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Discovering God’s Will: Prerequisites

Various   |   Shaun LePage   |   June 1, 2008

Discovering God’s Will: Prerequisites

Various   |   Shaun LePage   |   June 1, 2008

I.       Introduction

A.    Prerequisites are basic to life: Masters? Gotta get a bachelors, Algebra 2 without Alg 1—you’re lost! You definitely don’t want to try to bone an indy or pull a backside 720 before you can do an ollie or wheelie or butter! Am I right? (sorry—snowboarding terminology)

B.    1960’s Frank Abagnale worked as an attorney, a teacher, an airline pilot and a doctor. Problem: No credentials; imposter (life story Catch Me If You Can). Couldn’t do much damage as attorney or teacher, but airline pilot? Never in pilot seat; traveled 1M deadhead miles; As doctor, almost caused the death of a “blue baby” because he didn’t know what that was (oxygen deprivation). There are reasons why prerequisites are necessary for doctors—before mine practice, go to work thru prerequisites at medical school!

C.    There are prerequisites for discovering God’s will also; Last week—presuppositions: A) God’s revealed will is understandable—we should delight in God’s Word because in it  God has made His will known to us; B) God’s sovereign will is unfathomable—we should glorify the Sovereign God by acknowledging that His greatness is so profound that we cannot and will not understand everything He allows; C) God’s permissive will requires trust—we must walk by faith and not by sight, trusting that even though God permits evil and suffering and sin for now, He is good and holy and will hold people accountable for their choices; D) God’s moral will requires obedience—we should work hard to know God’s moral will (Scriptures), then do it so we’ll be blessed (Jn 13:17).

D.    Today I want to build on presuppositions; talk about spiritual prerequisites…

II.     Body—what is required up-front for us to discover God’s will?

A.    You must be spiritual to discover God’s will.

1.     1 cor 2-3: “wisdom of God…things of the Spirit…mind of Christ” includes will of God

2.     3 chairs: natural, carnal, spiritual—natural (1 Cor 2:14; Rm 8:14) “cannot understand”; carnal (men of flesh; 1 Cor 3:1-3; “not yet able”); spiritual (1 Cor 2:15-16 “appraises all things…(has) mind of Christ” and therefore, can discover the will of God)

3.     “Natural” people will not understand God’s will because reject Scriptures, blinded (2 Cor 4:4) and refuse to trust the will of the sovereign God;

4.     “carnal” will not be able to understand God’s will either because they can’t handle “meat” do not have “mind of Christ”; think and act like “mere men”

5.     Natural? Be saved; Carnal? Be transformed (Ro 12:2), renewed mind & heart

6.     John Witmer in BKC (Ro 12:2): “As a Christian is transformed in his mind and is made more like Christ, he comes to approve and desire God’s will, not his own will for his life. Then he discovers that God’s will is what is good for him, and that it pleases God, and is complete in every way. It is all he needs. But only by being renewed spiritually can a believer ascertain, do, and enjoy the will of God.”

B.    You must understand what is meant by “God’s will”.

1.     What do we mean by “God’s will”? Can’t discover God’s Sovereign will (only afterwards sometimes); Many talk about God’s individual or personal will—part of sovereign; cannot know beforehand unless God directly reveals it to us; more later.

2.     As it relates to choices and decisions, we usually mean God’s Moral will (“revealed”)—this we can know! Ep 5:17 “…do not be foolish, but understand what the will of the Lord is”; Bible emphasizes God’s moral will rather than personal will. Focus on what God has already revealed.

C.    You must be deliberate to discover God’s will.  

1.     Mt 7:7-8—willing to pray; “seeking…knocking” picture diligent pursuit; lit. “keep asking…keep seeking…keep knocking” implication: persistence and patience

2.     Earlier Eph 5:17—command to “understand the will of the Lord” preceded by vs. 15-16; “understanding” is necessary for walking as “wise” men (opposite of foolish). Remember 1 Cor 2-3 (wisdom message of apostles; NT; Scriptures) Jms 1:5 (ask for it); point: Discovering God’s will requires work, intentional pursuit, prayer, patience

3.     Show God you’re serious: Study God’s Word, pray and be patient.

D.    You must be committed to obeying God’s will.

1.     George Mueller: “I seek at the beginning to get my heart into such a state that it has no will of its own in regard to a given matter. Nine-tenths of the trouble with people is just here. Nine-tenths of the difficulties are overcome when our hearts are ready to do the Lord’s will, whatever it may be. When one is truly in this state, it is usually but a little way to the knowledge of what his will is.”

2.     Jn 7:17; Jesus perfect example: acting not according to own will, but will of Father (Jn 5:30; 6:38); His nourishment (Jn 4:34), does nothing apart from (Jn 5:19); Mt 26:39

3.     1 Pt 4:1-2—Life commitment of Christ imitators (rest of time in flesh): will of God!

4.     Best indication of whether heart is right: Are you obeying what you already know? Why would God show you more of His will if you’re ignoring what He has shown?

5.     Surrender to the Lordship of Christ. Committed to doing God’s will even before you know what it is? Regardless of how hard or frightening or costly it may be? If not, God will quit show you His will. If so, you’re ready for the adventure of your life!

6.     A. W. Tozer: “The man or woman who is wholly and joyously surrendered to Christ can’t make a wrong choice—any choice will be the right one.” I think he’s right—but more on this idea later!

III.   Closing:

A.    These are the prerequisites (bachelor’s degree): must realize we cannot and will not know all of God’s will, you must be saved and walking with God, you must work hard at discovering His will and you must be completely committed to doing it. Does this describe you? You’re ready for a master’s degree—MGW (Master of God’s will)

B.    Coming up…

1.     Next week: What are some common myths about God’s will?

2.     Then, how can I discover God’s will so I can make wise decisions?

C.    Questions related to God’s will? Back of guest sheet…

Closing Prayer…Col 1:9-12

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