Summary: God’s will is not some mysterious thing we SEEK regarding our future (like God’s will for a spouse or a career); rather, as this message reveals, it involves things we DO.
The Will of God
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TEXT: Ephesians 5:17 – “Wherefore be ye not unwise, but understanding what the will of the Lord is.”
SUGGESTED SCRIPTURE READING: Matthew 26:36-46
Illus. – A few years ago a lady who I’ll call Donna came to me for counsel. She was married to a guy I’ll call Steven, a great guy, but she was going through those first-year marriage adjustments all married couples go through. Tears coursing her cheeks, she said, “I prayed earnestly for God’s will for the right husband. I met Steve and I thought he was God’s will for me. But after we married, I realized I’d made a big mistake. I missed God’s will for my life.”
I asked some basic questions: Was he a genuine believer?—Yes. Did he seek to follow Christ?—Yes. Was he kind and caring.—For the most part, yes? Was he excited about your baby due is 6 months?—Yes. Is your communication good?—Eh, not so great, but not terrible.
I said, “Well, why do you think he isn’t God’s will for you?”
“Well,” she said, “Many things. For instance, he loves watching football on Saturday and I HATE it”…and she gave me about 5 other examples of what sounded to me like normal first year husband-wife adjustments every marriage faces.
I shared with her some things I’m going to share with you today, and also that if she was married to this man, he was now God’s will for Him to form kindness and longsuffering and selflessness and faithfulness and goodness into her life.
Donna’s story illustrates a fundamental misunderstanding many people have about God’s will. Usually when people talk about the will of God, they’re referring to decision-making in life. They’re referring to God’s will concerning choosing the right career, or choosing God’s will for a spouse; or things like: Is it God’s will for me to remain in the military? Is it God’s will for me to purchase a second car? Is it God’s will for us to buy a certain house?
But as you read through the Bible, God’s will is never tied to decision-making. It comes as a surprise to a lot of us, but nowhere I know of does the Bible speak of anyone seeking God’s will for a career, a calling, a marriage partner, or a major life-decision.
Rather, what we see is that the Bible teaches us to store up a reservoir of knowledge and wisdom from God’s Word so that we know how to make wise decision; to seek wise and godly counsel; to live in close fellowship with God so we can discern the God’s desires; and to obey His commands, and if we do those things, the decisions we make will be within the parameters of “God’s will.”
Illus. – For instance, let’s take choosing a spouse:
The Bible gives no evidence that there a specific “Mr. Right” or “Mrs. Right”—that is, the ONE AND ONLY person in the whole world God intends for you to marry.
But there are some basic principles that should guide a person looking for a spouse:
God’s Word commands us not to be unequally yoked with unbelievers, so obviously, a potential spouse should be a believer.