Summary: The purpose of this message is to inform the listener that finding God's purpose in life is a process of discipleship and decision making.
The Junior Bible Quiz Sermon Series
How Can We Determine God's Will for Our Lives?
Proverbs 3:5,6 Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways submit to him, and he will make your paths straight.
The purpose of this message is to inform the listener that finding God's purpose in life is a process of discipleship and decision making.
How to introduce this message: People of all ages struggle to know what life they are called to. However much we may think we know what life has for us, we really cannot know. We don't know all the abilities and talents yet that God has given us. We don't know our potential. The things we think we want are not God's best for us. And, God doesn't tell us at the beginning of our lives, or even in the middle, what we are meant for. It is discovered on a daily basis. This verse gives us a three step principle for discovering God's will for our lives.
I. Trust in the Lord with All Your Heart.
a. You can't be half-hearted in your faith. You either trust God or you don't. Trusting God means you are committed to training your faith in His ways. Know the Bible and know how to use it. Know God's will for people. Know how He loves people. Know what pleases Him. I am not saying that you should read your Bible every day and pray every day to make good things happen. I mean you should train your faith in the same way an athlete trains. God is your coach and you must know and use His methods.
b. Biblical support. Jesus' disciples left their jobs, and families behind in order to follow Jesus and learn His ways. For three years they were in training for what would become their destiny being fulfilled. They were entirely sold out.
c. The lesson: You begin your discovery of God's will for your life by knowing His will for people. You sign on as a disciple of Jesus and only Jesus.
II. Do Not Lean on Your Own Understanding.
a. Since your trust is in Jesus, you must accept the fact that you do not know what you need to know. In fact, when it comes to knowing God's will for your life you don't know anything. You don't know what tomorrow holds. You don't know the length of your life. You don't know God's specific plan. You don't know the status of the world tomorrow. In other words, you don't know anything but you are following a God who knows everything. And since your relationship with him is based on trust, He doesn't reveal everything to you at once.
b. Biblical support: “It is not for you to know the times or the seasons, but you go...” David was a shepherd, he didn't know he would be king. Joseph, the step father of Jesus didn't know. Joseph had no clue he would be prime minister of Egypt.
c. The Lesson: You have some idea of what is going on in your life right now, maybe. They key to becoming good at anything is to realize you don't know what you need to know and trust those who are responsible as your mentor. In the faith, Jesus is your mentor.
III. In All Your Ways Submit to Him.
a. This is the decision making part of following Jesus. There are times when the right decision will not get you what you want. There are times in your life when you will have to let a dream die because pursuing it would not honor God. But, in so doing you will discover God's will for your life and continue to seek your own. Submission to God is made on a decision by decision basis.
b. Biblical support: The rich young ruler had to decide between his wealth and following Jesus. He wanted to use Jesus to support the pursuit of his own will for his life. Jesus said that it is har for a rich person to enter the kingdom of heaven. The rich young ruler failed to see God's will for his life fulfilled because he could not make the decision to let his own dreams for his life die.
c. The lesson: The walk of faith involves decision steps. When you submit each life decision to God, you continue to discover His will for your life. When you have to make a decision, also ask if it is the responsible decision. Who are you sacrificing in your life in order to get what you want? Is what you want healthy? Is it legal? Is it honest?
How to conclude this message: “And he will make your paths straight.” God doesn't give you a road map to follow. He points down a path. The listener needs to be pointed down the path of decision making that will be successful if they realize that their own understanding of God is not sufficient. Each believer needs to be thoroughly discipled in God's Word.