Divine GPS: Getting a Grip On The Will of God – Part 5

Listen to the audio

Right click on audio player to download mp3 or to change listening speed

We would like to invite you now to take out your Bibles and turn in them in the New Testament to the book of Second Timothy and chapter number three in Second Timothy. Timothy is hiding behind Galatians, Ephesians, Philippians, Colossians, and then you have the two Thessalonian letters and then you have First Timothy and then Second Timothy.

How do you get a grip on the will of God? What does God desire me to do? What’s the will of God about my life vocation and where I go to school? What’s the will of God? Should I look for a new job? Who am I supposed to marry and when am I supposed to marry them? What’s the will of God? How many children am I supposed to have? What are we supposed to do with our children in regards to schooling? What is the will of God? When should I trade in my car? By the way, I’ve wrestled with that one recently because I just finished a search for a new used car. But how do you get a grip on the will of God?

I read about a lady who had someone else hand to her a brochure and it was a trip or a tour of Israel. This brochure was all about that, and so she got it out and she was looking at it and she was someone who had the money to be able to afford that tour of Israel and she also had the time available, the vacation time available to take it, and yet she was thinking ‘What is the will of God, though, for me about this? Should I take this trip? And uh, I need a sign about the will of God.’ So she went to bed that night and was reading back through the brochure and was noticing the itinerary of the tour of Israel and noticing that when they went over from the States to Israel, they would be flying on a jumbo 747. Finally she went to sleep for a little while. But all night long she was just fretting about whether it was the will of God for her to go or not to go on this tour of Israel. When she woke up in the morning she was very relieved because she now knew it was the will of God for her to go on this tour of Israel. How? Because when she woke up and rolled over and looked at her digital clock, it said 7:47. Thus, she knew it was the will of God.

I heard about another Christian gentleman, a younger guy, he was in Washington D.C. and he was struggling with what his career really ought to be. What should he do for his career? Should he go into vocational Christian ministry, should he get another job? And so he was driving around one day in D.C. actually thinking these thoughts to himself and suddenly he runs out of gas and he coasts to a stop right in front of the embassy to the Philippines and he goes “Ah, ha! A sign from God, I’m to be a missionary to the Philippines.” Now I hear that story and I wonder what would have happened if he would have coasted to a stop in front of an X-rated book store or something, you know?  Would that be a sign from God, I should go into the book store?

It’s interesting how we work through this will of God thing, isn’t it? And the way we struggle with it and the way we’re looking for signs. How do I determine the will of God, how do I know the will of God? And for several weeks now, I’ve been sharing with you my personal understanding of how to get a grip on the will of God and this is an understanding that I have come to as I’ve done two things. Number one is, I’ve spent time in the Word of God. And number two is, I’ve simply walked through my life experiences, so if you’ve been with in this short series of messages, what you really are getting is my personal theology that I’ve developed both from Scripture and just from the way that life has unfolded. And these principles have been a great encouragement to me and therefore I wanted them to be a great encouragement also to you, and so we’ve been doing this series that we have entitled “Divine GPS: Getting a Grip On The Will of God.” And if you haven’t heard the previous messages, I would encourage you to get them. They’re available on our website and you can download them or just simply listen to them that way.

But among Christians there’s a great desire to know the will of God and yet there’s a lot of confusion about that. And then that leads to a lot of frustration because there’s a lot of times in life when we just wish we could, you know, look up and the clouds would sort of line up and spell out that place we are to go, you know, Kalamazoo…and then we’ll just feel so good about moving to Kalamazoo. We would like to get, isn’t it true, a postcard from God?  Maybe a text message? Maybe an e-mail from the Savior? Have you ever felt that way? I know I’ve been through those times where you just hope you get that little message, “Marry Jennifer”, “Buy the green Toyota”…everything’s just simpler when you get the messages like that, but God doesn’t really work that way. We’ve been seeing that the answer is not in finding some fancy formula or some mechanical approach, it’s rather going back to the foundation of getting a grip on the will of God. And we’ve been pointing out that the foundation has two pillars to it, the Living Book and the Living Person. And we’ve been saying that He works through the Living Book, through the Word of God, as we search the Scriptures. And He works through the Living Person, through the working of God and His relationship as we deepen our relationship with Him.

