This Sermon From Adrian Rogers Legacy Collection
Used By Permission © 2010 www.ARLC.org
Take God’s Holy Word, please, and turn with me to the Book of Colossians, chapter 1. We’re going to read verse 3, and then, verses 9 and 10. And, as you’re finding it, and as you’re looking it up, I want you to listen to this question I have for you today. I want you to imagine, first of all, that you are face to face with the Lord Jesus Christ. Now, we know He’s always with us. He lives in us. We understand that. But, I want you, in your imagination, to imagine that Jesus Christ, in a bodily form, face-to-face, eye-to¬eye, is standing before you. Now, of course, right away, you’d just want to fall on your face, and worship Him, and praise Him. But now, let’s suppose that you had an opportunity to ask Jesus Christ one question. What would you ask Him? You have an opportunity to say, “Lord Jesus, there’s something I want to know. Would you please tell me?”
I have an idea; I know what you would ask. I believe you would ask Him the same thing the Apostle Paul asked him, when the Apostle Paul met him face to face. And, what the Apostle Paul said to him was, “Lord, what would You have me to do?” (Acts 9:6). As a matter of fact, the Apostle Paul asked the Lord Jesus, that day, on the road to Damascus, the two greatest questions that could ever be asked: number one, “Who art thou, Lord?” (Acts 9:5); number two, “What would You have me to do?”—Who are You? What do You want me to do? And, he spent the rest of his life discovering the answer to those two questions—just who Jesus is, and what Jesus wants him to do. “What would You have me to do, Lord?” Not, “Lord, what do You want others to do?” Not, “Lord, what do others want me to do?” But, “Lord, what would You have me to do?”
When we take surveys, and we say, “What do you want to hear a sermon on?” People will always say, “Tell us how to find the will of God for our lives; I want to know the will of God for my life.” Now, when you pray for your loved ones, what do you pray for them? Do you pray for them that they’ll be healthy, wealthy, successful? Or, do you pray for them that they’ll know the will of God for their lives?
Notice how Paul felt about the church at Colossae—verse 3: “We give thanks to God and the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, praying always for you” (Colossians 1:3). Paul prayed for this church. Wouldn’t you like to know what he prayed for them? Well, wonderful; let’s skip on down—verse 9: “For this cause we also, since the day we heard it, do not cease to pray for you, and to desire that ye might be filled with the knowledge of his will” (Colossians 1:9). Paul said, “This is what I pray for you: that you would be filled with the knowledge of His will, in all wisdom and spiritual understanding.” And, by the way, as we’re going to see in the message, that’s primarily the way you’re going to find God’s will: by wisdom and spiritual understanding. And, today, we want to help give you that spiritual understanding. The title of our message is “How to Know the Will of God”—“How to Know the Will of God.” “Lord, what will You have me to do?”
Now, Paul says, in verse 10, that he makes this prayer: “That ye might walk worthy of the Lord unto all pleasing” (Colossians 1:10). Now, friend, you cannot walk worthy of the Lord, until you know the will of the Lord. A worthy walk is a walk in His will, and that’s what pleases God. Nothing outside of His will pleases Him. And, if you please God, it doesn’t matter who you displease. And, if you displease God, it doesn’t matter whom you please. And, the way to please God is to walk, in His will, a worthy walk. And then, that will make you fruitful. “Being fruitful in every good work, and increasing in the knowledge of God” (Colossians 1:10).
Now, Paul says, “I want you to know the will of God. And, I pray for you, that you might know the will of God. My prayer for you…” But, He is the dynamic. God makes it possible for you to do His will. He shows you the way. And then, He clears the way. He makes straight your paths. We’re so blessed. We have a Father above, who is controlling all things. We have the Savior beside us, directing our footsteps. We have the Spirit within us, impressing our hearts. God says, “I will guide you.”
Now, listen—God has a will for your life. Learn this about the will of God: There are three kinds of the will of God.
I. His Sovereign Will
I thought about these, and I decided I’d call the first His sovereign will—His sovereign will. That’s where God rules overall. And, God’s sovereign will is always done. God allows sin. God allows rebellion. But, I want to tell you, dear friend, that God is sovereignly working to make the kingdoms of this world the Kingdoms of our Lord and of His Christ (Revelation 11:15). And, Jesus shall reign. That’s His sovereign will.
