In the next few days Leslie is going to invite you to participate in a special focus group on her new book The Emotionally Destructive Marriage. Watch your mailbox for your video invitation. Spaces are extremely limited so don't delay.
I hope you have been watching the new videos I've been posting each week on my home page. Are there any thoughts? Please leave your comments or questions on the YouTube response form. We'd love to hear whether they're helpful and what topics you'd like to see me address in this format in the future.
- If you live locally, please join me at the Care Net Women's Ministry Share Fair being held at the Schuylkill Country Club, Schuylkill County, PA to discuss Becoming the Best Possible You.
To register, go to http://bit.ly/1cvHFRx
Knowing God's Will
Have you ever felt that you missed God’s perfect will and are now stuck forever living in Plan B or even Plan Z? Perhaps you think you should have married someone else or chosen a different career path. Over the years, some of us may have made choices that directly contradict God’s word. Other times we have tried hard to discern God’s will, but at times still end up unsure, and questioning whether we made the right decision.
Knowing God’s will can be much simpler than we often perceive it to be. Let me share with you three things that we can know about God’s will:
God tells us what to BE. Although we might not know for sure what career path God wants for us, there are many passages in the Bible where God clearly tells us what He wants us to be. Throughout His Word, He tells us to be loving, forbearing, patient, kind, forgiving, generous, thankful, fruitful, humble, obedient, faithful, self-controlled, pure and a myriad of other descriptions of character traits that He’d like us to develop. God tells us directly and specifically what we are to be or become.
God tells us what to DO. The Bible already tells us a great deal about what we are to do as Christ-followers. He tells us that wherever we are, we are to pray without ceasing, to give thanks in all things, to love our enemies, to bless those who hurt us, to speak the truth in love, to spread the gospel, to help widows and orphans, to encourage one another, to submit to one another, to glorify God, to bear one another’s burdens, to overcome evil with good and more. These Christ-like character qualities are to become the attitudes and actions of the Christian who wants to be holy and thus be in God’s will.
God permits personal choices within the wisdom of His word. Making personal choices is often the one where we struggle the most. Do I become a doctor, lawyer or a missionary? Should I take this new job or not? These type of decisions are often made using a combination of God’s word, wisdom, the counsel of others and personal preference. If hardship and suffering accompany our choice, we start to question whether we have made an awful mistake and missed God’s will.
Sam was offered a wonderful job opportunity with a new company in California. He prayed about it, had the endorsement of his wife and kids and other good friends, and believed that God was giving him the green light to accept this new job. After only five short months, the company went out of business and Sam and his family were left with no income, no benefits and a lot of bills. “I really thought I heard the Lord tell me to move,” Sam said as he scratched his head bewildered. “How do you ever know what God’s will is or if you’re making the right decision?”
Like Sam, most of us look at temporal things--like success, personal happiness and good results--in order to confirm that our decision was in line with God’s will. Had Sam’s company continued to prosper, Sam would have not have doubted his decision as God’s will. No one who is happily married has second guessed whether she married the right person. We believe that if our choice is in God’s will, then good results or blessings will follow. If bad things happen, we conclude it is because we must have stepped out of God’s will.
But is this thinking Biblical? The apostle Paul thought he was doing God’s will but ended up being shipwrecked (Acts 27). Perhaps knowing God’s will isn’t discerned by looking at the temporal benefits of a decision, but in looking at the eternal results. Is it possible that Sam discerned God’s will correctly after all? Sam was to move to California with this new job, but not for any temporal pleasures he might have attained with a great job and a secure income. It was God’s will that Sam move to California because he knew that the hardship that would come would build the character qualities of Jesus into Sam and his family’s life.
When we believe that God’s preeminent will is to conform us to the image of Christ, then any decision that we make, God can and does use for that purpose. This does not mean we should throw caution to the wind and make reckless choices. However, we need never fear that if we have made a decision that results in difficulties or hardships (whether because of foolish decision making or because we stepped out in faith believing something was God’s will but now everything has gone wrong), God’s will has been thwarted.
God can and does bring us back to Plan A--his best plan for our lives--because He never deviates from that plan no matter what decisions we make. He tells us in Romans 8:28 and 29 that He will cause all things, the good decisions we make and the bad ones, to work together for our good for those of us who love God. That promise has no time limit. There are no Plan B’s. He, who has begun a good work in us, will finish it (Philippians 1:6).