Now you’re in Second Timothy, chapter three, and I just want to remind you, I don’t want to undersell the importance of the Word of God here. In Second Timothy, chapter three, verse sixteen, it says that “All Scripture is inspired by God and is profitable.” For what? “For teaching, for reproof, for correction, for training in righteousness, so that, this is the outcome, that the man of God,” the woman of God, “may be adequate and equipped for every good work.” So please don’t over look this pillar of the Living Book and searching the Scriptures. But what we’ve really been talking about for several weeks is this second pillar, how He is at work in His relationship with us and we’ve been pointing out He is at work in His relationship with us internally and also externally.

And remember, we’ve looked at the internal ways He leads us, first through compulsion, through giving us desires, convictions and impressions through conscience. Next, our conscience will signal to us what is right and wrong and also then through common sense. We have been given by Him a capacity to reason and we’re to look for what is sensible in life. But, He not only is at work internally through us, He’s also at work externally and last week we looked at the first element of that, which is through counsel. He will convey His will through Godly counsel to us.

What we want to look at today is that second way that He works in us externally in His relationship with us, and that is through circumstances. Now I didn’t say circumcision, ok? Circumstances, He works through circumstances. And here’s the goal we have for today, we’re really gonna just do two things. Number one, I want to look at this final “C” word, of circumstances. And then, number two, I want to  just share with you some final thoughts that I have about this whole subject of getting a grip on the will of God. So those are the two things we’re gonna do today.

First of all, we want to look at that last “C” word, the word circumstances. And if you will remember very early on when we started our study of this subject matter, we actually began in Ephesians, chapter one, and we talked a little bit about verse eleven, where it says that, “God works all things after the counsel of His will.” Now when it says God works all things after the counsel of His will, does that include circumstances? Yes. He works all things after the counsel of His will.

Gonna give you several passages, you can jot them down, Psalm 103, verse 19 says “The Lord has established His throne in the heavens, His sovereignty rules over all.” All things, including circumstances, fall within His rule. And then we’ve seen before Romans 8:28, “God works all things together,” He is even working in circumstances. And so what we’re saying is that circumstances can point to the providence of God. And all of us have had experiences with that, you know we’ve had an unexpected phone call, the circumstance that arises. Or we have a chance conversation with somebody, or there’s a coincidence that happens, you know, “coincidence”. We just “happened” to meet someone and God has a plan for how He wants us to interact with them. He works all things after the counsel of His will. Let’s word it another way, He is at work in the circumstances of our lives.

And men and women, the truth of the matter is that there are no accidents in life. There’s a perception that there are accidents in life, but there are no accidents in life because He works all things after the counsel of His will. Nothing is mere chance, there is divine design in life and part of what we need to do is we need to be alert to His providential hand in things.

Now I want to illustrate that, first of all in Scripture and then secondly I’m going to illustrate it from my own life. So let’s illustrate how God is at work, His providential Hand is at work can be seen by going back in the Old Testament to the book of Ruth. So go back in the Old Testament to the book of Ruth. After the first five books of the Old Testament then you have Joshua, then you have Judges, and then you have the book of Ruth. So you’ve got the first five books, Joshua, Judges, and then Ruth. And I want you to go to Ruth, chapter two. Now I want to set up a little bit of a context here. Naomi and her family had fled a famine in Israel, had gone down to Moab and her sons had married Moabite women and one of those was Ruth. Ruth ends up losing her husband in death. In fact, all the men end up dying, and Ruth chooses to give allegiance to her mother-in-law Naomi, and to her mother-in-law’s God, who was Yahweh God. She makes a decision to make it a priority to be faithful to God and to her family, and to do what is right and to serve God.