Many times, we don’t understand His sovereign will. “Who hath known the mind of the Lord? or who hath been his counsellor?” (Romans 11:34) Paul asks. Let me give you a great verse: Deuteronomy chapter 29 and verse 29: “The secret things belong unto the LORD our God” (Deuteronomy 29:29). There are some things you’ll never know. Never make the mistake of saying, “Oh, if I were God, I would have done this. If I were God, I would have done that.” You’re not big enough, wise enough, or smart enough. “Who hath known the mind of the Lord?” (Romans 11:34). His ways are not our ways (Isaiah 55:8). “The secret things belong unto the LORD our God: but those things which are revealed belong unto us and to our children forever” (Deuteronomy 29:29).
That is, there are some things God doesn’t reveal; that’s His sovereign will. Or, we could call it, here, His secret will—His sovereign, secret will.
II. His Standard Will
But now, wait a minute. There’s another kind of will that He has, and that’s what I want to call His standard will—His standard will. There are certain things that are always right, and certain things that are always wrong: the Ten Commandments, the Sermon on the Mount, the Beatitudes—all of these things. It’s always wrong to steal, and to lie, and to cheat. And, it’s always right to tell the truth, and to do these certain things that are commanded in the Bible. That’s just God's standard will. Now, folks, it’s never right to do wrong. God has a standard will. And, it’s never wrong to do right. It’s just, there are certain things that apply to you, me, every one of us. That’s just simply plain. We read it there, in the Bible.
III. His Special Will
But now, wait a minute. There’s His sovereign will; there’s His standard will; and then, there’s His special will. God has a special will for you.
You see, God doesn’t deal with people in masses. God deals with people as individuals. He has as many plans as He has people. He has as many methods as He has men. And, you are not an accident; you are an incident. You are special in the plan of God and the mind of God. And, God has a very special way for you. And, listen—If you had been the only person who ever lived on this Earth, Jesus Christ would have died for you alone. You’re very, very special to God. And, God has a plan for your life.
I believe it was God’s sovereign will that I be saved. And, I believe that God chose me in him before the foundation of the world. I don’t understand that, but I bless God for it. That’s His sovereign will. But, I believe it was God’s standard will that I only marry a Christian, since I was saved, and God wanted me not to marry an unbeliever. But, I believe it was God’s special will that I marry Joyce. See? I can remember when I would date Joyce and walk her home. After I took her, we’d walk home from church, or walk home from school. We lived in the same neighborhood. We grew up together. I lived on the corner of 38th Street and Calvin Avenue. She lived on the corner of 39th Street and Spruce—2 blocks away, one block from the Junior High School and the Grammar School, one block, or two blocks, away from the church—our little neighborhood there. I believe that God sovereignly moved her near me. But, I also believe that God standardly said, “Adrian, you’re to marry a Christian girl.” But, I believe that God specially gave me Joyce. I thank God for that. And, I used to walk home and say, “Thank You, God, for Joyce. O Lord, let me marry Joyce. Please, God, make her love me.” And, I would just pray, “O God, I want Your will to be done in my life.” And, I believe that God chose that precious girl for me. And, I thank God for His special will.
A. Mistakes Made About Knowing and Doing the Will of God
Now, what we’re talking about is how can you, as an individual, know that very special will that God has for your life, what God wants you to do. How wonderful that is! Now, let me tell you something, friend. There are some very common mistakes that are often made about knowing and doing the will of God.
1. People Think the Will of God is Like a Roadmap
One mistake is that some people think that the will of God is like a roadmap, that God just gives it to you, and there it is: Here’s where you’re going to start, and there’s where you’re going to finish, and here’s the way you’re going to go. Thank God it is not a roadmap; it is a relationship. Learn that: The will of God is nota roadmap;itis a relationship. It is a relationship with God. I’m glad that God doesn’t show you the future ahead of time. I’m glad that, when I was a preacher boy, just surrendering to preach, God did not tell me I would have to preach to congregations this size. It would have scared me to death. But, God just simply said, “Son, just trust me, and follow me.”