If you’d like more help in understanding this process, a portion of this teaching was taken from my book, How to Live Right When Your Life Goes Wrong.
P.S. I want to warmly welcome ALL new subscribers who have joined our community since last month! You are going to love the resources you find to help you grow. I'm thrilled to have you here!
P.P.S. Don't keep this to yourself! Forward this newsletter to your friends and colleagues or send them to www.leslievernick.com so they can register for themselves.
Leslie Answers Your Questions
What Scripture Supports Separation from a Destructive Spouse?
Question: I have been separated from my husband for over two years. God brought his infidelity to light and freed me from over 15 years of his pornography, deception, lack of maturity and responsibility, neglect, manipulation, etc. Reading your book, The Emotionally Destructive Relationship, helped me understand more about what I had been living. I am looking forward to the new book soon to be released.
I don't believe that God wants us to reconcile without change being made. I have learned many things and am changing and growing. I am not seeing that as much in my spouse even though his words say he's sorry and he loves me and wants everything to be different.
Read More >>
Add your (or view other) comments to Leslie's answer to this question by clicking the link below.
Knowing God’s Will
Coaching Spots Available
Take look at the upcoming events to watch for from Leslie.
BOOK GIVE AWAY
The Smart Stepmom Book by Ron L. Deal and Laura Petherbridge.
GIVE HER WINGS GIVE AWAY
See the winners of the Give Her Wngs necklace giveaway.
LESLIE ANSWERS YOUR QUESTIONS
What Scripture Supports Separation from a Destructive Spouse?
HERE ARE THE DETAILS FOR THIS WEEK'S BOOK GIVEAWAY:
Due to the issue we had with lost email addresses in one of our previous newsletters, we are running the contest again to win The Smart Stepmom by Ron L. Deal and Laura Petherbridge. If you are one of the people that responded to the initial email, you are automatically entered into the new drawing.
The Smart Stepmom
Book by Ron L. Deal and Laura Petherbridge
The stepmother's role often is ambiguous and underappreciated, and frequently it carries unrealistic expectations. The book answers women's concerns and questions, including: How can I be a caretaker and a key emotional connector in the family if the children don't accept my influence? How should I cope with children who are confused about their family and torn between loyalty to their biological mother and me? When should I step back in conflicts and when should I insist that my husband stand up for me? In addition, it addresses the spiritual and emotional climate of the home, providing perspective and guidelines to help stepmothers and their families thrive.
To win this book, please email your name to firstname.lastname@example.org by midnight Sunday, August 11th.
I was very touched by all of your entries for the "Give Her Wings"
necklace and had a hard time selecting just one winner. So, I'm pleased to say I've decided to give away ten necklaces.
The winners are listed below and will be contacted by my office.
Lanie B, Tammi W., Lorie R., Madeline H., Jan, Debra, Alice C., Renae L., Melinda W., and Paige K.
Aug 10 CareNet Women's Ministry Share Fair, Schuylkill Country Club, Schuylkill County, PA
Sep 11-14 AACC Conference, Nashville, TN
Oct 4-5 The Bible Chapel Women's Retreat, McMurray, PA
Oct 12 Healthy Relationships Event, Reeder’s United Methodist Church, Pen Argyl, PA
Oct 22 AACC Webinar on “Counseling Strategies That Work for the Emotionally Destructive Marriage” 6 to 8pm
Nov 23 Domestic Violence Conference, First Baptist Church of Glenarden, Glenarden, MD (Open to the Public)
Nov 29-Dec 1 Singles Conference at America’s Keswick, Whiting, NJ
Dec 1 Singles Conference at America’s Keswick, Whiting, NJ
|HERE'S WHAT PEOPLE ARE SAYING ABOUT LESLIE...
"To attend a seminar led by Leslie Vernick is to be embraced by her thoughtful and compassionate heart, yet challenged by her practical insights, self-tests and tips. We left with a deeper understanding of who we were, where we had been stuck, and how to move forward in our walk with Christ."
— Brenda H. McCord,
Moody Bible Institute
|LESLIE WELCOMES YOUR QUESTIONS
Leslie wants to help you grow in your personal and relational effectiveness. Send your questions about dealing with difficult people, stress, or relationship issues to:|
Then, visit Leslie's Blog as she posts her responses to one question per week.
Note: Due to the volume of questions that Leslie receives, she is unable to respond to every question.