SEEKING GOD’S WILL

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Notes for a sermon given at Gateway Church Perth

I have been a church leader now for about 20 years now and without doubt the subject I have been asked most about down those years is GOD’S WILL

I suspect the most commonly asked question in Christianity today:
What is God’s will for my life?

That’s only natural because
We have questions and face decisions all the time,
and we find ourselves constantly wondering about God’s will in them.

Some decisions are small and seem less significant.

What make of car should I buy?

Do we want Mexican? Chinese? Indian or Italian?

Other questions involve large, life-altering decisions.

Should I marry this person?
Should I take this new job?
What should I do with the rest of my life?
Where should we live?

Sometimes it feels like
We find ourselves buried under questions and decisions,
and in the middle of it all we keep coming back to one question:
What is God’s will for my life?
What does God want me to do?
How do I find God’s will for my life?

RIGHT AT THE MOMENT WE ARE SPENDING THE SUMMER IN THE PSALMS, but we are not just singing the Psalms we are looking at them to see evidence of how in practical terms we should live out our relationship with God.

In the Psalm 25 its pretty of obvious David is going through a tough time in life and in the midst of the turmoil David he does something:

Psalm 25:4-5

4 Show me your ways, Lord,
teach me your paths.
5 Guide me in your truth and teach me,
for you are God my Saviour,
and my hope is in you all day long.

David says
SHOW ME
TEACH ME
GUIDE

Lord in your
YOUR WAYS
YOUR PATHS
YOUR TRUTH

Do you see what David is doing?

He is seeking God’s guidance.
He is doing what we have all done, he is seeking God’s will for his life.

That’s what I want us to think about this morning, how do we seek God’s will?

THE PROBLEM WITH DOING THAT IS I THINK THERE IS MORE UNHELPFUL THINKING AROUND THE SUBJECT OF SEEKING GOD’S WILL THAN AROUND JUST ABOUT ANY ISSUE IN OUR CHRISTIAN LIFE

FOLK RELIGION

Unhelpful statements

“THE SAFEST PLACE TO BE IS THE CENTRE OF GOD’S WILL”

How on earth after reading the Gospels and Acts could any Christian have come up with that statement. Jesus was in centre of God’s Will but but it led to the Cross Being in the centre of GOD’S will got Stephen stoned, Paul imprisoned and Peter crucified! The centre of GOD’S will may be the best place, the most challenging place but no where are we promised it’s safest place.

Unhelpful methods

Some people when seeking God’s will open their bible randomly and read the first verse

We have probably all heard the story of the man who was seeking God’s will for his future and so he opened the bible

Matthew 27:5) “Then he went and hanged himself”
Luke 10:37 Jesus said, “Go and do likewise”

I have not heard of any one going and hanging themselves but I have heard people testify that this is how God has led them to make important decisions in their lives.

NOW PRAISE GOD THAT HIS GRACE IS GREATER THAN OUR STUPIDITY …. But I want to suggest to you this not a way you should seek God’s will for your life

UNHELPFUL ATTITUDES

We use God’s Will as an excuse not do what we don’t want to do

GOT DUMPED TWICE AS A TEENAGER

A girl in school “I don’t like you any more”
A girl in church “I have been praying and God’s revealed its not his will for us to go out any longer”

SO HOW SHOULD YOU UNDERSTAND GOD’S WILL?

AUSTRALIAN STUDENTS in Edinburgh, two ways to see the city:

….. Map Quest ….. Detailed map and directions
….. GUIDE …. Leads you by joining you on the journey and you follow step by step, obeying his directions

Finding GOD’S Will is more like going with a guide, than getting a route from map quest

TWO SENSES OF GOD’s WILL

GOD’S GENERAL WILL. ….. Applies to everyone

AND SPECIFIC WILL ….. Applies to you

I believe at least 95% of the important decisions we need to make come under the category of God’s general will which we find in God’s revealed will, His Word

So ON MOST SUBJECTS WE DON’T NEED TO SEEK GOD’S WILL, WE JUST NEED TO OBEY IT

STEPS TO FINDING GOD’S SPECIFIC WILL

1.ALIGN YOURSELF WITH GOD’S WILL

Romans 12:1-2

12 Therefore, I urge you, brothers and sisters, in view of God’s mercy, to offer your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and pleasing to God – this is your true and proper worship. 2 Do not conform to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is – his good, pleasing and perfect will.

Its when we live holy lives surrendered to God that we will “test and approve” that is find and live out God’s will.

I BELIEVE WE NEED TO BE COMMITTED TO DOING GOD’S WILL BEFORE GOD WILL REVEAL HIS WILL

need to saturate yourself in God’s Word

2. PRAY AND BE PRAYED FOR

Colossians 1:8

9 For this reason, since the day we heard about you, we have not stopped praying for you. We continually ask God to fill you with the knowledge of his will through all the wisdom and understanding that the Spirit gives, 10 so that you may live a life worthy of the Lord and please him in every way: bearing fruit in every good work, growing in the knowledge of God,

If any of you lacks wisdom, you should ask God, who gives generously to all without finding fault, and it will be given to you. James 1:5

PRAYING AND BE PRAYED FOR is VITAL

understanding the Spirit gives” ….. we need to be open to the Spirit, if we believe in the gifts of the Spirit we need to be open to them, open to words of prophecy, visions etc

So we need to both pray and allow ourselves to be prayed for.

3. INVOLVE GOD’S PEOPLE

Seek advice, ask people whose opinion you value, give them permission to ask you difficult questions

X FACTOR ….. People who think they are great singers but aren’t, perhaps because tgey have not got a community that is honest with them.

MENNONITES ….. Some have discernment meetings when people are making big decisions

4. EXAMINE THE CIRCUMSTANCES OF YOUR LIFE

Paul speaks about “God opening doors …: in Ephesians and 2 nd Corinthians

God sometimes leads us through circumstances …. if we are able to do something or unable to do something that may be God’s Will.

Difficult one to evaluate, shouldn’t make a decision based on this alone.

5. CHECK YOUR EMOTIONS

Let the peace of Christ rule in your hearts Colossians 3:15

Our emotions positive and negative can give us an indication of God’s Will

I know for me:

PEACE, PASSION, EXCITEMENT …. May be God’s WIll

UNEASE, WORRY, UNCERTAINTY …. May not be God’s WIll

Again we can get our emotions wrong, so don’t make a decision based on this alone.

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