When God led the children of Israel through the wilderness, He didn’t give them a map; He gave them Himself: a pillar of cloud and a pillar of fire to lead them. They didn’t have to worry about where they were going. They just had to make certain that they saw the pillar of cloud and the pillar of fire. Today, you don’t have to know the future; you just have to know Jesus. You have to know that there’s nothing between your soul and the Savior.
2. People Think that God is a Celestial Killjoy
Now, there’s another mistake that you might make, concerning the will of God. And, that is that God is, somehow, a celestial killjoy, some sort of a God, up there, that has some will that you really wouldn’t want to do if you knew it, so you’re afraid to ask Him what it is. Now, my dear friend, I want you to learn this about God: that God is a loving Heavenly Father, that He loves you. And, the Bible says, “The LORD thy God is a sun and shield: the LORD will give grace and glory: no good thing will he withhold from them that walk uprightly” (Psalm 84:11). “Every good gift and every perfect gift cometh down from above, from the Father of lights, in whom there is no variableness, nor shadow of turning” (James 1:17). God’s will is good, perfect, and acceptable (Romans 12:2), as we’re going to see later on. Don’t be afraid of the will of God. Dear friend, the will of God is not something that you have to do. It’s the will; it’s something that you get to do. He is a loving Father.
3. People Think that God Only Has a Will for Certain People
Now, there’s third mistake that a lot of people make, concerning the will of God. And, they get the idea that God has a will only for certain people: that God has a will for the pastor, the evangelist, the minister of music, the missionary, the church worker, but God doesn’t just have a will for everybody. Yes, He does. His will is for the plumber, as well as the preacher; for the secretary, as well as the missionary. Everybody is important to God. “The very hairs of your head are all numbered” (Matthew 10:30). And listen, dear friend, you are important to Him.
4. People Think that God Reveals His Will in a Cataclysmic Experience
And, don’t make this mistake: to think that when God reveals His will to you, He’s going to do it in some great cataclysmic experience, some great dramatic happening is going to show the will of God for your life. You remember Elijah, the prophet? He got perplexed and frustrated, and got out of the will of God, and got upset, a little bit. And so, God had to take him to a vacation retreat up in the mountains. And, God spoke to him there. In 1 Kings chapter 19, beginning in verse 11, here’s what happened: God said to Elijah, “Go forth, and stand upon the mount before the LORD. And, behold, the LORD passed by, and a great and strong wind rent the mountains, and brake in pieces the rocks before the LORD; but the LORD was not in the wind: and after the wind an earthquake; but the LORD was not in the earthquake: and after the earthquake a fire; but the LORD was not in the fire: and after the fire a still small voice” (1 Kings 19:11– 12). And, God was in that still, small voice.
Don’t think that, if God speaks to you, it’s going to be something radical and dramatic, and that you have to be an earthquaker. You can just be a quaker. You can just let God speak. Don’t make the mistake of looking for something radical, something dramatic.
5. People Think that the Will of God is Only for Young People
All right now, next: Don’t make the mistake of thinking that the will of God is only for young people, that if you’re an old person, you ought not to seek the will of God. You must seek the will of God fresh, every day. I don’t care how old you are. And, if you miss the will of God as a youth, you can still get in on it. And, one of the great promises of the Word of God is Joel chapter 2, verse 25, where God says, “I will restore to you the years that the locust hath eaten” (Joel 2:25). Isn’t that a wonderful promise? Maybe the locusts have eaten the years, the best years of your life, but that’s all the more reason—all the more reason—that now you may be 60, 70, 80, 90 years of age—for you to say, “O God, show me; I want to know, and I want to do Your will for my life.”
