Whether it is a decision related to a business venture, career or mission, it is imperative to seek God’s will on the matter. We should not deem spiritual areas as important and the secular as unimportant as both are significant in God’s eyes. There is no place for compartmentalisation in our lives.
As children of God, we are to walk by faith. Those who are led by the Spirit of God are sons of God (Romans 8:14).
To assume that God is with us as we contemplate embarking on a certain venture—when His will is still unclear—is to walk in presumption. Perhaps the potential rewards are so tempting that it’s almost irresistible. But going ahead without a clear “signal from above” may be costly in terms of time, energy and financial resources.
“There is a way that seems right to a man, but in the end it leads to death” (Proverbs 16:25).
It is not enough just to depend on the logos to justify a particular course of action. We have to seek God so that we can hear His rhema word for us—His will for a specific time and situation in our lives. http://bit.ly/1fWBAia
Christian entrepreneurs can readily identify with the fact that God’s will has to be sought before we plunge headlong into a business venture. This is clear from the following passage:
Come now, you who say, “Today or tomorrow we will go into such and such a town and spend a year there and trade and make a profit”— yet you do not know what tomorrow will bring. What is your life? For you are a mist that appears for a little time and then vanishes. Instead you ought to say, “If the Lord wills, we will live and do this or that.”
The crux of the matter is this: Has God showed us that we should take a particular course of action?
Victory comes when we place our faith in God’s leading. That’s because wherever God leads, He honours it with His presence, provision and blessing.
Let us now consider three examples from the Old Testament which illustrate the danger of presumption and, in contrast, the importance of seeking God’s leading and walking byfaith.
Battle of Ai
After initial victory in the battle of Jericho, God’s people continued their push towards claiming the rest of the Promised Land. They attacked Ai with only a few thousand men for they figured the enemy had few men and could be routed easily. But they were badly defeated.
Though the primary cause of the defeat at Ai was Achan’s sin of covetousness, a secondary cause was presumption—underestimating the enemy and overconfidence after initial victory at Jericho (Joshua 7:3-4).
King David’s military exploits
The above attitude clearly contrasts with that of King David, ‘a man after God’s own heart’.
David did not dare presume God was behind him each time he went into battle. After his initial victory at Baalperazim (2 Samuel 5:20), the Philistines returned and confronted him again. Lesser mortals would have rested on their laurels, overconfident in light of earlier victory. “No sweat; let’s go and defeat them.” But David was different. He enquired of the Lord again.
This time, God told him not to go up and face his enemies. “You shall not go up; go around to their rear, and come against them opposite the balsam trees” (2 Samuel 5:23).
David was told to advance only at the appropriate moment as God would fight for him. “It shall be, when you hear the sound of marching in the tops of the balsam trees, then you shall act promptly, for then the LORD will have gone out before you to strike the army of the Philistines” (2 Samuel 5:24).
David was successful in his military exploits because he made it a point to first enquire from God as to the specific course of action to take. He then followed whatever God instructed him to do.
Moses and God’s presence
Similarly, Moses knew that he should move only when God directs. Before leading the Israelites into the Promised Land, Moses sought God’s presence. If God’s presence did not go with him, he would not think of advancing into the land flowing with milk and honey (Exodus 33:15).
Thus it’s apparent that Moses knew the ways of God. When it comes to entering the Promised Land, he cherished God’s leading and presence—more than blessing. He made sure he did not run ahead of God’s schedule. http://bit.ly/18gwREH
Presumption may be old as the hills but it is still happening today. Some ministers who move in signs and wonders (miracles, healing and deliverance) presume that since they have great power, God must be pleased with their lives. They probably congratulate themselves: How can God not be pleased with me when He is using me in such a mighty way? I must be His blue-eyed boy.
However, Jesus’ admonition against such presumption makes it clear that moving in dramatic spiritual gifts is not to be automatically equated to enjoying special God’s favour and blessing. Other factors such as character and the fruit of the spirit are also important in God’s sight.
Not everyone who says to me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ will enter the kingdom of heaven, but the one who does the will of my Father who is in heaven. On that day many will say to me, ‘Lord, Lord, did we not prophesy in your name, and cast out demons in your name, and do many mighty works in your name?’ And then will I declare to them, ‘I never knew you; depart from me, you workers of lawlessness.’
Are we familiar with the ways of God? Do we seek out His will? Apart from knowing His will, do we know when we should execute His plan?
FAITH OR FOOLHARDINESS?
How do we distinguish between faith and foolhardiness?
Note: Dr Lim Poh Ann is a medical practitioner. He was the former editor of Asian Beacon magazine (December 2008 – October 2011). He can be reached at his blog, Porridge for the Soul: http://limpohann.blogspot.com/