Summary: Sometimes it feels like God is more interested in revealing His will for us than we are in receiving it.
Core 52 Week 43 - Knowing God's Will
You can listen to the audio of the sermon on my podcast at:
• While attending a Marriage Seminar dealing with communication, Tom and his wife Grace listened to the instructor, "It is essential that husbands and wives know each other's likes and dislikes."
He addressed the man, "Can you name your wife's favorite flower?" Tom leaned over, touched his wife's arm gently and whispered, "It's Pillsbury, isn't it?
• Q: Can I know God’s will for my life?
• Yes. “God is more interested in revealing His will to you than you are in receiving it.”
Elements of God’s Will
• He wants you to be saved.
2 Peter 3:9 9 The Lord isn’t really being slow about his promise, as some people think. No, he is being patient for your sake. He does not want anyone to be destroyed, but wants everyone to repent.
• He wants you to be whole and holy.
1 Thessalonians 4:3 3 God’s will is for you to be holy, so stay away from all sexual sin.
1 Thessalonians 5:16–18 Always be joyful. 17 Never stop praying. 18 Be thankful in all circumstances, for this is God’s will for you who belong to Christ Jesus.
• He wants us to do good.
1 Peter 2:12 Be careful to live properly among your unbelieving neighbors. Then even if they accuse you of doing wrong, they will see your honorable behavior, and they will give honor to God when he judges the world.
1 Peter 3:17 Remember, it is better to suffer for doing good, if that is what God wants, than to suffer for doing wrong!
• All of this falls into a category called God’s “general will.”
• Wrapped up in, “Love God, Love Your Neighbor.”
• But how do I know what He wants in specific situations?
• Note how Jesus words his understanding of knowing and doing God’s will:
John 7:17 Anyone who wants to do the will of God will know whether my teaching is from God or is merely my own.
• When we do God’s will that we do know, we can discover his will for what we don’t yet know.
XTION: What if you could know what God is thinking? Wouldn’t it be amazing to know his perspective and opinion?
Having the Mind of Christ
• We can, in fact, know the deep and hidden thoughts of God.
• Paul affirms this:
1 Corinthians 2:11 No one can know a person’s thoughts except that person’s own spirit, and no one can know God’s thoughts except God’s own Spirit.
• Even though we can’t always tell what another person is thinking (1st date, job interview, etc.)
• We can know what God is thinking:
1 Corinthians 2:12 And we have received God’s Spirit (not the world’s spirit), so we can know the wonderful things God has freely given us. 13 When we tell you these things, we do not use words that come from human wisdom. Instead, we speak words given to us by the Spirit, using the Spirit’s words to explain spiritual truths.
• Recognize that spiritual truth is understood by spiritually oriented people. When we practice a worldly lifestyle that doesn’t represent God’s priorities, we find ourselves tangled up in sin. This makes it hard for us to understand the Bible. Our pattern of reading Scripture allows us to justify our actions.
• The other issue is that we simply don’t know what the Word says. (Reason for Core 52)...
1 Corinthians 2:14 But people who aren’t spiritual can’t receive these truths from God’s Spirit. It all sounds foolish to them and they can’t understand it, for only those who are spiritual can understand what the Spirit means.
• But folks who are maturing spiritually have the means and the opportunity to access God’s will. You can know the thoughts of God. You can have the mind of Christ.
• Amazing statement in
1 Corinthians 2:16 For, “Who can know the LORD’s thoughts? Who knows enough to teach him?” But we understand these things, for we have the mind of Christ.
• While no can instruct God. But we have the mind of Christ.
• As a Spirit-filled believer of Jesus, as we align our lives with his priorities, the more we hear His Word, the more we have the potential to access the thoughts of God.
• When we hear and obey His word, we understand more and more of what He wants to do in our lives and through our lives.
• Short: The more we obey God’s Word, the more we’ll understand His will.
• But the converse is also true.
• When we know his Word but fail to obey, we lose contact with the Spirit and become spiritually blind and deaf.