The other day we said we must seek His will as we face fiery trials that will surely come. Wherever we are, we can find our way to the throne of grace by prayer; to our Father who calls us by His Spirit, by His Word, by His worship, and by special providence, merciful and afflicting. “Do not hide Your face from me, do not turn Your servant away in anger; You have been my help; do not abandon me nor forsake me, O God of my salvation! For my father and my mother have forsaken me, but the Lord will take me up.” (Ps 27:9-10)
When we by faith alone trust in Jesus for our salvation, we are called to trust Him for everything, and to walk in the path He has for us. “For we are His workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand so that we would walk in them.” (Eph 2:10)
How will we know what He has prepared for us? We seek Him! “But seek first His kingdom and His righteousness, and all these things will be added to you.” (Matt 6:33) How do we seek Him? In prayer, and prayerfully reading and meditating on His Word, we ask Him: “Teach me Your way, O Lord, and lead me in a level path because of my foes.” (Ps 27:11)
The question is asked of the Lord throughout Scripture: “Make me know Your ways, O Lord; Teach me Your paths. Lead me in Your truth and teach me, For You are the God of my salvation; For You I wait all the day.” (Ps 25:4-5)
The way we are to walk was prophesied: “A highway will be there, a roadway, and it will be called the Highway of Holiness. The unclean will not travel on it, but it will be for him who walks that way, and fools will not wander on it.” (Is 35:8) This is the narrow road Jesus spoke about (Matt 7:13-14), and it is the ONLY way to the Father, through Jesus. “Jesus said to him, ‘I am the way, and the truth, and the life; no one comes to the Father but through Me’.” (John 14:6)
So again, how do we know how we are to walk and what His purpose is for us? We seek Him and we open our hearts to His Word, we look for the opportunities He places before us. But in order for us to know, we make Him our priority not just “fit Him in” as time allows. He is our Lord and Master, our King of kings, and Lord of Lords. We yield our will to His; we are obedient to His Word.
In order to be obedient, we must rely on the power provided by the indwelling Holy Spirit (John 14:16-17). This in itself is an act of obedience, for we are commanded in to be filled with the Spirit (Eph 5:18). This doesn’t mean that a believer gets more of the Spirit, but rather that the Spirit gets more of the believer—which is the whole idea of submission. Being filled with the Spirit is yielding to the Spirit’s control.
Practically speaking, this happens as a believer responds positively to the leading of the Holy Spirit for day-to-day decisions we make, such as responding kindly to someone who has mistreated us (Rom 12:17); being truthful in our communication with others (Eph 4:25); being honest in our business dealings (Eph 4:28); spending time in prayer and studying God’s Word as we are commanded (2 Tim 2:15). These are a just a few examples of daily decisions that demonstrate submissiveness to Christ.
Unless we are obedient to His commands, seek Him and His will for our lives instead of His blessings on our will, we cannot expect that He will protect us from those who come against us. “He leads the humble in justice, and He teaches the humble His way.” (Ps 25:9) And then we also need to keep in mind that the Lord works in ways that we don’t expect, and may not even like. We may find ourselves telling someone, “you meant evil against me, but God meant it for good” (Gen 50:20).
So we are to pray as instructed, knowing that the outcome is in God’s control and will be for His glory. “Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God.” (Phil 4:6) That is how we trust everything to the Lord!