And so they return to Israel. Now I want you to see what happens in chapter two, and verse three. Basically they had no money, they were very, very poor and so one of the ways if you were poor that you could get food is–you couldn’t go down to the Super Wal-Mart and buy something–they would glean in the field. In other words, some of the harvest would be left behind, and so one of the things you could do is walk in the field and then you could pick up some of the spillage of the harvest and that was the way poor people would eat and so that’s what she does.

She departs in verse three and she goes out and she gleans in the field after the reapers, but then what I want you to notice what happens here. “And she happened to come to the portion of the field belonging to Boaz.” Now one of the things you need to understand, in this era of the history of Israel, it was a tremendous era of unfaithfulness and immorality and disobedience. There weren’t very many Godly men around. But she just “happens” to come to the field of Boaz, who was an upright, Godly, sensitive man and if you know the story, you know what ends up happening. She eventually ends up marrying Boaz and as a Moabite woman, she ends up being part of the very lineage of the Messiah. You can see that at the end of chapter four. Who is Ruth? She is the great-grandmother of David. Now, I just want you to see, though, how God’s will was at work through circumstances here. It just circumstantially happened to happen that she came upon the field of Boaz. And so far as we know, by the way, the Lord never spoke directly to her, the Lord never gave her any dreams or visions, but His will was worked in her life through circumstances. He was leading and guiding her through providence in circumstances.

Now, I want to illustrate this also in my own life and if you can humor me for a minute, we need to turn the clock back quite a ways in my life. My family lived in New Jersey and moved to the Kansas City area when I was 11 years old  While I was 11 years old there was an older couple who came to town and held a special children’s presentation and shared the gospel of Jesus Christ. I responded to that message and I trusted Christ as my Savior at the age of 11. Now I never really grew spiritually at all, but I trusted in Christ for my forgiveness. From the age of 11 through 17, I stayed there in the Kansas City area, then halfway through my junior year of high school my family was moving back to New Jersey. In KC I had a girl friend and I had a lot of friends, I was going to a brand new high school, I did not want to go back to New Jersey, I dragged my feet [resisting doing something because you don’t really want to do it] as much as you can when you are 16 years old. I flat didn’t want to go.

After we moved, when it came time to graduate from high school, I wanted to go back, I wanted to go back to the University of Kansas, which is where a lot of my friends were going to go. But through a series of events–I won’t bore you with some of the circumstantial details–but that just couldn’t happen.  So I began to apply to other colleges. I was very interested, by the way, in applying to OU [Oklahoma University], because I had been to Norman, but OU required the ACT achievement test and I had only taken the SAT test [college entrance exams]. So, I thought, No, I’m not gonna take another test, so I threw OU out of the wash [out of consideration].

Finally it came down to two schools that I was going to attend because I wanted to go to a top journalism school and those where the University of Texas and the University of Nebraska. Yeah, I know, kind of hard to believe isn’t it? (laughter..Texas is a big rival to OU)   Well, anyway, which one was I gonna go to? Well, I’ll tell you how I figured this out. I got a map out and I noticed that the University of Nebraska was closer to Kansas City than the University of Texas. That was it. I mean that’s how high-tech I was on the decision. And so we went to the University of Nebraska. I gotta tell you, in my very first semester there, I had one primary goal. It really wasn’t to make the honor roll. My primary goal when I went to college is, I wanted to get a serious girlfriend.That was it, that was my whole perspective.

So I moved from New Jersey to Nebraska. I’d never even stepped foot in the state before this. I had no car, that makes it kind of tough, you know, to get the “chick” [slang word for a female] thing going when you don’t even have wheels. But that was my whole goal and in that first semester I met this girl that I liked, her name was Janet, and we dated one time. And I thought, I’d like to date that girl a little bit more, so I called her up and I said to her, you know “Would you like to go out, you know, this next Friday or Saturday?”

“Ah, I’m busy”

“Would you like to go out, you know, the next weekend? Friday or Saturday, you know?” “I’m busy”

Would you like to go out the weekend after that, you know?”

