How Can I know God's Will for My Life? Part 3

How Can I know God's Will for my Life? 
Part 3: Knowing God's Will
Pastor Stephen "Red" Shumate
May 1st, 2016
Image courtesy of graur razvan ionut at FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Listen to full sermon here.

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The question we have been looking at for the last 3 weeks is 
“How can I know God’s will for My life?”

But in order to really understand God’s will for our life, we first had to answer to more questions:
“Why did God create the Universe?” 
and “Why did God create Man?”  

And what we have found out so far is…
1. Originally God created the universe for His own pleasure and delight…
2. Originally God created man as His children for His own pleasure…to watch us grow and revel in our achievements…

Then sin entered the world…and changed everything.
Now, God will create a new heaven and a new earth…And he will repopulate with those who have accepted Jesus as their savior…

But until then, we live with a new purpose and a new set of instructions:
1. To Obey all that He commands us for the purpose of working towards restoration.  All of these commands are based in relationships: our relationship with Him and our relationship with one another.
2. And to spread the Good news of Jesus Christ and God’s offer of salvation.

And now that we have laid this groundwork, we can finally answer the question “How can I know God’s will for my Individual life?”

1. We Seek

Luke 11:9-10 Says
“So I say to you: Ask and it will be given to you; seek and you will find; knock and the door will be opened to you. 10 For everyone who asks receives; the one who seeks finds; and to the one who knocks, the door will be opened.

If we want to know what God’s will for us is…we must seek it!  In order to find his will be must seek his will.  He is not going to force it on us…

So how do we seek?
a. It starts with prayer…
It starts by simply asking God…What is your will for my life?  What is your plan?  What is my next step?

b. Then we look to scriptures…Often times we can find our own life, almost our exact situation, in the Bible.  Scripture tells us, there is nothing new under the sun and so there is nothing in your life, that God hasn’t already encountered.  So there is a good chance that God has already laid out His will for you in scriptures.  And so we can often find his guidance in His word.

c. We remain in worship.  And if we Pray, Read and worship then what we are really doing is building our relationship with God…

And the longer we are in a relationship with God, and the closer we get, the more familiar we are with what God wants, and what he expects from us.  Just like a couple that has been married for a long time, knows the other person so well, they can anticipate what they want, without even asking.

However, if we only check in with God every once in a while (when life get’s tough, or when we need something…)…meanwhile we are focused on doing what we want to do…the more difficult it is for us to know, what God wants for us and from us.

So, we must grow our relationship with God through prayer, scripture and worship.

This leads us to our second step in knowing God’s will for our lives…

2. We Listen 

John 10:27
My sheep hear My voice, I know them, and they follow Me.

The phrase “He who has ears to hear, listen” is written in the gospels 7 times. So, what must we do to Listen?  We must be quiet and be focused on God.  This is why quiet time with God is so important.

Have you ever seen a child, who is so full of energy and so focused on what they are doing, they don’t hear their parents until finally, the parent takes them by the arms, gets right in front of them and makes the child look them in the eyes and listen?

I believe many people have the expectation that if God wants to get their attention, He will get in their face and will stop them, and make them listen but this is not how it should work.  “My sheep hear my voice.”  Sheep are attentive to their shepherds voice at all times.  So we must learn to listen.

3. We confirm

Do you remember when Gideon did this in Judges 6?

God instructed Gideon thru the Angel of the Lord to attack the Midianites in order to save Israel.  But Gideon and his clan, were the smallest and weakest of Israel.  So Gideon wanted to make double sure that he heard the Angle of the Lord correctly, and he Asked God for confirmation through a fleece.

Judges 6:36-40
Gideon said to God, “If you will save Israel by my hand as you have promised— 37 look, I will place a wool fleece on the threshing floor. If there is dew only on the fleece and all the ground is dry, then I will know that you will save Israel by my hand, as you said.” 38 And that is what happened. Gideon rose early the next day; he squeezed the fleece and wrung out the dew—a bowlful of water.

39 Then Gideon said to God, “Do not be angry with me. Let me make just one more request. Allow me one more test with the fleece, but this time make the fleece dry and let the ground be covered with dew.” 40 That night God did so. Only the fleece was dry; all the ground was covered with dew.

Here we see Gideon wanted confirmation that he heard God’s will for him and his people correctly…However, confirmation doesn’t have to take a long time and we don’t necessarily have to ask confirmation from God.  We may be able to confirm His will for us by simply checking that what we believe He wants us do to falls within the scope of why He created us and why He created the universe.  

For example, maybe we hear that little voice saying, “Hey you should go talk to Timmy. He doesn’t go to church and doesn’t have very many positive influences in his life.”

We can very quickly evaluate that this probably does fall within the scope of our purpose…because our conversation and friendship with Timmy, who is normally a trouble maker and doesn’t have Christ in his life…might lead to his relationship with God being restored.

But when that little voice says…”Hey,you should go out and Party with Timmy (that is to say do sinful things)…because, that will show Timmy that you aren’t all that different from him.  And that might help give you an inroad to talk about Christ.

We should very quickly be able to evaluate this and understand it is coming from our own desires because, first God is not going to ask us to sin EVER! So going out to party (and do those things we know we shouldn’t) will not be in His will for us.  Secondly, it should be clear to Timmy that we are not like Him.  That we have something different in our lives, and hopefully, that will inspire Him to want the same thing.

So this kind of evaluation can very quickly confirm God’s will for our lives and doesn’t necessarily require prayer or a long drawn out confirmation process.

Other times, we might need to take a little more time and look for other signs that God places in our life.  Especially, when it is not clear if what He is asking falls within the scope of why God created mankind…or if it seems to be headed in a different direction than expected.

It’s like when your GPS gives you unexpected directions. You might know your destination in general is to your right, but your GPS is giving you directions to turn left.  So what do we do in that situation, we look for road signs to confirm what our GPS tells us.  And we can do the same thing, in life.

And then there is the occasion that we need to boldly ask God for confirmation of what we believe is His will for our life, just like Gideon.  What we have to be careful of, is if He gives us confirmation (either positive or negative) that we don’t continually ask for confirmation but instead we act on faith and do what He asks.

4. We do

Matthew 9:6-9
6 But so you may know that the Son of Man has authority on earth to forgive sins”—then He told the paralytic, “Get up, pick up your mat, and go home.” 7 And he got up and went home. [emphasis added]

What if he had never gotten up and gone home?  He’d still be lying on his mat…What if we never get up and go? We’d still be lying in the street broken…

There are many reasons that we may not "get up and go."  Sometimes it is because we put our own “To-Do” list ahead of His will.  Sometimes it is because we are too scared.  And sometimes it is because we don’t like what His will is for us, so we keep asking Him over and over and over, hoping that His will for us might change to something we like.

If God gives us His will, the we must get up and go.  It is not enough for us to just know God’s will for our lives.  It would not have been enough for the lame man to just “know” God had healed him.  And it is not enough to just know God’s will for our life…We must we must get up and go!

So that is how we can know God’s will for our lives…
We seek, We listen, We confirm, We do!

Where are you at, in seeking his will?  


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