Summary: Knowing God’s will is one of the most challenging aspects of being a Christian... or is it?
CAN YOU HEAR ME NOW? Part II: Discovering the Will of God
For two years I’ve been prom-ising this message. How can I tell what God wants me to do? How does a Christian make decisions? How does God direct us? What’s the secret? What’s the magic for-mula?
Last week on "How God Speaks Today"
„« Events "be more sensitized to the work of God in our lives"
„« Blessing "when something good happens, we need to train ourselves to go to God and say, (1) "Thank you", (2) "What do you want me to do with this?"
„« Trials "it takes a lot of molding and shaping to make us look like Jesus Christ"
„« Pain "God sometimes has to go to extreme measures to get our attention¡K ’what Lord’?"
„« Stillness "God sometimes speaks softly so we have to listen intently"
„« His Word "God has spoken" This is critical to what we’re going to look at this morning
„« His Son "God is driving eve-rything to eventually be under the Lordship of His Son"
What we want to look at this morning are the steps to take in Christian decision making. How do I decide? There are 8 steps in this process, but first a caveat: You are about to receive a loaded gun. You are about to receive in-formation that if not taken as a whole, you’re asking for trouble. You are about to receive infor-mation that can be misused.
But it can be liberating, it can be freeing, and it can add or re-store joy to your life as a disciple and follower of Jesus Christ.
First, Two meanings of "God’s Will"
1. God’s secret will: Found in newspapers
2. God’s revealed will: Found in His Word
STEP 1: KEEP A SPIRITUAL PERSPECTIVE
"Trust in the Lord with all your heart¡K in all your ways ac-knowledge Him"
A. As Christians, we can never divorce our spiritual side from our physical or secular side
1. People watch us
2. The Holy Spirit is in us
3. There is no such thing as a part-time Christian
B. The decisions we make have a spiritual dimension to them
1. God cares about what you do
2. God cares about where you go
3. God cares about how you live
C. We need to learn to "think like a Christian"
1. TableTalk June 26th
2. The problem is, we’ve let the world squeeze us into its mold!
3. Our faith works outside these walls, folks!
"We acknowledge God when we demonstrate trust, practice submission, give ourselves to prayer, and live in obedience to Him." -- "How Can I Know What God Wants Me To Do?" (Radio Bible Class book-let)
STEP 2: REFERENCE GOD’S WORD
"and lean not on your own un-derstanding"
A. God’s Word is His revealed will
1. This is where and how God tells us what He thinks on things
2. It is our owners manual for living on planet Earth
3. Ephesians 5.15-17
B. The problem is, we don’t know enough about God’s Word to use it as a compass!
1. That’s why we’re reading it together
2. That’s why we study it to-gether
3. That’s why AWANA learns to "handle accu-rately the Word of truth"
C. Specifics vs. Principles
1. The Bible has some spe-cifics
„« Worship God not idols
„« Honor your parents
„« Don’t murder
„« Don’t commit adultery
„« Don’t lie
„« Don’t covet
„« Don’t take a Christian to court
„« Don’t steal
„« Tell the truth
2. The Bible more generally uses principles
„« that’s why it’s stood the test of time
„« The better we learn the principles, the con-cepts, the strategies God has given us, the better we can use and apply His Word to our particular, peculiar situation!
3. This bothers a lot of peo-ple. Some prefer strict guidelines.
„« But the Spirit of God takes the Word of God and applies it to the Child of God
„« And in Christ, we have freedom!
So, we want to apply Biblical principles to our decisions (see 2 Corinthians 10.5 on outline)
How does this work? Is God go-ing to call you to become a ciga-rette tester? How about a whiskey tester? How about a bartender in a strip club? How about a loan shark?
Sometimes, God gives specific direction on specific issues, and we must follow His Word, or be prepared to suffer the conse-quences!
STEP 3: EXAMINE THE CONSEQUENCES OR RE-SULTS
"in all your ways acknowledge Him"
A. We don’t make decisions in a vacuum¡K they impact our lives and the lives of others!
1. Example: drugs - college - student loans
2. Example: can’t go to Can-ada because of bad choices they made when they were younger
3. We need to think past the immediate and look ahead, then look far ahead