Discerning the Will of God
By Rev. Gordon Siu
February 4, 2024
Rev. Siu, in a hopeless situation, how can I wholeheartedly wait on God for guidance and grace? Sometimes pressing problems must be dealt with, but I don’t have a clue as to what the will of God is.
Suppose we see someone falling at the roadside, hurt and bleeding. We ask ourselves: Shall I go and help? We will not sit down and pray before acting. In fact, God has given us the ability to judge to distinguish what we must do without delay. Having said that, sometimes we find something very urgent not because it really is urgent but because we are anxious: “If I don’t tell boss about this now, I will lose my job.” Then you say something you should not say. We need to pay attention to our heart. Under certain circumstances, when we turn our hearts to God, we may experience the Holy Spirit’s reminding: “No need to do anything now. Pray first and handle it tomorrow.”
How can I tell whether someone who comes to help is from God?
We need to see clearly whether the suggestion from the helper aligns with the will of God. Is his way against biblical teachings? Is he suggesting that I hold on to some power or that I should seek help from others by faith?
How can we accurately listen to the voice of God?
God sometimes gives us a clear idea and we can hear His guidance. Of course, God may not let you hear special voices every time. Very often, though, when you lay aside your preconceived ideas, His guidance will be present. I am not saying you should not have your personal views. I am only telling you that some personal views or insistence that we are not willing to let go can often block us from the voice of God. But when you let go, you will hear Him clearly. Many people hear God’s guidance for them clearly when they quietly read the Bible. The voice is authoritative so they will not bargain. Still, His voice gently guides us. If we always practice, we will be more and more familiar with God’s voice and His guidance.
We need to be the children of light in the surrounding darkness. Even in dangerous situations, we need to be innocent as doves and shrewd as snakes. Is that right?
Yes! You may not be able to change the environment or control the situation. But you can change yourself. You are not responsible for the environment, but you need to take responsibility for yourself. The Bible clearly tells us that God will someday inspect us. He will do so according to your response (rather than the incidents themselves). Some people live a life of adversities. Some others have a smooth life journey. Their responses to situations will form the basis of rewards from God. If you are in an unsettling situation with attacks on all sides, your greatest protection is maintaining your goodness and keep listening to God. You will surely be protected. Therefore, we always need to examine our vertical relationship with God and do not let horizontal relationships prevail over our thinking and experience.
(This is an excerpt from “Rev. Siu’s Dialogue with You (Part 3)” in the September 2022 issue of NPAC Newsletter that records some of Rev. Siu’s responses in the Q&A Session of the 2021 Winter Camp.)