Free to Be Wise
A Guide to Biblical Decision Making
Perfect Bound Softcover(B/W)
How can I know God’s will for my life? Should I expect God to reveal it to me mystically, or has He already revealed His wisdom in Scripture, which enables me to be wise in my decision making? What faulty methods should I avoid in making decisions, and how can I apply biblical wisdom?
Far too many have been paralyzed with indecision because they are looking for a mystical inside track to a new revelation from God. In Free to Be Wise: A Guide to Biblical Decision Making, Kirk Youngblood explains how you can avoid the common pitfalls of using a mystical approach to biblical decision making. You will be liberated to follow the wisdom God has already revealed in His Word. Youngblood has thoroughly researched this topic and explains the mysticism versus wisdom paths to learning God’s will for your life in a clear and easy-to-understand manner.
The Bible gives clear instructions about how we are to live: we are to walk in wisdom and take advantage of every opportunity to accomplish God’s will. Free to Be Wise will help you learn how to do so.
Pastor Kirk Youngblood deals with the most personal and practical issue that any Christian will ever face – knowing and obeying God’s will. He incisively exposes wrong approaches balanced by an exposition of the authentic biblical way. This book’s breadth and depth ensures that the reader will never need another volume on God’s will in order to consistently make God-honoring decisions in life. It deserves the “must read” label.
Richard Mayhue, Th.D.
Executive VP and Dean
The Master’s Seminary
Sun Valley, CA
God’s Will: An Introduction
How can a Christian know God’s will for his life? Is His will some kind of “cosmic secret” that God delights in hiding from us? Is He like some sort of divine Easter bunny up in heaven saying, “You’re getting warmer …”?
One author writes, “I have met many believers who were frustrated because they were convinced that God loved them and had a wonderful plan for their lives, but for some reason he was not telling them what it was. Are Christians like…laboratory rats, consigned to explore every dead end in the maze of life, while the One who knows the way through just watches?”
People talk about trying to “discover” (or find) God’s will. Is God’s will lost? Has God misplaced it? Millions of Christians are asking that question in one form or another. They agree with Jesus, who said, “I have come to do your will, O God,” but they’re not sure what that will is, much less how to do it.
This is a very important topic for Christians, and yet there is probably more confusion on this than any other subject among God’s people. That’s why I have written this book on knowing God’s will and making decisions biblically. I hope to help clarify this important aspect of Christian living because this is such an important issue for every believer.
This is often a greatly misunderstood subject, and it has caused a lot of damage to churches as well as to God’s people individually. I could give example after example of the terrible consequences that have resulted because people have made decisions in unbiblical ways. The danger is that if your view of how God guides is not true to the Scriptures, then you could be out of God’s will and not even know it.
This is also one of the most challenging topics to discuss in the Christian life because there are so many different ideas about how to approach it and there are a lot of strong emotions involved. Christians have always addressed the issue of divine guidance with great interest. Whatever your perspective may be on the subject, I’m asking that you do as the Bereans did and go search the Scriptures and see if these things are really so. Check me out and see if what I am saying to you is what the Word of God says.
This is a very important issue. In fact, it is one of the most important issues in the Christian life, and you should not take it lightly. How you and I make decisions will greatly determine whether or not we are actually doing the will of God.
According to Colossians 1:9-11, knowing God’s will should be the goal of every Christian. Colossians 1:9 says, “For this reason also, since the day we heard of it, we have not ceased to pray for you and to ask that you may be filled with the knowledge of His will in all spiritual wisdom and understanding …” God wants us to know His will. He is not hiding it from us. He’s not up in heaven saying, “You’re getting warmer ….” This is not some game He is playing with us. The prayer Paul prayed for these believers is for all believers of all time…that we would be filled with the knowledge of His will.
Ephesians 5:15-17 says, “Therefore be careful how you walk, not as unwise men but as wise, making the most of your time, because the days are evil. So then do not be foolish, but understand what the will of the Lord is.” Now, to rightly understand what Paul is saying here, we need to pay attention to the context in which these verses are found. The context takes us all the way back to 4:1-2. As you may know, in the first three chapters of Ephesians Paul is talking primarily about doctrinal issues, while chapters 4-6 have to do with the Christian’s walk (practical Christian living). Ephesians 5:15-17 is in that section on what it means to live the Christian life.
Verse 15 is a continuation of the discussion on how we should “walk” as Christians. It also has some information about how we should not walk. We are not to walk as unwise and we are not to be foolish. In contrast to that, we are to walk carefully, as wise men, and we are to understand what the will of the Lord is (and walk accordingly). We are also to “redeem the time” or “take advantage of every opportunity.” The fact that we are living in evil days demands that we have the best priorities, and the highest priority for every Christian should be displaying the glory of God by knowing and doing His will. The Apostle Paul says that if we are going to walk wisely, we are going to have to have an understanding of the will of God. To put it another way, if we do not know what the will of God is, we are not walking in wisdom—we are walking foolishly.
This raises all kinds of questions. One of those questions is, “What does it mean when the Bible speaks of the will of God?” What is Paul talking about here when he refers to “the will of the Lord”? Another question is, “How can we really know the will of God?” If we are supposed to walk in accordance with the will of God, then we must know what that will is.
Jay Adams writes, “Just yesterday, a fine Christian couple asked me, ‘How can we know whether God would have us adopt a child?’ Recently, a Christian man, puzzled about whether he ought to enter the ministry or look into another sort of work, stated that ‘It is very perplexing! I simply don’t know what to do. How can I know?’ Still another person wasn’t sure whether he ought to propose marriage to a girl he had been dating for over two years. Why? Because he hadn’t any assurance that this was the right thing to do.”
When you and I make decisions, we are not usually like someone who is sitting in the back corner of a library all by ourselves. More often, we are like the pilot of a commercial airliner trying to land his plane safely. Our decisions often have serious ramifications and affect not only our own lives, but also the lives of others. If communication with God is available to us in such decisions, we don’t want to be tuned to the wrong channel. Crashing is as real a possibility as a safe landing. That’s why the subject of guidance is a very important subject.
Yet confusion often reigns in the church today over these kinds of decisions. Many Christians struggle with the issue of knowing God’s will. We know that there are some things the Bible clearly says are His will, but how do we know His will for those things which the Bible does not directly address? How do we know His will for things like where we should live or what we should do for a living or whom we should marry, as well as many other important life decisions?
People have a lot of different ideas about the best ways to make decisions, and even Christians seem to be somewhat confused about decision-making. Many Christians are employing a number of methods for determining God’s will, thinking that they are doing it the way God’s wants them to do it, but I believe many of these methods are unbiblical and need to be reexamined in the light of Scripture.
Dr. Kirk Youngblood has a bachelor’s degree from Oklahoma Baptist University, a master’s of divinity from Midwestern Baptist Theological Seminary, and a doctor of ministry in expository preaching from The Master’s Seminary. He serves as pastor of Parker Bible Church in Parker, Colorado. He and his wife, Julie, have four children and five grandchildren.
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