Faithlife Sermons

Wisdom for Living in God's Will

Grow in the Wisdom of the Word   •  Sermon  •  Submitted
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Introduction

Hurricane Katrina - Sitting in a restaurant making plans for a new season while people were evacuating for Katrina - Attitude of many “It will blow over.” It didn’t.
Life can change in a moment - if so, how are you going to live? How are you going to make the most of life when you don’t know what’s around the corner?
Question most often asked as a pastor: “How do I know God’s will?” You want to know - Where does God want me to go to college? Who does He want me to marry? Does He want me to take that job in another city? What does God want me to do?
Perhaps the more important question: “How do I live God’s will?” Especially when you know that life can change in a moment?
Significant question, but the more important question: “How do I live God’s will?” Especially when you know that life can change in a moment?
James gives us wisdom for living in God’s will. When it comes to living in God’s we have 2 options:

Option 1: You can ignore God’s will.

Review:
False wisdom - “I’m the point of life, and I’m going to live for my enjoyment.”
True wisdom - “God is the point of everything, and I’m going to live for His glory and His pleasure.”
Business men - a display of false wisdom.
Not wrong to work hard or make money: “The plans of the diligent lead surely to abundance, but everyone who is hasty comes only to poverty.” ()
However, it is sinful to work and make money while ignoring the will of God. God did not create you and save you for you to live out your plans to pursue your dreams! He created you and saved you for His plans and purposes!
God did not create you and save you for you to live out your plans. He created you and saved you for His plans and purposes!
But, this was not the attitude of some Christian businessmen. They wanted to live out the Jewish dream. (2 BMW chariots in the garage) In the first century, there was money to be made! Season of economic boom, so their plan was to move to the coastal cities for a year to make a profit.
Not a bad thing to make money - but failed to ask the question, “Is this God’s plan? How would God have me spend the next year of my life?
Their problem: They chose the time, the place, the duration, the task, but they didn’t choose God.
They chose the time, the place, the duration, the task, but they didn’t choose God.
You have plans - plans for your future, plans for next week, plans for what you are going to do once you leave worship, but how much time have you spent considering God’s plan? Are you choosing God?
God’s revealed will: He has m
God’s revealed will: God has made it clear what He wants from us. (Staci: Missionaries helping people find God. Hudson: It’s not hard to find God, he’s everywhere.)
What is God’s will? God’s revealed will: God has made it clear what He wants from us. (Staci: Missionaries helping people find God. Hudson: It’s not hard to find God, he’s everywhere.)
God’s will not hard to find. He wants you to spend your days living to know Him and helping others to know Him. There may be a million ways that He allows you to live out that plan, but that’s the plan!
God has given us all 24 hours a day to live out His will. Problem: we see time as belong to us to spend for ourselves rather than seeing time as a gift from God to steward for His Kingdom plan.
Problem: we see time as belong to us to spend for ourselves rather than seeing time as a gift from God to steward for His Kingdom plan.
You don’t know what tomorrow will bring. () You have plans for tomorrow, but you may not even have tomorrow. You’re so focused on what you don’t even have!
Ignoring God’s will = functional atheism - Claiming Christ but living as if He doesn’t exist.
Your life is a mist. James sounds like Solomon. () “Your life is precious! Every second is precious! And you’re going to spend your precious time leaving behind your family to go try to get wealthy? There’s so much more!”
Ignoring God’s will = functional atheism - Claiming Christ but living as if He doesn’t exist.
Not sinful to plan. It’s sinful to be consumed with your plans rather than God’s plan. (Parents: pushing plans on our kids. Get the right grades so you can get into the right school so you can get the right job so you can live comfortably. What if God doesn’t want your children to live comfortably? Adoniram Judson letter to future father-in-law.) What if God has something more for you than a comfortable life?
James isn’t done. Vs. 16 - “You boast in your arrogance.” You talk more about what you’re going to accomplish or what you have accomplished than what God has accomplished.
Arrogance = setting yourself up as the ruler of your life instead of God. When you came to Christ, you proclaimed that He was king, but how many of us are still sitting on the thrones of our lives? To ignore God’s will is a practice of prideful arrogance that fails to realize:
God is in charge of the duration of my life.
God is in charge of the direction of my life.
Arrogance! Not to daily admit that every detail of your life is in the hands of a sovereign God who rules and reigns over all of creation!
When you ignore God’s plan, you are rebelling. (Ill. - Headphones - choosing what I want to listen to instead of listening to those I love. Hudson, “I’m wearing headphones. I can’t hear you.) vs. 17 - Sin of omission - Not doing what God said to do. You know what God wants, you’re just choosing to tell Him no. (Jonah)
You don’t know about tomorrow, but you do know about today. You have this moment to invest in your relationship with God and in the lives of people.
How do I know if I’m ignoring God’s will?
Look at your calendar. How much time does God get? What are you spending your days pursuing?
Look at your financial resources. How much does God get? A good indicator of where your heart really lies.
Look at your abilities. How much does God get? Do you give everything else your best efforts but not God?
Ignoring God’s will = functional atheism - Claiming Christ but living as if He doesn’t exist.

