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“How can I know for sure God’s will?”

“How can I know for sure God’s will?”

JANUARY 28, 2022

/ Programs / Key Life / “How can I know for sure God’s will?”

Steve Brown:
How can I know for sure God’s will? The answer to that and other questions, on Key Life.

Matthew Porter:
Key Life exists to communicate that the deepest message of Jesus and the Bible is the radical grace of God to sinners and sufferers. Life’s hard for everyone, so grace is for all of us, but there is a lot of confusion about how grace applies to real life. So, here’s seminary professor and author, Steve Brown and Pete Alwinson to answer your questions.

Steve Brown:
Hi Pete.

Pete Alwinson:
Hey man. Happy Friday.

Steve Brown:
Happy Friday to you too. And it is a happy Friday. Are you preaching? Well, you don’t know.

Pete Alwinson:
I’m not, no, cause we do this so far ahead.

Steve Brown:
I know. We don’t know whether we’re preaching or not, but frankly I hope I’m not. It’s kind of nice, not. But listen, it’s easier to preach as a visiting preacher than it is to preach as a pastor.

Pete Alwinson:
Week after week after week, so pray for your pastor, right?

Steve Brown:
Pray for your pastor and tell him you love him. And you’re praying for him. By the way, be sure and go to ForgeTruth.com for all things Pete Alwinson, you can find out some really good video and audio and teaching there, that’ll make a difference. And we were just discussing off air, when Pete’s audio version of his book, Like Father Like Son, comes out and it’s not, we’re not sure, but we’ll let you know when it is. And it’ll be something you’ll want to have in your audio library. By the way, Pete comes in as you know, and Fridays, we spend the entire program answering questions. Sometimes we’re right, sometimes we’re wrong, but we’re never uncertain. And, if you send your question, send it to

Key Life Network
P.O. Box 5000
Maitland, Florida 32794

In Canada, it’s

Key Life Canada
P.O. Box 28060
Waterloo, Ontario N2L 6J8

Or if you just off the top of your head, you have a question you want to get an answer, pick up the phone and dial 1-800-KEY-LIFE, and we record your question and sometimes you put it on the air. Or you can e-mail your question to [email protected] And those are places where if the Spirit should move, you could help us financially. Please do. You can charge it on your credit card. And we promise to be faithful with your gift. If you can’t, we understand, but say a prayer for the ministry. That would be appreciated too. Pete, why don’t you lead us in prayer and then we’ll get to some of these questions.

Pete Alwinson:
That’s great. Let’s pray together. Our great God, we come to you on this Friday and we pause just for a minute to praise your name and to stop and be thankful. Lord, we know life is not all about us, but life is about us. And it’s about the fact that you created us and then redeemed us and you have the plan and you worked your plan in Jesus, you came at the perfect time in history. You came and did everything that we needed for our salvation. You fulfilled the law. You took our curse on the cross. And then by your spirit, you sent the power to redeem us into our hearts. So, we honor you, we praise you. And we’re so thankful that Lord, it all revolves around what you did. And so, Father, we ask that you continue to give us encouragement and hope and help us to see that everything that happened this week is inside of your will and that you’re in charge. And so, help us to trust you. And even in worship this weekend, help us to just trust you. And to praise you and a thank you for such a great salvation that is ours in Christ. Fill us, fill our hearts and fill our pastors and priests and teachers and leaders, and use them in a big way. And now we commit this time of Q&A to you, thank you for Steve and those that do so much and behind the scenes at Key Life, thank you for these great people. And we commit our time to you now in Jesus name. Amen.

Steve Brown:
Okay, Pete, how do you know God’s will?

Pete Alwinson:
Well, you know, I heard somebody say once that 95% of God’s will is revealed already in the Bible. What do you think? Is that too high a percentage?

Steve Brown:
No. No. I think that, I think the, in terms of major things, I had a guy literally one time said to me, I’m trying to figure out God’s will on my mistress. And I said, what? And he said, I’m trying to figure it out, I want to do the right thing. I said, you want me to tell you what the right thing is? God has not stuttered when he told you what the right thing is, dummy, just do what God told you to do. And I think in almost all of the areas of our lives and I would say, really a very high percentage, God has been very clear on that thing.

Pete Alwinson:
I agree. I agree. So, I think he’s clear on the big areas and there’s some gray areas, like what job should you take, those things.

Steve Brown:
And that’s the second part, the staff person said you might want to do these two together. How do I know whether or not something is God’s calling on my life?

Pete Alwinson:
Yeah. How did you figure your calling?

Steve Brown:
I, you know, I think there are a lot of things when you’re talking in terms of ministry calling, vocation, in that sense, I think the gifts affirmed by the church, a growing sense that this is where you’re supposed to be and you can’t get away from it. And then the confirmation of Scripture and then the use of your gifts in the church and how people respond to it. Do they see you as a leader? Not one they decided on, but one that God decided on. And I think those things come together to affirm a genuine calling. I think so.

Pete Alwinson:
Yeah. That’s great. No, I like that and then I think, you know, as we think about others that maybe it’s not a ministerial calling, but a life calling. I mean, you know, you do some of the same, what are my natural talents?

Steve Brown:
It’s the same thing.

Pete Alwinson:
It is really, what am I, how did God wire me? What do I really enjoy doing? What energizes me?

Steve Brown:
That’s right.

