by Rex Rouis
This is the one great question in the search for faith. We know God can do all things but which of them will He do? Faith and the things of faith have more to do with knowing what God wills to do rather than knowing what God can do.
Can we have faith if we do not know if He will do it? I think not. There would be no basis for faith. To believe that whatever comes along is God’s will is nonsense. It is like having no goals. How would you know if and when you had received? You would never know what to expect. It would be just as absurd as painting the windshield of your car black and then believing everything you hit was God’s will. No, a clear windshield is important, and so is seeking God, receiving His leading, and hearing His voice.
“So then faith comes by hearing, and hearing by the (spoken) word of God.” Romans 10:17
Faith begins where the will of God is known. The big quest in the search for faith is the search for God’s specific will. His specific will – for you, your situation, and for right now. Once you receive that you will either have faith or you won’t. And if you don’t, you now know that you need to seek Him for something else. Finding the will of God must be done before you pray, not after. That way, you know what you are praying for and what you are to receive. Prayer is not a crap shoot. It is not throwing prayers against the wall to see which ones will stick.
Knowing God can do it is the basis of hope. Knowing God will do it is the basis of faith. There are those who do not believe you can know the will of God. They do not believe that God speaks personally to individuals today. And all their theology stems from that incorrect view. God is a hands-on God, and He cares for us in a personal way. He deals with us today in the same way He dealt with individuals in the Old Testament, the New Testament, and most specifically the Gospels. Jesus talked directly to people and He still does today, except now He does it through the Holy Spirit.
God still speaks today but you must seek Him till you hear Him. And when you do hear Him you will know His will and will have the answer to your hope. Then you will know – not only that He can do it, but that He will do it. And upon that you can walk through fire or stormy seas.
I am exactly where the heart of this message is.
For the journey God has created for you author….may God bless it.
Author..I just want you to know your HOPE and FAITH are moving mountains just by this post. This is different than anything
I will reverence this post for encouragement.
You have no idea how God has just used you to help me.
Thank you for your obedience to the lord
Monique – Thank you so much for your comment today. It really encouraged me. Keep seeking God. He the answer to everything you need. And, as you receive the answers you are seeking, you also receive a little more of Him. It is the big win-win process of the Bible. He calls it Salvation. We love you. Rex
Why did God make my son gay. He is 12. Why won’t God fix it?
God didn’t do that. It is an unclean spirit that needs to be cast out and your son has to first get saved and want that demon out.
Thanks Marcus and doc for your comments. This article is so confusing, and poorly written.
The only thing we know God will do is resurrect us to a new life with Him. That gives us the hope to make it through this life. I have faith God will give me a perfect life in the end. That faith gives me the hope to not be bitter in this life. He never promised to make this life easy. He did promise to stay with us if we have faith and help us through.
If Jesus knew God’s will for him, why did he still pray in the Garden of Gethsemane for an alternative to going to the cross? You can pray for something but still trust that whatever the outcome, God is good and his plans are perfect. Many people are praying for a desired outcome, they don’t know what God will do, but trust and have faith.
Faith Mechanic, your theology is wrong here and you are misleading many. Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego knew God could save them, but weren’t certain of God’s will for their situation but still trusted him and had faith that whatever the outcome, God was good and knew what he was doing. Even Jesus knew God could step in and save him from death on the cross, and in the Garden of Gethsemane prayed for his life to be spared, but surrendered his situation to God’s will for him, trusting that whichever outcome, God is good. Many readers of your article are praying and unsure how their situation will turn out but are trusting God (just like Shardrach, Meshach and Abednego) and you are on here saying they should know God’s will for their situation and if not they have no faith? Your theology is flawed. I pray every reader of this article is not misled and hurt by this. To all I say, keep praying, keep trusting, even if God doesn’t answer or didn’t answer how we thought or had hoped God is still good and loved you and works all things for our good.
I’m with you, Marcus. Several thoughts on this site I’m finding to be unsettling. For instance, the following line of thinking is completely unbiblical, “Finding the will of God is must be done before you pray, not after. That way, you know what you are praying for and what you are to receive. Prayer is not a crap shoot. It is not throwing prayers against the wall to see which ones will stick.”
This comment is problematic, because prayer is the tool and oftentimes act of faith itself in discerning God’s will for a particular situation. I pray because I believe God can intervene, and I can hope for and have faith in a particular outcome. But I don’t always know the Lord’s will, which is why I’m praying in the first place. What the author has said here makes no sense, for how are we supposed to discern God’s will without first praying? And no, prayer is not a crap shoot, but I’ve found it to be most often a process of trial and error; and, in fact, in disagreement with what the author has written, some prayers seem to stick and some don’t. Prayer is many times the process of discovering God’s will through scripture, other people, or direct communication with God. For any situation where we’re struggling to discern what to say or do, the prayer is “Lord, align my heart with your will.” Prayer precedes the revelation of God’s will.
