Just Announced: Philippians Sermon Series

Summary: Discerning and following the will of God


Sunday, June 28, 2009

Pastor Brian Matherlee

When the preacher’s car broke down on a country road, he walked to a nearby roadhouse to use the phone. After calling for a tow truck, he spotted his old friend, Frank, drunk and shabbily dressed at the bar. "What happened to you, Frank?" asked the good reverend. "You used to be rich." Frank told a sad tale of bad investments that had led to his downfall. "Go home," the preacher said. "Open your Bible at random, stick your finger on the page and there will be God’s answer." Some time later, the preacher bumped into Frank, who was wearing a Gucci suit, sporting a Rolex watch and had just stepped out of a Mercedes. "Frank." said the preacher, "I am glad to see things really turned around for you." "Yes, preacher, and I owe it all to you," said Frank. "I opened my Bible, put my finger down on the page and there was the answer--Chapter 11."

It’s funny how we look to God for answers of how we might avoid things. But don’t we realize that God desires to help us through trouble and gain victory over difficulties. God wants to lead us into something…not just out of things.

If we took a poll I’m sure it would be unanimous that knowing and living God’s will for our life is a challenge.

Don’t we all wish at times God would speak to us like He spoke to some in the past?

God walked and talked with Adam in the Garden of Eden.

God spoke to Moses from a burning bush.

God spoke to Samuel and Isaiah audibly.

God let a great fish swallow Jonah and struck Saul with a blinding light…well maybe we don’t wish God would get our attention that way.

If we had it, wouldn’t each one of us respond to the clear leading of God?

Well, the truth is, God still speaks. From Adam and Moses to John the revelator, we have the voice of God in the Word of God. He speaks, He leads, He teaches & corrects. Would you be willing to listen to God’s voice today?

Here’s what these examples tell us God calls out to everyone:

1. Out of rightness to Righteousness (Paul’s story)

a. Acts 9

b. Matthew 23:28

i. Paul was a Pharisee

ii. He knew the law & how to avoid the wrong things and make sure the religious “bases” were covered. But he had a heart of hatred towards those unlike himself.

c. Romans 12:1-2

d. There are many good people. But salvation that God has worked through Jesus Christ means we will be Godly people.

e. God doesn’t want to reform us…He wants to transform us!

i. We think differently

ii. We act consistently

iii. We love others above ourselves

iv. We love the good and shun the evil

v. We live to God alone and not in bondage to the things of the world that have veiled our spiritual eyes.

2. Out of excuses to execution (Moses’ story)

a. Exodus 3 & 4-Moses threw everything he had at God as to why he couldn’t obey

i. I’m nothing special

ii. They won’t believe me

iii. I don’t speak well

b. I can’t is not a valid excuse for the God who can do anything. He is all powerful, all knowing, and loves us.

i. He won’t call us to anything He will not have a supply to accomplish. (“And my God will meet all your needs according to his glorious riches in Christ Jesus.” Phil. 4:19)

ii. His plans are perfect because He knows the future as clearly as the present and past.

iii. He won’t put us into anything where we will not benefit because He loves us (Matthew 6:30-grass of the field & God loves us more)…it might be tough…but it will be to our benefit. The Lord told Ananias about Paul, “I will show him how much he must suffer for my name.”-Acts 9:16

c. If God has called you to drop a habit or addiction…He can and will help you gain victory over it. (Jennie’s story of deliverance from cigarettes…

d. If God has called you to sacrifice for the benefit of someone else…it will not be to your harm in the long run. You will come out of accumulation into abundant living. (Scott & Dawn’s story)

e. If God has called you to special service…you need to know that you’ll never be satisfied with anything else except that to which He has called you. (My story)

The keys to hearing God speak:

• Like Moses we have to turn aside-saw the bush burning up but not consumed. God got his attention. (Bible, prayer, paying attention to circumstances of life) James 1:5, “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.”

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