When I sit in my work chair—laptop in place, at least one cat insists on sitting on my knees. Any time I move my hand toward the handle that tilts the chair down, she immediately jumps to the ground before the chair even moves. She knows that move means I am getting up, so she must go down—voluntarily or not.
The cats, in fact, are attuned to many of my small motions and habits. Walking into the living room in the morning means they'll get food. An outstretched finger means, “Don't scratch that!” and a hand on their paw means “Put those claws in now.” One knows with uncanny accuracy what motions precede me walking out or in the door—since he hopes to make an escape outdoors during those seconds of time.
Pets study us. They follow our motions, and watch and listen to every nuance of their beloved “parent.” Pets align themselves so closely to our lives they know as soon as we make the slightest move where we are going or what we will be doing. They have relationship radar. That helps me understand what Paul is getting at when he suggests we will know the will of God.
Is there some Magic 8 Ball method we can employ to know God's will? People seem to want that. It would make decisions-making so easy. Paul offers a more difficult but much more rewarding method. Get close to God. Watch Him. Listen to Him. Know Him so well you can anticipate where He's going and follow along. Recognize the slightest hint that the Holy Spirit wind is blowing in a particular direction.
Knowing God’s will comes not from fortune telling games but from consistent scripture reading and passionate prayer. It involves renewing one's mind and offering oneself in service every single day. It takes a long period of companionship, not a hurried prayer of, “God, I really need to know Your will for me in this situation.”
If you sit in God's lap long enough, you learn to know when He's going to move.
(Photo courtesy of morguefile and cheriedurbin.)
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