However, what the author might be referring to here are those times when we know the will of God and we pray specifically for that will. But that’s not what the author has written here. I’m not sure what he means.
Good work Dude.
That is what breaks my heart. When I know God can but does not…
I always pray for the terminally ill children, as well.
Many are the plans in a mans heart, but it is the Lord’s purpose that prevails.
There is no guarantee that God will answer our prayers no matter what the circumstance. We are told that the rain will fall on the just and the unjust. Life is a crapshoot for all of us because sin entered the world. Sometimes people get sick and die regardless of how good we think they are. Sometimes they get better. If God answered every single one of our prayers the way that we want then our world would be some sort of paradise. But that is not the consequence of sin. God said that in the day that you eat of it (The tree of the knowledge of good and evil) you will surely die.
The good news is that we don`t have to fear because in the end, God wins and we are told how we can be a part of That Kingdom of Heaven where pain and death no longer prevail.
I audibly heard his voice while working,he said ….never let them lead you down the wrong path…very bold voice…it blew my mind and I have not been the same since
The paralyzed man in Luke chapter 5 says “If you are willing, you can heal me.” The man knew God could heal him but didn’t know if he would. I think that’s faith and Jesus went ahead and healed him.
Tom – Faith begins when the will of God is known. Knowing that He can is not good enough. Most people know that much. You must know that God WILL heal YOU, right NOW, of that SPECIFIC THING. It is not up to us and it is not open ended.
Faith, the Bible says, comes by hearing, and hearing by the (personal spoken) word of Christ. Only then can you fully know that you will receive the thing that you prayed. (Romans 10:17, Mark 11:24)
This spoken word of God to your heart is the substance (reality, foundation, title-deed) of the things you are hoping for, the evidence of things not (yet) seen. (Hebrews 11:1)
This is why we must put the word into our hearts and seek His voice. The word on the page comes alive when it becomes the word in our heart. God bless. Rex
Your theory is absurd . So unless the person who is praying for their loved one to be cured of cancer knows the will of God is ( will they be healed or not ) their prayers will go unanswered . Nobody , not you, me or any theologian walking this planet knows the answers to these things. You are spiritually proud beyond being helped. Your view is very cruel and elitist . You should not be allowed to have mind share of air space because I think your view of who God is is very debilitating and cruel. Me. Like you use their knowledge to build platforms that were never meant to be raised.
Why God answers some prayers and not others is a mystery. A mystery your feeble theory does not solve. To day that God only answers prayers where the out come is known ahead of time requires no faith at all.
Faith is praying the prayer and holding onto faith and continuing to move in faith when you have absolutely no clue as to if anything will happen or not.
Thanks but I don’t think your close.
Having survived a death sentence from cancer… this I now know.
It isn’t about the healing.
It’s about the healer.
I am thankful for every cancer cell that tried to take my life, for it was in that storm I felt His presence. I no longer fear death.
His presence is everything.
I survived and lived to tell about it.
But whether I lived or died, I am His.
I had the faith of a mountain, but could not move a mustard seed.
I search my soul for unrepented sin. I found none.
When in my weakness – and barely able to take a breath – all I had was total surrender to His will.
Nothing (not even life) mattered.
Only His presence.
It isn’t about the healing.
It’s about the healer. ✝️A
Daniel – Faith is knowing beforehand that God will do it. That knowing can only come from Him. Faith is not a black box where sometimes things come out and other times they do not. That is not faith. Knowing ahead of time IS faith. You are to walk by what you know from God and not what you see and feel in the world.
You are angry and hurt. I get it. We are to seek God and let Him speak to us. That is the basis of faith. If we do not do that we are in the dark. Hope hopes so, faith knows so. We love you. Rex
What about the 3 Hebrew boys
God is so much bigger than us. His plans are often beyond us, and sometimes it is only years later (or never) before we understand why something happened in our lives. While God has given us many promises and tools to understand Him better, I don’t think we can predict His every move. We can lean on his promises, Romans 8:28, “And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose.” sometimes we have to take a step forward in faith in order to see what God will do. If we spend our lives waiting to determine what God will do before He does it, we won’t have to take a step of faith, because (Like Jeff said earlier) we’ll already know. Knowing and trusting can’t be the same thing.