“I’m busy”

I said to myself, “Ah, forget that. I get the little message she’s sending my way.”

Well, I got to the end of that first semester…this is actually going somewhere, ok? I want you to see how God is at work in circumstances. I got to the end of the first semester, and at the time, the way it worked, is you went to Christmas break for many days, and then you would come back for like a week and then there would be a short semester break for a few days and that’s what happened. I’m at semester break;  I have no where to go. I had just been back to New Jersey for Christmas so I couldn’t go anywhere and they would keep the dorm [housing for college students] open, and I was in the dorm. Our dorm floors had 88 men on them and there was only 2 of us left on my floor for that weekend semester break. A foreign student and myself.

While I was there I heard this knock on my door and this guy came to my room and introduced himself as Dean Hatfield and began to talk to me about spiritual things. As we talked he got kind of excited, actually got some tears in his eyes, and he goes, “You know, I want to spiritually adopt you, I want to disciple you.” And I’m thinking, “Oh my goodness, a religious fanatic has showed up in my room,” Even though I knew the Lord, I mean, I didn’t want anything to do with a fanatic. And he said, “I’m gonna come back and see you again.”

Well, I tell you, I avoided him for weeks, every time I heard he was coming, I went the opposite direction and finally he caught me in my room one day and he said to me, “I want to invite you to a Bible conference.”  Now, I’m going to be again real honest with you, this is, this is what went on in my mind, “A Bible conference? Are you kidding me? Why would I want to go to a Bible conference?” The bible to me seemed boring. And I said, “Well, where is it gonna be?” And he said to me, “Kansas City” You could have said anywhere else in the universe, and I wouldn’t have gone. But because it was in Kansas City I went.

When I went to Kansas City there was a guy by the name of Chet McCalley [a pastor in Kansas City] there, and the theme of the weekend Bible conference was The Grace of God. I wish I could take you back and had taken snapshots of my face that weekend because I had never heard anyone teach the Bible like that. I had never heard anything about the grace of God before and I was absolutely bowled over [amazed]. I was very much, I think, like a starved baby who hadn’t had any good food to eat for years. And I literally took off on a spiritual journey. I totally forgot about the girlfriend thing. I had long since forgot about the Janet thing, and I went into this deep spiritual growth phase. And what happened is, in September of my sophomore year– now we’re gonna get to some circumstances, these are what I’m trying to focus on–everyday for a week on a campus of 25,000 students, in different locations, I ran into this girl that I had dated one time the year before. Every day for a week. Now at this point I was much more tuned into God and I knew that He works all things after the counsel of His will.  I knew that He’s at work in the circumstances of our lives, I knew there were no accidents, I knew there was divine design in life and I was sensing the providential hand of God.

Now, I want you to know something, I had, at this point, zero interest in having a girlfriend. But I began to think, ‘This isn’t an accident and maybe God wants me to really take her out on a date so that I can share the gospel of Jesus Christ with her,’ and so I decided to move ahead on that premise. And it took a couple of dates for me to get up the courage, but I did and I shared the gospel with her In the parking lot behind the Able-Sandoz Dormitory complex, Janet prayed to trust in and receive Christ. And of course eventually we got married and that’s my wife. But what I’m trying to show you is, that God was at work in circumstances and if I wasn’t tuned in to that, see how I might have missed a special thing that God wanted to do?

We will discover the will of God through the working of God in His relationship with us and He is at work externally through circumstances. And you know one of the things that’s really cool about this, is when you have that perspective; it can make everyday life an adventure, because you’re not looking at things like they’re just accidents. But God is at work at all times and our eyes need to be open to His providential hand. So, that’s the final “C” word that we want to look at, but I want to close today with some final thoughts about this whole idea of getting a grip on the will of God.