6. People Think God Hides His Will from Us
And, another mistake that some people often make is that God hides His will from us, that, somehow, it’s like an Easter egg hunt, that we must, somehow, try desperately to discover His will.
a. Guidance is Promised
As a matter of fact, you get your heart right—the will of God will find you. You don’t have to find it. I mean, God reveals His will to those who want to know and those who will operate as according to certain principles that I’m going to show you, in a moment. Now, Psalm chapter 32 and verse 8 says this: “I will instruct thee and teach thee in the way which thou shalt go” (Psalm 32:8). God’s not hiding His will from you. It’s not something hidden that you must find; it’s something that God reveals that you should obey. Now, let me say, dear friend, that guidance is promised.
b. Guidance is Provisional
But now, let me say something else: Guidance is provisional. What I mean is this: God will show you His will, provided you do certain things, provided you have certain attitudes, so God can speak to you. I want to mention four of them.
i. There Must Be a Willingness
First of all, there must be a willingness. You see, John chapter 7 and verse 17 says: “If any man will do his will, he shall know of the doctrine” (John 7:17). “If any man wants to do God’s will, you’ll know the doctrine.” Are you willing to do the will of God? Now, if you’re not willing to do the will of God, then you’re not going to know God’s will. Sometimes, we say we’re willing, but our minds are already made up.
I heard about a man who was a vagabond. He would just go here or there—just a happy hobo, just walking around. Somebody said, “Well, what plan do you have? Where do you travel?” He said, “I just go wherever I want to go.” And, they said, “Suppose you’re walking down the road and you meet…there’s a fork in the road.” He said, “How do you decide whether to go to the right, or how do you decide to go to the left?” “Oh,” he said, “it doesn’t make any difference to me.” He said, “I just have a stick, and I just throw it up. Whichever way it lands, that’s the way I go.” He said, “Sometimes, I have to throw it up as many as six times to make it land the right way.”
Now, sometimes, we are like that: “O God, it doesn’t make any difference. You know, whatever You want, I want to do.” But, we all, in the back of our mind, have, in our mind, what we want to do. And, we keep on praying—we keep throwing the stick up—till, finally, we think it comes down our way. And then, we say, “Oh, isn’t it wonderful? I’ve found the will of God for my life,” which is really just your own subconscious trying to force your will upon God. There must be that willingness.
ii. There Must Be a Meekness
And, I’ll tell you something else there must be, dear friend: There must be that meekness—meekness. Listen to Psalm 25, verse 9: “The meek will he guide” (Psalm 25:9)—“the meek will he guide.” Do you know what the word meek means? It actually
means, “teachable.” In the olden days, when a horse would be trained and broken, they would say the horse had been meeked, or the horse had been made meek. That is, he would respond to the reins. Now, are you—are you—guidable? Are you meek? Are you teachable? Some people are not teachable. Some people who are listening to me, right now—you’re mentally arguing, rather than listening. That’s the reason you don’t learn.
A boy drops out of school when he’s little. He says, “They can’t teach me anything.” He’s probably right, because he’s made up his mind they can’t teach him anything.
iii. There Must Be an Openness
Now, not only must there be that willingness, and that meekness; my dear friend, there must be that openness. The Bible says, in Romans chapter 8 and verse 14, “As many as are led by the Spirit of God, they are the children of God” (Romans 8:14). Now, what is the Spirit of God? The Spirit of God is that still, small voice. The Holy Spirit never shouts, and He never shoves. He never shouts, and He never shoves. If you find, between your shoulder blades, something just shoving you like that, that’s a compulsion—it’s from the devil. The Holy Spirit leads. If you find something shouting at you, that’s not God. There’s a still, small voice. Now, how are you going to hear that voice? You’re going to have to listen to the Lord. Do you have a quiet time? Do you have a time when you get away, and shut the door from all of the noise of the wind, the earthquake, and the fire, so you can hear that still, small voice? When you are alone with God, and when you get alone with God? Do you listen to God? Or, do you just come to God with a shopping list, and say, “God, I need this…I need this…I need this…I need this…I need this…” Rather than saying, “Speak, Lord, Your servant hears,” you say, “Listen, Lord, Your servant’s talking.” There must be, my dear friend, willingness. There must be meekness. There must be openness.
iv. There Must Be a Yieldedness
And then, there must be yieldedness. How important it is! Listen to Romans chapter 12, verses 1 and 2: “I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that ye present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable unto God, which is your reasonable service.” Just underscore that: “which is your reasonable service”: “And be not conformed to this world:”—don’t be squeezed in by this world—“but be ye transformed”—metamorphosed—“by the renewing of your mind…”—and then, you will know—listen—and then, you will know—“…what is that good, and acceptable, and perfect, will of God” (Romans 12:1–2). Question—question: If God were to offer you a contract, today, and say, “Will you sign this contract at the bottom, committing yourself to do my will,” would you sign it? You say, “Well, wait a minute; I… You never sign a contract without reading it first.” Would you sign His without reading it first? If not, you’ll not know God’s will. You say, “Show me Your will, Lord, and I’ll do it.” God says, “No, you just present yourself a living sacrifice, completely.” You say, “That’s not reasonable.” God says, “It is your reasonable service.” Why? Because of the mercies of God.
