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Sunday, September 19, 2010 am 

THE WILL OF GOD

Today I want to talk for a few moments about the will of God.  This is actually a broad subject that we will merely introduce today.  It has to do with the very nature of God and what He expects us to do.  In this lesson we are going to talk first about what the will of God actually is and then we are going to make specific application as to how we can do the will of God.

 I.                    What is the will of God?

a.        Will, noun, “1. The faculty of conscious and especially of deliberate action; the power of control the mind has over its own actions.  2.  Power of choosing one’s own actions.  3.  The act or process of using or asserting one’s choice; volition.  4. Wish or desire.  5. Purpose or determination, often hearty or stubborn determination.”  (will2 Random House Dictionary, 2010)  In every one of these definitions we make application to the will of God.  
In the simplest of terms, the will of God has reference to His desires and expectations toward and from us. 

b.       God is sovereign, meaning that He is our supreme ruler and His decisions are unquestionable. Ephesians 1:11, “In Him also we have obtained an inheritance, being predestined according to the purpose of Him who works all things according to the counsel of His will.”
Psalm 135:6, “Whatever the Lord pleases He does, In heaven and in earth, In the seas and in all deep places.”

c.        His will WILL be accomplished!  When we examine the overall scheme of this world, what God desires WILL happen as He wishes for it to happen.  Job. 42:2 says, “I know that You can do everything, And that no purpose of Yours can be withheld from You.”

 

II.                  God’s will FOR us

a.       That we be saved –  2 Pet. 3:9 says that the “Lord is not slack concerning His promise, as some count slackness, but is longsuffering toward us, not willing that anyone should perish but that all should come to repentance.”
John 6:40, “And this is the will of Him who sent Me, that everyone who sees the Son and believes in Him may have everlasting life; and I will raise him up at the last day.”

b.       Demonstrated by sending Jesus to die for our sins – Ephesians 1:7-12, Heb. 10:8-10

c.        Is revealed in His word – Romans 1:16, 17, Psalm 119:104, “through Your precepts I get understanding, therefore I hate every false way.”
Psalm 40:8, “I delight to do Your will, O my God, and Your law is within My heart.

 

III.                God’s will FROM us

a.        While we know that God’s will shall come to pass, we must also understand that individually He does NOT force us to do anything.  He has offered us salvation if we accept it and He desires that we obey Him, but ultimately obedience is our choice.
May our attitude be such that we accept His will in all that we do.  “Lord willing” ought to be our attitude in everything we do. (Jas. 4:15)

 

b.       Every command of scripture comprises His will for us.  It is summarized in saying that He desires that we obey Him – Matthew 7:21, 12:50.  But there are passages of scripture that specifically describe actions that are His will.  Let us notice a few of these.

 

c.        That we understand His will Eph. 5:17.  We frequently emphasize that this verse COMMANDS us to understand God’s word so that we may apply it.  The implication in such a statement is that we study to learn as much as we possibly can.   2 Tim. 2:15 tells us this very thing.

 

d.       That we rejoice in the Lord always 1 Thess. 5:16.  Sometimes we need to remind ourselves to rejoice.  When we fully understand the will of God accomplished for us, it should produce gladness in our hearts.  And that gladness ought to permeate continually in our lives.  How often do we allow misery to predominate our disposition because our perspective is not what it ought to be?  How often do we fail consider how truly blessed we are?  That is not to say there are not times when mourning and sorrow are appropriate (cf. Eccl. 3:4, Rom 12:15, etc.). 
But the overall disposition of the Christian ought to be one of rejoicing. 
Proverbs 15:13 says, “A merry heart makes a cheerful countenance, but by sorrow of the heart the spirit is broken.  Prov. 17:22 says, “A merry heard does good, like medicine, but a broken spirit dries the bones.”
LET us not forget that it is THE WILL OF GOD that we rejoice.  Paul even emphasized this in Philippians 4:4, “Rejoice in the Lord always.  Again I will say, Rejoice!”

 

e.       That we pray without ceasing 1 Thess. 5:17
The importance of prayer cannot be overemphasized (and we speak of it often).  This short verse emphasizes one of key actions to a close relationship with God.  We HAVE to talk to Him on a frequent basis.   This is emphasized SO often.
Colossians 4:2 says, “Continue earnestly in prayer, being vigilant in it with thanksgiving.”
Phil. 4:6
says, “Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication, with thanksgiving, let your requests be made known to God.”
IT is the WILL OF GOD that we pray that His WILL be accomplished in our lives and overall. Interestingly, Matt. 6:10 in “the Lord’s Prayer”, Jesus said for us to pray, “Your kingdom come, Your will be done on earth as it is in heaven…”
Col. 1:9, we are to pray that others be filled with the knowledge of His will
Psalm 143:10 says, “Teach me to do Your will, for You are my God; Your Spirit is good.  Lead me in the land of uprightness.

