How Can I know God's Will for My Life? Part 1

How Can I know God's Will for My Life?
Part 1: Why Did God Create the Universe?
Pastor Stephen "Red" Shumate
April 17th, 2016
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How Can I know God’s will for my Life?
This is an important question.  Some people go their whole life without seeking God’s Will.  Instead they seek their own will and then ask God for help.  But really, we should seek His Will, His desire, and His goals for our lives.  When we live His Will in our life, life becomes so much more fulfilling and satisfying (although, not necessarily easier).

So, how can we know God’s will for our lives?  Have you ever found yourself thinking…”I think this is what God wants, but I’m not really sure”…and you look around and it seems there are other people who know exactly what God wants them to be doing.

The truth is, we all can have some security in knowing His Will for us.  As His children, He does have a plan and a will (Jeremiah 29:11) and there is no reason for Him to keep that from us…(that just wouldn’t make sense).  Sometimes, however, he might lead us to His plans as opposed to giving them to us strait forward, in order to grow us and to teach us. But as it says in Luke 11:9 “So I say to you, keep asking, and it will be given to you. Keep searching, and you will find. Keep knocking, and the door will be opened to you."

Where the confusion and question comes in to play, is that God doesn’t send us a daily email with a to-do list.  If he did there would be no need for this blog.  Instead the Holy Spirit guides us by whispering in our hearts.  So it often leaves us questioning…Is that His will or my desire?  Am I hearing Him right or did I misunderstand?

And so we often find ourselves asking…How can I know that this really is God’s will for my life?  In order to answer this question…We must first step back a little and see the big picture of why man was created in the first place. 

If we think of all of life as a painting and our lives are just one brush stroke in that painting, then as we look at just our one brush stroke…just our lives, we can’t truly understand the purpose of that brush stroke until we step back see the overall picture…all of the brush strokes at once.  But when we do step back, what we realize is that our life is part of the bigger picture.

And what this means is that God’s will for our life, is going to fall within the scope and purpose of the bigger picture. So before we can answer the question “How can I know God’s will for my life?” we must first understand why God created mankind (the bigger picture) in the first place.

What is the meaning of Life?  Why did God create mankind?

People look for the meaning of life in the wrong things…Business success, wealth, relationships, family, entertainment, and doing good to others. They work very hard in these areas, looking for fulfillment… (fulfillment being that satisfaction feeling of doing what it is you were created to do)..and without a clear understanding of what we were created for, then we look for fulfillment in all kinds of things, but we often do not find it.

Many people have found that while they achieved success in their goals of wealth, relationships, family, and fame, there is still a deep void inside, a feeling of emptiness that nothing seemed to fill…something is missing…something is not right.

Even many Christians feel this way.  Take for example, King Solomon.  King Solomon had wealth beyond measure, wisdom beyond any man of his time or ours, palaces and gardens that were the envy of kingdoms, the best food and wine, and every form of entertainment available. He said at one point that anything his heart wanted, he pursued. And yet, in Ecclesiastes he summed up “life under the sun” as meaningless. He had everything in the world…and yet, he felt that life was meaningless.

But life is not meaningless, and we were created on purpose for a purpose.  BUT before we can answer the question “Why was man created, what is the meaning of life?,” we have to take one more step back, and see the even the bigger picture and ask the question…Why did God create the universe?

So, in order to get to the bottom of the question of “How can we know what God’s will for our life is?” Today we are going to start with “Why did God create the universe?” Then we can ask the question “Why did God create mankind?” And then we can look at how our individual lives fit into this big picture, and we can talk about the question…”How can I know God’s will for my life?
Each one of these questions is going to lead us to in finding the answer in our next question. So, let’s get started.

1. Why did God create the universe?

Was the universe created for us or us for the universe?

I think that sometimes, as Christians, we think that the universe was created for us.  We think because God loves us soooo much that He created all of this for the sake of us…His creations.

But is that really, why He created the universe?

Here is the problem…When we think this way, we are looking at the universe from the wrong perspective.  We are looking at cause/effect in terms of man, when we really need to be thinking of this in terms of God.  But when we change our perspective, what we see is that the universe, I believe, was created for God’s pleasure, as a dwelling place, a home, a place to live and/or visit, a garden to walk through.

Now scripture doesn’t explicitly tell us this, but I think it gives us some compelling clues that this is, in fact, why the universe was created. Let’s look at Revelation where we read of the description of what our future will be like, once God has made all things right.

Revelation 21:1-3
Then I saw a new heaven and a new earth, for the first heaven and the first earth had passed away, and the sea no longer existed. 2 I also saw the Holy City, new Jerusalem, coming down out of heaven from God, prepared like a bride adorned for her husband.
3 Then I heard a loud voice from the throne: Look! God’s dwelling is with humanity, and He will live with them. They will be His people, and God Himself will be with them and be their God.

What we see here is that God will use the new Heaven and new Earth as a dwelling place.  It’s like the new Heaven and new Earth will be a new home, a new place to live, and created to His specifications for His enjoyment for His pleasure. Now this is what we are told will happen in the future, so let’s see if this lines up with why the Earth was created in the beginning.

Genesis 3:8-9
Then the man and his wife heard the sound of the Lord God walking in the garden at the time of the evening breeze, and they hid themselves from the Lord God among the trees of the garden. 9 So the Lord God called out to the man and said to him, “Where are you?”

Here we see God taking a stroll in the garden and in this scripture it seems to indicate that he didn’t come to check up on Adam and Eve. Instead it seems He was coming to enjoy the world he created, but when He didn’t find them there, He called out to them. So this seems to indicate to me that He created the garden for Himself. Furthermore…

Genesis 2:15
The Lord God took the man and placed him in the garden of Eden to work it and watch over it. 16 And the Lord God commanded the man, “You are free to eat from any tree of the garden, 17 but you must not eat from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, for on the day you eat from it, you will certainly die.”

Why would God create a Garden for us, and then place something in it that wasn’t for us?
Because the tree and the garden was not created for us…it was created for Him.  He created this place for Himself.

Let’s re-read this scripture, but this time let’s read it from the point of view that He created the garden for Himself, and placed us in the garden to tend His garden, and was giving us permission to eat from some of His garden but not all it, and let’s see if this still makes sense…or perhaps makes even more sense…to us.

The Lord God took the man and placed him in the garden of Eden to work it and watch over it. 16 And the Lord God commanded the man, “You are free to eat from any tree of the garden, 17 but you must not eat from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, for on the day you eat from it, you will certainly die.”

It seems to me that when we read these scriptures this way, what we see is that God did not create the universe for us, or us for the universe but He created the universe for Himself, as a new dwelling place.  And this is the first thing we must understand when trying to answer the question “What is God’s will for my life?”It’s the big big picture…

This is an important realization for us.  We must first let this settle in our minds and hearts that the Universe, was created for God not for

How does knowing God created the world for himself, change your view of your role here on earth?

Next week, we will answer the question "Why Did God create Mankind?"

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