Summary: As believers in Jesus Christ, one thing we all struggle with from time to time is knowing God’s will. In fact, as a pastor, it is probably one of the primary questions people ask. “How can I know God’s will in this matter?
“The Mystery of Finding God’s Will”
As believers in Jesus Christ, one thing we all struggle with from time to time is knowing God’s will. In fact, as a pastor, it is probably one of the primary questions people ask. “How can I know God’s will in this matter? How do I know for sure which direction I should take?” Sometimes it is a timing issue. The individual understands what God’s will is but doesn’t seem to know whether or not it’s the right time to move forward.
If God planned you before the world began and developed a plan for your life, do you think He would make it hard for you to find His will? Some people think that the will of God is like an invisible door you've got to find. And God is standing behind it, and when you walk past it God says, "Ha, ha, you missed it. Too bad for you." Fortunately that’s not the way it works.
God brought me to a conclusion about this many years ago and this is what it comes down to: why would God want us to know His will and then turn around and make it so difficult for us to find? My conclusion is this: He doesn’t. His will for our lives is not as much a mystery as we make it out to be. In fact, we usually know exactly what He wants us to do, what our purpose is and when we need to move forward. But the truth is, we don’t really like the answer He Has given us. We don’t appreciate the assignment He has given to us. So we keep asking, over and over, hoping for a different answer. There is a prerequisite for knowing the will of God; and it's this - being willing to do it; faith and action - God does not say to you, "I'll show you my will and then I'd like you to decide if you'd like to do it. If it’s OK with you." God does not reveal His will so that you can speculate on it, so that you can think about it, or so you can ask all of your friends what they think and then take a vote on it. God reveals His will to people who are committed to do it no matter what it is.
We should understand that this letter Paul is writing is being written from a prison cell. This is one of at least 4 letters we know of Paul writes while in jail. Each time he was imprisoned for preaching the gospel. But, still, he would always continue. He continued to preach and He continued to write, giving us roughly half of the books in the New Testament.
Now in this passage today Paul is explaining God’s plan; God’s will for each of us. And that is exactly what we need. We need to understand God’s plan. The truth is God has a plan for us but most of us never follow it; most of us never even bother to ask the God of the universe; the One who formed us in our mother’s womb, what His plan for our lives actually is.
(1) Paul begins by telling us there is a mystery we need to understand. And He identifies Himself as a PRISONER. Verses 1-4. I have already said that Paul is a prisoner but we need to clarify that he is not saying he is a prisoner in the system. He was in jail but he considers Himself a prisoner of the gospel. He has actually broken no law but is arrested for doing the same thing I stand here and do every week. He was a threat to the power group of the day and so he was arrested.
• He then tells us that the mystery was made known to him by God’s grace; through a revelation from God Himself. In other words, -God loves us and wants us to understand, so God spoke to Paul and Paul listened. Now as simple as this is, we really need to understand that in order to know God’s will, we must go to Him to find out what it is. Nothing wrong with talking to your pastor, talking to a friend who has some insight or reading some books. But don’t forget the most important principle here is that we go to the source. If I want to learn about firetrucks I should go to the local fire department and ask some questions. If I want to learn how to speak another language the best thing to do is to go live in the country where that language is being spoken and immerse myself in it. Where I am completely surrounded by it. So if I want to know God’s will I need to go to the source — God himself. But that is often the last place we go. This message given to Paul was not given by a man, it came from God.