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Discovering the Will of God

Discovering the Will of God

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Published by Brian Volpone

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Published by: Brian Volpone on Jul 01, 2011
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Discovering the Will of God
Intro:
Discussion questions:
 If you knew that you’d meet God tonight, what would you dodifferently today?
Cf. the responses below:
o
A lady once asked John Wesley if he knew that he would die atmidnight the next day, how would he spend the intervening time.He replied, "Why, madam, just as I intend to spend it now. Iwould preach this evening at Gloucester, and again at fivetomorrow morning; after that I would ride to Tewkesbury, preachin the afternoon, and meet the societies in the evening. I wouldthen go to Martin's house...talk and pray with the family as usual,retire myself to my room at 10 o'clock, commend myself to myHeavenly Father, lie down to rest, and wake up in glory."
o
Once, while Francis of Assisi was hoeing his garden, he wasasked, "What would you do if you suddenly learned that you wereto die at sunset today?" He replied, "I would finish hoeing mygarden."
 Does God have a specific will for your life, a specific place and  position picked our just for you?
Yes! cf. Jeremiah 1:4-5
 Then the word of the LORD came unto me, saying,Before I formed thee in the belly I knew thee; andbefore thou camest forth out of the womb I sanctifiedthee, and I ordained thee a prophet unto the nations.
Mr. Bertou – “What does God want you to do with your life?”
How can you discover God’s will for your life?
Some things are obviously God’s will
(examples:)
1.
Sanctification
is God's will for usA.Avoiding sexual immorality and impurity is God's will for us1 Thessalonians 4:1-8B.Wise living is God's will for us Ephesians 5:15-21C.Non-conformation, transformation, and renewal are God's will for us Romans 12:1-2D.Continual rejoicing, ceaseless prayer, and constant thanksgivingare God's will for us 1 Thessalonians 5:16-18
2.
Security
is God's will for us John 6:38-40
3.
Service
is God's will for us Ephesians 6:5-9
4.
Suffering 
is God's will for us 1 Peter 3:17; 4:19
How do we discover God’s will in the other, not-so-obvious areas?
1.Preliminary considerations
A.Must be already committed to obedience
1)He won’t tell you so you can then decide whether to obey.You first commit to obey, and then He tells you!2)
Ill
> Us moving to PA – 1
st
considering on the drive northB.
Discovering His will is a
 process
not an
event 
.
1)
Ill>
Dwight Morrow and his wife were in Rugby, England.After wandering through the streets they realized they werelost. Morrow stopped a boy and asked if he could tell themthe way to the station. "Well," the boy answered, "You turn tothe right there by the grocer's shop and then take the secondstreet to the left. That will bring you to a place where four streets meet. And then, sir, you had better inquire again."
This is an example that, when you’re not sure what to doexactly, at least start moving in the right direction.
2)For us moving to PA, God first arrested my attention with aquestion (“Maybe we’ve forgotten how to live by faith”),then details came a year later.2.There are generally acknowledged to be three ingredients todetermining God’s will:A.
The Word of God
 – can’t contradict this!
B.The Peace/Leading of God
1)Very subjective but still important2)You can have more confidence in this when you’ve alreadycommitted to obedience3)Walter Knight told of an old Scottish woman who went fromhome to home across the countryside selling thread, buttons,and shoestrings. When she came to an unmarked crossroad,she would toss a stick into the air and go in the direction thestick pointed when it landed. One day, however, she was seentossing the stick up several times. "Why do you toss the stick more than once?" someone asked. "Because," replied thewoman, "it keeps pointing to the left, and I want to take theroad on the right." She then dutifully kept throwing the stick 
 
into the air until it pointed the way she wanted to go! Todayin the Word, May, 1989
 
C.
Circumstances
– another less than perfect guide1)A preacher received a call from a church that offered him asalary four times what he was then receiving. He spent muchtime in prayer trying to discern what God wanted him to do.One day a friend met the minister's young son on the street."Do you know what your dad’s going to do?" he asked."Well," replied the boy, "Dad's praying, but Mom's packing!"2)While crossing a bridge in London, John Wesley stumbledand sprained his ankle. Some friends carried him to the houseof Mrs. Mary Vazielle on Threadneedle Street. She was awidow with several children. She cared for Wesley and hisresponse to her concern was to ask her to marry him. If wewere writing fiction we might say that the sprained ankle wasGod's providential way to bring those people together. Butthe marriage was a disaster, and Mary finally left John. HadWesley consulted with his brother Charles, and asked for the prayers of the brethren, he might have avoided thatunfortunate situation. Mary was accustomed to her quiethome, and it was difficult for her to travel with her husbandand stay in uncomfortable inns. It is unfortunate that Marywas not content just to ignore John's ministry; she actuallyopposed it. She gave certain personal letters to his enemiesand even made additions to them that made them worse!Once she even pulled her husband around on the floor by hishair! "I felt as though I could have knocked the soul out of her!" one of Wesley's friends said. Wesley concluded that hisunhappy marriage encouraged him to work harder and notcomplain about missing the comforts of a home. Certainly itencouraged him to be away from home more!If we want God to guide us, our attitude needs to be right. Here are someguidelines as to how we can play our part in arriving at right decisions.First, we must be willing to think. It is false piety, super-supernaturalismof an unhealthy pernicious sort that demands inward impressions with norational base, and declines to heed the constant biblical summons toconsider. God made us thinking beings, and he guides our minds as wethink things out in his presence.Second, we must be willing to think ahead and weigh the long-termconsequences of alternative courses of action. Often we can only see whatis wise and right, and what is foolish and wrong, as we dwell on the long-term issues.Third, we must be willing to take advice. It is a sign of conceit andimmaturity to dispense with taking advice in major decisions. There arealways people who know the Bible, human nature, and our own gifts andlimitations better than we do, and even if we cannot finally accept their advice, nothing but good will come to us from carefully weighing whatthey say.Fourth, we must be willing to be ruthlessly honest with ourselves. Wemust suspect ourselves: ask ourselves why we feel a particular course of action will be right and make ourselves give reasons.Fifth, we must be willing to wait. "Wait on the Lord" is a constant refrainin the Psalms and it is a necessary word, for the Lord often keeps uswaiting. When in doubt, do nothing, but continue to wait on God.JamesPacker, Your Father Loves YouA bishop of a century ago pronounced from his pulpit and in the periodical he edited that heavier-than-air flight was both impossible andcontrary to the will of God. Oh, the irony that Bishop Wright had twosons, Orville and Wilbur!Jessica Hawn, former church secretary who committed immoral acts withJim Bakker, and later brought down the PTL empire, said God gave her "real peace" about granting an interview to Playboy magazine and posingfor topless pictures. She says she still considers herself a Christian, butgoes to God "one-on-one," not through any church or organization.“Do not hastily ascribe things to God. Do not easily suppose dreams,voices, impressions, visions or revelations to be from God. They may befrom Him. They may be from nature. They may be from the Devil.” JohnWesleyDr James Dobson's impression that someone in his family would diewithin a year (which didn't come true), Why Christians Sin, J.K. Johnston

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