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Summary: In our culture of non-committal this message encourages us to look trouble, trials, difficulties in the face and not compromise or be moved from the will of God for our lives. Instead of running from trouble, we run to Jesus and find His strength and grac

Determining the will of God (3)

(Choosing the Fire)

11/03/2002

I. Review of last 2 messages on determining the will of God

A. We saw 3 different things to consider

1. Prov. 11:4 - Multitude of counselors

2. Amos 3:3 -- Power of agreement

3. Heb. 13:17 -- Relating to authority

B. Last week we saw we can be tempted to move for the wrong reasons

1. Hebrews 11:15 -- God will allow you to run from situations not his will)

a. Ezekiel 14:3-7, I will answer him according to the idols of his heart

b. Abraham (Gen. 12:10) -- he left Promised land for Egypt because things were getting tough in Canaan, famine... PL wasn’t as good as he thought

2. We are in a culture where people run easily

a. From marriage, pregnancy, keeping promises, church to church, etc.

II. Daniel

A. Daniel 3 -- His 3 frriends in the fire

1. Temptation would be to to compromise, bow outwardly not inwardly, not let knee touch, all other kinds of things.

2. Purpose

a. To reveal jesus in a new way

b. 3:28 -- to bring glory to God

c. 3:30 -- to promote his servants

B. Daniel 6 -- Daniel in lion’s den

1. Daniel could have closed windows, prayed quietly, etc.

2. Purpose

a. A new revelation of the protection and power of God

b. 6:26 -- to glorify God

c. 6:28 -- to promote Daniel

C. Story of John Bunyan... for 12 years he was in prison, when he could get out any day if he would just promise not to preach any more. He had small children, wife, and a young daughter thas was blind, but he refused... he chose the fire, and it lasted 12 years till he was released.

III. The Fire of Testing and Trials

A. But he knows the way that I take; when he has tested me, I shall come forth as gold. (Job 23:10, NIV).

1. At the end Job received greater blessing (42:12)

B. In this you greatly rejoice, though now for a little while you may have had to suffer grief in all kinds of trials. These have come so that your faith--of greater worth than gold, which perishes even though refined by fire--may be proved genuine and may result in praise, glory and honour when Jesus Christ is revealed. (1 Peter 1:6,7, NIV).

C. I counsel you to buy from me gold refined in the fire, so that you can become rich; ….(Rev.3:18, NIV).

How do you get this? This was a church at ease, choosing the easy way out, etc.

The Lord wanted them to begin to choose His path of obedience that would cause them to run right into the fire... and get something eternal that would last.

IV. How to Embrace the Fire

A. Thank the Lord for the Trial

1. Rom. 8:28

2. 1 Thess. 5:18

3. 1 Peter 4:13

4. James 1:2.. consider it pure joy, my brothers, whenever you face trials of many kinds

... the reason is because thereis something eternal (character) to get.

B. Draw near to the Lord

1. 1 Peter 2:1-5, Draw near to Him, adjusting attitudes, in humility

2. Jesus went to the Garden of Gesthemane to pray

C. Determine to walk in obedience to the Word of God

1. 1 Peter 1:22-25, obey the Word

D. Think with eternity in mind

1. Romans 8:17,18--momentary light affliction

2. James 1:2-6, getting something eternal

3. 1 Peter 1:7,13... set your hope firmly on the grace to be give when Jesus is revealed.

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