Jesus Christ died for you in agony and blood on the cross. Can you trust Him? Can you trust the One who loved you enough to give His life for you? Yes, you can trust Him—anybody who loves you that much. You can say, “Lord, I don’t even know what it is, but I’ll do it.”
You say, “I still would like to know.” All right, I’ll tell you three things about it: It’s good, perfect, and acceptable. Then, you will “prove what is that good, and acceptable, and perfect, will of God” (Romans 12:2). Do you need to know any more than that?
There must be a yieldedness to do the will of God. Are you committed to say to God, “Anytime, any place, anywhere, any cost?” Are you? Think about it: “Anytime, anywhere, any place, any cost. Any time, anywhere, any place, any cost; I want the will of God.”
Now, my dear friend, those are provisions: willingness, meekness, openness, yieldedness—willingness, meekness, openness, yieldedness. Willingness, meekness, openness, willingness. The reason that many of us do not know the will of God is we do not put ourselves in a place to receive the will of God for our lives.
c. Guidance is Very Practical
Now, let me give you a third thing: Not only is guidance promised, and not only is it provisional, but it is very practical. I want to tell you six ways, now—very practical ways—that you can know the will of God for your life. These are very practical ways.
i. The Word of God
Number one is what we call the Word of God—the Word of God. Much of the will of God for you is revealed right here, in the Bible, especially what we call God’s standard will—God’s standard will. Now, God’s special will may not be revealed: which girl to marry, which college to go to, and so forth. But certainly, God’s standard will is revealed for you. For example, the Bible says, “Don’t be unequally yoked together with unbelievers” (2 Corinthians 6:14). So, if you come to me as a teenager, and you say, “Pastor, I need to counsel with you. I want to marry Susie. Do you think I ought to marry Susie?” “Well, is Susie a Christian, Bill?” “No, Susie’s not a Christian, but I sure do love her. Do you think it’s God’s will that, maybe, I’d marry her and lead her to Jesus?” No, it’s not God's will. It is not God’s will. I mean, if the Bible says, “Do not be unequally yoked together with unbelievers,” that ought to settle it, right? I mean, that is the Word of God. Now, you’d better learn how to study the Word of God, so you can understand the Word or God. You don’t just open the Bible and do what I call a lucky dip, or take some text out of context. You can make it say anything, if you do that. You have to study the Bible. But listen—here’s the way God leads—Psalm 119, verse 105: “Thy word is a lamp unto my feet, and a light unto my path” (Psalm 119:105).
ii. The Providence of God
And, I want to tell you that one of the ways that I know the will of God for my life is that I have certain biblical principles that I try to apply to my life, day by day by day. And, they help me to know His will, especially what I call His standard will. Now, listen to your pastor, and listen big and plain: Never pray for guidance about what God has already commanded or what God has already forbidden. All right? Never pray for guidance about what God has already commanded or God has already forbidden. That is an open door; it’s all honey and no bees. You see, the door to the room of opportunity often swings on the hinges of opposition. And, you must be careful, therefore, to think that that, if it’s an open door, then there won’t be any problem, any difficulty. Paul said, “A great door and effectual is opened unto me, and there are many
adversaries” (1 Corinthians 16:9). And, in my own life, I’ve seen God guide me by opening doors and closing doors, and opening doors and closing doors.
iii. The Spirit of God
Now, I’ll give you the third way that God guides. First of all, I said what? The Word of God; secondly, the providence of God; now, here’s a third way that God guides: and it’s what we want to call the Spirit of God—the Holy Spirit of God. Now, Romans 8, verse 14: “For as many as are led by the Spirit, they are the sons of God” (Romans 8:14).
