Summary: Pleasing God means understanding His will and doing it! But... how do we know the will of God?



1. Illus. of Paul C.

• His daddy was an alcoholic who grew violent when he drank.

• As a boy, Paul was beaten with a shovel, etc.

• No matter what he did, his daddy would find something wrong with it, fly into a rage, and beat him.

• When he grew up, thought God was like his daddy. He got on the performance treadmill, working harder and harder to please a God who would never be pleased, a God who was just looking for a reason to zap him.

• Eventually fell apart, went into a complete emotional collapse.

2. What does it take to please God? How can you and I know that God is pleased when He looks at our lives? Is there some sort of checklist I have to be able to check off daily (legalist)? Do I need some sort of secret knowledge that I don’t have (cults)? Is there some other power or truth that I need to embrace (occult, New Age, eastern religions)?

3. Text: Paul told the Colossians that if they were filled with the knowledge of God’s will, then their lives would be pleasing to God.

4. Today: Before we can understand why being filled with the knowledge of God’s will pleases Him, we have to understand what it means to be filled with the knowledge of His will.

5. There are three principles about being filled with the knowledge of God’s will I want you to understand. What are they?


1. When Paul talks about being filled with the knowledge of His will, he is presupposing that God has a will for our lives. Now, Paul is certainly not the only person who believed this:

 Jeremiah did. Jeremiah 1:5

 Psalmist did. Psalms 139:16

 Jesus did. Matthew 26:39

2. God has a will- a plan, if you would- for your life!

3. Illus. of Blake’s nickel

• Just before he left for boot camp, he threw a handful of change down on the shelf just inside our back door. Most of the change landed head or tails, but a nickel landed on its edge- and stayed there!

• Why did that happen? No reason- just random chance.

• Many people believe life is like that nickel. We weren’t created by design- we’re just products of chance. As such, there is no plan or purpose behind our lives- we are what we are because we just happened to be that way.

• God says something different, however. He says, “I created you, and I created you for a purpose. I have a plan and a will for your life!”

4. God has a will for our lives. We may be ignorant of that will, or we may choose rebelliously not to follow that will, but the fact remains that God has a will for our lives!


1. I want you to let something sink deep into your spirit: God wants us to know His will. Because of that, He has made provision for us to know His will.

2. Before we can understand God’s provision for knowing His will, we have to understand that God has two wills for each of us.

 God has a general will. This will is the same for all Christians, and this will is clearly revealed in His Word. Should we pray daily or not, should we give to God’s church, should we shoot our neighbor etc. God’s word clearly shows us His general will.

 God has a specific will. This will varies from person to person, and this will has to be discerned by the methods God gives us in His word. Whom shall I marry? What career will I pursue? Since this will varies from person to person, God has laid out in His Word a clear plan to discern this will.

5. Now, there is a reason why we seem to have such trouble knowing God’s will: we are asking God to tell us something He has already told us! We assume that most of our decisions have to do with God’s specific will for our lives, and that we need to go through this biblical process of discerning God’s specific will in this matter. The truth is, most of the decisions we face are covered under God’s general will, and all we have to do is consult His word.

6. Illus. of Jimmy Houston (SBC Life, June 2003, pp 12)

• Jimmy is a professional fisherman. He makes his living fishing on the BASS (Bass Angler Sportsman Society) circuit. He is also a devout Christian, and belongs to the FBC Keys, Oklahoma.

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