Summary: Aiding believers in finding God’s will for theeir lives
Knowing and Doing God’s Will
Introduction: Isn’t Yahoo maps great? The driving directions tell us exactly where to go, what turns to make, how to get where we are wanting to go. Ever wish God has a website we could log into and find out where he wants our life to go? This sermon will not tell you exactly where God wants you to go, but it will give four aspects of God’s will that are applicable for every person.
1. The word asks gives prominence to the thing asked for rather than the person receiving the request. Paul is not just praying for them, more importantly he is praying that they will do God’s will.
2. The word "know" comes from the Greek word for know which represents coming to knowledge through experience. We are to come to know God’s will through obedient experience.
3. The word "filled" in Scriptures refers to being under the control of something. We are to experience God’s will by being controlled by his will.
4. So what is God’s will?
a. It is the plan and desire God has for your life
b. Some say that you should search for God’s willl in every decision, and that we are rebelling if we don’ find it
c. Even though some have special assignments which come through God’s will, there is an over arching will that God has for everyone, to glorify and serve him in every opportunity, this sermon will show us how
I. The Wisdom of God; v. 9
A. Spiritual wisdom
1. This is the comprehension of truth; knowing what God requires
2. It is important because without this we are doomed...Hosea 4:6 "My people are destroyed for lack of knowledge…”
3. It is also important because the only way to please God is to know what he requires
a. Illustration: I got in trouble with a police officer because I went around a cone, however I was not aware that the cone was there to prevent me from going where I went. It would have been avoided if I had known the requirements.
4. What does God require?
a. The heart of it is the Shema…Deut 6:4-9
B. Spiritual understanding
1. This is the application of truth; being able to use your knowledge of what God requires in day to day obedience
2. This is the doing part of your relationship with God, true understanding expresses itself in application
C. For example look at the parable of the Good Samaritan.
1. Wisdom understands that this story teaches us to love our neighbor and that everyone is our neighbor.
2. Understanding puts feet to our wisdom by being proactive and intentional in our love toward others.
II. The Walk of God; v. 10
A. Please Him in all respects
1. This means no compartmentalization of our lives, every aspect, job, family, etc. must seek to please God
2. God’s will is not just what he wants you to be, but who and what he wants you to be, pleasing to him in every aspect of life
B. Bearing fruit
1. We have discussed fruit in the last sermon, however notice the word bearing. Let me repeat: Fruit is the outward expression of an inward state.
C. Increasing in the knowledge of God
1. Again note the fact that this word is used to signify experiential knowledge, here it means that Christians are to increase in their experience of obedience…learning by doing
2. Illustration: I play golf, the only way to get good is practice, and learn from what I do right and wrong
III. Strength of God; v. 11
A. Lit. “powered by power”
1. This power refers to transforming power
2. We are to be strengthened by God’s transformation of our lives into obedience to him
3. We are strengthened by this because when we realize God is in control our faith is stronger, thus we are stronger spiritually
B. To attain steadfastness
1. This is self restraint
2. When we realize God is in control, we can restrain from being in control…but we must trust the one in control
3. Illustration: I hate riding with other people, because there are very few I trust, but those I do I have no problem riding with
C. To attain patience
1. Wiersbe describes this as "endurance when circumstances are difficult"; "not complacency, but endurance in action"
2. This is allowing God to be in control, and accepting where he takes you, not trying to take the lead, steer the path, or jump off the ship
D. What are we strengthened for? (Barnes)
1. Performance of duty
2. Meet temptation
3. Bear various trials of life
IV. The Salvation of God; 12-14
1. Transfer from one kingdom to another