Now, the Holy Spirit is that still, small voice that speaks to you mystically. Galatians chapter 5, verse 18: “But if ye be led of the Spirit, ye are not under the law” (Galatians 5:18). The Holy Spirit guides. But remember, He doesn’t shout; He doesn’t shove. You must learn to listen intuitively to the Spirit. The Holy Spirit will never tell you anything contrary to the Word of God. But, the Holy Spirit may tell you some things that are not specifically mentioned in the Word of God, and may not make sense to you, logically or emotionally.
Let’s go back, again, to the privilege I have of being your pastor. When the pulpit committee invited me to come up here, very frankly, I did not want to come, because, I’ll tell you why: I was in a church in Florida, and God was blessing that church; and, the church was growing. I was very happy there. I had a very fruitful ministry there. And, I lived in a part of the country that I loved to live in. I love the ocean. I love water. I had a beautiful home, and a grapefruit tree there, right near the Indian River, where I had a little sailboat. I enjoyed that. I enjoyed the church. I enjoyed it all. Besides that, my mom and dad lived in Florida. All of my friends that I grew up with were in Florida. And, I’d seen that church grow, and had baptized most of those people. And, emotionally, psychologically, and even physically, I had no inclination to come here.
That’s not to say anything bad or negative about this area, but just to tell you where I was at that time. It’s not to say that I’m unhappy here. I am very, excitedly happy. But, at that moment—at that moment, when you invited me to come, and I prayed about it, agonized, and fasted, and went through every means that I know to find the will of God—I felt, finally, in my spirit, the Holy Spirit of God speaking to my spirit that I should come. And, I made a commitment to come. But, I want to tell you it took about 12 to 18 months for my soul to catch up with my spirit, for God to confirm in my mind, emotion, and will what He had told me, down deep in my spirit—that still, small voice. Now, my dear friend, that’s getting where we really have to depend upon God to so pray, so fast, so study, so yield, and so listen, that God can speak through His Holy Spirit.
I believe that God does speak. The Bible says, in Colossians chapter 3 and verse
15: “Let the peace of God rule in your hearts” (Colossians 3:15). Do you know what that means? That word rule means, “umpire”; it means, “arbitrate.” The Holy Spirit of God is an arbitrator; He is an umpire. And, when you get out of bounds in the game of life, He blows the whistle. And so, you let the peace of God arbitrate or umpire in your heart. Sometimes, in your life, as you’re praying, you’re going to do something—the Holy Spirit just blows the whistle, and says, “Don’t do that.” “Why not?” “Just, never mind; don’t do that.” The Holy Spirit just gives you, not a jingle, but a jangle. The jingle of excitement may be there; that’s okay. But, the jangle—no. When that shrill whistle that you, as a child of God, know is from the Lord Jesus, who said, “My sheep hear my voice,” when the Lord blows the whistle, you say, “No, I’m not going to do that” (John 10:27). Or, when the Holy Spirit of God gives you that assurance in your heart, then you’re being led by the Spirit of God.
iv. The People of God
Now, I want to mention a fourth way that He’s going to lead you: not only the Spirit of God—remember, we talked about the Word of God, the providence of God, the Spirit of God—and now, the fourth way is the people of God. God will lead you through counselors. Proverbs chapter 24 and verse 6 says this: “By wise counsel thou shalt make thy war:”—if you’re getting ready to go to war, you’d better get some counselors to talk to you—“and in a multitude of counsellors there is safety” (Proverbs 24:6). Now, talk to human counselors, but make certain—number one—that they’re mature, and that they’re spiritual, and—number three—that you remember that the Holy Spirit is the Supreme Counselor. But, God will give you friends, and none of us live to ourselves. None of us are so wise and so self-sufficient that we need not pray with counselors. And, if you’re a teenager, you’d better take your parents into consideration. God has given your mother wisdom, young lady, that you may never dream she has. She can know more by looking at a young man in 10 seconds than you can in 24 hours. You say, “Do you really believe that?” I do. I believe it’s a gift of God that God gives moms and dads. And, the Bible teaches that you need the wisdom of your parents. In a multitude of counselors there is wisdom.
