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Living God's Will for Your Life in 2018

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Talk to you today about How to Find God’s Will in Your life.

Do You Ever Wonder, “Does God Actually Have a Will for My Life?”

I can’t tell you what God’s detailed plan for your life is, but what I want to do is help you get into a position to see what God wants to show you.
In order to see God’s Plan for your life, it will require a new way of seeing. God wants you to begin to see things the way He does… think the way he does about yourself, life, the people around you, about the opportunities coming your way… about Him.

Finding God’s Will Begins with Learning to See & Think Differently.

Romans 12:2 TEV
Do not conform yourselves to the standards of this world, but let God transform you inwardly by a complete change of your mind. Then you will be able to know the will of God—what is good and is pleasing to him and is perfect.
Transformation starts on the inside. We begin to think differently then we speak and act differently. Then we learn God’s Will.

God wants to change the WAY you think.

He doesn’t just want to change what you think about. He wants to change the way you think.
when you are faced with a decision, do you be
Ephesians 4:23 NIV84
to be made new in the attitude of your minds;
God wants you to think the WAY he thinks. He wants you to think with the mind of Christ because if you think with the Mind of Christ, it makes it much easier to discern His will about things. It makes it easier to make decisions about your career, your family, your activities in life…
If you want to know how Christ thinks, you have to get into the WOG, the Bible.

Reading the Bible is like Reading God’s Mind.

We learn how God thinks by reading His Word. If you wan to know how God thinks about something, get into the Word.
ILL - Like a friendship, the more time you spend with someone the more you know them

God Shows Us His Will One Step at a Time.

When it comes to God’s will for your life, he usually shows us his will one step at a time and it’s usually through closed and open doors.
Sometimes, he may show you more than a step at a time, but that is very rare. He likes to work through open and closed doors.

“When God closes one door, he will open another, but it’s hell in the hallway.”

Anyone in the hallway? Not an easy place to be...
Proverbs 4:18 TEV
The road the righteous travel is like the sunrise, getting brighter and brighter until daylight has come.
Solomon is saying that the path of the righteous (those trying to follow Jesus) is like the sunrise. It begins with a faint glimmer of light and then it get’s brighter and brighter until the light of day shows all the detail of the path.
That’s the way it is with learning God’s Will. It’s usually not a shocking discovery, but one that happens one step at a time.

God’s Will sometimes just Dawns on you.

It becomes evident one step at a time… one activity at a time… serving faithfully and finding out what God has equipped you for.
You will not discover this if you skip around church hopping and never plugging in somewhere and serving.

God’s Call or Will is not necessarily a Destination, but it’s a call to a way of life.

It’s not the destination that’s of the greatest importance to the Lord, its the path. It’s your lifestyle… the way you live your life on a daily basis. The destination is secondary to how we live on the way.
We see this in Abraham.
ILL - Abraham.
Genesis 12:1 NLT
The Lord had said to Abram, “Leave your native country, your relatives, and your father’s family, and go to the land that I will show you.
Abraham did not know the destination. He just told him to leave everything.
God just said to leave your old life because he had a new life in mind for Abraham. Leave your family that is involved in worshipping idols… your old values and friends… I have something better for you.
God says to leave the old and step into the New!

The Call is to a Way of Life

It’s not the destination but the way of life. Abraham’s faith and his character was more important to God that where he lived.
Abraham messed up plenty of times but God kept redirecting him back on to the right path.
Proverbs 3:6 NKJV
In all your ways acknowledge Him, And He shall direct your paths.
What does it mean to acknowledge God in all of your ways?
It means to seek his will in everything… ask him what he thinks about what you are thinking about… or fixing to do. Not just in some things, but in everything.
Proverbs 3:6 NLT
Seek his will in all you do, and he will show you which path to take.
Here’s the point...

The Way is More important than the Destination.

