Summary: Can a believer really miss God’s will for their life?
SBC Philippi 5/19/05 am
Rev. Jeff Simms
Missing God’s Will
Primary Purpose: To understand why God doesn’t answer us at times. Can we really miss God’s will?
We have been talking about knowing God’s will. So, an obvious question comes up, “Can a believer miss God’s will for their life?” “If so, what are some of the hindrances to knowing God’s will?” As we look at this story in 1 Samuel 28, we see Saul seeking God on the last full day of his life. When god doesn’t answer immediately he becomes impatient and turns to a medium.
Saul already knew God’s will about his leadership in the kingdom. Saul had known for a long time that God had said that God was going to take the kingdom away form him. Samuel told him that way back in 1 Samuel 15:28. This was even before David faced Goliath. Saul just didn’t like the news he heard. Perhaps he was hoping that he could change God’s mind But, instead of humbling himself and repenting, Saul become even more paranoid and violent. At one point, Saul even has 85 priests killed because one of them helps David. (1 Samuel 22:18-19)
So, when God doesn’t answer according to Saul’s timetable he goes to a medium. A medium is someone who claims to speak to dead people. In this case, the dead person was Samuel. The Bible never claims that this woman couldn’t do this. In fact, in verse 15, it identifies the person as Samuel. But, the Bible specifically condemned us speaking to the dead. Lev 20:27 says, "A man or woman who is a medium or spiritist among you must be put to death. You are to stone them; their blood will be on their own head." We are not to be seeking guidance from the dead. This opens up the spirit world to our hearts and minds and allows demons to speak to us. We are to seek guidance from God only.
We want to look at what are some of the hindrances that would cause us to miss God’s will.
1. Impatience- 1 John 5:14,15. The Bible clearly tells us that sometimes we simply need to wait on the Lord. See Psalm 130:5. “I wait for the Lord, my soul waits, and in his word I put my hope. My soul waits for the Lord more than watchmen wait for the morning, more than watchman wait for the morning.” So, there are clearly times when I must chose to wait on God and trust Him even when he is silence like in this case. Saul never learned this, so he rushed to other sources. These were the same sources he clearly condemned earlier when he was walking closer to God.
2. Sin- Saul was a violent, selfish man. Self was on the throne of Israel and his life. This same thing can be a hindrance certainly in the life of the unbeliever and in the life of the believer. A unbeliever shouldn’t expect to be in God’s will at all. The unbeliever is hostile to God and living in sin. That person needs to repent and turn to God and ask forgiveness so they can begin a right relationship with Him. But, a believer can live a selfish life also and many do. God is on the schedule, but he isn’t really Lord.
a. The Bible makes it clear that if I have sin in my heart God won’t hear me. In Isaiah 1:15 it says, “When you spread out your hands in prayer, I will hide my eyes from you; even if you offer many prayers, I will not listen. Your hands are full of blood; wash and make yourselves clean.” So, the first requirement to knowing God’s will and not missing it is to repent and get right with God.
b. In contrast to this, in Psalm 37:4 it says that the person who delights in God is the person who God gives the desires of the heart. The emphasis there is on delighting in God. If you do that, then God will mold your heart and give you His desires for your life and then provide for you. Do you really delight in God?
3. Wrong Motives James 4:3. We can ask with selfish motives and this in some ways goes back to sin in the life of the believer or unbeliever. Are you asking for this in order to give glory to God and honor Him? Is this a real need or just a want? Would receiving this hurt someone else? Sometimes God delays in answering us so we can examine our motives for why we are asking for such a thing.
4. Other people- sometimes God can use other people and even speak through other people to get our attention. But, not everyone is being led by the Spirit. Sometimes in our desire to fit in or be popular or something like that we can allow people to mislead us that we know really aren’t walking with God. The issue here is a matter of focus. Are we really even listening to God and his Word? Whose opinion matters more to us? Is it more important for you to please other people than God?