So here we go. Final thought number one: God never works in a way that contradicts truth. God never works in a way that contradicts truth. Truth overrules. Truth is the ultimate check. Now, if you’re in the book of Ruth, I want you to turn a little bit to the right to the book of First Samuel, chapter number 24. And I want to show you how this works, First Samuel, chapter number 24. And we have part of the story of David and Saul. You know God had said, ‘I’m gonna make David king, Saul was the king, and an event happens. This is very interesting to me. In verse one it says that, “Saul returned from pursuing the Philistines,” you might remember Saul was out to kill David because he didn’t want him to replace him as king, and Saul was told, “David is in the wilderness of Engedi. So Saul took 3,000 chosen men from all of Israel and he went to seek David and his men in the front of the Rocks of the Wild Goats.

And Saul came to the sheep folds on the way, where there was a cave and he went into the cave to relieve himself.” Don’t you just love scripture; the way that it…you know literally what it says in Hebrew here?… it says, “He went into the cave “to cover his feet.” Now without getting very graphic, how do you end up covering your feet? You know, you’re dropping something, so you understand what he’s doing in the cave, alright? Saul goes into the cave to do this little private business that he needs to do, and David and his men are in the cave. And I want you to notice basically what they end up saying is,‘This is the day that the Lord has given to you to take Saul out.’ And David goes forward and he cuts, you know there’s some clothing laying there, and David he just kind of sneaks up and he cuts a little bit of clothing off of Saul’s clothing. But I want you to notice what happens afterwards, verse 5. David’s conscience bothered him because he’d cut off the end of Saul’s rob and he said to his men, “Far be it from me because of the Lord, that I should do to this thing to my lord,” Saul, the Lord’s anointed, to stretch out my hand against since he is the Lord’s anointed.”

And so, basically his men were saying, ‘This is our chance to take out Saul,’ a fortuitous circumstance. But David goes, ‘uh, uh’. So why did he say no? Because David knew what it said in Psalm 105 verses 13-15 and that is, Yahweh’s longstanding position was that the leaders of Israel were not to be touched. Don’t touch the Lord’s anointed. In other words, God is the one who will take care of the king. And so David goes, ‘We’re not gonna do it, because truth is going to over rule these circumstances.’

And then I want you to notice in chapter 26, along about verse 27, there’s another situation, David and Abishai come to the people by night and “behold Saul lay sleeping inside the circle of the camp with a spear stuck in the ground at his head.” Another circumstantial thing happens, they come upon Saul’s little group when they’re asleep, Saul’s asleep on the ground, there’s a spear right at his head, and Abner and the people were laying around him and Abishai said to David, “Today God has delivered your enemy into your hands.” Look at the circumstances here. “Now therefore please let me strike him with the spear to the ground with one stroke.” I can pick it out of the ground and drive it right through his heart right there and the whole thing will be all over. We won’t have to worry about it at all. But David said to Abishai, “Do not destroy him, for who can stretch out his hand against the Lord’s anointed and be without guilt? As the Lord lives, surely the Lord will strike him or his day will come that he dies or he will go down into battle and perish. But the Lord forbid that I should stretch out my hand against the Lord’s anointed.” Let’s get out of here.

I just simply want you to see that even though circumstances were at work there, that truth overrules. Truth overrules, it is the ultimate check on things. Now the reason why I say all of that is that, I’ve had people come talk to me, I have had a married man come talk to me who has absolutely no grounds, biblically, for divorce from his wife and he comes to tell me, ‘I’m going to divorce my wife,’

‘Why are you going to divorce your wife?’

‘Well, you just don’t understand, I have met this lovely lady. She has a much better personality than my wife has and I just want you to know I’ve really prayed about it, the circumstances are just clicking perfectly. It’s got to be the will of God for me.’

And of course, I have to say, ‘Wait a minute, time out. Truth overrules. The truth would say, ‘No, this is not the will of God for your life.’

I’ve had a person come speak to me, a younger person, a gal, and she’ll say, ‘You know, I met this great looking guy. He’s got this incredible personality. He really likes me and we’ve been pursuing this relationship pretty seriously and I think I can tell we’re on the precipice of commitment for marriage. But, he’s really not a believer. But I think it’s the will of God that we get married.”

