Three Green Lights in The Will of God
by Dr. Johnny Pope
I never make a major decision without a sequence of three green lights. The concept is not difficult to grasp – a red light means stop, a green light means go. First of all there is the green light of:
(1) Peace in Prayer
Jesus said, “Peace I leave with you, my peace I give unto you: not as the world giveth, give I unto you. Let not your heart be troubled, neither let it be afraid” (John 15:27).
Peace for peace’s sake is not what I am talking about. Jonah slept in the ship which was taking him from the perfect will of God. This did not constitute his rightness with God! Jonah was exhausted from running away from the plan and purposes of God.
There is a peace, however, that comes through prayer which is the peace that only God can give. So as you pray for the will of God and you begin to understand what may be the will of God look for His peace which follows. The great prayer warrior from the 19th century, George Mueller, explained that if peace comes after three specific petitions then he is prepared to formulate a conclusion that what he is praying about is of God.
The second green light is:
(2) A Word from the Word
The Psalmist revealed: “Thy word is a lamp unto my feet, and a light unto my path” (Psalm 119:105). If you live with an open Bible, God talks to you. If you live with a closed Bible, you will not hear from God. There are so many principles in the Word of God! If you believe God is leading you in a certain direction and that direction violates Scripture on precept or principle, then upon the authority of the Word of God, I can tell you that it is not of God!
When praying for the will of God, look for either a statement of Scripture that vindicates the subject you are asking of God or a principle illustrating the subject. For instance, when we moved to Houston twenty-five years ago, God used this verse to confirm His plan: “Blessed be the Lord: for He hath shewed me His marvelous kindness in a strong city” (Psalm 31:21). On the other hand, when God revealed to me that Barbara was to be my wife, the principle of receiving my heart’s desire kept coming to me again and again. This principle is given in Psalm 37:4, which says, “Delight thyself also in the LORD; and he shall give thee the desires of thine heart.” In other words, I did not see a sign written across the sky telling me she was God’s will, but the heart’s desire was just as real as if God audibly said, “Here she is!”
The third green light is:
(3) A Design in the Door
Jesus said, “….behold, I have set before thee an open door…” (Revelation 3:8). In the same way that there was an open door from the wardrobe closet in the Chronicles of Narnia by Lewis which led to a magical land, there is an open door in the circumstances of life that God places in front of you. You realize that an opportunity or series of events is far too coincidental to be a coincidence. You surmise this is the Providential hand of God. The Lord promises, “I will instruct thee and teach thee in the way which thou shalt go: I will guide thee with mine eye” (Psalm 32:8).
The key to going through the right open door is obedience. We must obey God in the little things. Our prayer life, Bible reading or study, and service for Him may appear to be little daily activities, but they become very big when we are praying for direction.
Dr. Johnny Pope is the senior pastor of Christchurch Baptist Fellowship in Houston, Texas, where he has served for over 30 years. He travels and speaks extensively around the country and internationally. He is a graduate of Hyles-Anderson College in Crown Point, Indiana. He and his wife Barbara have been married for 40 years and have four children. His church describes him as having “a ministry that is not only charactorized by faithfulness and integrity, but defined by a vibrant prayer life and a reputation for rightly dividing the Word of Truth. His compassion for the lost, and his warm friendship to our congregation is a hallmark of Christchurch Baptist Fellowship.” http://www.christchurchbaptist.org/