Summary: This sermon seeks to help you receive the revelation of God’s will for your life.
We all stand at the threshold of life’s decisive moments when we ask the question, “Where do I go from here?” One such moment came for me whin I was lost in the foothills of the North Georgia mountains. After running through the woods for some four hours or so, I would stop from time to time and ask myself, “Where do I go from here?”
These Ephesian Christians must have asked that same question. That this is indicated in Paul’s letter is evident for he attempts to answer several questions such as: Who are we? Where have we come from? What has God done? And What does He expect of us? It is in this last section that Paul exhorted the Ephesian Christians to understand what the will of the Lord is!
For us as individual believers as well as the body of Christ, every moment of every day beckons us to understand what the will of the Lord is. Jesus indicated in John’s gospel that He had come to do the will and work of God. Paul put it this way in Philippians 2:13, “for it is God who works in you to will and to act according to his good pleasure.” God has put us on this earth to do His will and work. Therefore, it is indeed imperative that we understand what the will of the Lord is. So, how can we go about this matter of understanding what the will of the Lord is? Let me suggest first of all that:
I. We Must Be Seeking To Do His Will v. 15a
As we seek to be about doing His will, I hear Paul saying two things: “See then” and “walk circumspectly” or as I would put it look and live!
A. Look at your own life.
When Paul says, “See” he means take a careful look at your own desires and motives. Take a close account of your own attitudes and actions. Are they in line with what you know God desires right now? God desires that His people be pure and holy, upright and righteous, moral and ethical. If we are not, then how can a holy God reveal His will further? Therefore, take a close look into your own life to see if you are seeking to do God’s will now.
B. Live life doing God’s will.
When Paul says “walk” he means carry on your life or live your life carefully. The Christians in Ephesus were living at a time when evil pressed in on them from every side. We too live in a society surrounded by impulses to do our own will and influences that dissuade us from doing God’s will. But all of life is intended to be lived in light of God’s revealed will and Word in as much as we understand it. Dr. Edgar Arendall, Pastor of Dawson Memorial Baptist Church in Birmingham, AL said in a chapel service when I was a student at Samford University, “To know God’s will is to do it.” So, if we are to know more of God’s will, we must be doing what we already know. Secondly, in understanding what the will of the Lord is:
II. We Must Be Thinking Through His Will vv.15b, 17
Here Paul contrast the foolish or thoughtless person with the wise and discerning individual. The wise person tries to think from God’s perspective and see life from His point of view which can only be revealed by the Holy Spirit. So to think through God’s will and apply that knowledge to life:
A. Spend time talking with the Lord.
James 1:5 says, “If any of you lacks wisdom, he should ask God, who gives generously to all without finding fault, and it will be given to him.” Through prayer God works on our wills and makes us wise to do His will. If you will let God’s thoughts through the reading and meditation of Scripture become your thoughts you will be astonished at the insight God will give you in understanding His will from the Word. Then the inner witness of the Holy Spirit can impress and empower us to think through and understand what God’s will is. As you think through His will check to see that what you sense in prayer, hear in Scripture and experience in your circumstances all line up in the same direction.
B. Share your thoughts with trusted friends.
They may see things you cannot. Their point of view will be different because of experiences as well as their personalities. Thinking through it with a friend will help you to be more objective. Talking out loud enables you to express how you feel and on many occasions I have ended up seeing things more clearly in my search for the will of God simply by talking it out. Understanding what the will of the Lord is comes as we talk it out with the Lord and as we think through it with trusted friends. In his book, The Will of God, Leslie Weatherhead writes, “The greatest help is reached when we deepen our friendship with God.”