Summary: Being in the center of God’s will
Today I would like to talk to you about being in the center of God’s will. God has created us with the ability to make decisions. It’s a wonderful privilege, but far too often it creates problems. If you’re like me we can make some bad decisions!! A long time ago I bought my 1st Harley Davidson motorcycle. It was a ’76 model and it would just about shake you to death. It would run about fifty miles then break down. One time the starter went out and I decided to tie a hose pipe to the front of it and let my wife pull it with the car. The hose piped stretched out as she pulled away then let go and popped me right in the face. That was a bad decision. If I had it to do over I would’ve never bought that motorcycle.
Have you ever made a decision you wished you would’ve never made? Money was spent you wished would have never been. Relationships were entered into, contracts were signed, etc. It’s one thing to have purchased something for three easy payments of $19.95 when it wasn’t even worth $19.95 to begin with but it is a whole different story to have credit card debt of $10,000 or more. Some of our bad decisions simply embarrass us but some will enslave us.
Decisions can be placed in three different categories, the best, the good, and the bad. We’re almost experts at making bad decisions. Nobody plans to file bankruptcy but because of some bad decisions, many do. Nobody plans to have a bad marriage but because of bad decisions, many do. Nobody plans to have an addiction but because of bad decisions, many do. We’re okay at making good decisions but all of us should want to make the best decisions. It is the best decisions which will keep us in the center of God’s will and being in the center of God’s will is joy for the journey.
TEMPTAIONS TO LEAVE ARE EVERYWHERE v. 1-5
During this time Jesus’ brothers did not believe he was the Messiah. They did believe crowds were attracted to Him and they assumed this would be good for Him. So they tempted Him to leave God’s perfect will. His brother was telling Him to take his ministry public. Saying something like this is your time, it’s your chance; you have an opportunity to move up. I call this temptation the avenue to advance. Nothing is wrong with a bigger, greater position unless it takes us out of God’s will.
As parents our first goal should not be to climb the ladder of success but to raise God fearing children. As parents our first goal for our children should not be to be the best athlete or even the smartest student. We should want them to be the best Christian who can discern God’s will for their life. As parents our number one goal should not be to have the latest gadget but for our children to make the best decision when offered drugs. If Jesus had accepted the advice he was given in the scriptures it would have moved Him from being in the center of God’s will to being out of God’s will.
We want to be in the center of God’s will. It’s the best place for us and our families. I believe God wants you there because it is the most satisfying and joyful life there is. I believe God wants us there so that you and I will be contagious, it’s the reason Jesus came(John 10:10b). Let me give you a couple of examples. (Hebrews 12:2a)Who can go through something like the cross and have joy? He who is in the center of God’s will. You may be saying, “Yes, but that was Jesus.” Paul used the word joy 16 times as he wrote in the book of Philippians from a prison cell with the possibility of being beheaded. How? Because he was in the center of God’s will (Phil. 4:6-7)
How would you describe your life these days? Let’s be honest. Are you anxious, busy, distracted, stressed, tired of worrying or would you describe it as joyful and peaceful?
One more example; his name is Solomon. He had everything but joy. He had women, wealth, wine, and workers and he said it was all vanity (Ecc. 1:2). The meaning of vanity is empty or unsatisfactory. Why? Because the choices he made moved him out of living in the center of God’s will.
God wants you to have the best life but you’ve got to make the best choices.
TIMING TO LEAVE IS EVERYTHING v. 6-9
He said it wasn’t time for Him to go and then if you keep reading in v.10 He did eventually go. Knowing God’s will is not the end, we must also know His timing. Ask Abraham, he acted too soon. Ask the guy in Lk. 16 who ended up in hell, he acted too late.