February 11, 2024

Living In and Loving the Will of God!

Pastor: Wade Trimmer Series: Ephesians Scripture: Ephesians 5:15–17

Eph 5:17Don't be stupid. Instead, find out what the Lord wants you to do.”(CEV)

I. The Will of God is to be Understood – Eph. 5:17; Cols. 1:9

Col 1:9, And so, from the day we heard, we have not ceased to pray for you, asking that you may be filled with the knowledge of his will in all spiritual wisdom and understanding, 

A. Spiritual Light Comes Only with Spiritual Life!

In other words, only those who have come to saving faith in Jesus have sight to see the light!

B. Spiritual Life Brings the Spirit’s Leading! – Eph 5:17

Usually when Christians speak of determining the will of the Lord, they have in mind God’s will regarding major decisions about a spouse or a career. This is not what the text is about. The text is more concerned about God's intent for the way we live every day. It’s about what is pleasing to him.

God wills for us to know and do His will – not His will of decree (that will be done), but His will of declaration (revealed in His Word) – not His will of purpose, i.e., his general will, but His will of precept, i.e., his particular will - “Therefore don’t be unwise, i.e., stupid!

He will lead you gladly and readily unless you’re mule-headed! - Psalm 32:8-9. “I will instruct you and teach you in the way you should go; I will counsel you and watch over you. Do not be like the horse or the mule, which have no understanding but must be controlled by bit and bridle or they will not come to you.”

II. The Will of God is Often Misunderstood and Mistaken

A. Mistake One: Believing that There is a Formula You Can Use to Finnd the Will of God

Romans 12:1-2, reveals that the way for knowing God’s will flows out of a worshipful, sacrificial relationship with Him. Relationships are dynamic and not static. His will isn’t found in formulas that one discovers in the Word of God, but from fellowship with the God of the Word; not in manipulation of God, but by capitulation to God.

B. Mistake Two – Believing that Living in God’s Will Brings an Absence of Problems, and an Abundance of Peace, and Material Prosperity! Mat 10:34-36, “Do not think that I came to bring peace on earth. I did not come to bring peace but a sword. "For I have come to 'set a man against his father, a daughter against her mother, and a daughter-in-law against her mother-in-law'; and 'a man's enemies will be those of his own household.”

1 Cor 16:9, “For a great and effective door has opened to me, and there are many adversaries.”

C. Mistake Three – Thinking that God will Give You a Detailed Map so You can Plan Every Aspect of Your Future!

God’s will is a highway not a tightrope! If you honestly want to please God, you can’t go wrong if you stay within His guidelines. God's will is not a dot on a map to be hit or missed. It’s a road to be traveled as you follow His guidance.

D. Mistake Four – Believing that if You are Really Good Christian, You Will Always Know Clearly About Any Particular Decision. In Acts 16:6-10, we see Paul, one of the greatest Christians ever to live, being unclear about the will of the Lord.

III. The Will of God is to Be Undertaken – Mark 3:35

"For whoever does the will of God is My brother and My sister and mother."

A. Finding the Will of God is More about Knowing a Person than Discovering a Plan! – Roms 12:1-2

These verses are about a sacrificial relationship with God and not about special rituals or rules to follow that will provide guidance.

1. Dedication to God – Presenting our bodies a living sacrifice.

2. Separation from the World – Be not conformed (don’t be squeezed into the mold of this world system).

3. Renovation of our Character – Go on being transformed by the renewing of our mind. The word transform is the same as transfigure in Mat_17:2. It has come into our English language as the word “metamorphosis.” It describes a change from within.

4. Realization of the Will of God – Proving, from experience, the good, acceptable, and perfect will of God.

B.  Doing the Will of God Requires Wise Spending Every Day in the Market of Time – 5:16, “redeeming the time, because the days are evil.” (NKJV)

C. Starting Where You are and Obeying the Light You Already Have Will Result in More Light Being Given – Mk. 4:24-25

“Then He said to them, "Take heed what you hear. With the same measure you use, it will be measured to you; and to you who hear, more will be given. For whoever has, to him more will be given; but whoever does not have, even what he has will be taken away from him."

We cannot know God’s will in the difficult areas if we aren’t obeying God in the clear ones!

For example, the things below are always God’s will, and if you live in obedience to them, you’ll get the desires of your heart, because you are delighting to do His will.

1. It is the will of God that you receive the Lord Jesus Christ as your personal Savior - 1 Tim 2:4, “Who will (or desires to) have all men to be saved, and to come unto the knowledge of the truth.”

2. It is the will of God that you yield every area of your life to the control of the Holy Spirit - Eph 5:17,18, “Therefore do not be unwise, but understand what the will of the Lord is. Eph 5:18, “And do not be drunk with wine, in which is dissipation; but be filled with the Spirit,”

3. It is the will of God that you live a morally pure life. - 1 Thess. 4:3-4, “It is God's will that you should be sanctified: that you should avoid sexual immorality; that each of you should learn to control his own body in a way that is holy and honorable,”

4. It is the will of God that you be grateful in everything. - 1 Th 5:18, “in everything give thanks; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you.”

5. It is the will of God that you obey God given ordinances and institutions with a submissive and not rebellious spirit(I Peter 2:13,15) – “Therefore submit yourselves to every ordinance of man for the Lord's sake, whether to the king as supreme, For this is the will of God, that by doing good you may put to silence the ignorance of foolish men;”

6. It is the will of God that you take a stand for God's truth even in the face of persecution. - 1 Pet 3:17, “For it is better, if it is the will of God, to suffer for doing good than for doing evil.”

The question is, “Do I want what God wants in these six general areas of my life? Is my will to do the will of God irrespective of what it is because I know that it is always good, acceptable and perfect?

The greatest problem is to find the will of God, the greatest pursuit is to follow the will of God, the greatest prerogative is to fulfill the will of God, and the greatest privilege is to finish the will of God.  Bill Borden, who gave up great fortune to go to Egypt as

other sermons in this series

Feb 25

2024

Being Filled with the Spirit

Pastor: Wade Trimmer Scripture: Ephesians 5:18–21 Series: Ephesians

Feb 4

2024

Imitating Our Father

Pastor: Wade Trimmer Scripture: Ephesians 5:1–14 Series: Ephesians

Jan 28

2024

Do Not Grieve the Holy Spirit!

Pastor: Wade Trimmer Scripture: Ephesians 4:25–32 Series: Ephesians