Alyssa – We can only predict the things God speaks to us. Romans 8:28 is referring to praying in the spirit, and knowing that we are speaking the perfect will of God. Not every thing coming down the road of life is from God. We walk in Him and respond to this world through obedience and faith. We won’t understand everything but we can understand enough. One step at a time. Rex
I had a friend post on Facebook today, “Faith is not believing that God can, it’s knowing that He will.” He sited Matthew 21:22 and John 14:13 to support this quote. I could not disagree any more with him. In fact, I believe that to be a misleading, false hope giving and potentially dangerous quote. It seems more a Word Of Faith belief if anything. I opened up my bible with prayer and also researched some commentaries and came across this webpage. I read your article and I agreed to a point with some of what you had to say but I also found some of your view to be a bit questionable. I am by no means a scholar. In fact, I aspire to always be a student of the Word of God, constantly learning and growing. I am however, really struggling with a few of your comments. Maybe I’m just misunderstanding what you’re trying to relay.
At the onset you said, “Faith and the things of faith have more to do with knowing what God wills to do rather than knowing what God can do. Can we have faith if we do not know if He will do it? I think not.” Faith and hope are similar but there is a distinction between the two. I would argue that there is a distinction between faith and knowing as well. For example, if I held out my hand in a clenched fist and told 2 people that I had a hundred dollar bill in my hand and one said he believed me and the other said he did not believe me, I would dissolve both of their opposing beliefs the moment I opened my hand and revealed to them that I did in fact possess a hundred dollar bill. How so? To the one who believed I did not, his belief was obviously proven incorrect. But to the one who believed that I did, he now knew that I did. Seeing the proof, he no longer had a reason to believe. There was no long a reason for faith since he had proof. “…but hope that is seen is not hope; for why does one still hope for what he sees?” Romans 8:24b.
You also wrote, “Faith begins where the will of God is known.” As believers, we are not a people of proof but of faith. People often say, “I’ll believe it when I see it.” No, you won’t believe, you’ll know. Knowledge dissolves belief, faith, hope because knowing only comes after the fact. Faith is before the fact, trusting, believing. Hebrews 11:1 states, “Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen.” Faith is something hoped for, not something already proven or known.
Again, perhaps I misread or misunderstood. I’m open to learning. I have an ear to hear (or actually an eye to read).
I’m curious about one more thing. Where you quoted Romans 10:17, “So then faith comes by hearing, and hearing by the (spoken) word of God,” you added the word “spoken” in parenthesis. I’m just curious why?
Daniel – I am sorry I did not answer your question about Romans 10:17. The Greek word for ‘word’ in the verse is ‘rhema,’ and it means a spoken personal word, a person-to-person communication. This type of communication is more than just reading it in your Bible. It must ‘come alive’ to you in your heart. It is a ‘hearing’ directly from Christ Himself to you. It is a beautiful thing. It is the basis of faith. Rex
I am in this position right now, I am seeking guidance on a move and career so I was doing some studying on this exact subject. I enjoyed your write up in the article very much. I also agree that Jeff has a some good insight to add with James 4:13-15 I believe we do and can not know God’s will on everything but we need to trust him at times but he did make a way for us to receive answers by way of spiritual gifts from our relationship with God through the church by way of prayer and the holy spirit via http://biblia.com/books/nkjv/1Co12.9. I will continue seeking him, studying and praying.
John – See my belated response to Jeff below. We can know the will of God sufficient to follow Him. At times, it will take great effort. That is why Jesus spent most of His nights in prayer, not sleeping like His guys.
God leads us mostly through our own hearts. The Gifts are mostly only for confirmation. It is dangerous to guide your life by the utterances of others.
It may take much time effort and even fasting. But in the process you grow into the ‘fullness and stature of Christ.’ Which is God’s goal for us. God bless. Rex
There are numerous examples – every day – where God doesn’t answer the prayer the way we would like. The article seems to suggest that such people lack faith, which is false and can only lead to false guilt.
Did you read the article? The whole point is that we are to determine the will of God prior to praying, not afterward by accepting everything that comes as an answer. Only when you know the will of God, can you know with confidence that it will actually happen. And only when you know that it will happen can you declare with confidence that it will happen. It all comes down to hearing His voice.
So faith comes from hearing, and hearing by the (spoken) word of Christ. Romans 10:17
Taking His voice out of the equation makes the act of believing a work of our will, telling God to do our will. Faith does not tell God what to do. It hears what He wants to do (on our behalf) and believes it. Then it prays ‘for His will to be done on earth as it is in Heaven.’
I took your link off. I does not matter what a book says. Jesus is clear – “Your faith has made you whole.”
According to your post, (if I understand it right) before I can have people pray for me if I am sick, I must know if it is Gods will for me to be healed first which is impossible to know all the time…James 5:14-15
I’m not writing this with a critical spirit, but I think you may have a simplified view of Gods will.
In the garden of Eden God told Adam to
1. Dress and keep the garden (known revealed will)
2. Eat of any tree except one
—if he wanted to eat an apple, that was fair game
—if he felt like eating a peach, that was allowable, etc
My point is that he did not have to agonize in prayer over which fruit to eat, God left that choice to him in Gods expansive will.