And I have to say, ‘Wait a minute, time out here. Truth overrules. 2 Corinthians 6:14 talks about not getting partnered up with an unbeliever if you’re a believer in Jesus Christ.

“Yes, but…you know, I have this compulsion. Yes, but, the circumstances…so forth and so forth. Some people are even telling us we’re fit together.”

But truth overrules. It is the ultimate.

So the first thing is that God never works in a way that contradicts truth. Secondly, God often works through several means when it comes to determining the will of God. He will often work through several means. Again, an illustration of what happened to us a number of years ago, using the terminology that we’ve been looking a. Janet and I had this compulsion, this real conviction that we needed to have a larger house, our family was expanding, we were having our fourth child, we were now becoming a family of six, and so we just felt like we needed a larger home. It was a very sensible thing to do in terms of common sense, we had a relatively large equity in the house that we had, and we also had some money that was available to us, some stock that had been given to us when we were married, and we had held on to it, and it had grown.

And also, not only did we have the compulsion, and we had some common sense, but we also had counsel, because we went to both of our parents. I went to my parents and said, ‘What do you think?’ And they said, ‘You know, we think you ought to go for a bigger house,’ And we went to her parents, same thing, they said, ‘We think you ought to go for a bigger house’. And so, we made several attempts to get a bigger home and we had several dead-ends that came up. And finally we found a house that was functionally very perfect for us. It was a house that was in receivership to a savings and loan; people had defaulted on the loan. A savings and loan in Kansas City, by the way, was holding the note. So they were asking a very fair price for the house, and as we looked at our finances and everything, we determined that the top price that we could ever offer was going to be $34,000 less than their fair price. That was as high as we could go was $34,000 less.

Well, as I listened to the counsel of my wife, my wife said to me, ‘Well, what we need to do is…you don’t start off with what your max price is, you always come in a little lower.’ So she said, ‘I think we should offer $41,000 less than the asking price.’ This is where both her father and my father-in-law looked at me like ‘Are you guys completely nuts? Do you want to be laughed out of the room? You never offer $41,000 less.’

But I said, ‘You know what? I think my wife really makes good decisions in these kind of big type of situations, so that’s what we’re gonna do, we’re gonna offer $41,000 less. Now what we didn’t even fully understand at the time was, when our offer went in to them, somebody else’s offer went in to them and that offer was right at the asking price, so our offer came in at $41,000 less. One of the differences is, their offer had no money down [cash up front] and ours had this equity [cash from our previous home] and some of the stock money that we were gonna put in down.

So, the Saving and Loan basically countered back to the first offer, which was their asking price, and said, ‘If you go out and get financing somewhere else, cause we don’t want to be messing with this house anymore, then we’ll accept your offer.’ And then they countered an offer back to us, they countered back to us at exactly $34,000 less than the asking price, which was our exact top number. And we bought the house! We accepted quicker than the other guy did. And then by the way, that guy showed up at the closing and offered me an immediate $34,000 profit if I would just let him buy the house. And I said, “Nah, uh, uh. Not gonna do it.” And so we’re still living in that house today.

But what I want you to see is, you all of these principles were working together. We had some compulsion issues there and…and conviction issues. We had common sense that was playing in it. We had counsel that was playing in it and we had circumstances that were playing in to it. And I want you to know something, when we bought that house I had this incredible high confidence that it was the will of God because I saw all of those things coming together. God never works in a way that contradicts truth,

God often works through several means. But next, God also wants us, this is very important, to operate by faith. Jot down Romans 1:17, it says, “The just,” that’s describing those of us who know Him, “shall live by faith.” Anybody here believe that? Okay. What does that really mean, though, when we say the just shall live by faith? Well, it really means three things, number one; it means that He usually reveals His will step by step. Psalm 37:23 says, “The steps of a man are established by the Lord.” You know one of the phrases we use of the Christian life is we call it the Christian “walk,” right? How do you walk? One step at a time. And so He usually will reveal His will step-by- step. In Hebrews 11:8 it says this about Abraham, it says that “Abraham obeyed God and went out not knowing where he was going.” God told Him, ‘You need to go’ and what did he do? He moved out by faith, he didn’t even know where he was going, he just started taking steps. Think about Israel in the wilderness when they were wandering in the wilderness, what did they know about the will of God? They were just walking, following the cloud by day and the pillar of fire by night. Step by step, He was revealing His will for them.

