Pastor Steve Williams : Knowing and Doing God’s Will

Knowing the Will of God · 48:37 · Recorded August 7, 2016

Knowing & Doing God’s Will

Ephesians 5:7-17 (ESV) At one time you were darkness, but now you are light in the Lord. Walk as children of light (for the fruit of light is found in all that is good and right and true), and try to discern what is pleasing to the Lord. Take no part in the unfruitful works of darkness, but instead expose them…When anything is exposed by the light, it becomes visible, for anything that becomes visible is light…Look carefully then how you walk, not as unwise but as wise, making the best use of the time, because the days are evil. Therefore do not be foolish, but under-stand what the will of the Lord is.

Some common misbeliefs

Everything that happens is God’s will.

God’s will is always done.

2 Peter 3:9 (NKJV) The Lord is…longsuffering toward us, not willing that any should perish but that all should come to repentance.

Doing God’s will is the most peaceful way.

God has a discernable will in everything.

Clarifying our meanings

God’s sovereign will – His purposes that determine ultimate outcomes.

Isaiah 46:9-10 (NIV) “I am God, and there is no other; I am God, and there is none like me. I make known the end from the beginning, from ancient times, what is still to come. I say: My purpose will stand, and I will do all that I please.”

Ephesians 1:11 (NIV) …According to the plan of him who works out everything in conformity with the purpose of his will.

God’s moral will – His desires for what we believe and how we live.

Colossians 1:9-10 (NIV) We have not stopped praying for you and asking God to fill you with the knowledge of his will through all spiritual wisdom and understanding. And we pray this in order that you may live a life worthy of the Lord and may please him in every way: bearing fruit in every good work, growing in the knowledge of God.

1 Thessalonians 4:3-4 (NIV) It is God’s will that you should be sanctified: that you should avoid sexual immorality;  that each of you should learn to control his own body in a way that is holy and honorable, not in passionate lust like the heathen, who do not know God.

God’s circumstantial will – His preferences for our non-moral, daily choices.

Typical struggles & practical concerns:

How conscientiously should I seek this?

Anxiety & frustration over good options!

The subjective nature of determining it.

Inhibiting mature decision-making skills.

Delayed/lost opportunity while “waiting on the Lord.”

God’s will isn’t a destination we reach, but a journey that transforms us.

A quality guidance system

Hebrews 13:20-21 (NLT) May the God of peace…equip you with all you need for doing his will. May he produce in you, through the power of Jesus Christ, every good thing that is pleasing to him.

Fixed coordinates – God’s eternal ways.

Uplink connectivity – His Holy Spirit.

Program data – Internalized scriptures.

Processing capacity – Wise decision-making.

Good packaging – Human personality.

Romans 12:1-2 (TEV) So then, my friends, because of God’s great mercy to us I appeal to you: Offer yourselves as a living sacrifice to God, dedicated to his service and pleasing to him. This is the true worship that you should offer. 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.

We can know God’s will if we want to, in order to do it, because we love him!

To consider it further:

Decision Making & The Will of God, by Garry Friesen
Yes Or No? How Your Everyday Decisions Shape Your Life, by Jeff Shinabarger
Eating Problems for Breakfast, by Tim Hansel

  • How were the ideas in this message similar to, or different than what you’ve previously understood about the will of God?

  • Look again at the practical concerns & struggles Steve listed – which of these have you struggled with the most? Which of these seems least important? Are there other concerns you would add to the list?

  • What ideas in this message do you feel you need to understand better?

  • Look over the 5 things that make up the “guidance system” God has equipped us with. Which of these do you think you could live your without and still be pleasing to God?

  • What’s your personal take-away from this message? How can your group pray for you over this?

  • Talk with your children this week about knowing & doing God’s will. Explain, on their level the three aspects of God’s sovereign, moral and circumstantial will. Explain that God’s greatest concern, as expressed in scripture, is knowing and doing his moral will. Plan to memorize this scripture together: Ephesians 5:10 (ICB) Try to learn what pleases the Lord.

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