WHAT IS GOD’S WILL?
GOD’S WILL IS…
2 Peter 3:9 – “The Lord is not slow to fulfill his promise as some count slowness, but is patient toward you, not wishing that any should perish, but that all should reach repentance.”
1 Timothy 1:15 – “The saying is trustworthy and deserving of full acceptance, that Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners, of whom I am the foremost.”
1 Thess. 4:3a – “This is the will of God, your sanctification (holiness).”
- God will isn’t necessarily that we are happy – His will is that we are holy.
- It is the will of God that you live a life pleasing to God
- 100 years from now your earthly pleasures will have zero value, but only the treasures you stored up in heaven as you pursued holiness.
- I have never seen a hearse with a U-Haul on the back of it.
- The early church father, Augustine, looking back on his life and childhood was distraught over the things that even consumed his learning.
- “Far more useful, then, were those studies [of learning to read and write] than others in which I was forced to memorize the wanderings of some fellow called Aeneas, while forgetting my own waywardness, and to weep over Dido, who killed herself for love, when all the while in my intense misery I put up with myself with never a tear, as I died away from you, O God, who are my life.
What indeed is more pitiful than a piteous person who has no pity for himself? I could weep over the death Dido brought upon herself out of love for Aeneas, yet I shed no tears over the death I brought upon myself by not loving you. O God, you are the light of my heart, bread for the inward mouth of my soul, the virtue wedded to my mind and the innermost recesses of my thought; yet I did not love you, and breaking my troth I strayed from you. Even in this troth-breaking the approval of people all around me rang in my ears: “Fine! Well done.” To pander to this world is to fornicate against you, but so loudly do they shout “Well done!” that one feels ashamed to fall short of their expectations. For these things I did not weep, yet I wept for Dido, “slain as she sought her last end by the sword,” while I myself was abandoning you to seek the last dregs of your creation; dust I was, and unto dust returning.”
- God’s will is that you are more concerned with Him than the things of this world.
1 Thess. 4:3-8 – “For this is the will of God, your sanctification: that you abstain from sexual immorality; 4 that each one of you know how to control his own body in holiness and honor, 5 not in the passion of lust like the Gentiles who do not know God; 6 that no one transgress and wrong his brother in this matter, because the Lord is an avenger in all these things, as we told you beforehand and solemnly warned you. 7 For God has not called us for impurity, but in holiness. 8 Therefore whoever disregards this, disregards not man but God, who gives his Holy Spirit to you.”
- (VS 3) – Sexual immorality = porneia
- God’s will is that we abstain from ALL sexual immorality
- (VS 4) – This word literally means, “how to possess his own vessel”
- Article I read a few years ago about a wreck in Hong Kong
- 38 deaths, 101 hospitalized
- Worst maritime accident in over 40 years
- The city was gearing up for a huge fireworks display to observe China’s National Day
- The passengers of the ship were traveling to see the highlight of a four-day holiday – the fireworks display
- As they were traveling to view this beautiful sight, in celebration, they were struck
- Another ship had run straight into them
- One person said, “I was shocked – this was supposed to be an incredible event” and it was ruined because a captain lost control of his vessel & there were devastating consequences
- One newspaper wrote, “As terrible as this tragedy is, these things happen, and we can only hope that as a result safety will improve.”
- I have never heard of a positive coming from sexual immorality. I have only seen devastating consequences. I have only seen hurt, guilt, lack of trust, messed up relationships – I have only seen heartache and destruction.
- And, just as the newspaper article said, we can learn from their devastating consequences and see the need to control our own vessel.
- You are on your way to something beautiful and amazing (sex inside of marriage) – don’t wreck along the way – know how to possess your own vessel.
- (VS 7) – God hasn’t called us for impurity – He calls us to abide in something greater – He calls us to be in holiness
- If He has called us to something, He provides the strength necessary to achieve it.
- What God calls you to, He will pull you through.
- 1 Corinthians 10:13 – No temptation has overtaken you that is not common to man. God is faithful, and he will not let you be tempted beyond your ability, but with the temptation he will also provide the way of escape, that you may be able to endure it.
- God isn’t just calling us not to impurity But to holiness.
- These are different words for impurity; in holiness
- He’s telling us to abide in holiness – to give ourselves fully and wholly to holiness
- It must be something we put on every day – something we become – It’s not just an action – It’s a way of life – and it’s what God has called us to – this is His will, and He provides everything we need to attain it.
Matthew 28:18-20 – “18 And Jesus came and said to them, “All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me. 19 Go (as you are going) therefore and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, 20 teaching them to observe all that I have commanded you. And behold, I am with you always, to the end of the age.”
- The calling of Isaiah – Isaiah 6:8-13 – “Here I am, send me.”
- Jesus said about Paul, whom he had chosen to bring his gospel to the Gentiles:
- Acts 9:16 – “I will show him how much he must suffer for my name.”
- It was this same Paul who said in Phil. 4:11-13 – “11 Not that I am speaking of being in need, for I have learned in whatever situation I am to be content. 12 I know how to be brought low, and I know how to abound. In any and every circumstance, I have learned the secret of facing plenty and hunger, abundance and need. 13 I can do all things through him who strengthens me.”
- Paul recognized that it was more important to live for God than to have earthly pleasures. It was more important to live for Christ than to have comfort and an easy life.
Prov. 3:5-6 (NIV) – “Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways submit to (acknowledge) him, and he will make your paths straight (direct your paths).”
- Joshua 1 and God’s battle plan
Joshua 1:1-3, 16
1 After the death of Moses the servant of the Lord, the Lord said to Joshua the son of Nun, Moses’ assistant, 2 “Moses my servant is dead. Now therefore arise, go over this Jordan, you and all this people, into the land that I am giving to them, to the people of Israel. 3 Every place that the sole of your foot will tread upon I have given to you, just as I promised to Moses.
16 And they answered Joshua, “All that you have commanded us we will do, and wherever you send us we will go.
- Paul and the Macedonian call
6 And they went through the region of Phrygia and Galatia, having been forbidden by the Holy Spirit to speak the word in Asia. 7 And when they had come up to Mysia, they attempted to go into Bithynia, but the Spirit of Jesus did not allow them. 8 So, passing by Mysia, they went down to Troas. 9 And a vision appeared to Paul in the night: a man of Macedonia was standing there, urging him and saying, “Come over to Macedonia and help us.” 10 And when Paul had seen the vision, immediately we sought to go on into Macedonia, concluding that God had called us to preach the gospel to them.
You don’t have to know where God is leading in order to follow His will.
If you are following God, you don’t have to discern God’s will. You are already in it.