Summary: When things don’t go the way you planned do you begin to question whether or not you are in God’s will.


LUKE 2:1-7

Video clip: Life of Mary Part Three: Unfamiliar (

Introduction: The angel announced that Mary would give birth to the Messiah, the King of kings and Lord of lords. With the anticipation and wonder of the moment Mary said: “My soul magnifies the Lord, and my spirit has rejoiced in God my Savior. For He has regarded the lowly state of His maidservant; for behold, henceforth all generations will call me blessed.” Mary has traveled a hard sixty miles with Joseph to Bethlehem. Tradition says she rode on a donkey but we do not know. It is very possible that she walked most of the four day journey. Either way, both tired and in the pains of labor, Mary is confronted with the reality that there is no lodging available. She must give birth to the Messiah in a dark, smelly, animal stall, laying the new born baby in a feeding trough. When told of her calling Mary states, “I am the Lord’s servant, and I am willing to accept whatever he wants. May everything you have said come true.” In the video Margaret Feinberg asks a good question: “Do you think this is how Mary dreamed it would turn out when she found out she was going to give birth to the Messiah?” Was Mary wrong about her calling? Not at all! You are called by God and are excited that you are going to be used by Him to help build the Kingdom. You have visions of a successful ministry, sweeping encouragement with little opposition and tangible results. But things don’t go the way you planned and you begin to question whether or not you are in God’s will.

I. Questioning the Will of God

A. If this is God’s will then why aren’t things going smoother?

1. It seems like it is just one problem, one hurdle or one detour after another. After all if it is God’s will, wouldn’t He remove the hurdles?

2. Consider Joseph – hated by his brothers, sold into slavery, falsely accused by Potiphar’s wife, thrown into prison and forgotten there.

3. Genesis 50:20 But as for you, you meant evil against me; but God meant it for good, in order to bring it about as it is this day, to save many people alive.

B. If this is God’s will then why don’t I see more results?

1. If God called me to evangelism, why don’t I see more decisions?

2. If God called me to the children’s ministry why don’t I see more kids?

3. If God called me to teach why don’t more desire to learn?

4. Consider Noah – called in 2 Peter 2:5 “a preacher of righteousness” – preached for 120 years and only reached 7 other people who were all members of his own family.

C. If this is God’s will then why am I running into such opposition?

1. If God called me why do the doors seem to keep closing?

2. If God called me why is there so much opposition from Christians?

3. Consider Moses – continually challenged by the complaining, murmuring, rebellious, fickled Hebrews – even by his brother and sister.

4. Numbers 16:3 “They gathered together against Moses and Aaron, and said to them, "You take too much upon yourselves, for all the congregation is holy, every one of them, and the Lord is among them. Why then do you exalt yourselves above the assembly of the Lord?"

D. If this is God’s will then why am I struggling so hard?

1. I just don’t have the energy or stamina to go on. If this is the will of God shouldn’t life in general just go easier?

2. Consider David – anointed to be king of Israel – hunted by Saul, hiding in caves, often rejected by the people God chose him to rule over.

3. Psalms 40:8 I delight to do Your will, O my God, and Your law is within my heart.”

II. Prosperity is not necessarily an indicator that one is in the center of God’s will.

A. Psalms 73:3-4 For I was envious of the boastful, When I saw the prosperity of the wicked. For there are no pangs in their death, but their strength is firm.

B. Psalm 73-3-12 (HCSB) For I envied the arrogant; I saw the prosperity of the wicked. They have an easy time until they die, and their bodies are well-fed. They are not in trouble like others; they are not afflicted like most people. Therefore, pride is their necklace, and violence covers them like a garment. Their eyes bulge out from fatness; the imaginations of their hearts run wild. They mock, and they speak maliciously; they arrogantly threaten oppression. They set their mouths against heaven, and their tongues strut across the earth. Therefore His people turn to them and drink in their overflowing waters. They say, “How can God know? Does the Most High know everything?” Look at them —the wicked! They are always at ease, and they increase their wealth.

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