God is a planner, a strategist; He is incredibly organized and has a definite flow and pace. Richard Exley, in his outstanding book The Rhythm of Life, shows us that God has a right balance for our lives. There is actually a rhythm He wants us to live by: “Whoever believes will not act hastily” (Isaiah 28:16 NKJV). Laziness is nothing more than resting before you get tired.
Pressure usually accompanies us when we are out of the pace of God. Proverbs 16:9 (TLB) says, “We should make plans – counting on God to direct us.” Proverbs 16:3 (NIV) promises, “Commit to the Lord whatever you do, and your plans will succeed.”
Cowards never start, and the lukewarm die along the way. Adopt the pace of God; His secret is patience. All great achievements require time – and He is worth your time. Happiness is the right direction, not a final destination.
Abraham Lincoln, during the darkest hours of the Civil War, in response to the question of whether he was sure God was on the Union’s side, honestly answered, “I do not know: I have not thought about that. But I am very anxious to know whether we are on God’s side.” Again, urgent matters are seldom urgent. If you burn the candle at both ends, you are not as bright as you think.
Never remain where God has not sent you. Walking in the pace of God helps us to be established on the proper foundation. Nothing is permanent unless built on God’s will and Word. “Except the Lord build the house, they labor in vain that build it” (Psalm 127:1); “The steps of a good man are ordered by the Lord, and He delights in his way” (Psalm 37:23).
“A Christian, like a candle, must keep cool and burn at the same time.” – Merv Rosell
“The strength of a man consists in finding out the way of God is going, and going that way,” said Henry Ward Beecher. When God shuts and bolts the door, don’t try to get in through the window. There is no time lost in waiting if you are waiting on the Lord. Every great person first learned how to obey, whom to obey, and when to obey.
An anonymous poem says: “Or place I choose, or place I shun, My soul is satisfied with none; But when Thy will directs my way, ‘Tis equal joy to go or stay.”
I believe also we can know God’s will and God’s timing by a sense of peace that only God can give. (Read Philippians 4:6-7)
Sensing God’s timing and finding God’s will for decisions that we make begins with prayer first. God gives a peace that transcends all understanding.
Remember, that God’s will is more about our character and about following Jesus that particular decisions that we may make in life. If we say we want to be in the will of God it begins by living in the will of God. God has given us free will to make decisions on our own. Sometimes he may point us in the right direction, but in the end the decision is ours to make. Our choice when we learn of the will of God is to accept it or reject it, to follow it or to run from it.
There are certain practical parameters I’m using to discern God’s timing and God’s will:
1. Being sure that it does not violate a command or principle in Scripture – It will never be the will of God for you to violate a command, no matter what the circumstances. If you are contemplating a decision that involves sin you are wasting your time because God’s will has been revealed on that issue.
2. Being sure that it is best for you spiritually – It will never be the will of God for you to do something that is going to hurt you spiritually. God’s will is for you to grow in godliness and to become more like Christ. I have heard many people sincerely wanting to know if doing something that would hurt them spiritually is the will of God. Whether speaking of a job or being involved with something that we bring you down, you can take it to the bank that God will never will you to do something that will cause you to stumble or to digress in your faith. On anything you consider the will of God you should be able with a good conscience to pray God’s blessing upon it. If you cannot pray God’s blessing upon it then it is likely that it is not the will of God that you be doing it.