Series Code: RQRA
Program Code: RQRA000004A
00:01 I don't understand
00:04 why did this have to happen to me?
00:08 I feel like I just can't make sense of things.
00:12 I need answers.
00:15 Where is God?
00:21 You know, we all have questions,
00:24 we all have difficult things that we go through,
00:28 things that we just don't understand,
00:30 and times when, you know, we need answers,
00:33 and that's the purpose of this show,
00:34 Raw Questions Relevant Answers.
00:36 My name is Mark Paden, I am a freelance filmmaker.
00:39 These are my friends and co-hosts,
00:40 Michelle Doucoumes, a college professor
00:42 and Dee Casper, a brand evangelist for ARtv.
00:46 And, you know,
00:47 what we're here for is just to gain answers from the Bible.
00:50 A lot of different young people have sent us in questions
00:54 and we want to answer these from the Bible
00:56 'cause at the end of the day, it's not us that have answers.
00:59 We're just going to help you, guys.
01:01 This is really us
01:02 as fellow human beings in need of divine grace
01:06 coming to the place where answers can be found.
01:08 So that's where we're going to start off at.
01:11 Our first question
01:12 that we are going to be tackling today
01:15 is coming from a young man,
01:18 age 21, in Tennessee.
01:20 And his question is, "How much do we pray
01:23 before God gives us an obvious answer
01:26 as to what His will for us is?"
01:29 So, I guess, I can jump into this one.
01:31 I think that circumstances change everything, right?
01:34 We don't have like this set template
01:36 that if you don't get an answer in X amount of days
01:38 that you can never know or you will definitely know.
01:41 Here's what we do know,
01:43 God does want you to know what His will is for your life.
01:46 We know that that's the case.
01:48 God does want His will to be carried out in our life.
01:51 And so the safe place to begin is by searching the Word of God
01:55 and in time in prayer just ask Him,
01:56 "God, I want to know what Your will is,
01:59 and I need clarity, I need guidance.
02:01 I have a large decision before me.
02:02 I don't trust myself in this situation,
02:05 and I need to hear from You."
02:07 And the safest place to hear from Him
02:08 are the places where God has spoken in the past,
02:11 through His Word,
02:12 through His providential leadings in our life,
02:13 through prayer, and through godly counselors,
02:16 people through whom God has spoken to you
02:19 in the past is kind of the counsel that I give.
02:21 Not necessarily based upon someone's title
02:23 but people that God has used to speak to you in the past.
02:27 That's the best place to start.
02:29 The timeline is something that isn't up to us,
02:31 but if we're going to where God has spoken in the past,
02:33 I fully trust and believe that God will make
02:35 His will clear in the time that we need it.
02:40 You know, I think of a story in the Bible
02:42 in the Book of Daniel.
02:44 Daniel is shown some things in prophecy
02:46 that he doesn't understand and he has questions about.
02:49 And we find in the end of Daniel 8:27, it says,
02:53 "Daniel fainted and was sick for days afterwards
02:57 and then he rose and went about his business,
02:59 no one understood the vision."
03:01 And it comes down, years later, we find chapter 9,
03:05 the first year of King Darius that he's praying again,
03:09 he's praying for his people,
03:11 he's praying with his whole heart.
03:14 And God actually sends him another vision
03:16 that helps him understand what he didn't before.
03:20 And it teaches me an important lesson,
03:22 Daniel never quit praying.
03:25 I don't know, you know, why all of this happened.
03:29 We see some insights in this passage
03:31 into some of the battle between good and evil
03:34 that's happening around this.
03:36 But there are times where I believe that
03:40 we just continue to pray, to leave it to God,
03:42 but yet he got up, he went about his business.
03:46 And that was a big thing.
03:48 He didn't let those unanswered questions
03:50 stop him from doing what God had called him to do.
03:54 He just kept doing what he was called to
03:57 and then in the right way in the right time,
03:59 God did come through and revealed that.
04:01 You know, there's a situation briefly in Daniel 10.
04:04 After this where God kind of reveals
04:06 why there was a tarrying,
04:07 there were other variables involved.
04:09 He said that He was warring...
04:10 The angel was sent to speak to Daniel
04:12 says that he was warring with the king of Persia
04:14 and that's why there was a delay.
04:16 And that's one of the things I believe that God
04:18 will do for us is help us to better understand the why.
04:22 We may not understand
04:23 while we're waiting in the moment,
04:25 but God does eventually help us
04:26 to at least contextualize the wait.
04:28 We may not have all the details this side of heaven,
04:30 but He will give us some form of context
04:32 to help us with that, and I'm grateful for that.
04:34 You know, I think the other thing too
04:36 that is in this question
04:37 is looking for an obvious answer
04:40 as to what His will is.
04:42 You know, I think, sometimes,
04:43 we want a lightning bolt from heaven,
04:45 we want God in a cloud speaking to us
04:47 like He did with the Israelites but the reality is that
04:50 sometimes that just may not happen.
