How To Know the Will of God
by Pastor Shane Montgomery
Ro 12:1-2; Ep 5:15-18
It is God's will for all to be saved:
- II Pe 3:9, "Not willing that any should perish, but that all should come to repentance." - Jn 6:28-29, "This is the work of God, that ye believe on him whom he hath sent."
It is possible to know (understand) the will of God:
Ep 5:17, "Wherefore be ye not unwise, but understanding what the will of the Lord is."
1) We must be ready (prepared) to hear (prove, discern, Ro 12:2) the will of God:
- Ro 12:1-2, living sacrifice (surrenduring to Him as His possession) holy (because He is holy) be not conformed to this world (separate, peculiar) transformed by renewing of mind (be in the Word, II Ti 2:15) - that our mind may line up with His mind (obedience, Christ-like)
2) We must be living (walking) His known will, Ep 5:15-20: (Busy for God Where You Are)
vs. 15, walk circumspectly (diligently, carefully), as those that are wise
- we must be walking (serving), not sitting (God wants us to know His will so we will do something with it) - Jn 7:17, if we do His (known) will, we'll know the truth (The More we Do, the more we'll Know) - Co 1:9-10, "For this cause we also do not cease to pray for you, and to desire that ye might be filled with the knowledge of his will in all wisdom and spiritual understanding; That ye might walk worthy of the Lord unto all pleasing, being fruitful in every good work, and increasing in the knowledge of God" (Through His Word) - Eph 2:10, "For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus unto good works, which God hath before ordained that we should walk in them.
God Chooses Busy Men:
When He wanted a leader for Israel, Moses caring for sheep
When He wanted the first king, Saul searching for his father's asses
When He wanted one to fight Goliath and become king, David looking after his father's sheep
When He wanted a champion when Israel discouraged, Gideon threshing wheat
When He wanted a prophet to replace Elijah, Elisha ploughing twelve yoke of oxen
When He wanted disciples, fishermen and tax collectors
When He wanted the first missionary to Africa, Livingstone working beside a cotton machine
When He wanted a pioneer to India, William Carey mending shoes
- Jn 7:17, if we do His (known) will, we'll know the truth -we can only walk as wise if know God's will as revealed in His Word (II Ti 2:15, renewing)
Examples of God's Known Will:
- I Th 4:3, abstain from fornication (keep body pure); I Pe 4:2, it is not in the flesh - Lu 18:1, pray - Ac 1:8, witness - I Pe 2:15, well doing (good works) - I Th 5:18, be thankful - I Pe 3:17, it may be to suffer (I Pe 4:19)
3) We must be spending our time wisely, Ep 5:15-17
vs. 16, redeeming the time, because the days are evil (time must be precious to be redeemed)
- I Pe 4:2, "That he no longer should live the rest of his time in the flesh to the lusts of men, but to the will of God." - we're not caught up on the day's ways (evil), but our time is spent wisely - redeem (buy back) time for God (learn to manage our time) - our time should belong to God anyway (I Co 6:19-20) - Ga 1:4, "Who gave himself for our sins, that he might deliver us from this present evil world, according to the will of God and our Father:" - 1Pe 1:17, "And if ye call on the Father, who without respect of persons judgeth according to every man's work, pass the time of your sojourning here in fear:" - Ps 90:12, "So teach us to number our days, that we may apply our hearts unto wisdom." - Jas 4:14, "Whereas ye know not what shall be on the morrow. For what is your life? It is even a vapour, that appeareth for a little time, and then vanisheth away." - our regrets in heaven will be that we will with we had spent more time serving Him - Amos 6:1, woe to them that are at ease in Zion - Ec 9:10, "Whatsoever thy hand findeth to do, do it with thy might" - Co 4:5-6, spend time with unsaved wisely (speech seasoned with salt) - hungry for God and His Word (time with Him and His Word) - Ps 1:2, "But his delight is in the law of the LORD; and in his law doth he meditate day and night." - De 6:7, "And thou shalt teach them diligently unto thy children, and shalt talk of them when thou sittest in thine house, and when thou walkest by the way, and when thou liest down, and when thou risest up." - I Th 5:1-2, Jesus will come as a thief, therefore be ready - I Th 5:6, don't sleep (spiritually), but watch and be sober - I Pe 4:7, be sober and watch unto prayer - Mt 20:6-7, Jesus says to stop being idle and to go to work in His vineyard Mt 9:37-38, the labourers are few - Take Inventory: Time spent mostly on eternal vs. temporal? - Are we busy about our Father's business (spreading the Word, etc.)
