Why is it that many women listen for that still small voice, watch for open and closed doors and divine circumstances, practice bibliomancy, and rely on “feelings of peace”, or what is “impressed on their hearts” when it comes to determining the will of God?
Why is it that some proclaim God’s providence yet at the same time fear any “wrong” choice could throw God’s plans into disarray? Do we sometimes feel that these decisions could spark a chain of events like a spiritual “butterfly effect” in which one false move could cause chaos for the kingdom of God? Why all the confusion? Where is this coming from?
Let’s examine a likely source – the proclamations of popular women teachers who affect the theology of millions of people.
Joyce Meyer – You’re In Charge
Joyce Meyer’s promotional ad for living out God’s will in 2015 is Your Year! claims that “catching a vision is necessary before you can walk it out” so “you can finish what God has started“. According to Joyce, “the truth is that God wants to do something amazing through you.”
That’s packaged nicely, but first of all, how does one “catch a vision?” Is it contagious? Could I have caught it and not known? Also, isn’t it God who will complete the work in us that He has started (Philippians 1:6)? And of course, like any good Word of Faith preacher, the message has to be about us. God wants to do something amazing through us. I think it is amazing that fallen, wretched people are able to proclaim the Gospel, because God has granted them grace and repentance. We’re not all called to be heroes of the faith, which would actually look more like martyrdom than stardom.
More shocking is Meyer’s statement: “Until we agree with God, He can’t do anything in our life.” Really? Then how did anyone get saved? This idea that God needs our permission to do anything is common in the Word of Faith movement. We know that Joyce Meyer’s god is not sovereign, but the God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob is.
If God cannot act until we agree with Him, and yet we are seeking to find out His will, how will His will ever come about? Do we figure out His will, then agree with Him, and then His will happens? This is nonsense.
Additionally, since proponents of the Word of Faith movement proclaim we are “little gods”, then logically wouldn’t we seek our own will? I suppose that is just what is happening, as these people seek healings and fortunes while adding to their leaders’ already massive bank accounts!
Christine Caine – Eisegete Your Way to God’s Will
Eisegesis–interpreting Scripture subjectively–is what helped author and speaker Christine Caine determine God’s will. This is what she says:
When Nick asked me to marry him, I was shocked. Would God possibly give me both ministry and marriage? Could he? Was this part of my race? I’d believed I could accomplish far more for the gospel as a single woman. I was so focused on maximizing every minute of every day for the call of God in my life, I couldn’t imagine making room in my life for a husband and a family.
One night, I was speaking at a youth rally of about a thousand kids. Before I stepped onto the stage I prayed, Father, if I’m going to go further with this guy, I have to know that I’m going to do more for your kingdom married than I am single. Otherwise, I’ve given my life to you and I just want to stay single. I have to know. Do I keep dating this guy?
I sensed God’s response to me out of Deuteronomy 32:30, which says, “How could one man chase a thousand, or two put ten thousand to flight?”
Chris, God was saying to me, you can choose whichever one you want. If you don’t marry Nick, this is what you will have. You will have one thousand, like tonight. For your whole life wherever you go, I’ll use you. But one will chase one thousand to flight. Two will put ten thousand to flight. So if you do marry him, you will have a tenfold impact for my kingdom.”
It’s a good thing Caine didn’t sense God’s response to be Jeremiah 19:9: “And I will make them eat the flesh of their sons and their daughters, and everyone shall eat the flesh of his neighbor in the siege and in the distress, with which their enemies and those who seek their life afflict them.”
But it is a shame she didn’t sense God quoting 1 Timothy 2:12: “I do not permit a woman to teach or to exercise authority over a man; rather, she is to remain quiet.”
That goes for you too, Joyce!
Beth Moore – Listen for God’s Audible Voice
While Beth Moore was waiting at an airport, she began to fear that God wanted her to share the Gospel with a certain stranger. Instead, He told her to brush the man’s hair. That is God’s will? I thought it was to proclaim the Gospel to the world. I don’t think anything more needs to be said about that incident.
It’s no wonder many women are confused about how to determine God’s will for their lives, when this is the type of teaching they sit under.
Well, Jackie Chan, let’s turn to Scripture to sort this out, because God is not a God of confusion, but a God of peace (1 Corinthians 14:33).
Renew Your Mind
Romans 12:2 says, “Do not be conformed to this world but be transformed by the renewal of your mind, that by testing you may discern what is the will of God, what is good and acceptable and perfect.”
Instead of hijacking the throne of God, applying subjectively interpreted verses to our lives, or listening for a voice that advises grooming strangers at airports, we are to study God’s Word, so we’d be able to discern and do what is good. We are to fill our mind with Scripture, day and night (Psalms 1:2), not empty our minds and suspend rational thinking.
Grace To You says this about the will of God:
The will of God is not meant to be a secret we must uncover. God wants us to understand His will far more than we want to understand it. He always makes His will clear to those who seek it with an obedient heart.
Most of the real problem areas in the question of God’s will are settled for us in Scripture. The Bible reveals that it is God’s will for all of us to be:
(1 Thessalonians 4:3-7)
(1 Peter 2:13-15)
If all those things are true in your life, you may do whatever you want. Psalm 37:4 says, “Delight yourself in the Lord; and He will give you the desires of your heart.” That means that if you are conforming to God’s will in all the five ways listed above, He will place in your heart desires that reflect His will.”
Deuteronomy 29:29a says this: “The secret things belong to the Lord our God, but the things that are revealed belong to us.” God’s will and everything we need to live an obedient life are revealed in Scripture (2 Timothy 3:16). We do not need special revelations, not even one.
“Trust in the Lord with all your heart, and do not lean on your own understanding. In all your ways acknowledge Him, and he will make straight your paths (Proverbs 3:5-6).”
Soli Deo Gloria,