Today I welcome Jeannie Waters as my guest blogger. Jeannie and I met at a writers’ conference several years ago. We continue to connect each week to pray together and share our writing journeys. I appreciate her wisdom and heart and share it with you today. You can read more about Jeannie at the end of her post.

Sometimes we overlook what’s right in front of us but was there all along.  

Reaching for a jacket before going to shop for a new lamp, I noticed something in the closet I’d overlooked. An old lamp stored on the shelf matched the décor of the guest room perfectly. And, it had been there all along. I just didn’t see it.

Yes, I found a lamp, but it wasn’t the only thing I’d been seeking. 

Seeking God’s will

Like many at the beginning of the year, I weighed my wins and losses in 2019. I prayed for God to reveal His will for me in 2020, asking:

  • How do You want to change my heart to make me more like Jesus? 
  • Who do You want me to serve? 
  • Should I give up some responsibilities to assume others?
  • What’s the best way to use my time?
  • Among so many good choices, what are the best ones?

As I prayed and thought about the year ahead, Romans 12:2 came to mind. 

 “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.”

The words “good and acceptable and perfect” caught my heart. That’s what I longed for—God’s perfect will in each facet of my life. But how would I know what He wanted this year? A favorite verse held the answer: 

“I will instruct you and teach you in the way you should go;
    I will counsel you with my eye upon you.”
Psalm 32:8

What a relief! 

He will instruct; I will listen.

Listening and obeying are my responsibilities, while instructing and counseling are His. Whew! What a relief! 

He will counsel; I will obey.

God guides believers who study the Bible, the authoritative source for discerning His will (2 Timothy 3:16-17). We can be sure God never contradicts His Word. 

Like the lamp that sheds light in my guest room, essential guidance for life lies within my reach—on the pages of my Bible, “a lamp to my feet and a light to my path” (Psalm 119:105). 

“Knows” and “Nos” 

As we study the Bible, we find clear instructions we know to follow. Let’s call them the “knows.” Combining those truths with the attitudes and actions God forbids—the “nos”—we can begin to discern His will for our lives as we depend on the Holy Spirit to guide us (John 14:26).  

From God’s Word, we KNOW: 

  • “Rejoice always, pray without ceasing, give thanks in all circumstances” (1Thessalonians 5:16-18 a).
  • “And he said to them, “Go into all the world and proclaim the gospel to the whole creation” (Mark 16:15).
  • “Be still and know that I am God” (Psalm 46:10 a).

And some familiar NOs for God’s children are: 

  • “Do not fear or be dismayed” (Deuteronomy 31:8 b).
  • “Therefore let us not pass judgment on one another any longer, but rather decide never to put a stumbling block or hindrance in the way of a brother” (Romans 14:13).  
  • “Be angry and do not sin; do not let the sun go down on your anger” (Ephesians 4:26).

Perhaps you’ll add to the lists above with your own “knows” and “nos” as you consider God’s will for your life in 2020. You might list verses that speak to your heart in two columns—what God wants and what He speaks against. 

Scripture is a wise place to start as we as seek His will. When we study the Word this year, we can trust God to remind us to guide us to what was there all along as He applies it to us individually.

Sometimes we miss what’s right in front of us—extraordinary treasures from God’s Word that apply to our ordinary days. 

Would you share an example of how God’s Word teaches and guides you?

(All Bible verses are from the ESV). 

Jeannie Waters is a wife, mom, and grandmother who adores family fun and the Georgia Bulldogs. A retired educator, she leads an English Club-Bible study for second language learners. Jeannie writes for Refresh Bible Study Magazine, In the Quiver, and the Christian Broadcasting Network. She contributed to Breaking the Chains, Heart Renovation: A Construction Guide to Godly Character, and The Power to Make a Difference (Lighthouse Bible Studies), as well as two devotional books. Visit Jeannie at www.jeanniewaters.com for ideas on Brightening Someone’s Day. Connect with her on social media @jeanniewaters44.

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