04:52 You know, God leads us through His providence,
04:54 through His Spirit, through the Word of God,
04:57 but we have to remember that
04:59 sometimes through the Word of God,
05:00 it's sometimes through reading the Bible
05:01 and understanding the principle behind it.
05:03 You know, if you're comparing two things
05:04 and you want to do one and there's two options
05:08 or do they both coincide with the will of God?
05:10 Sometimes, they don't.
05:11 Is it consistent not only with the Word of God
05:14 but also our place in history?
05:16 Is this something that God would have us be doing
05:18 at this time, you know?
05:21 Yeah, you know, similar to that,
05:23 it just reminds me of something that...
05:28 Scripture talks about basically
05:30 the idea that if we're willing to do God's will
05:35 that we're going to know,
05:37 and I think that's a huge principle.
05:39 Do I pray until my heart is surrendered
05:43 to what God's will is?
05:44 And then that gives Him room to work.
05:46 And so, maybe it's not always just do I pray
05:50 until I exactly know or God speaks with?
05:52 Do I pray till I'm surrendered?
05:53 And sometimes people feel like,
05:55 "Well, if God didn't speak to me as clearly,
05:57 does that mean I'm not close to God?"
05:59 But there's not necessarily that correlation, for instance,
06:03 God spoke through a donkey to the Prophet Balaam
06:07 but Balaam was not close to God.
06:09 That was just the way God had to reach him
06:11 but that wasn't God's ideal.
06:13 God's ideal is building that relationship
06:16 where with a surrendered heart were speaking to Him
06:20 and then the path is open, the communication is open
06:24 to be able to hear God at the right way in time.
06:26 One more example by contrast is at Mount Sinai,
06:28 two different instances of Mount Sinai,
06:31 the Israelites hear from God with like fire
06:33 and smoke in a pyrotechnic display in a loud voice,
06:36 but Elijah, many years later, at the very same location
06:39 hears from God with a still small voice.
06:44 And the context varies, that religious maturity
06:48 of the two parties present is different even.
06:50 But obvious answers are when God speaks
06:53 and He's clear, not necessarily how loud
06:55 or what pyrotechnics are involved
06:57 or what miracles happen,
06:59 it's that conviction that God has spoken
07:01 and that's why I should respond to,
07:03 not necessarily the means of how it's distributed.
07:06 Very good.
07:07 So let's go on and let's hit the next question.
07:11 Similar topic, and this is from a female in Texas,
07:15 my home state, greatest state in the world, and she's 21.
07:19 "When you hear something you think is from God,
07:22 but it seems like the farthest thing from happening,
07:24 do you go on expecting it to happen?
07:26 Or move on and potentially miss out?"
07:28 So that statement about Texas,
07:30 was that from the Lord, Mark?
07:35 No, that wasn't Jesus, this is a really good question
07:38 as far as, yeah, when do I know that this really was God
07:43 when it doesn't seem like it.
07:46 And, I mean, there are some principles
07:48 that we are given in Scripture
07:50 that do help us to say some of this.
07:53 You know, we're told that if it does not line up
07:55 with the Word of God,
07:56 then we need to be careful of that,
07:58 to the law, and to the prophets.
07:59 And I'm not going to conjecture over
08:01 whether Texas being the best state is in Scripture,
08:04 but that's one thing that I think of to start with this,
08:07 first of all measuring it by that.
08:10 There are times where God has
08:13 amazing phenomenal calls that He gives to people,
08:15 for instance, speaking of Elijah again.
08:17 Elijah is given a call from God
08:18 to say that it's not going to rain until he prays again.
08:22 But everything that Elijah sees says the opposite,
08:25 the hills are green, the streams are lively,
08:28 and he had to choose to believe what God said
08:30 in spite of what he saw,
08:32 and god eventually vindicated what He had said.
08:35 There were times when God calls us
08:37 into difficult situations like that to test our faith
08:39 that draws closer to Him.
08:41 And it teaches that when it all looks dark,
08:43 God is faithful.
08:44 There are moments where that does happen,
08:45 so there are case studies throughout Scripture
08:47 where this takes place.
08:49 Is that the norm?
08:50 Not necessarily, but if that's the call
08:51 that God has and He's spoken clearly
08:54 through a multitude of vehicles, right?
08:55 Through prayer, providence, Christian council in the Word,
08:58 everything's pointing at one direction.
09:01 Waiting on the Lord during that season would probably
09:03 be in your best interest at that stage.
09:05 And sometimes, the waiting teaches us something
09:08 that we're going to learn at the end
09:09 that maybe what we thought was the end objective isn't.
09:12 The waiting process made us.
09:14 It wasn't that God was looking for us
09:15 to end up in a certain place,
09:17 He was looking for us to end up as a certain person.
09:20 That the waiting itself makes us into a person
09:23 who could appreciate the next step.
09:25 So along the same lines,
09:27 I want to jump actually into the next question
09:29 because it kind of ties in.