According to Prov 3:5-6, my job is to trust in the Lord with all my heart, don’t rest solely on my ability to reason, acknowledge Him in every decision I make, and the resulting promise is that He will direct my path.
I am not a good navigator and can easily get lost. I would have no idea how to get from Chicago to Santa Monica without a GPS or Map. But if you put me on Route 66 all I have to do is stay within the boundaries of that path and continue to move forward and eventually I will reach my destination. Any choice within the two boundaries of the path are fine, and any that are outside of the path, God will either close the door to or convict me that it is a wrong choice.
I do not always know whether God will close the door until I attempt to walk through it.
What you are proposing (if I understand your post correctly) is that it is always possible to know exactly what Gods will is before we pray or act.
That is just not the case. I Cor 16:7, James 4:14-15, etc…
Jeff – Sorry it took so long to reply to you.
You can have people pray for you but you will not have faith yourself until you know the will of God. Yes, it is impossible to know the will of God all the time but to have faith you must seek Him until you know the will of God for the thing you are hoping for. When you know it, you will have faith. ‘Faith comes by hearing…’ Faith comes when you hear the will of God for YOU on that thing. “Faith begins where the will of God is known.”
We can know the will of God. He wants us to know it. Trouble is, it takes effort in the word of God, and in the spirit of God to get it. It does not just happen – ‘if God wills it.’ That is why Hebrews 11: 6 says that He rewards those that ‘diligently seek Him.’ Such seeking is connected to faith.
But you have to seek for that path. It doesn’t just come by turning it over to Him and taking whatever comes. After all, there is a Devil. It is not about our own reasoning or head knowledge. We are to seek HIM and hear from HIM – this is what we are to trust in and lean upon, not us ‘figuring it out on our own.’
Again, this verse does not mean that you just ‘turn it over to Him and everything that comes is from God.’ That is not how anybody in the Bible operated. They had to continually seek Him and hear from Him for direction.
Your route is not God’s way. He demands more of you and me. Babies could crawl down that road without ever growing. You wouldn’t even need the Word of God. God could put a Holy Ghost shock collar on you and you’d be good. That is not growing up in Christ.
You won’t understand everything about everything, that would not require any faith. But you can know the next step, and that is sufficient for faith. Jesus told Peter, “Come.” That was enough information for him to make the decision to swing his leg over the side of the boat or not. Faith came when Peter heard that word.
I Cor 16:7 – Paul was not yet sure of the will of God on that issue. That is why he mentions hope not faith.
James 4:14-15 – Sure, we don’t know everything that will happen or what we are to do ‘tomorrow.’ But that does not mean that we are to walk around in the dark and take anything that comes. It also does not mean that we are to just stay ignorant about the will of God for our future.
We are to diligently seek Him and hear His voice about His will. Many things we will know, and many things we will not. For the things we do not know, we must walk in the hope of His goodness and faithfulness. For the things we do know, we are to hold onto them and walk in faith expecting.
I really appreciate your comments and questions. I hope I answered them in some way.
Hello, I really enjoy your site. but I have a question and not sure where to write it. My question is Where do we go when we die? Is it directly to heaven if your a believer and hell if your not. Or do we just sleep till judgement and then it will be decided where we will go?
On the cross, Jesus said to the one thief also hanging on a cross,”Today you will be with me in Paradise.” There is also a conversation of one in Hades asking for one in Paradise to give a drop of water, which of course was impossible due to the great casm between them. The illistration in the Bible shows that they all are not asleep.
Interesting question. Many speculate that the Christians in Heaven will be spirits without a body. Until the Rapture, Jesus will be the only one in Heaven with a glorified body – one still having the nail holes in His feet and hands. He will carry those for all eternity as a reminder of the price He paid. Once the Rapture occurs those in Heaven and those on their way to Heaven (on earth) will all receive their new glorified bodies.
I would presume that it would be similar on the other end. The rich man in Hades was visible and recognizable in bodily form but it does not actually say that he had a body. But he will someday have one and then he will be in Hell forever. Serious stuff!
Thank you so much for your blog – I “stumbled upon it” a few weeks ago. Today’s post resonates particularly strongly with me. I wrote in my journal earlier this month that I have been believing more in the evil one’s power to harm me than in God’s desire to bless me (that God’s power is greater has not been the question). And just earlier today, I had written that it’s time for me to actually take God at his Word in my own life. I have faith in God, and that faith is based on his Word.
God is a really good God. This particular topic touched directly on the prayer point I’m believing God for and I strongly believe that he will do it. Thank God for HopeFaithPrayer Blog it is really inspiring.