Summary: Twenty-one hindrances, twelve principles and six helps in knowing the will of God.
How To Know the Will of God
1 John 5:14-5:15 - "And this is the confidence (the assurance, the privilege of peace and boldness) which we have in Him (we are sure that if we ask anything according to His will (in agreement with His plan). He listens to and hears us."
Illustration: He was a churchgoing man who loved to hear good preaching and discuss Bible truths. He and his family faithfully attended services twice every Sunday. But in his home this man was a tyrant. On one occasion he even struck his wife.
When his pastor learned this, he tried to counsel him. He warned him that if he continued his violent behavior he would one day be a lonely, unloved man. But the warning went unheeded.
That man’s wife has since left him, and his married daughters want nothing to do with him. His pastor’s words have come true. Today he is lonely and rejected by his family.
The people of Ezekiel’s day were a lot like that old man. They enjoyed listening to the prophet speak God’s message, but they went on living wickedly and didn’t take his warnings seriously. And just as the prophet had predicted, the Babylonians came and made them a captive nation. Only then did they realize that they had made the serious mistake of hearing God’s words but not heeding them. But it was too late to avert divine judgment.
Lord, help us to apply Your truth to our lives so that we may experience Your love. Help us to be both hearers and heeders. (Our Daily Bread)
Hindrances to Knowing the Will of God -
1. Failure to submit to the law of the Father, the love of Son of God and the liberties of the Holy Spirit. (James 4:1-4) People who do not have these three in balance are often distorted in their perception of the will of God as they fall into the traps of legalism, social gospel concerns or abusing their liberties.
Illustration: Campus Crusade for Christ reports that in 1970, one of four people who heard the 4 spiritual laws, prayed to receive Christ. In 1980 it was one of nine people who responded to the gospel’s message. In 1990 it was 1 in 19. Americans are becoming more resistant because people are drifting away from a reverence, respect and realization of Jesus who came to seek and save those which are lost. (Luke 19:10)
2. Unwillingness to confess and forsake all sins of omission sins of commission sins of disposition or sins of wrong assumptions. (Psa. 66:18) If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive our sins and cleanse us from all unrighteousness. (I Jn 1:9)
3. Failure to spend quality time with Lord in your devotions asking God to reveal every aspect of His will and His plans to you. (Psa. 143:8) "Let me hear your lovingkindness in the morning. Make me to know the way in which I should walk for to you I lift up my soul."
4. Failure to keep our eyes on Jesus instead of on circumstances or other people. Heb. 12:1-4 "Fixing our eyes on Jesus, the author and perfecter of our faith. Who for the joy set before Him endured the cross, not minding the shame, and is now set down on the right hand of the throne of God. For consider Him who endured such suffering of sinners against Himself, lest you be wearied and faint in your minds."
5. Unwillingness to seek Godly council and to follow good advice. (Is. 1:1-5)
6. Associating oneself with bad Companions (I Cor. 15:33)
7. Lack of endurance(James 5:10)
8. Unwillingness to discipline yourself for the purpose of Godliness. Tim. 4:7 8)
9. Unwillingness to delight to test and to commit all of your ways to the Lord. (Psa. 3 7:3-5)
10. Unwillingness to undergo thc apprenticeship that arc necessary for discovering all of the will of (God. (Merely being a hearer of the word without making applications principles. (James 1:22)
11. Allowing yourself become discouraged by Critics or circumstances. or mistakes. (I Pct. 2:15)
12. Lack of commitment to Christ His church or His great COmmission hl Matt. 22:19.
13. Failure to be led by the Spirit but choosing to be led by fleshly desires. impulses and subjective feelings. (Rom. 8:6-8)
14. Poor choice of priorities. (Matt. 4:19 20)
15. Failure to admit that we are all helpless to know the will of God with our own wisdom. God knows we are helpless without the inspiration illumination and teaching of the Holy Spirit. (Matt. 7:7)
16. Trying to compare yourself with others rather than following Jesus Christ.
17. Failure to take Up your cross daily and denying yourself (Luke 9:23 24)
18. Failure to put away the works of thc flesh and put on the fruits of thc Spirit or the characteristics of Jesus Christ. (Gal. 5:19-23)