09:31 And the reason is, before I read this,
09:34 a lot of times this question comes up
09:36 because, you know, we will feel like
09:40 God is telling us something,
09:41 we'll feel a mental prompting as it were an impression
09:45 and we think that God is asking us to do something with this.
09:48 And sometimes that may or may not line up
09:52 with what seems like reality.
09:57 So this person's question, a female, 28, from Washington.
10:00 "How can I tell of the mental promptings
10:02 I experience when I am thinking/praying
10:05 through issues and decisions, are God's voice or my own?"
10:09 And I just want to add a little bit to this.
10:10 I think this is something that
10:13 I've found a lot of people wrestle with.
10:16 Is this voice speaking to me?
10:18 Just me imagining something or is this God?
10:22 I would say the first thing is it's super important
10:25 that we find ourselves rooted in Scripture
10:27 daily and regularly because whenever
10:31 we have an understanding of the principles of Scripture
10:34 and that setting our compass to north,
10:36 we can tell because the voice we hear in our mind
10:38 when the Spirit leads us whenever we have
10:39 our own thoughts, sounds the same, right?
10:41 It's generally a similar sounding voice.
10:43 How can I distinguish between the two?
10:45 Is it in the harmony with the principles of the Word of God
10:48 because God would never lead you
10:49 outside of those principles?
10:52 There were times when there may be kind of grey areas,
10:55 it's hard to know what to do, but in a general sense,
10:57 God leads us in harmony with the way
10:59 in which He's worked in the past
11:01 through His teachings and through the prophets.
11:03 And I think that's a very good place
11:04 to start that discourse on which voice is which.
11:08 And I'm going to say something that may not be a great
11:10 sounding answer but there may be times
11:12 that we don't know.
11:14 Yeah. Yeah.
11:15 That maybe those voices are not necessarily
11:16 something right or wrong but, for instance,
11:19 there was a day that I felt a strong impression
11:21 to go to a certain Wal-Mart.
11:24 I don't know, it so happened that I went there
11:27 and I met someone that I was studying the Bible with
11:29 and it was an interesting appointment
11:30 where I was like, "Wow, I think that was of the Lord."
11:34 There have been other times
11:35 where I've had some instinct to do something
11:38 and it meant nothing.
11:39 And so I wouldn't run around
11:41 just so worried about every small thing.
11:46 Sometimes, we overcomplicate that.
11:48 There are things that are maybe not necessarily right or wrong.
11:51 We do our best with the relationship
11:53 and the connection that we have.
11:55 I think the other thing too with all that is
11:57 I know, I've experienced this
11:59 and I know a lot of other people
12:00 who have experienced this is you get in
12:02 a kind of this mindset of, you hear all these impressions
12:05 and you want to do God's will, you want to do what's right,
12:07 and so this conscientiousness leads to some pretty
12:14 outlandish things, you know,
12:16 like I've had friends who feel deeply impressed
12:19 to share something at the end of a message.
12:21 And it's not the right time, right?
12:23 So one of the things that we have to be careful
12:25 of is that not all impressions are from God.
12:30 In fact, Satan actually really capitalizes
12:35 on getting us to follow our own impressions
12:38 contrary to the wisdom of God's Word.
12:40 And so what we really need to do is,
12:42 like you were saying earlier,
12:43 ground ourselves in the Word of God
12:45 and be cognizant of Him and be mainly led by that Word.
12:48 God isn't always speaking to us through impressions
12:51 every moment of the day. Indeed.
12:53 God many times will speak
12:54 through multiple venues not only impressions.
12:57 We cannot live our lives based upon that alone.
13:00 And if we're wrestling, we need to be seeking answers
13:02 from God in those other vehicles,
13:03 in those other venues for confirmation
13:06 so that we can know where to go forward.
13:08 And, I think, it's another safeguard in that sense
13:09 because though He does use this,
13:12 we also could be led astray, what's a safeguard,
13:13 what's a form of accountability?
13:15 Diversifying, I think in that sense would be wise.
13:18 And one thing that I would add is
13:19 why are we even asking these questions?
13:21 Am I asking just because,
13:23 "Oh, do I do this or that, this or that?"
13:25 Or am I asking in the context,
13:26 "I really want to know God and His heart."
13:28 Is that more than just about the answer
13:31 but about the relationship that I have with God,
13:34 and how to pursue that and be in union with Him.
13:37 So I would say to you, you know,
13:40 if these are questions that you've wrestled with,
13:42 if you're wanting to know
13:44 more about understanding the will of God
13:46 and how to arrive at answers
13:49 for your life, get in the Word.
13:51 Nothing can do you more good
13:53 than to get into the Word of God.
13:54 You know, if you come home from a long day
13:56 instead of flipping on the TV, get in the Word,
13:59 learn the stories of prophets
14:01 and apostles, and just stature yourself
14:03 in how God has led other people in the past.
14:06 I just want to invite you to ask your questions
14:09 online on our Facebook at Facebook at RQRA3ABN.
14:14 God bless.