Continued from here.
If what you believe God is leading you to do is inconsistent with Scripture, you are being deceived. God will never lead you to do something that expressly contradicts His Word. For example, it is never God’s will for you violate one of the Ten Commandments, such as to steal, commit adultery, or disrespect your parents. Jesus said that it violates God’s will even to do these things in our hearts, so, as an example, it’s never God’s will to lust after someone you aren’t married to.
So, let’s say you are a married woman who meets a Christian man with whom you feel a strong connection. It is not God’s will for you to pursue a friendship with this man. What might start out as an innocent friendship can rapidly transform into adultery, even if nothing physical ever takes place between them. While there is no Bible verse stating, “Thou shalt not be friends with a man with whom you are not married,” we can look at what the Bible does say and apply the principles to specific situations. The same holds true for the many issues we deal with today that are not specifically addressed in the Bible but are nevertheless covered by general biblical principles.
Not only is God’s will always consistent with His Word, but it’s also always consistent with His character, which is expressly explained in the Bible. For example, God has a heart the vulnerable in society, so standing up for those who are being exploited is always going to be within His will. Extending grace to those who don’t deserve it is also always going to be within His will. Being kind to others is always going to be in His will. Here’s a good rule of thumb for the bigger picture of behavior that is always squarely within the will of God:
And the word of the Lord came again to Zechariah: “This is what the Lord Almighty said: ‘Administer true justice; show mercy and compassion to one another. Do not oppress the widow or the fatherless, the foreigner or the poor. Do not plot evil against each other.’” ~ Zech. 7:8-10
We should pray for wisdom and discernment to know when God is calling us to administer justice versus mercy as there’s a time for both. Only God knows the heart and whether justice or mercy is appropriate in a particular situation.
To be continued…
[Graphic: Cartoon of Grace dressed as a soldier, standing in a tank, saluting, and saying, “Yes, sir!” Courtesy Bitmoji.]