Making Sense of God’s Will

SERIES – When You Get Where You’re Going, Where Will You Be?

Matthew 6:10 KJV

Thy kingdom come. Thy will be done in earth, as it is in heaven.

Decisions determine destiny!

  1. My Search of God’s Will

Ephesians 5:10, 17 NLT10 Carefully determine what pleases the Lord. 17 Don’t act thoughtlessly, but understand what the Lord wants you to do.

Dimensions of God’s Will

  1. The Perfect Will of God

Romans 12:2 GNV – 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.

  • The Permissive Will of God

Deuteronomy 30:19 GNV – I am now giving you the choice between life and death, between God’s blessing and God’s curse, and I call heaven and earth to witness the choice you make. Choose life.

  • The Prevailing Will of God

Proverbs 19:21 GNV – People may plan all kinds of things, but the Lord’s will is going to be done.

How to Discover the Will of God

  1. Principles from God’s Word

Psalm 119:105 GNV – Your word is a lamp to guide me and a light for my path.

  • Pedagogy of Christian Counsel

Proverbs 19:20-21 ESV20 Listen to advice and accept instruction, that you may gain wisdom in the future. 21 Many are the plans in the mind of a man, but it is the purpose of the Lord that will stand.

Proverbs 28:26 ESV – Whoever trusts in his own mind is a fool, but he who walks in wisdom will be delivered.

  • Partnership of the Holy Spirit

Proverbs 3:5-6 GNV5 Trust in the Lord with all your heart. Never rely on what you think you know. 6 Remember the Lord in everything you do, and he will show you the right way.

John 16:13 GNV – When, however, the Spirit comes, who reveals the truth about God, he will lead you into all the truth. He will not speak on his own authority, but he will speak of what he hears and will tell you of things to come.

  • Peace of Conscience and Assurance

Colossians 3:15 GNV – The peace that Christ gives is to guide you in the decisions you make; for it is to this peace that God has called you together in the one body. And be thankful.

  1. The Surrender of God’s Will

Truths:

  1. God has a will for my life

Ephesians 5:17 GNV – Don’t be fools, then, but try to find out what the Lord wants you to do.

  • I have a will for my life

Acts 10:14a GNV – But Peter said, “Certainly not, Lord!

Jonah 1:3 GNV – Jonah, however, set out in the opposite direction in order to get away from the Lord. He went to Joppa, where he found a ship about to go to Spain. He paid his fare and went aboard with the crew to sail to Spain, where he would be away from the Lord.

  • My will and God’s will often conflict

Matthew 26:36-44 NIV36 Then Jesus went with his disciples to a place called Gethsemane, and he said to them, “Sit here while I go over there and pray.” 37 He took Peter and the two sons of Zebedee along with him, and he began to be sorrowful and troubled. 38 Then he said to them, “My soul is overwhelmed with sorrow to the point of death. Stay here and keep watch with me.” 39 Going a little farther, he fell with his face to the ground and prayed, “My Father, if it is possible, may this cup be taken from me. Yet not as I will, but as you will.” 40 Then he returned to his disciples and found them sleeping. “Could you men not keep watch with me for one hour?” he asked Peter. 41 “Watch and pray so that you will not fall into temptation. The spirit is willing, but the body is weak.” 42 He went away a second time and prayed, “My Father, if it is not possible for this cup to be taken away unless I drink it, may your will be done.” 43 When he came back, he again found them sleeping, because their eyes were heavy. 44 So he left them and went away once more and prayed the third time, saying the same thing.

2 Corinthians 5:21 NIV – God made him who had no sin to be sin for us, so that in him we might become the righteousness of God.

  • When God’s will and my will conflict, we must surrender to God’s will.
  1. The Service of God’s Will

The knowledge of God’s will is the greatest knowledge.

The discovery of God’s will is the greatest discovery.

The obeying of God’s will is the greatest accomplishment.

Martin Luther

Thy will – God’s plan

Be done – God’s partners

On Earth – God’s priority

God’s will is always the best way but it is not always the easiest way.

Matthew 8:18-22 NIV18 When Jesus saw the crowd around him, he gave orders to cross to the other side of the lake. 19 Then a teacher of the law came to him and said, “Teacher, I will follow you wherever you go.” 20 Jesus replied, “Foxes have holes and birds of the air have nests, but the Son of Man has no place to lay his head.” 21 Another disciple said to him, “Lord, first let me go and bury my father.” 22 But Jesus told him, “Follow me, and let the dead bury their own dead.”

Matthew 8:23-28 NIV23 Then he got into the boat and his disciples followed him. 24 Without warning, a furious storm came up on the lake, so that the waves swept over the boat. But Jesus was sleeping. 25 The disciples went and woke him, saying, “Lord, save us! We’re going to drown!” 26 He replied, “You of little faith, why are you so afraid?” Then he got up and rebuked the winds and the waves, and it was completely calm. 27 The men were amazed and asked, “What kind of man is this? Even the winds and the waves obey him!” 28 When he arrived at the other side in the region of the Gadarenes, two demon-possessed men coming from the tombs met him. They were so violent that no one could pass that way.

When you are in God’s will, you are not responsible for the results.