Pete Alwinson:
What am I passionate about in life? Somebody said once, that you don’t find your calling, your calling finds you.

Steve Brown:
That’s a good statement.

Pete Alwinson:
It is. And why, when you’re young, you got to try several different things, like high school, early college, try a lot of different jobs, try different things, see what fits.

Steve Brown:
That’s true. But you know, there’s a great passage, it’s one of the Thessalonian letters.

This is the will of God, your sanctification.

Pete Alwinson:
Great text.

Steve Brown:
Now, you get that. And then the rest of the stuff is secondary you’ll know. I mean, God is not in the do my will. And you say, all right, what it is. And he says, I’m not going to tell you, you know, all of those things that we’re talking about is a part of that, but the most important thing to him and to you, is your sanctification, being set apart for him.

Pete Alwinson:
That’s right. That’s, that’s better than a high, high paying job. That’s and, and when we think of the areas of leadership in our life. God, God never gives the whole blueprint. He never gives the whole travel plan.

Steve Brown:
That’s true.

Pete Alwinson:
Don’t, just give that up right now. It takes you a step at a time and it’s more enjoyable.

Steve Brown:
That is true. And I’ve said, and people get mad at me, whatever you think God’s doing in your life, he’s probably not because he’s more concerned with you than he is with what you do.

Pete Alwinson:
Back to that. Your sanctification, our growth, our Christ likeness.

Steve Brown:
You know, I believe that if you can pray, Lord, I’ll do what you want me to do, and I’ll go where you want me to go and I don’t make any exceptions or reservations. And I ask that you make that a contract before you, regardless of my feelings. And conform my heart to the contract. I think that kind of prayer means quit worrying about it. We worry far too much about what is God’s will and what isn’t, if you can pray that prayer, that is your sanctification.

Pete Alwinson:
Oh, that’s a great point. We get legalistic about that. Oh, I’ve got to find God’s will

Steve Brown:
I know, my mentor Fred Smith used to say it was like, God throws all these toys down on the floor. And then we keep asking him, which one do you want us to play with? And, he doesn’t do that, those proclivities, those desires, our biographies, our friends, who we are and our heart determines that sort of thing.

Pete Alwinson:
Yeah, no, that’s good. That’s good.

Steve Brown:
Hey, let’s go to our phone lines.

Caller 1:
Can a Calvinist have an accident? Thank you.

Steve Brown:
You know, Jeremy who goes into our phone lines and, and, and gets these, he’s our producer for this program. And he’ll go find questions. And he said, you’re going to love this question, I haven’t stopped laughing. Can a Calvinist have an accident?

Pete Alwinson:
I know. I like it. I like it.

Steve Brown:
Well, not a Calvinist, but if you’re an Armenian or any other, if you’re, if you’re a Methodist, you can have a lot of accidents.

Pete Alwinson:
They have accidents all the time. Statistics show.

Steve Brown:
If you’re a Methodist, you have a lot more accidents than Presbyterians.

Pete Alwinson:
And 46% of all statistics are made up right on the spot.

Steve Brown:
That is, you know, and I know he was being humorous too. But it has a serious side to it. I think, that doesn’t mean we can be flippant about things like drive the car at 90 miles an hour on an icy road. You know, if I get my gun and my wife says, don’t you know, then when it’s your time to die, that you’re going to die. And I say, yeah, but it might be a thief’s time to die. You know, you’ve got to remember that we have to operate in a real world. But underneath it all, there is a safety net, isn’t there.

Pete Alwinson:
There really is. It’s amazing. And we don’t know how it all operates. And so, that’s how I would say we approach this, that there are the physical laws of God, and there are spiritual laws of God. He holds them all together. And if we violate them, you know, we get hurt.

Steve Brown:
Yeah. We really do.

Pete Alwinson:
So, there is that.

Steve Brown:
But even that hurt isn’t a surprise to God and is a part of his plan.

Pete Alwinson:
That’s right.

Steve Brown:
You know, one of the most powerful things that we’re taught in Scripture is to praise God and it’s for all things, but Paul says it again and says, for all things, not just in all things, but for all things.

Pete Alwinson:
Yeah. Yeah.

Steve Brown:
I got that messed up, but I finally got it straightened out, if I work at it, it’ll work out. And I think that’s a powerful thing. It is a recognition, that we’re not an accident, so we can praise him even with tears streaming down our faces because we know that he’s good and good all the time. And Romans 8:28 is still true.

Pete Alwinson:
Boy, that is. And that’s a verse that all of us need to lean on, no matter Armenian, Calvinist, how ever you come at it. It’s true, regardless. And, we’ve got to look for the divine working of our Lord in our lives, in all situations.

Steve Brown:
You know, I, my wife and I, we were in a car accident one time and somebody cut us off, it was their fault, but it was pretty shaking. And, I’m cussing and spitting. You know, if I hadn’t been a preacher, I’d have made an obscene gesture, I was going to try to do something. I look over and my wife’s got her head bowed and you know what she’s doing, Lord, we hate this, but you’re in charge of it, so we praise you for it. And I remember getting angry at her. This is not a time to pray. This is a time to cuss and you got to know which is which and she started laughing at me, but she got it right.

Pete Alwinson:
She got it right. Oh, that’s good.

Steve Brown:
Hey guys, we’re gonna leave right now. Thanks so much for joining us for these programs. And Key Life is a listener supported production of Key Life Network.

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