Summary: God directs the lives of his people. His will and his word go together on our lives.
1. Korean Jet
In August 1994, a Korean Air jet skidded across a rain soaked runway and rammed a safety barricade while landing in Cheju, Korea. All 160 passengers escaped safely just moments before the plane exploded into flames.
According to news reports, the pilot and the co-pilot had gotten into a fist fight... over who was in charge of the landing controls.
The issue of who was in charge of those landing controls should have been covered in the flight manual! But, NOBODY knew who was in charge...and the confusion that followed resulted in absolute chaos and destruction
2. A lot of talk about authority
a. Governmental authority -- overstepped; difficult to respect; spills into other areas of life -- corporate world; family world; church world
b. With recognition of authority comes a humble spirit of cooperation
c. Jesus as head of the church -- Colossians 1.9-20
d. Elders as overseers (Hebrews 13)
3. One of the reasons we respect and worship God is his ability to guide our lives in accordance with his will.
I. We Are Often Distracted from God's Will
Building an Altar
So he built an altar there and called on the name of the LORD, and he pitched his tent there; and there Isaac's servants dug a well. Genesis 26:25
Dr. Nelson Bell was a missionary physician who became the mentor and father-in-law of evangelist Billy Graham. In his book, Convictions to Live By, Dr. Bell spoke of the primacy of a godly family. He wrote, "In the Old Testament we read that the patriarchs 'pitched their tents, digged (sic) a well and built an altar.' How many people today pitch their tents and dig their wells but make no provision for the spirit! The altar is never built. There are thousands of houses across America fabulous in their appointments for gracious living, but they remain houses only, not homes."
In order to have success in our family life, we must build an altar and put God at the head of our homes. We can be distracted by MANY GOOD things in life -- careers; activities; etc. We need to pitch our tents and dig our wells, but let's not forget to build our altars.
A. We Need An Outside Helper
I know, O LORD, that the way of man is not in himself,
that it is not in man who walks to direct his steps. Jeremiah 10.23
1. It is not in ourselves
2. It is not in Hollywood -- "Follow your heart" -- hearts are deceptive (Jeremiah 17.9)
3. It is not in pop-psychology -- Follow your conscience -- can be seared (1 Timothy 4.2)
B. Direction for Our Lives Comes from God
1. If it is not in us -- it must be from God
The heart of man plans his way, but the LORD establishes his steps. Proverbs 16.9
2. God gives us his will for our lives and guides us
II. We Are Desperate for Direction
A. God's Word and God's Will Go Together
1. We NEED to Know God's Word
a. The Revealed things of God do not change -- [10 commandments in Job
b. [AW Tozer said that we should never seek guidance about what God has already forbidden. Neither should we seek guidance in the areas where God has already said yes and given a command. In those instances, what we need is not guidance but obedience.
c. We need God's word to follow God's guidance for our lives -- Paul planned until the word of God sent him to Macedonia (Acts 16)
2. Too many lazy Christians who have stopped growing -- I know all I need to know
B. Therefore, Seek God's Will
I love those who love me, and those who seek me diligently find me. Proverbs 8.17
2. [Bobby Richardson played second base for the NY Yankees. At a banquet once prayed, "Dear God, your will, nothing less, nothing more, nothing else. Amen"
3. Prayer -- James 1.5 (ask God)
C. Obey God's Living Word -- Romans 10.17
1. Hearing = Doing (Deuteronomy 6)
2. [We can die defending what God has said and miss what he is saying.
[We can speak often of what he did and miss what he is doing.
3. Easy to put God in a box -- [Juan Carlos Ortiz relates an illustration in his book, Disciple. He asks, "If God spoke to you at breakfast one morning and said, 'Eat an orange.' You would eat the orange. If God repeated this for 4 more days, you would eat an orange each day. What would you do on the 6th day if God had not spoken to you? Most of us would eat an orange, assuming it was God's will. We just put God in a box when we should have waited for his direction."