God’s perfect will for Joseph

Genesis 37:2-8 NLT2 This is the account of Jacob and his family. When Joseph was seventeen years old, he often tended his father’s flocks. He worked for his half brothers, the sons of his father’s wives Bilhah and Zilpah. But Joseph reported to his father some of the bad things his brothers were doing. 3 Jacob loved Joseph more than any of his other children because Joseph had been born to him in his old age. So one day Jacob had a special gift made for Joseph—a beautiful robe. 4 But his brothers hated Joseph because their father loved him more than the rest of them. They couldn’t say a kind word to him. 5 One night Joseph had a dream, and when he told his brothers about it, they hated him more than ever. 6 “Listen to this dream,” he said. 7 “We were out in the field, tying up bundles of grain. Suddenly my bundle stood up, and your bundles all gathered around and bowed low before mine!” 8 His brothers responded, “So you think you will be our king, do you? Do you actually think you will reign over us?” And they hated him all the more because of his dreams and the way he talked about them.

God’s permissive will for Joseph

Genesis 37:19-20, 28 NLT19 “Here comes the dreamer!” they said.  20 “Come on, let’s kill him and throw him into one of these cisterns. We can tell our father, ‘A wild animal has eaten him.’ Then we’ll see what becomes of his dreams!” 28 So when the Ishmaelites, who were Midianite traders, came by, Joseph’s brothers pulled him out of the cistern and sold him to them for twenty pieces of silver. And the traders took him to Egypt.

Genesis 39:6-23 NLT – 6 So Potiphar gave Joseph complete administrative responsibility over everything he owned. With Joseph there, he didn’t worry about a thing—except what kind of food to eat! Joseph was a very handsome and well-built young man, 7 and Potiphar’s wife soon began to look at him lustfully. “Come and sleep with me,” she demanded. 8 But Joseph refused. “Look,” he told her, “my master trusts me with everything in his entire household. 9 No one here has more authority than I do. He has held back nothing from me except you, because you are his wife. How could I do such a wicked thing? It would be a great sin against God.” 10 She kept putting pressure on Joseph day after day, but he refused to sleep with her, and he kept out of her way as much as possible. 11 One day, however, no one else was around when he went in to do his work. 12 She came and grabbed him by his cloak, demanding, “Come on, sleep with me!” Joseph tore himself away, but he left his cloak in her hand as he ran from the house. 13 When she saw that she was holding his cloak and he had fled, 14 she called out to her servants. Soon all the men came running. “Look!” she said. “My husband has brought this Hebrew slave here to make fools of us! He came into my room to rape me, but I screamed. 15 When he heard me scream, he ran outside and got away, but he left his cloak behind with me.” 16 She kept the cloak with her until her husband came home. 17 Then she told him her story. “That Hebrew slave you’ve brought into our house tried to come in and fool around with me,” she said. 18 “But when I screamed, he ran outside, leaving his cloak with me!” 19 Potiphar was furious when he heard his wife’s story about how Joseph had treated her. 20 So he took Joseph and threw him into the prison where the king’s prisoners were held, and there he remained. 21 But the Lord was with Joseph in the prison and showed him his faithful love. And the Lord made Joseph a favorite with the prison warden. 22 Before long, the warden put Joseph in charge of all the other prisoners and over everything that happened in the prison. 23 The warden had no more worries, because Joseph took care of everything. The Lord was with him and caused everything he did to succeed.

Genesis 40:23 NLT – Pharaoh’s chief cup-bearer, however, forgot all about Joseph, never giving him another thought.

God’s prevailing will for Joseph

Genesis 41:8-16, 46 GNV8 In the morning he was worried, so he sent for all the magicians and wise men of Egypt. He told them his dreams, but no one could explain them to him. 9 Then the wine steward said to the king, “I must confess today that I have done wrong. 10 You were angry with the chief baker and me, and you put us in prison in the house of the captain of the guard. 11 One night each of us had a dream, and the dreams had different meanings. 12 A young Hebrew was there with us, a slave of the captain of the guard. We told him our dreams, and he interpreted them for us. 13 Things turned out just as he said: you restored me to my position, but you executed the baker.” 14 The king sent for Joseph, and he was immediately brought from the prison. After he had shaved and changed his clothes, he came into the king’s presence. 15 The king said to him, “I have had a dream, and no one can explain it. I have been told that you can interpret dreams.” 16 Joseph answered, “I cannot, Your Majesty, but God will give a favorable interpretation.” 46 Joseph was thirty years old when he began to serve the king of Egypt. He left the king’s court and traveled all over the land.

Genesis 50:18-20 GNV18 Then his brothers themselves came and bowed down before him. “Here we are before you as your slaves,” they said. 19 But Joseph said to them, “Don’t be afraid; I can’t put myself in the place of God. 20 You plotted evil against me, but God turned it into good, in order to preserve the lives of many people who are alive today because of what happened.

The song is By and By not bye and bye.

Mark 6:24-25 KJV24 And she went forth, and said unto her mother, What shall I ask? And she said, The head of John the Baptist. 25 And she came in straightway with haste unto the king, and asked, saying, I will that thou give me by and by in a charger the head of John the Baptist.

Luke 21:9 KJV – But when ye shall hear of wars and commotions, be not terrified: for these things must first come to pass; but the end is not by and by.

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