Summary: Our personal preferences do not hold the same weight as Biblical truths.
Christian people are often keen to know the leading of God in their lives. But how are we to know what God’s will is? We may find the answer to this important question when we look at Abraham’s servant in Genesis 24.
First, though, what do we know about God’s will? What has He revealed to us in the Scriptures?
God has given certain commandments for us to obey. Whatever plan God has for our lives, it will be in keeping with those things which he has already clearly revealed to us. What is more, as we obey His commands, and walk with Him in love, He will gradually unfold to us what He wants us to do in the course of any day, and throughout our lives.
We, like Abraham’s servant, must live one day at a time, in wholehearted obedience to what we know of the will of God. Then - as we obey - God will lead us in a right path, caring for the details of our lives.
I. ABRAHAM’S SERVANT
We see in Genesis 24:2 that Abraham’s servant was not a young man. Yet he was obedient to his master.
Abraham instructed that the servant was to find a wife for Isaac from his own people. Likewise, Christians are instructed not to be mismatched with non-Christians (2 Corinthians 6:14).
Although he had his own ideas about the difficulty of the task confronting him (Genesis 24:5), the servant did not disobey. The Apostle Peter instructs, “Servants, be submissive to your masters with all respect, not only to the kind and gentle but also to the overbearing” (1Peter 2:18).
God does instruct us how to conduct ourselves in our various human relationships. As we obey those who have authority over us: parents, teachers, employers and the like, we are also obeying God. And as we obey God, He entrusts us with a little bit more in His service. This is what Jesus means when He says, “Every one to whom much is given, of him will much be required” (Luke 12:48).
2. Praying for guidance (Genesis 24:12-14)
If we really want to know what areas of service the Lord may be opening up to us in our lives, we not only need to be living a life of obedience in our present circumstances, but we must also be seeking God’s will by prayer. This is our talking with God, asking Him to unfold the details of our lives. It is also a listening to God.
The servant asked God for something lawful that enabled him to carry out his duty to his master. It is significant, too, that he asked out of God’s love for his master Abraham (Genesis 24:12). When we pray, we pray in the Name of Jesus Christ.
Abraham’s servant was walking in faith, and reached a level of holy boldness in his request for a visible token of God‘s guidance (Genesis 24:14). But it is sufficient for most of us, most of the time, to simply ask God what His will is, and to say with His Son, “Thy will be done!”
3. God answers prayer (Genesis 24:15)
“Before he had done speaking…” (Genesis 24:15). Before the words of our prayer leave our lips, God is already moving heaven and earth to fulfil His purposes in us, and through us. The servant was in the right place at the right time, because God had led him there, heard his prayer, and brought Rebecca there in answer to that prayer.