Now we would vote for it to be different, wouldn’t we? We…we would really…in our heart we would like it to be different, we would vote for 20 years in advance, wouldn’t you? I mean I’d like to have the whole 20 years laid out ahead of me, know exactly what the will of God is, but He wants us to take it one step at a time. Why? What does one step at a time force us to do? To live by faith. It forces us to trust Him and that’s part of the plan that He has for us

Every once in a while, I take a deep breath and I just step back and I kind of marvel at what’s happened in 28 years at Wildwood. I really do, I just marvel at it, I marvel at what’s happened in Norman and the lives that have been touched and the people that are here and the staff that we have and the doors of ministry that have been opened to this church, in Mexico and in Latvia. The things that have been opened to me, representing you with FamilyLife [national marriage ministry] and couples around the country and I just marvel at all of that. How did…how did we get here? You know how we got here? A step at a time is how we got here, one step at a time.

Now I just know the way that some of us think and some of us have experienced life and some of us are saying, ‘Yeah, it’s a step at a time, but you know what? I took a step in the wrong direction. I took a step away from the will of God, I took a misstep in my life, I made a pretty big mistake and so it probably means that I’ve missed His will for my life, because I didn’t take the right step and took the wrong step.’ And if that may be true for you, I just simply want to say, by way of some encouragement, do you know that if you know Jesus Christ personally, and you have taken more than one step in the wrong direction that He is still your Father? And He is bigger than your missteps and He is bigger than your mistakes and I want you to know that there can never be a mistake–if you know Christ personally–there can never be a mistake that you will ever make that will rupture your relationship with the heavenly Father. There’s never a mistake, a misstep that you can take that will remove you from His presence. Some of you are thinking, ‘Since I’m out of His desired will, and I’ve been out for a while, I can never get back.’ That is a lie from the pit of hell. Do not believe that.

He wants us to operate by faith; He usually reveals His will step-by-step. The second thing operating by faith means is, He won’t always use the same indicators. You know what I’m saying?  He won’t always just do it the same way because He wants us to trust Him, He wants us to walk close to Him and He’s not going to focus on some sort of rigid formula. The next time I go buy a house will I expect it to happen in exactly the same way? No, because He wants me to walk by faith. At times He may work more through compulsion and conviction, than maybe He does through circumstances. Another time maybe more through circumstances than through compulsion, another time He may work more through common sense than He does through conscience. Another time He may work more through conscience.

And I just want to say this again, men and women, because this is so important, so much of the will of God in every day life is simply by doing what is sensible. So much of the will of God is just doing what is sensible. How much money does God want me to save? What is the will of God? Use your noggin [slang for “brain”]. The common sense that God has given. What brand of socks does God want me to buy? Just use your common sense, do what is sensible. I mean, again, we all wish on every decision that we have to make that we’d have a direct statement from Scripture…let me just go to see what the Bible says about socks…I mean, we wish we would get an e-mail from Heaven on these things. But God usually builds into life some degrees of uncertainty because He wants us to walk and live by faith.

Now I want to just say one thing, because this concerns me, because I know there are people who struggle with this thing, it’s very important that I make this point. If it your presupposition that you must be 100 percent certain in advance, if you must be absolutely, totally sure before you act, you will be spending much of your life paralyzed and high-centered [stuck in midair, unable to move]. Now you understand what I’m saying here? If you say ‘I have to always be 100 percent certain in advance, I have to be 100 percent sure before I act,’ you will spend a lot of your life paralyzed in high center because the just still have to live by faith. See what I’m saying?