4) We must be able to hear the will of God: (through His Spirit), Ep 5:17-20
vs. 17, understanding what the will of the Lord is
vs. 18, AND (connects to vs. 17), be filled with the Spirit
- Cannot be filled until emptied first (of self, ambitions, sin) - God can fill quickly, but may take years to empty - ie. John Spiritual or Busy?: being busy doing "things" (including prayer) is not a substitute for being filled with the Spirit of God and having His power!! spiritual (filled, controlled; led; guided) busy (active, occupied; industrious) Filling is Control: give the Holy Spirit control of thoughts, imaginations, ambitions, words, actions, desires, choices, affections, dreams, etc. - Co 1:9 For this cause we also, since the day we heard it, do not cease to pray for you, and to desire that ye might be filled with the knowledge of his will in all wisdom and spiritual understanding; - Ro 8:14 For as many as are led by the Spirit of God, they are the sons of God. - Ga 5:25 If we live in the Spirit, let us also walk in the Spirit. - Ga 5:16 This I say then, Walk in the Spirit, and ye shall not fulfil the lust of the flesh. - Ro 8:5 For they that are after the flesh do mind the things of the flesh; but they that are after the Spirit the things of the Spirit. - Ac 1:8, the power of the Lord to be witnesses - if not soul winner, not filled (God's main purpose for filling us) - Ac 4:31 And when they had prayed, the place was shaken where they were assembled together; and they were all filled with the Holy Ghost, and they spake the word of God with boldness. - a sign of being filled is that God leads you and the desire to witness
vs. 19, speaking to yourselves in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs
- meditation on the things of the Lord (His Word and His worship), see Josh 1:8 - a sign of being filled is that the song of the Lord is on your heart and lips - Job 1:21, blessed be the name of the Lord (grateful even in suffering) - we're told to rejoice "always" Php 4:4 - Ac 13:52 And the disciples were filled with joy, and with the Holy Ghost.
vs. 20, must be thankful, I Th 5:18 (talked about this under God's known will)
- another sign of being filled is thankful for all things (moaners are not filled) - Pro 19:3, his heart fretteth against the LORD (discontentment) - Php 2:14, do all things without murmuring - Ps 34:8, "O taste and see that the LORD is good:"
5) We Must Be Living Submissive Lives, Ep 5:15-25 (Christian life one of submission)
- vs. 21, to one another - Php 2:3-4 In lowliness of mind let each esteem other better than themselves. Look not every man on his own things, but every man also on the things of others. - vs. 22, wives to husbands - vs. 24, the church to Christ- Jas 4:7, submit to God - children to parents, Ep 6:1 - all of us to the laws of the land, I Pe 2:13 - employees to employers, I Pe 2:18 - younger to elder, I Pe 5:5 - church members to their pastor, He 13:17
6) We Must Be Seeking His Will (Asking With A Willing Heart), see Jas 1:5
- Willing Heart (why other steps came first: Surrender, Obedience, Service, Not Wasting Time, Submissive, Filled With the Spirit of God) Ps 5:8 Lead me, O LORD, in thy righteousness because of mine enemies; make thy way straight before my face. Ps 25:4 Shew me thy ways, O LORD; teach me thy paths. Ps 32:8 I will instruct thee and teach thee in the way which thou shalt go: I will guide thee with mine eye. Ps 86:11 Teach me thy way, O LORD; I will walk in thy truth: unite my heart to fear thy name. Ps 143:8 Cause me to hear thy lovingkindness in the morning; for in thee do I trust: cause me to know the way wherein I should walk; for I lift up my soul unto thee. Pr 3:5-6 Trust in the LORD with all thine heart; and lean not unto thine own understanding. In all thy ways acknowledge him, and he shall direct thy paths. - He speaks through His Word as we regularly study it, Ps 119:105 - He speaks through others (why good to be in church all the time and fellowship with Christians of like faith, so getting good Biblical exhortation) - Heb 10:25 Not forsaking the assembling of ourselves together, as the manner of some is; but exhorting one another: and so much the more, as ye see the day approaching. - ie. counsellors, see Pr 11:14; 15:22; 24:6 - He speaks through His Spirit, Ro 8:14 - Don't Miss the Obvious, when seeking God's will, what burns in your heart and is obvious, don't resist it thinking it's you, go forward in faith and ask the Lord to open/close the doors Re 3:8 I know thy works: behold, I have set before thee an open door, and no man can shut it - Ps 37:4-5 Delight thyself also in the LORD; and he shall give thee the desires of thine heart. Commit thy way unto the LORD; trust also in him; and he shall bring it to pass. - He can change our desires to be in line with His will if we delight in Him
Conclusion: If we are surrendered and living for Him, and we ask Him to show us His will for our lives, will He show us? Is He a good Father? If He is changing our direction, He'll make it clear His way, just wait on Him. Ps 27:14 Wait on the LORD: be of good courage, and he shall strengthen thine heart: wait, I say, on the LORD.
2) Serving in Known Will
3) Spending Time Wisely
4) Sensitive to the Spirit of God (Filled)
5) Submissive life