You might say, “God doesn’t provide details in His Word about the specific actions in my life, so how can I know if an action pleases God?” Or a similar question is, “How can I know if something is right or wrong when God has not spoken about it in His Word?”
You Can Know
Most people think God makes it difficult to know whether what we do pleases Him. They do not believe that God provides clarity for complex or challenging situations. In their mind, the problem does not fit any of God's clear guidelines, so they do not know what decision pleases God, whether it is right or wrong, or how to identify the truth or lie.
But God does provide clarity.
Many believers wrestle with things like dancing, playing cards, drinking alcohol, etc. And unfortunately, they do not know if a specific action or behavior pleases God. What is acceptable or unacceptable, or as some people categorize life – in or out of the will of God?
Actually, you can know in every action of your life because every action, thought, or feeling in your life is actually “black and white” or “good or bad.” This is true for everyone. It pleases God, or it doesn't.
Once you understand God's clear principle, you can talk about small things like the socks you wear. For example, you could say, “I know that wearing these socks and shoes I have on right now is clearly in God’s will. How do you think I can know that for sure? Why would I be so sure that it pleases God?”
How Can You Know?
First, God says that there are two options for everything in life.
And do not present your members as instruments of unrighteousness to sin, but present yourselves to God as being alive from the dead, and your members as instruments of righteousness to God. – Romans 6:13
Nothing in God’s Word even slightly implies that there is something undefined in life beyond righteousness or unrighteousness, sin or not, good or evil.
In the Old Testament, God referred to the options as “Blessing or Curse” (Deuteronomy 11:26-28). Since that is TRUE, ALL you do is one or the other.
Second, God clearly states specific things as unrighteous or righteous.
And, He clearly says what is right or wrong in passages like the 10 Commandments, Sermon on the Mount, and even more specific items like husbands loving their wives or wives respecting their husbands.
When you are not reading God’s Word, reinforcing the obvious items in your mind, expect confusion because you trust your opinions instead of God’s truth. Remember James 3:16?
Third, God provided a simple principle for everything He did not list.
The Apostle Paul provided this truth for you in Romans 14:19-23. Please study it to plant the seed of God’s Word in your life. Here is the passage to help you get started.
19 Therefore let us pursue the things which make for peace and the things by which one may edify another. 20 Do not destroy the work of God for the sake of food. All things indeed are pure, but it is evil for the man who eats with offense. 21 It is good neither to eat meat nor drink wine nor do anything by which your brother stumbles or is offended or is made weak. 22 Do you have faith? Have it to yourself before God. Happy is he who does not condemn himself in what he approves. 23 But he who doubts is condemned if he eats, because he does not eat from faith; for whatever is not from faith is sin –Romans 14:19-23
Finally, how can you know if something pleases God or not?
The Principle Is Clear
The basic principle is whatever God has not listed in His Word is SIN or UNRIGHTEOUSNESS…
When you take the clarity of God’s Word, you can know whether your clothes are okay or not. You can also clearly understand when you are self-absorbed or self-controlled. You can know if your thinking is sinful or not. And you can understand whether what you are focused on is sinful. It either pleases God, or it doesn't!
Think about the issues in your life – job, career, relationships, and decisions needed. Think about the above, apply it to each, and see if it answers any of your questions. Applying that principle tells you whether your thinking, acting, or feeling is correct for even the most minor areas of your life.
Seeing ALL of life through the lens of RIGHTEOUSNESS or UNRIGHTEOUSNESS elevates everything you do to a level of significance.
Life is not about just believing in the death, burial, and resurrection of Jesus and then waiting to die so you can go to heaven.
Life IS about taking that incredible gift of life that Jesus has given you and the energy of the Holy Spirit that energizes the life of Jesus in you and living His life through you – instead of living YOUR life.
Please do NOT trust me on any of this! Go to God’s word and study whether this is correct. Plant His word in your life, and it will change you.
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