Look at what you talk about. Do you talk more about your schedule, your plans, and what you have to do than you talk about God and what He desires for you?
You can choose to ignore God’s will. You can choose to disobey God’s will.

Option 2: You can live for God’s will.

You disobey God’s will when:
You arrogantly boast about your plans and pridefully live them out.
vs. 15 - “You ought to say, ‘If the Lord wills...’”
You pridefully live out your plans.
Our lives can be an arrogant display of self-sufficiency and rebellious independency.
It’s living in such a way that says, “I know best for my life. I have one life to live and I’m goin
Not trite or ritualistic words that you mumble every time you make a decision, but a heart attitude that says, “I’m writing all my plans in pencil and not pen because I understand that at any moment God has absolute freedom to change the course of my life however He wants, and I am completely good with that because I know he intends good for me.” What’s going to be written in pen is to live for God’s revealed will.
How do I live for God’s will? How do I daily put my life in the hands of God and say, “Not my will be done, but your will be done?”
Instead of saying, “This is how I’m going to spend my time,” ask, “How does God want me to spend my time?” How would asking that simple question on a regular basis change your life? Affect how you spend your day? The media you consume? The conversations you have? The way you work?
Think people, not tasks. The greatest commandment is “Love God heart mind and soul and love neighbor as self.” Be more tied to the Great Commission than you are to your to-do list. We all have tasks to complete, but the goal of the Christian life isn’t to see how productive you can be. The goal of the Christian life is to know Jesus and to get as many people to Jesus as possible. You have to think about life differently. When I stand before God, He is not going to be impressed that I completed everything on my todo list. His desire is for me to make disciples.
Go to the Word, pray, and seek wise counsel. You know God’s revealed will, but what about His hidden will? What about where I go to school? What about who I marry? What about should I take that job halfway across the country? The Bible may not answer every question you have, but informs every decision you make. Ask God to help you to make decisions that are consistent with His revealed will, and ask people to help you think through the best way to use the time and resources God has given you. “Without counsel plans fail, but with many advisers they succeed.” ()
Make a decision
Make wise decisions and move on. We have a tendency to get bogged down with the question, “Did I make the right decision?” Once you have prayed, gone to Scripture, sought counsel, make a wise decision and move on. Be more concerned with making wise decisions than right decisions. You will drive yourself crazy asking, “Did I miss something? Was there a better option?”
Make every decision with the Gospel in mind. With every decision you make, you cannot lose sight that you are on a mission. Ask the question, “What implications does this decision have for the spread of the Gospel?” (Keep your eyes on God’s revealed will.) How will that school you want to go to help you become the person that God wants you to be? How will that job open up opportunities for you to influence coworkers for the Gospel? How will that house you want to buy be used as an asset to reach a neighborhood that might not know Jesus?
Remember Jesus. ()The Gospel is the Good News that God worked perfectly in time to bring about His plan to save us from our sins through the gift of His Son, Jesus, who always said to the heavenly Father, “Not my will but your will be done.” We will often say, “Not your will be done, but my will be done.” Thank God Jesus never said that. He said, “Your will be done” knowing that statement would lead to His death on a cross. We had all rebelled against the God who made us, but God loved us, and He sent His Son to rescue us from our sin. Jesus died on the cross, taking the punishment for our sins that we deserved so that we could be forgiven of our rebellion and never punished. He rose three days later to prepare the way for us to have eternal life. Unbeliever: Give Him your life and find the joy that comes in giving your time away for Him. Believer: Are you Are you making plans apart from God? Are you living as a functional atheist? Repent. Ask God to help you live for His Will.
Remember Jesus. (
The Christmas story is about God perfectly working in time to bring about His plan to save us from our sins through the gift of His Son, Jesus, who used His time generously and perfectly. He lived every moment of His life for the glory of God and the sake of others. We will never use our time perfectly, but thank God Jesus did. The greatest use of Jesus’ time was to give His life away on a cross – to die for you and for me. We had all rebelled against the God who made us, but God loved us, and He sent His Son to rescue us from our sin – to save us. Jesus died on the cross, taking the punishment for our sins that we deserved so that we could be forgiven of our rebellion and never punished. He rose three days later to prepare the way for us to have eternal life. Unbeliever: Give Him your life and find the joy that comes in giving your time away for Him. Believer: Are you wasting your time on you? Repent. Ask God to help you give your time away.
) The Christmas story is about God perfectly working in time to bring about His plan to save us from our sins through the gift of His Son, Jesus, who used His time generously and perfectly. He lived every moment of His life for the glory of God and the sake of others. We will never use our time perfectly, but thank God Jesus did. The greatest use of Jesus’ time was to give His life away on a cross – to die for you and for me. We had all rebelled against the God who made us, but God loved us, and He sent His Son to rescue us from our sin – to save us. Jesus died on the cross, taking the punishment for our sins that we deserved so that we could be forgiven of our rebellion and never punished. He rose three days later to prepare the way for us to have eternal life. Unbeliever: Give Him your life and find the joy that comes in giving your time away for Him. Believer: Are you wasting your time on you? Repent. Ask God to help you give your time away.
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