Summary: You must know and do God’s will. Just knowing or just doing won’t cut it
Note: This is written based on a message that I preached way back in 2001 so a little background here might help. I was wrestling with whether God wanted me to be a preacher or not. I prayed a while then asked my pastor for an opportunity to speak as part of a Youth Sunday service. He agreed to let me speak. I prayed and prayed for God’s guidance and wrote two closings to this message depending on how it went. I prayed for God to use me and give me peace while I preached if that was what He wanted me to do. And He did. Here is that first message...
Knowing and doing God’s Will
42 And when he was twelve years old, they went up to Jerusalem after the custom of the feast.
43 And when they had fulfilled the days, as they returned, the child Jesus tarried behind in Jerusalem; and Joseph and his mother knew not of it.
44 But they, supposing him to have been in the company, went a day’s journey; and they sought him among their kinsfolk and acquaintance.
45 And when they found him not, they turned back again to Jerusalem, seeking him.
46 And it came to pass, that after three days they found him in the temple, sitting in the midst of the doctors, both hearing them, and asking them questions.
47 And all that heard him were astonished at his understanding and answers.
48 And when they saw him, they were amazed: and his mother said unto him, Son, why hast thou thus dealt with us? behold, thy father and I have sought thee sorrowing.
49 And he said unto them, How is it that ye sought me? wist ye not that I must be about my Father’s business?
Now, I’m not a great preacher but I’d like to speak to you about knowing and doing God’s will. On this subject I believe that if we look to God’s word we can see that there are five categories of people.
First category - Knowing and Doing
The first group is those who know and do God’s will. Jesus is the greatest example of this category. As we just read, Jesus knew God the Father’s will and He did it. From His birth, to His death, His every thought and deed was to do God’s will. Yes that was God in the flesh so now let’s look at a regular guy like us. Let’s look at Paul. This guy must have looked like the Anti-Christ to early Christians. He killed Christians. But on the road to Damascus, God stopped him.
4 And he fell to the earth, and heard a voice saying unto him, Saul, Saul, why persecutest thou me?
5 And he said, Who art thou, Lord? And the Lord said, I am Jesus whom thou persecutest: it is hard for thee to kick against the pricks.
6 And he trembling and astonished said, Lord, what wilt thou have me to do? And the Lord said unto him, Arise, and go into the city, and it shall be told thee what thou must do.
And he did it for the rest of his life. Despite personal suffering he did it. Paul knew the secret and shares it in Philippians 1:21 where he wrote "to live is Christ, and to die is gain". I live only to serve Him; I will rest and reap the rewards when I am dead!
John 15:14 says, "Ye are my friends, if ye do whatsoever I command you." That is our reward; we get to be friends with the King and not just any king but the King of Kings.
There is a businessman in Texas who places signs outside his building much like a church might. One day it simply said "Yes, Lord." This is the key to life and to surrender - it is how we are to be.
"Yes Lord, I’ll be happy where I’m at."
"Yes Lord, I’ll trust you."
"Yes Lord, I can do that."
Jesus gave his all for me. How can I give anything less?
Second category - Knowing and Half-doing
The people in this category know what to do but they only halfway do it.
One way in which they only half do it is by delaying. Sadly, the favorite book of the bible for many Christians is the Book of Hesitations. You know the one where it says, "Sit, wait, rest then sit some more."
59 And he said unto another, Follow me. But he said, Lord, suffer me first to go and bury my father.
60 Jesus said unto him, Let the dead bury their dead: but go thou and preach the kingdom of God.
61 And another also said, Lord, I will follow thee; but let me first go bid them farewell, which are at home at my house.