Summary: God wants you to know HIs will for your life and He reveals it to you through the inner witness of the Spirit.
October 3, 2010
Subject: What God Wants
Title: Knowing God’s Will
Last week we began a series on what God wants for you in your life. I want you to notice that we are talking about what God wants for you and not from you, although the two may be closely related. Today I want you to know that God wants this for you – He wants you to know His will for your life. I’m not talking about generalities here. We can know what God specifically wants for us in every detail of our lives.
Do you remember that over the past few months that I have told you that God speaks to His people? The primary and most foundational way that we can hear from God is through the scriptures. Often times the scriptures give us general direction and instructions concerning the will of God. The other way that God speaks to us is to our spirit man through the witness of the Holy Spirit. This is the way that we can get specifics about God’s will for our lives. God wants to be specific with you.
A golfer was playing one day and came to a hole that was very treacherous – the green surrounded on three sides by water. As he prepared to hit his shot he prayed, “Lord, I’m not to sure about how to do this. What should I do?” He reached down into his bag and pulled out an old ball. Then he heard a voice from heaven, “Use the new ball! All things are possible for him who believes”. So the man put the new ball back on the tee. He hears God’s voice again, “Take a practice swing”. So he does and feeling confident he prepares to hit his shot. One more time he hears from heaven, “Use the old ball”.
I told that to make this point. God wants us to know his will for every aspect of our lives, but in order to do so we must be seeking His will and listening for his voice in our spirit man. God’s will! Nothing more, nothing less, nothing else.
Colossians 1, 9For this reason, since the day we heard about you, we have not stopped praying for you and asking God to fill you with the knowledge of his will through all spiritual wisdom and understanding.
Romans 12, 2Do not conform any longer to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God's will is—his good, pleasing and perfect will.
Lord, today as we prepare to dissect Your word I pray that the anointing of your Holy Spirit fall upon those who are listening and are hungry for your word and that He would teach them the way that Your Word says that He will. Bless this message today in Jesus’
I. KNOWLEDGE OF HIS WILL IS SPIRITUAL. Colossians 1:9, For this reason, since the day we heard about you, we have not stopped praying for you and asking God to fill you with the knowledge of his will through all spiritual wisdom and understanding. This is what Paul was praying for the church. That they be filled with the knowledge of God’s will. As I said earlier you will only be able to know God’s will if you are actively seeking it for your life. That means you have to be listening. How do we hear from God? Through the Word and the witness! Everybody say… the Word and the Witness. You know God will try to speak to you and until you realize it you won’t even pay attention to it. You’ll just think it is your own thoughts. So here is what we tend to do. We tell God, “If this is your will for me then let such and such happen.” We call that putting out a fleece like Gideon did. The only problem with that is that it is not the way that God wants to speak to us. I’m not saying that it doesn’t happen sometimes. I’m just saying that according to the scriptures, God wants to speak directly to you. Honestly, it’s not going to be an audible voice. Not too many experience that. But it will be sense that you have in your spirit. Look at verse 9 again. How does God want to fill you with the knowledge of His will? … through all spiritual wisdom and understanding. Have you ever had this happen? You get in your car to go somewhere and you get this sense inside of you that you need to take a different route than you would normally take. I had that happen just about a month ago. I was going to a meeting in Monroe City and I was running a little behind. So I decided to take Highway C and go the back way to cut off a few minutes. But as I left I sensed that voice in my inner man tell me, “Take the highway.” I didn’t. I should have. When I got past Lucky Lakes on highway C I got behind a 4-wheel drive combine with duals that literally took up both lanes of Highway C. I could not get around. I followed it until I got to Highway U so I thought I’d take Highway U over to Highway 61. Great. As soon as I turned onto Highway U I got behind a backhoe and had to follow it for about a mile before I could pass. I was a little late for my meeting. If I had listened to what God was speaking to my spirit man I would have been fine. How many time has God spoken to people that way in order to keep them from an accident or injury? Turn over to Acts 16 and verse 6. Paul and his companions traveled throughout the region of Phrygia and Galatia, having been kept by the Holy Spirit from preaching the word in the province of Asia. Did you ever wonder about that? What happened that the Holy Spirit kept them from going to Asia? It doesn’t tell us that some prophet came to Paul and said, “Thus sayeth the LORD – don’t go to Asia…” 7When they came to the border of Mysia, they tried to enter Bithynia, but the Spirit of Jesus would not allow them to. Again we have the same situation. … the Spirit of Jesus would not allow them to… No indication that there was a fleece put out. It appears that it was just that inner witness that Paul had where he just knew he wasn’t supposed to go there. Now, turn over to Acts 15. As the Counsel in Jerusalem sat trying to decide how to respond to the number of Gentiles that were coming into the church and with the growing opposition of Jewish Christians who thought that Gentiles must follow the law the Counsel came up with a short letter to the Gentile churches regarding things they should avoid. This was not the wisdom of men coming together to make a decision. It was the working of the Holy Spirit. Verse 22, 22Then the apostles and elders, with the whole church, decided to choose some of their own men and send them to Antioch with Paul and Barnabas. They chose Judas (called Barsabbas) and Silas, two men who were leaders among the brothers. 23With them they sent the following letter: The apostles and elders, your brothers, To the Gentile believers in Antioch, Syria and Cilicia: Greetings. 24We have heard that some went out from us without our authorization and disturbed you, troubling your minds by what they said. 25So we all agreed to choose some men and send them to you with our dear friends Barnabas and Paul— 26men who have risked their lives for the name of our Lord Jesus Christ. 27Therefore we are sending Judas and Silas to confirm by word of mouth what we are writing. I want you to pay close attention to what they say next. 28It seemed good to the Holy Spirit and to us not to burden you with anything beyond the following requirements: 29You 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. 30The men were sent off and went down to Antioch, where they gathered the church together and delivered the letter. 31The people read it and were glad for its encouraging message. 32Judas and Silas, who themselves were prophets, said much to encourage and strengthen the brothers. 33After spending some time there, they were sent off by the brothers with the blessing of peace to return to those who had sent them. 35But Paul and Barnabas remained in Antioch, where they and many others taught and preached the word of the Lord. OK now let’s take this a step further. Who took the letter to the Gentiles? It was Judas and Silas. Where did they take it? To Antioch… Who had been ministering in Antioch? Paul and Barnabas… Later, when Paul and Barnabas had a disagreement over John Mark and they parted ways, who did Paul take with him as a ministry partner? Silas… Why? Verse 33 says that Judas and Silas were sent off with the blessing of the brothers to return home, but Silas must have stayed behind. Well, I just feel like I’m supposed to stick around. I’m not in any hurry to get home. It just seems right.” Maybe we need to check our “seemer” to see if it is still working. Now in saying that I also must add this… if what seems right in your spirit doesn’t line up with the Word it is not the Holy Spirit speaking. Romans 8:14, … those who are led by the Spirit of God are sons of God. But something else happens besides just seeming right. Verse 16, 16The Spirit himself testifies with our spirit that we are God's children. We sense in our spirit man that we are God’s children but the Holy Spirit testifies to what seems right so that we know it is right. 1 John 2:30, 20But you have an anointing from the Holy One, and all of you know the truth… 27As for you, the anointing you received from him remains in you, and you do not need anyone to teach you. But as his anointing teaches you about all. things and as that anointing is real, not counterfeit—just as it has taught you, remain in him. Learn to listen to that still small voice in your inner man and then act on it. You are a spiritual people. Those who are led by the spirit of God are sons of God…