Summary: Formulas, steps, keys, secrets; and other fallacies, about the plan of God for our lives.

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26, February 2006

Dakota Community Church

God in a Box


This week I want to expose the formulas, steps, keys, secrets; and other fallacies, about the plan of God for our lives.

This is a topic that inspires fear and hopelessness for many. We tend to want to produce formulas and short cuts when things get confusing.

How many times have you taken a short cut only to discover that it wasn’t all it was cracked up to be?

- Almost out of gas at Pembina Bible Camp

Why aren’t we more suspicious of short cuts to the will of God?

It seems like everyone has a simple cliché answer to this problem. God is always telling them one thing or another and there is no room for discussion.

Matthew 6:7-8 (Message)

"The world is full of so-called prayer warriors who are prayer-ignorant. They’re full of formulas and programs and advice, peddling techniques for getting what you want from God. Don’t fall for that nonsense. This is your Father you are dealing with, and he knows better than you what you need.

A Problem:

When I hear TV preachers or even local Christians declare boldly that they are doing something because; “It is will of God” (often it is something that seems a little whacky), i.e. asking for 8 million dollars or quitting a job to go witnessing for the summer.

I usually am not inspired with fresh confidence about the outcome.

Here is my issue with this line of thinking; even Paul was not that sure.

1 Corinthians 13:12

Now we see but a poor reflection as in a mirror; then we shall see face to face. Now I know in part; then I shall know fully, even as I am fully known.

Paul gives a long discourse on marriage , sex, divorce, widowhood and wraps it by saying this is my opinion:

1Corinthians 7:40

And also I think I have the Spirit of God.

Look at how the early apostles spoke when they were deciding an issue that was setting the course of all Church history:

Acts 15:28-29

It seemed good to the Holy Spirit and to us not to burden you with anything beyond the following requirements: You are to abstain from food sacrificed to idols, from blood, from the meat of strangled animals and from sexual immorality. You will do well to avoid these things. Farewell.

Jesus indicates that there is more to the will of God than finding it and doing it in Luke 10:

Luke 10:38-42

As Jesus and his disciples were on their way, he came to a village where a woman named Martha opened her home to him. She had a sister called Mary, who sat at the Lord’s feet listening to what he said. But Martha was distracted by all the preparations that had to be made. She came to him and asked, "Lord, don’t you care that my sister has left me to do the work by myself? Tell her to help me!"

"Martha, Martha," the Lord answered, "you are worried and upset about many things, but only one thing is needed. Mary has chosen what is better, and it will not be taken away from her."

There are many of us in the Church that just want to be told what to do and left to do it.

Jesus is saying that is not what the will of God is.

What I want to share this morning is a couple of truths I have learned about the will of God that will be liberating to everyone:

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