Too many Christians spend their life hesitating, too many Christians spend their life ruminating because they’re waiting for the e-mail to be 100 percent sure. The just shall live by faith. God wants us to operate by faith, He usually reveals His will step-by-step, He won’t always use the same indicators, and finally, number three: to deepen and cultivate our faith, He’ll have us wait.

There’s a question in the Psalms that says this to God, “Why do you stand far off, oh Lord, why do you hide in times of trouble?”  Do you ever have that thought? ‘I want to know Your will, where are ya?’ Well, the answer comes in Isaiah chapter 30 verse 18, I’m gonna read it to you from the New King James version, “Therefore, the Lord will wait that He may be gracious to you and therefore He will be exalted that He may have mercy on you.” In other words, it’s saying He will wait so that we can experience His grace and His mercy and He will wait so that He will be exalted in us. We can be looking to the word of God, we can be looking to the word of God in our relationship through compulsion, conscience, common sense, counsel and circumstance and yet He may want us to wait.

I mean just look at…I mean it’s all over the pages of Scripture, look at Joseph. God gave him a dream of where he was gonna go and he had to wait. Look at Job, Job had to wait. I’ve told you the story about even coming to Wildwood, I came to Wildwood and visited it on a day in December, I had to wait six months, actually seven months before something actually happened. And it’s easy to get very edgy and panicky and yet what He wants us to do, is to live by faith. There’s gonna be times, men and women, as it says in Psalm 27:14, where the message from God is, “Wait for the Lord, be strong, let your heart take courage, yes, wait for the Lord.” And while you’re waiting, He’ll still be leading and guiding into His will.

We want to talk a little bit, quickly, about the life application for today and the life application that we have for today is the little yellow piece of paper that you received in your Lighthouse [Wildwood’s church bulletin]. What we have done is, we have taken this entire series and condensed it onto one little piece of paper. And the idea of this is, that when we’re wrestling through how to get a grip on the will of God, this little outline can help you, so you can tuck this into your Bible. We get a grip on the will of God through the Living Book, through the word of God, through the Living Person, through the working of God in His relationship with me, He is at work in His relationship with me…see all of this we’ve looked at….internally, externally…internally through compulsion, conscience and common sense, externally through counsel and circumstances, and then we’ve given some questions that we can all review. Have I searched the Scriptures? Are there any Biblical commands or principles that reveal His will? Number two, how is my walk with God? Am I pliable before Him? Am I walking by the Spirit? Number three, how is He at work internally through compulsion? Has He developed in me any deep desires, leadings and convictions? How ‘bout through conscience? Is my conscience sending signals? How ‘bout through common sense? What does common sense indicate? What is the sensible choice? How is He at work externally, number four, through counsel, have I sought out and carefully considered wise, Godly counsel? And then, how is He at work through circumstances? Does the turn of circumstances point a certain direction? Is His providence pointing the way? And then you’ll notice it says at the bottom of that, anticipate His leading and remember the principle of faith.

Let me give you the bottom line on getting a grip on the will of God. Stay in the Book and walk with Him and He will show you His will. Let’s pray together. Father, we just thank You again for just the refreshment that comes when we have a better understanding of the way that You lead and guide us as believers in Jesus Christ. And Father particularly today, I want to pray for those who may know You who have taken a misstep or they have made a mistake or they have drifted away from Your will for their life. And Father, I believe that today is the day for them to return to You. Today is the day for them to resubmit their will to Your will. Today is the day for them to get back on track. And if that is describing you, I just want you to know, His arms are open and ready to embrace you. Father, we thank You for loving us like You do, we thank You for the Holy Spirit, Who is at work in us, we thank You for the Word of God. We thank You for all the ways that You lead and guide us in showing us Your desire for us on this planet during our time here. And we thank You in Jesus’ name, Amen.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *