Question: We r upside down in r house. Is God using that to tell us something?
Answer: Good question. And very timely! As we heard during last Sunday’s introductory message to the book of Daniel, God often uses His Word, our trust in and obedience to His perfect will (revealed in Scripture) and our life circumstance(s) to get our attention. So you’re wondering, how does my current financial circumstance represent God’s view of my life presently? How do I discern what’s going on? The simplest way to answer this question is to reflect on two key biblical principles:
1. God’s sovereign will – God’s plan that covers all aspects of His creation and time (Isa 14:24, Eph 1:11, Isa 46:9-10)
2.God’s revealed will – His commanded will in Scripture that He has revealed to His people (2 Tim 3:16, Matt 28:20, 1 Thess 4:3)
God’s sovereign will is known only to God. It becomes known only after the fact if God so decrees. For example, in the book of Genesis, Scripture states that Joseph’s brothers meant to do great harm to him but God’s sovereign plan was for just the opposite to happen and it did! (Gen.50:20) God’s revealed will is found in His Word (2 Tim 3:16). It involves only that which is good and pure. It provides specific principles for living. Believers are commanded to know, understand and obey God’s revealed will in His Word. (Matt 7:13-28)
So how do I discern which “will of God” is operative in this situation? First off, seek the Lord’ s guidance through His revealed will (the bible):
1. Seek His Word in the area of financial stewardship. Are you following His commands for managing His money?
2. Search your conscience/convictions (Heb 4:12-13, Acts 17:16) Is He and His Word convicting you of any patterns of disobedience – sins of commission or omission?
3. Trust in His providence/promises to you (Romans 8:28)
4. Seek the counsel of older, mature believers (Prov.13:10)
Patiently pursue the above steps, and apply any changes needed to your life . Sometimes the consequences of our lack of obedience to His revealed will are profound, but His purpose is to move you back to the right priorities in your life (e.g., removal of idols and returning to worship the Lord Jesus above all else!)
As we saw in Daniel, He sometimes uses challenging life circumstances (trials) for purification, strengthening our faith and/or redirecting your life for greater service (James 1:1-18). Daniel went through tough stuff too! Not due to overt, rebellious sin, but so the sovereign will of God might be accomplished in and through him. Remember Nebuchadnezzar! (read Dan 4)
Whatever the purpose God has in mind (e.g., His sovereign or commanded will), He has promised to use it for your good and His glory (Rom 8:28).