TIMES FOR STAYING IN THE WILL OF GOD
by Dr. Jack Hyles (1926-2001)
(Chapter 25 from Dr. Hyle's excellent book, Blue Denim and Lace)
It is always important to stay in God's will. However, at certain times of life, it becomes even more difficult than usual. Some of these times are listed here:
1. The obeying of parents during childhood. It is important for young people to remember that their parents represent God. As children obey parents now they will obey God later. This is why it is very important that parents insist that their children obey and that proper punishment be given for disobedience. Occasionally a parent sill say, "I love my child too much to discipline him." The truth is simply this: If a parent loves a child, he will spank him and discipline him. A child simply MUST be taught to obey his parents. If he gets out of the will of God here, he will no doubt be out of the will of God for the rest of his life.
2. In choosing a high school. It is very interesting to find out how many people marry their high school sweethearts. Once while preaching along these lines, I asked those who married someone they met for the first time in high school to raise their hands. It was very shocking and revealing, for a large percentage lifted their hands. Hence, if there is a choice in the choosing of a high school, it is of vital importance that the proper choice be made.
3. The centering of a young person's life. Of course, Christian young people should be good students in school, and pastors and Sunday School workers should encourage them to be so. It is usually wise, however, for young people to be very careful about extracurricular school activities. The use of spare time should be centered around the church and the church activities. Because of this, the church should provide activities for the young people. Young people choose mates from those they know best, and most of these mates are chosen from people met at the extracurricular activities where the most time is spent. A Christian young person has a far better chance to marry another Christian young person if his spare time is spent in church activities. They are also more likely to go to a good Christian college because they are spending their lives with those who are going to attend Christian colleges. It is very important that a young person center his life around the work of Jesus Christ and the New Testament Church.
4. The choosing or accepting of a date. In a public service I asked for the married folks to raise their hands who had no idea on their first date that they wanted to marry the person who later became their mate. This response was also revealing.
It seems like a small thing for a girl to say "yes" or "no" to a boy who asks for a date. However, no girl should have a date with a boy unless she that he would make a good Christian husband. Likewise, no boy should ask a girl for a date unless he feels she would make a good Christian wife. It is wise for young people not to date someone whom they feels would not make a proper mate. One never knows when admiration shall turn to love.
5. The choosing of a job or vocation. Here is one of the easiest times for a person to leave the will of God. Several good rules for choosing a job or vocation are as follows:
a. Choose one which is beneficial to mankind. I advise young people not to choose jobs such as professional sports, acting, etc. These activities were meant to be recreation, not vocation. A job does not have to be a well-paying job or a glamorous job. Some helpful jobs which could be chosen are collecting garbage, building houses, being a plumber, being an electrician, or any one of hundreds of vocations beneficial to one's fellow man.
b. It is usually best to choose a basic job. For example, a young man came to me trying to decide whether to go into the grocery business or the boat making business. I showed him that in case of depression or recession, the grocery business would still be in demand, whereas the boat business would be extinct. It is always wise to consider what economic changes would do to one's job.
c. The vocation should be honest and right. Such things as selling liquor or entering into any other wicked vocation should not even be considered.
d. One should not commit himself to a company. These are days of chain stores and monopolies. It is certainly not wrong for a person to work for a nationwide chain. It is wrong for that person to commit himself to move wherever his company wants to move him. This takes God's will out of it and makes it the will of the company. Of course, this is wrong!
e. One should always consider the availability of good fundamental churches near his place of work. It is spiritual suicide for one's children when he carelessly takes a job in an area not knowing if there is a good fundamental church available. There is a man in my present pastorate whose company is moving. He has a very responsible position with his company. Rather than leave and take his boys out of our church, he is leaving the company with which he has been for many years and is staying in Hammond. We think he is making the right decision.
f. Do not move because the company transfers you. Suppose your pastor got up in the pulpit next Sunday and said, "I am changing churches because I have been offered more money." You would be completely shocked and overwhelmed, but he has just as much right to do this as you. No person has a right to take a job because it offers more money or a promotion. The only thing that a Christian has a right to do is the will of God.
Let each Christian pray and seek God's guidance as he seeks his vocation for life.
5. The choosing of a church. "Attend the church of your choice," and "Go to church in your neighborhood" are two of many fallacious statements being made nowadays concerning church attendance. All churches are not alike! All churches do not preach and believe the Bible. It is very vital that a person choose a church that believes in the verbal inspiration of the Scriptures, the deity of Jesus Christ, and salvation by grace through faith. It is also wise to place one's life and membership in a church that is actively evangelistic and offers a strong program for the entire family. When a family chooses a church, oftentimes the mates for their children, the colleges their children will attend, as well as scores of other things are being chosen at the same time.
6. The purchasing of a house. God's will is also very important when the buying of a house is being considered. Certainly care should be taken and prayer should be offered in the making of such a decision.
It must be remembered that the will of God is the greatest thing one can do in life. There is no greater accomplishment than to be in the will of God. There is no greater joy than to be in the will of God. There is no greater safety than to be in the will of God. Let us always stay in His will and take extra care when life-changing decisions must be made.
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