In order to study this topic and get the most out of it, it is very important that we realize from the start 4 simple truths that God’s Word plainly teaches:
1. Truth #1- God does have a will for each of our lives.
a. Psalm 37:23-24 “The steps of a good man are ordered by the Lord: and he delighteth in his way. Though he fall, he shall not be utterly cast down: for the Lord upholdeth him with his hand.”
i. There is a divine predestination for our lives! (Ordered: “koon” 3559 “to set up, erect, prepare, provide, to establish)
ii. There is a divine delight in following God’s will! God delights in us following His will and yet we will be delighted by following God’s will as well because we are in fellowship with Him!
iii. There is divine support when we follow God’s will. (Upholdeth: “sawmack” 5564 “take hold of, bear up, stand fast”)
b. Saying- “The steps and the stops of a good man are ordered by the Lord”
2. Truth #2- God’s will is GOOD for us!
a. Romans 12:2 “And be not conformed to this world: but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind, that ye may prove what is that good, and acceptable, and perfect, will of God.”
b. God knows what is best for our lives. There is no better Captain to chart our course.
3. Truth #3- God wants us to KNOW his will!
a. Ephesians 5:17 “Wherefore be ye not unwise, but understanding what the will of the Lord is.”
b. God says that it is the wise man that knows what the will of the Lord is. SO- He must make it known if He tells us to understand His will!
c. He does not wish to hide His will from us.
4. Truth #4- We can ENJOY God’s will!
a. Psalm 40:8 “I delight to do thy will, O my God: yea, thy law is within my heart.”
b. God’s will is not “runner up” to a successful life that we think we could have had- it’s THE life that He has ordained for us.
c. Even in the midst of trials, persecutions, and set backs- if we are in God’s Will we can find peace and joy in the fact that we are doing business for the king!
SO WHY DO WE NEED GOD’S GUIDANCE IN OUR LIVES?
A. God knows our NATURE as no one else does.
a. Psalm 139:1-4 lists 5 things that God knows about us. “O Lord, thou hast searched me, and known me. Thou knowest my downsitting and mine uprising, thou understandest my thought afar off. Thou compassest my path and my lying down, and art acquainted with all my ways. For there is not a word in my tongue, but, lo, O Lord, thou knowest it altogether.”
b. He knows our (1)downsitting; (2)uprising; (3)thoughts; (4)ways; and (5)words
c. God knows the most extreme mundane things about us all the way to the most secretive tucked away Dungeness corners of our hearts. There is absolutely nothing hid to Him.
B. God knows our FUTURE as no one else does.
a. Isaiah 46:10 “Declaring the end from the beginning, and from ancient times the things that are not yet…”
b. God is not bound by time – He sees it all simultaneous. We can trust Him!
c. He sees the ups and downs, the trials and triumphs. Trust Him to prepare us!
C. God has a PURPOSE for each of us as no one else has!
a. Jeremiah 1:5 “Before I formed thee in the belly I knew thee; and before thou camest forth out of the womb I sanctified thee, and I ordained thee…”
b. John 15:16 states that God has chosen us and ordained us to bear fruit for Him.
c. Psalm 139:17-18 “How precious also are thy thoughts unto me, O God! How great is the sum of them! If I should count them, they are more in number than the sand: when I awake, I am still with thee.”
d. What a great message that God THINKS about us! We are not just an accident, not just a random evolutionary mistake. We are made in the image of God and made with a purpose!
COMMON MISCONCEPTIONS ABOUT THE WILL OF GOD
A. Mistake #1: “God’s will is hidden”
a. Terminology confuses young Christians. “I’ve found God’s will” can sound like God hides it and we have to look for it to find it.
b. These phrases simply mean that as we mature in our walk with God and are open to the Spirit’s leading, we can more clearly see the will of God.
B. Mistake #2: “Well, this is something I really want to do, so it can’t possibly be God’s will.”
a. Psalm 37:4 “Delight thyself also in the Lord; and he shall give thee the desires of thine heart.”
b. As we sincerely seek the Lord, His will and our desires begin to merge together. Our desires are replaced with “God-centered” desires.
c. God’s will is not “second best” or undesirable! It is BEST!
C. Mistake #3: “I haven’t gotten a definite answer yet for every part of this problem, so I’m not going to do anything.”
a. We can’t sit in fear and not move forward in life to serve Christ!
b. We must earnestly seek God’s leading and step out in faith.
c. If He loved us enough to die for us, He isn’t going to play games with our life!
D. Mistake #4: “Well, Lord, I’ve decided that the best way I can serve you is…”
a. We shouldn’t plan our life without God and then try to force Him to approve it!
b. You can’t compromise with God! “I’ll make a lot of money and give it to You”
E. Mistake #5: “I’ve disobeyed the Lord. I missed His will sometime ago, and now I’m doomed to “second best”.
a. Look at Peter! (Rebuked God, Denied Christ 3 times, cursed, etc! YET he was used GREATLY in the Lord’s service!) There is always hope for us.
b. Look at Paul! I Timothy 1:13 “…who was before a blasphemer, and a persecutor, and injurious: but I obtained mercy…” God can use us in spite of our past! Don’t think you are trash!!!!!
HOW TO MISS GOD’S WILL
A. So what if we absolutely can’t discern God’s will for our lives?
a. We must acknowledge we might have hidden sins that need to be confessed.
b. We must acknowledge our walk with the Lord may not be what it needs to be.
B. Let’s look at James Chapter 4 and some possible areas we may need to consider:
a. Following sensual desires. James 4:1 “From whence come wars and fightings among you? Come they not hence, even of your lusts that WAR IN YOUR MEMBERS?” LUST
b. Putting yourself first. James 4:2 “Ye lust, and have not: ye kill, and desire to have, and cannot obtain: ye fight and war, yet ye have not, because ye ask not.”
c. Praying with the wrong motive. James 4:3 “Ye ask, and receive not, because ye ask amiss, that ye may consume it upon your lusts.”
d. Choosing the wrong friends. James 4:4 “…know ye not that the friendship of the world is enmity with God? Whoseoever therefore will be a friend of the world is the enemy of God.”
e. Failing to confess known sin. James 4:8 “Draw nigh to God, and he will draw nigh to you. Cleanse your hands, ye sinners; and purify your hearts, ye double minded.”
f. Refusing to be humble. James 4:10 “Humble yourselves in the sight of the Lord, and he shall lift you up.”
g. Prideful heart. James 4:13-17 “…For what is your life?…ye rejoice in your boastings…therefore to him that knoweth to do good, and doeth it not, to him it is sin.”
C. If we have active sin in our life we MUST confess it and get “in tune” with God so that we are able to discern the Spirit’s leading in our life!