell them which TV channels to watch or which Netflix movie to put on. They are sitting around waiting for God to direct them in the God things, but in everything else, they just do it, without thinking. Sometimes with God, you just need to do it. Get out of your seat and do the work of the ministry, whether that’s helping the poor, visiting the nursing homes, feeding the homeless or starting a prayer group. The disciples when faced with the task of replacing Judas, the disciple who had betrayed Jesus, got together and “cast lots”. That’s basically the equivalent of throwing dice. How strange is that? These were men who had lived and worked beside Jesus for several years; they just threw dice to make an important decision. Sometimes you just have to get out there and do something.
- You have to listen. All throughout the book of Acts we see the Holy Spirit speaking to the disciples. It doesn’t tell us this is an audible voice, but it was clear enough that everyone knew what to do. It wasn’t some far off prophecy of things to come years from now, it was God’s word for them in that moment. Acts 10 recounts the story of Peter and Cornelius. It says that the Holy Spirit spoke to Peter and instructed him to go with the men from Cornelius’ house. And Peter simply obeyed. Later, in Acts, we see the Spirit speak to the entire Church in Antioch and He told them to set apart Paul and Barnabas for the work that God had called them to and the church obeyed. We need to listen to the word of God and obey. Part of God’s guidance involves us listening.
- We are to be led by the Spirit. We’ve touched on this before, but the Bible is clear that we need to walk by the Spirit and not by the flesh. The flesh leads us to things like idolatry, fornication and anger. The Spirit leads us to doing good works. The Bible is very clear that as Christians we need to be doing good works. And the great thing is, the Bible has already told us what those works look like. If we are to be led by the Spirit, part of His leading, is to lead us to do good works. Following the Spirit will leave a trail of good works behind you.
- We need to know his Word. So Just like at the beginning of this episode we talked about the need to read your Bible. That’s legitimate, but more than just reading it, you need to know it. You need to be in a bible study, you can listen to podcasts, you memorize scriptures, but whatever you do, you must get the Word of God inside of you. You have to put in the time to know Him.
Unreached People Group
Today’s Word – John 4:1-42
4 Now Jesus learned that the Pharisees had heard that he was gaining and baptizing more disciples than John— 2 although in fact it was not Jesus who baptized, but his disciples. 3 So he left Judea and went back once more to Galilee.
4 Now he had to go through Samaria. 5 So he came to a town in Samaria called Sychar, near the plot of ground Jacob had given to his son Joseph.6 Jacob’s well was there, and Jesus, tired as he was from the journey, sat down by the well. It was about noon.
7 When a Samaritan woman came to draw water, Jesus said to her, “Will you give me a drink?” 8 (His disciples had gone into the town to buy food.)
9 The Samaritan woman said to him, “You are a Jew and I am a Samaritan woman. How can you ask me for a drink?” (For Jews do not associate with Samaritans.[a])
10 Jesus answered her, “If you knew the gift of God and who it is that asks you for a drink, you would have asked him and he would have given you living water.”
11 “Sir,” the woman said, “you have nothing to draw with and the well is deep. Where can you get this living water? 12 Are you greater than our father Jacob, who gave us the well and drank from it himself, as did also his sons and his livestock?”
13 Jesus answered, “Everyone who drinks this water will be thirsty again,14 but whoever drinks the water I give them will never thirst. Indeed, the water I give them will become in them a spring of water welling up to eternal life.”
15 The woman said to him, “Sir, give me this water so that I won’t get thirsty and have to keep coming here to draw water.”
16 He told her, “Go, call your husband and come back.”
17 “I have no husband,” she replied.
Jesus said to her, “You are right when you say you have no husband.18 The fact is, you have had five husbands, and the man you now have is not your husband. What you have just said is quite true.”
19 “Sir,” the woman said, “I can see that you are a prophet. 20 Our ancestors worshiped on this mountain, but you Jews claim that the place where we must worship is in Jerusalem.”
21 “Woman,” Jesus replied, “believe me, a time is coming when you will worship the Father neither on this mountain nor in Jerusalem. 22 You Samaritans worship what you do not know; we worship what we do know, for salvation is from the Jews. 23 Yet a time is coming and has now come when the true worshipers will worship the Father in the Spirit and in truth, for they are the kind of worshipers the Father seeks. 24 God is spirit, and his worshipers must worship in the Spirit and in truth.”
25 The woman said, “I know that Messiah” (called Christ) “is coming. When he comes, he will explain everything to us.”
26 Then Jesus declared, “I, the one speaking to you—I am he.”
27 Just then his disciples returned and were surprised to find him talking with a woman. But no one asked, “What do you want?” or “Why are you talking with her?”
28 Then, leaving her water jar, the woman went back to the town and said to the people, 29 “Come, see a man who told me everything I ever did. Could this be the Messiah?” 30 They came out of the town and made their way toward him.
31 Meanwhile his disciples urged him, “Rabbi, eat something.”
32 But he said to them, “I have food to eat that you know nothing about.”
33 Then his disciples said to each other, “Could someone have brought him food?”
34 “My food,” said Jesus, “is to do the will of him who sent me and to finish his work. 35 Don’t you have a saying, ‘It’s still four months until harvest’? I tell you, open your eyes and look at the fields! They are ripe for harvest. 36 Even now the one who reaps draws a wage and harvests a crop for eternal life, so that the sower and the reaper may be glad together. 37 Thus the saying ‘One sows and another reaps’ is true. 38 I sent you to reap what you have not worked for. Others have done the hard work, and you have reaped the benefits of their labor.”
39 Many of the Samaritans from that town believed in him because of the woman’s testimony, “He told me everything I ever did.” 40 So when the Samaritans came to him, they urged him to stay with them, and he stayed two days. 41 And because of his words many more became believers.
42 They said to the woman, “We no longer believe just because of what you said; now we have heard for ourselves, and we know that this man really is the Savior of the world.”