Summary: Understand God’s will for your life by living by the greatest commands to love God and love your neighbor
Understanding God’s Will
Intro: Today we are going to talk about the most asked question of believers: “How do I know God’s will?” We want to seek God’s will in all types of areas of life, but we often forget that God’s will is wrapped up in our entire lives, not just the major decisions. Today I want to help you see God’s will in the “mega-picture” of your life.
Theme: God’s will for your life is not a secret, but a decision.
We must make a decision that we want God’s will to be the leading influence of our life. We must choose to live by God’s design and not our own. Today, we want to look at two important steps to understanding God’s will.
1)Discover God’s purpose
Ex: We can’t know what God’s will is until we actually look for it and seek it out in the scripture. We must begin to understand that God’s will is the driving force of our lives when we choose to allow it to be.
Scripture gives us a very clear picture of how God wants us to live.
“For this is the will of God, your sanctification….”
I Thess. 4:3 (NAS)
The New Living Translation puts it this way:
“God wants you to be holy….” I Thess. 4:3 (NLT)
God’s desire for us is to be different from those who don’t follow him.
Sanctification or holiness are words meaning set apart for God.
God created you to be set apart spiritually from the world around us.
The two areas that God wants us to be different is in our thinking and our actions.
God wants your mind to be different from the world.
“Don’t copy the behavior and customs of this world, but let God transform you into a new person by changing the way you think. Then you will know what God wants you to do, and you will know how good and pleasing and perfect his will really is.”
Romans 12:2 (NLT)
The first step in knowing God’s will is changing your mind.
Let’s go back to 1Thess.4 to give us a picture of the change needed in some areas.
Paul uses the example of sexuality and the destructive influence it has on a Godly mind. Paul warns in verses 3-7 to abstain from sexual immorality.
This example can be used in many areas: greed, jealousy, pride, etc.
But let’s look at the influence sexual immorality has.
“For this is the will of God, your sanctification; that is that you abstain from sexual immorality.” I Thess 4:3 (NAS)
Sexual immorality in this context is the wrongful use of God’s creation.
Some translations use the word fornication here.
The basic principle is sexual relationships outside of marriage.
Scripture is clear that sexual relationships are meant only for a husband and wife.
“Flee immorality.” I Cor. 6:18A (NAS)
“But because of immoralities, each man is to have his own wife, and each woman is to have her own husband.”
I Cor. 7:2 (NAS)
The word for immorality is the same word used in I Thess. 4:3
The original Greek word “porneia” is the root word for pornography.
Paul’s warning here is that you cannot fulfill God’s will and be entangled in sinful acts.
It may be sexual, financial, emotional, verbal, or mental sin; but it still will enslave us to keep us from the will of God.
We were designed by God to be holy, but when we are not an incredible mess occurs.
NAR: Making a sandwich with tools
God’s will become clouded when our lives are not what they were designed to be.
“So we must get rid of everything that slows us down, especially the sin that just won’t let go.” Hebrews 12:2
2) Live according to God’s design.
Ex: The second aspect to God’s will is to live as he created us to live.
Jesus gave us two things to do to fulfill God’s purpose for our lives.
1- “Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind.” Matthew 22:37 (NIV)
2- “Love your neighbor as yourself.” Matthew 22:39 (NIV)
The word for love in these passages refers to God’s kind of love.
It is unselfish, loyal and concerned for the well being of others.
Immorality is selfish and seeks its own desires.
God’s will is only possible when we live according to his design and his purpose.
1- Make a choice to live a holy life.
2- Determine to practice purity.
Resources for application:
“Every Man’s Battle: Winning the war on sexual temptation one victory at a time.”
Stephen Arterburn and Fred Stoeker
“Every woman’s battle”
Men’s study on “Everyman’s Battle” begins Monday night on June 28 at 7:00 for four weeks.
Ladies watch for details on a study using “Every Woman’s Battle” to begin soon.