Where you end up is not nearly as important as how you got there. Did you get to where you are though obedience or compromise? Did you seek God’s will or just make things up as you went along.
Mark 8:36 NLT
And what do you benefit if you gain the whole world but lose your own soul?
You have to think about HOW you are living your life when you want to know what God’s plan for your life is. Are you living the way God wants you to live? not talking about economics… job… I am talking about the values you live by.
How you are living is more important than the destination.
When God told Abraham to get up and go, he did not know where he was going, but he walked 500 miles. He did not know here was where he was supposed to go until God stopped him and told him.
Why doesn’t God tell us the whole plan at once?
He knows we become impatient and try to take shortcuts. (Abraham with the maid -Ishamel)
We would argue with him. (Moses) (Jeremiah) (Gideon)
He knew it might freak us out and we would run for the hills (Jonah)
The biggest reason is that it would not require us to have faith and God wants us to have faith.
Hebrews 11:6 NLT
And it is impossible to please God without faith. Anyone who wants to come to him must believe that God exists and that he rewards those who sincerely seek him.
Do you want to please God with your life?
Learn to
2 Corinthians 5:7 NIV84
We live by faith, not by sight.
Faith is for life… sight is for next. We follow by faith, not by sight, not by what we see but by what we hope to see. Faith is trusting God.
Faith is not placed in the outcome. It’s placed in a person… it’s relational. It’s believing in who God is… his character… not the outcome I am hoping for and without faith it’s impossible to please God.
Are you walking by faith in the light that God has already shown me? Are you walking in the first light of dawn so the light can become brighter and brighter?
You can’t wait for everything to be perfect or to know the whole plan God has for your life
Ecclesiastes 11:4 The Living Bible
If you wait for perfect conditions, you will never get anything done.
You have to get moving with the light God has given you.

How do you begin to figure Out What God’s Plan and Will is for you?

1. Look for the Sign Posts

You have to know where you are to get to where you want to go.
ILL - If you called and asked directions to the church, I would ask you where you are before telling you how to get here.

Stop and take inventory.

Where are you? How did you get there? What did you learn on the way?
As you look at your life, what are some successes and failures… what did you learn about yourself?
Are there any patterns you need to change?
What gifts has God given you? Talents? Abilities?
SHAPE - How did God make you?
ILL - Chariots of Fire - How can you run so fast? I was made to run fast!
How are you made?

2. Travel Light.

Don’t Carry the weight of the past with you… past failures… guilt… idols from our old lives.
This is why God told Abraham to leave everything behind… to go. He did not want Abraham to bring the old stuff with him.
God doesn’t want us to bring the things we used to look to for affirmation or value; old ways of thinking… He says to leave those behind.
If your hands are full of the wrong stuff, then your hands are not available for what God wants to put in them.
Jonah 2:8 NIV84
“Those who cling to worthless idols forfeit the grace that could be theirs.
Q - What are you holding onto from the past that’s causing you to forfeit the fullness of God’s Grace for your life?
What do you need to leave behind? (lies about you / time wasting activities like games / old ways of thinking / old values / childish ways)
Maybe it’s time to grow up...
1 Corinthians 13:11 NLT
When I was a child, I spoke and thought and reasoned as a child. But when I grew up, I put away childish things.

3. Choose Your Traveling Companions.

Do you have people in your life that help keep you on track? that pray for you? that encourage you?
Do you have people in your life that when you leave their presence you come away feeling filled and refreshed and encouraged? This is where small groups come in handy.
Are you surrounding yourself with people you can turn to to seek wisdom and counsel… who can encourage you...
Hebrews 10:24 NIV
And let us consider how we may spur one another on toward love and good deeds,
Sometimes, we need to “spur” someone… that’s Bible talk for Kicking them in the Butt. Sometime we need someone to kick us in the Butt to get us moving in the right direction.
Warning - The opposite is true. Who do you have in your life that sucks the life out of you or even derails your walk with the Lord?
You can figure out who htey are because they usually show up when you mess up. They are there when you do something you wish you hadn’t done.
Listen,
1 Corinthians 15:33 NLT
Don’t be fooled by those who say such things, for “bad company corrupts good character.”
If you don’t want to get stung, stay away from the bees.

4. Keep asking, seeking and knocking.

There is a process Jesus teaches…
Matthew 7:7 NLT
“Keep on asking, and you will receive what you ask for. Keep on seeking, and you will find. Keep on knocking, and the door will be opened to you.
You ask with your words; you seek with your heart; and you knock with your actions.
When you have a decision to make, Just ask the Lord. iF you don’t get an answer, you begin to seek by getting into the WOG; seeking the counsel of other Believers...
If that still doesn’t work, you begin to knock. This is where you put action into play. Pray for God to open or close a door. JOB - put in applications…

While you are waiting for God’s SPECIFIC instructions, be sure that you are following God’s GENERAL instructions.