 

f.         That we give thanks in everything 1 Thess. 5:18
Associated with our prayers in so many passages (cf. Col. 4:2, 1 Tim. 2:1, Phil. 4:6,  etc.), thanksgiving is key to a proper attitude.  God expects us to be content and grateful with what we have.  After all, we are so abundantly blessed, both spiritually and physically.
Ingratitude is one of those attributes that is so distasteful to God – in 2 Tim. 3:2 where Paul describes the selfish man, he mentions that they are unthankful.  It was ingratitude that caused many to turn against God as recorded in Rom. 1:18-21.
Unless you learn to be thankful, you will NOT appreciate the will of God for you in your life.
Paul said in Colossians 3:15, “And let the peace of God rule in your hearts, to which also you were called in one body; and be thankful.”  Col. 2:7 describes our walk with Christ as “abounding in it with thanksgiving.”

 

g.        That we abstain from sexual immorality1 Thess. 4:3
For this is the will of God, your sanctification: that you should abstain from sexual immorality.  This is the negative of saying, “KEEP YOURSELF PURE!” 
It is God’s desire that we stay pure for Him.
In this text Paul speaks of our sanctification, a word meaning we are set apart and holy.  We belong to God in a purified state.  We need to STAY THAT WAY!
 Matt 5:8 says, “Blessed are the pure in heart, for they shall see God.”
1 Peter 1:15-16 says, “But as He who called you is holy, you also be holy in all your conduct, because it is written, ‘Be holy, for I am holy.’”
We must never forget that in the act of baptism, as we obeyed the gospel, we were sanctified.  We put to death the man of sin (Rom. 6:3-4) and were “raised to walk in newness of life.”  We NEED to maintain that purified life.
The specific sin mentioned in the text is “sexual immorality” or “fornication” (KJV, ASV).  While all sins defile the body, sexual immorality is described as particularly damaging (cf. 1 Cor. 6:18 describes as a sin against one’s own body).  Our society has serious problems with this sin today.  And it has severely damaged the moral fiber of this nation.
Contrary to popular opinion, God expects us to “flee sexual immorality” and “Keep yourself pure!”

 

h.       That we do good and thereby put to silence the ignorance of foolish men 1 Peter 2:15
Once again we emphasize that the Christian life is NOT just about what we cannot do.  It is more so about what we OUGHT TO be doing.  Christians need to be doing good, especially for others.
Concerning our enemies, Jesus Himself said, “Do good to those who hate you, and pray for those who spitefully use you…” (Matt. 5:44)
Galatians 6:10 tells us, “Therefore, as we have opportunity, let us do good to all, especially to those who are of the household of faith.”
Titus 2:14 describes us as a people, “zealous for good works”
James 4:17 says, “Therefore, to him who knows to do good and does not do it, to him it is sin.
We could go on and on here.  The point is that as Christians we are COMMANDED to do good for others. 
AND, if truth be known, one of the BEST ways to do good for others is to CARE about their souls.   Perhaps one of the greatest deficiencies in the lives of too many Christians is a strong urge to save others.   It’s lack is the reason so many congregations are dying.  Now here is the interesting point – while it is one of the BEST good works you can engage in, the BEST WAY to accomplish it is by doing other good works for them.  In other words, DEMONSTRATE your faith by your works (Jas. 2:18).
Friends, this IS the will of God!

 

i.         That we be transformed by the renewing of our minds Rom. 12:2
The final observation we want to make is found in a favorite passage of mine.  It calls for a changed life.   The word transformed, is from the same word that we get our word metamorphosis and that fairly well describes the process.  We CHANGE into something beautiful and useful for God.
And it HAS to come from our minds – or hearts.  In other words, it is a change deep down that completely transforms our lives.
2 Corinthians 5:17 says that if anyone is in Christ, he is a NEW creation.  Old things have passed away
Ephesians 4:22-24 combines these thoughts speaking of being renewed in the spirit of our minds.
Let us clearly understand that when you become a Christian, it is a commitment to a new life.  In times past we have heard some encourage others to obey the gospel by saying, “You won’t have to change much”.  This is often said to non-members who demonstrate better behavior than so-called Christians.  But even then, the statement is FALSE!  They have to understand the underlying change and commitment that comes with putting on Christ.  Nothing less will do.
Friends, God not only hopes that you will change when you become a Christian, HE EXPECTS IT!  It is His will!

 

And thus we can see the importance of the will of God.  It is important that we understand what His will is, but even more so, that we freely and willing resolve to do it!  What about you?  Is God will your will?