v. The Wisdom of God
Now, the next way that God speaks to you is not only the people of God, but the wisdom of God. Ephesians chapter 5, verse 15: “See then that ye walk circumspectly, not as fools, but as wise” (Ephesians 5:15). Let me tell you what wisdom is. Let me tell you what J. I. Packer says that wisdom is—and I quote (and I think this is tremendous): “Wisdom is the power to see and the inclination to choose the best and highest goal, together with the surest means of attaining it.” Listen—you see the best goal. You choose the best goal. And then, you understand the surest way of reaching it. That’s wisdom; that’s wisdom. Now, folks, a lot of the will of God is found right here, between your ears. I mean, you wake up in the morning, and some people are so foolish—they say, “Now, Lord, I want You to lead me today. What tie should I wear?” Wear one that matches your suit. See, there’s a certain amount of wisdom that is really sanctified common sense. And, God gives you wisdom; you have the mind of the Lord. And, God is going to give you wisdom.
a. Six Character Qualities to Have, If You Want the Wisdom of God
Listen, I want to give you six character qualities. This is just a sub-point, right now; but you jot these down, if you want wisdom, because, my dear friend, this wisdom is the sum total and the homogenization of all of these other things that I’m talking about. And, wisdom is not emotion. It’s not getting wet around the lashes, warm around the heart. It
is sanctified common sense. And, here are six character qualities, if you want this wisdom:
Number one: reverence. Proverbs 9, verse 10: “The fear of the LORD is the
beginning of wisdom” (Proverbs 9:10). Do you have an awesome, awful—I mean, not awful in the bad sense—but a feeling of awe before Almighty God?
Now, not only reverence, but humility. Proverbs 11, verse 2: “With the lowly is wisdom” (Proverbs 11:2). You strut and swagger—you’ll not know God’s will.
Number three: teachableness. Proverbs 9:9: “Give instruction to a wise man, and he will be yet wiser: teach a just man, and he will increase in learning.” Are you teachable?
Number four: diligence. Proverbs 8, verse 17: “I love them that find me…”—wisdom is speaking—“I love them that find me; and those that seek me early shall find me”
(Proverbs 8:17). Do you have a time when you get up early, and get in the Word of God, and seek wisdom from God? God says, “You seek wisdom; you’ll find it.”
Now, listen: uprightness. Proverbs 2, verse 7: “He layeth up sound wisdom for the righteous: he is a buckler to them that walk uprightly” (Proverbs 2:7). If you have sin in your heart and in your life, it blinds you. Do you know what confession is? It’s the windshield wipers that clear the windshield so you can see the road ahead. You see, that’s what God does. When you confess, it just takes all that cloudiness, that blurriness out, that sin that dulls your mind. “He layeth up sound wisdom for the righteous” (Proverbs 2:7).
And then: faith. James 1, verse 5: “If any of you lack wisdom, let him ask of God, that giveth to all men liberally, and upbraideth not; and it shall be given him. But let him
ask in faith” (James 1:5–6). Wisdom is certainly a way to know the will of God, and wisdom is thinking the thoughts of God after Him.
vi. The Miracles of God
Last of all, I want to mention this—I must, to be fair; and, not only the wisdom of God, but the miracles of God. God, sometimes, speaks through voices, and visions, and miracles, and dreams—not frequently, very infrequently. And, I dare say, in this day and this age, when we have the Word of God complete as we have it, the need for that has largely vanished, in my opinion. And, even in the Book of Acts, it’s very seldom that we find God speaking—just a handful of cases, these ways. But, I would be less than honest if I did not tell you that God may, and God sometimes has; and, for all I know, God can do it again, if He wants to. But, that’s not the primary way that God speaks. Now those, my dear friend, are very practical ways for knowing the will of God for your life. It’s not as complicated as you may think. It’s hard to steer a ship that’s not moving. The way to understand the part of the Bible you don’t understand is to obey the part you do understand. “To him that hath shall be given. To him that hath not shall be taken away even that which he hath” (Matthew 25:59).
Let’s bow in prayer. Heads are bowed; eyes are closed. Father, I thank You, today, for Your Word, Lord, that’s so precious to my heart, even as I have preached it. And Lord, burn it into our hearts. In Jesus’ name. Amen.