Proverbs 4:18 NLT
The way of the righteous is like the first gleam of dawn, which shines ever brighter until the full light of day.
Righteous Person - person who lives according to the WOG

The Bible is not a Road Map, it’s a Compass

The Bible doesn’t give you a turn by turn map of how to live your life. It does act as a compass so we can always find true north. The more of the WOG you know the more it acts as a compass. When you come to a crossroad, when you have doubts… you bring it to the WOG and ask, Does this align to the WOG?
What are some general principles God has given us to live by?
General Instructions God Expects us to Follow

What is God’s Will in Hardship?

1 Thessalonians 5:18 NKJV
in everything give thanks; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you.

Am I thankful or Resentful?

What is God’s will for you when you are hurt by someone?
Matthew 5:44 NLT
But I say, love your enemies! Pray for those who persecute you!

Am I holding any grudges or refusing to forgive anyone?

What is God’s Will for your mission life?
1 Peter 3:15 NLT
Instead, you must worship Christ as Lord of your life. And if someone asks about your hope as a believer, always be ready to explain it.
Q - Am I prepared to tell my story?

What’s God’s will for your daily interaction with people?

Colossians 4:6 NLT
Let your conversation be gracious and attractive so that you will have the right response for everyone.
Q - Can people I hang out with tell I am a Christian?

What’s God’s will for You in the World?

Micah 6:8 NLT
No, O people, the Lord has told you what is good, and this is what he requires of you: to do what is right, to love mercy, and to walk humbly with your God.
Q - Am I living this way today?
Am I living this right now? This is what’s important to God … that we do.

What is God’s highest will for your life?

Mark 12:30–31 NLT
And you must love the Lord your God with all your heart, all your soul, all your mind, and all your strength.’ The second is equally important: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’ No other commandment is greater than these.”
Do you love God, yourself, and my neighbor?
These plus many other general instructions are the guardrails that keep you on God’s Pathway for your life. If you are not living by these… you are already off course and you need to get back on course. If you are not living by these, you will NEVER receive the specific instructions you are hoping for.

Hearing from God begins with the Desire to hear from God.

Do you really want to hear from God. Most of the time, we just want God to approve of what we already want to do… we don’t really want to hear what he wants.
We are servants of the Lord and a servant listens to his master so he can better serve his Master.
Joshua 5:14 NIV84
“Neither,” he replied, “but as commander of the army of the Lord I have now come.” Then Joshua fell facedown to the ground in reverence, and asked him, “What message does my Lord have for his servant?”
Joshua threw himself down before God and asked him what message did he want to give him.
We need to go into prayer… to open the WOG and say, God, what message do you have for your servant today!
We pray like this...
Luke 22:42 NLT
“Father, if you are willing, please take this cup of suffering away from me. Yet I want your will to be done, not mine.”
That’s what God is looking for. He’s looking for those who will commit to him.
2 Chronicles 16:9 NLT
The eyes of the Lord search the whole earth in order to strengthen those whose hearts are fully committed to him. What a fool you have been! From now on you will be at war.”
He’s looking for those who are committed to him. Are you committed? Do you have the predisposition to obey or are you always trying to beat the system … to argue with the Lord?

Am I asking God to tell me his plan or am I asking God to approve of my plan?

What’s the motivation for seeking his will, and have you already said yes to him?
We want to see the final destination. God wants to know if you are willing to walk IN the way. He says, I’ll show you the destination when we get there… you just walk the walk.
Proverbs 4:18 NLT
The way of the righteous is like the first gleam of dawn, which shines ever brighter until the full light of day.

How does God show you His Will?

It usually downs on you a little at a time… often after the fact. You look back and go… Oh… yea… I see the signs that brought me to where I am… wow.
Look at these verses.
Isaiah 30:18 NLT
So the Lord must wait for you to come to him so he can show you his love and compassion. For the Lord is a faithful God. Blessed are those who wait for his help.
Isaiah 30:21 NLT
Your own ears will hear him. Right behind you a voice will say, “This is the way you should go,” whether to the right or to the left.
Look at where the voice is… it’s behind you… saying yea, keep going. He is behind you confirming things. when you get off track, he helps you get back on track.

Did You Follow Me

When you stand before God, God is not going to say so, did you get that great job? Did you get all the stuff? Did you impress all of those people? He's not going to ask you that. What God is going to ask you is, did you follow me? If you follow his way you will reach the destination of his plan. But

If all you're looking for is the destination then you could miss his plan altogether.

I told you we were going to see things in a different way today. It's the way that's the most important thing to God. That's what shapes your character. That's what builds your faith. That's what makes you the man or woman of God that he wants you to become. It's the way that is his will for your life

The Question of timing is God’s to answer. But the question of faithfulness is entirely within your control.

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