FINDING GOD'S WILL IN LIFE PREACHED AT FELLOWSHIP M.B.C. JUNE 1983
BY: ELDER CALVIN PERRIGO
THE KNOWLEDGE OF GOD'S WILL
We'd like to continue our study tonight concerning finding the Lord's will. I hope that it doesn't get to the point that it is burden or becomes boresome to people. As we said early in these lessons, that the will that we are concerned with is that of every member of the church, not only what the Lord would have us to do on a given time but even as far as a way of survival or making our livelihood. I think that our children should realize that they can, if they will approach the Lord in the proper manner, get some answers as to what they should strive to achieve in life. What they should be in life. It's not just for the preacher or the deacon or the Sunday School teacher or whatever position might be mentioned concerning the church. But the will of God is of utmost importance in our everyday life.
So, tonight we will look a little more in detail at the knowledge of God's will. We'll call your attention to the 9th verse of Colossians Chapter 1 for a verse of scripture that we will use for a foundation. This is Paul writing to the people at Colossi. The saints and faithful brethren in Christ that were there. In this verse of scripture he mentions his continual praying for them and his desire toward them. Verse 9 of Colossians Chapter 1; "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;" For a little while tonight we want to look at being filled with the knowledge of God's will. Now if we note in the 2nd verse of this Chapter, that the letter was addressed to saints and faithful brethren in Christ, then we could see that he was interested in the whole body that was gathered there at Colossi, as far was them being filled with the knowledge of God's will. I think that it would have a place in all of our lives and our hearts tonight when we might consider just what the Lord would have for us to do. We've established some facts already about who can know the will of God. We determined that saved people can know. Those that live a separate life and are interested in knowing what God would have them to do, they CAN find the Lord's will. If we come to the knowledge of God's will, we'll have to be talking to the Lord about some things in prayer. We'll have to be concerned enough to ask the Lord. We determined here Wednesday night that the way that God reveals His way to us is through the medium that He uses and that is by speaking to us. A spirit speaking to our spiritual person or our being. That is the way that God communicates with His people. He doesn't send a prophet to us anymore as He did in the old scriptures, and tell us to do this and to do that, but God speaks to us through the office of the spirit. If we are to find the Lord's will, if we are to know His will, then we are going to have to ask Him for some things. When we consider asking for the will of God, we want to consider a statement in the 66th Psalm. We've used it briefly in another study on this subject here. There is a statement in Psalms 66:18 that is very important if we are to sincerely ask the Lord to let us know what His will is for us in our life. The 18th verse of Psalms 66 tells us this; "If I regard iniquity in my heart, the Lord will not hear me:" Here is a very important circumstance concerning finding the will of the Lord in a particular life. "If I regard iniquity in my heart, the Lord will not hear me:" It would be difficult to ask the Lord to reveal His will to us if we have regarded sin in our heart. If we cherish sin in our heart in other words, the Psalmist here says that God will not hear me. We ought to consider that when we think about seeking for the knowledge of God's will. To be sure that our heart does not cherish sin, or some iniquity might be prevalent in our heart to where that God would not hear us. We need to understand that God is Holy and He will not look upon sin with any allowance whatsoever. We must note that we are dealing with a Holy God rather than a brother or sister in the Lord, or another human being as we are. We are approaching a Holy God in prayer, trying to understand His will for us in life. If He's Holy and He will not look upon sin with any allowance, we need to be sure that we don't cherish some sin in our heart when we try to ask the Lord what He would have us to do. I think that we would fail in finding the Lord's will if we cherish something within ourself that God was not pleased with. If we find something between us and really earnestly, sincerely asking God what you would have me to do, I think we would find that particular thing would create a wall so to speak between us and God as far as our prayer is concerned. If we have a multitude of things that we cherish, we have a larger wall between us and God. If there be anything that would be in our life that we would hold dear or cherish that God would consider sin, that would tend to build a wall between us and Him as far as communing with Him and receiving blessings as far as our asking and He answering concerning the knowledge of His will. These things are very common among people. A lot of people don't recognize what they hold dear to themselves that would keep them from finding an answer for God as far as His will was concerned. We won't go into any detail of what it might be in your life, what it might be in my life, but we do know that there are a multitude of things. If we put anything between our desire to find God's will in our life, we'll find that we have a difficult time coming to the knowledge of His will. I often think about the teaching of the Lord in the New Testament concerning the invitation to the feast, or to the supper and the things that those people used for an excuse, they put those things up between the invitation and their going and they were justified, or seemed that they were justified in not attending that particular banquet or party or how ever you want to phrase it, because they had done so. Those things tend to build a wall between them and the person that invited them to that particular banquet. One had bought a piece of land. One had bought some oxen. One had married a wife and those things so, there could be a whole multitude of things that we might cherish in life that we would not be willing to give up in order to find God's will in our life. The list would be large today it we would sit down and analyze those things, but we'll go back to the first commandment under the law of Moses and we could find the importance of this. There God says; "Thou shalt have no other Gods before me." And if we'll love the Lord our God with all of our mind, and all of our strength, and all of our heart, and if we approach Him in that attitude seeking for the knowledge of His will, I believe that God will help us to come to an understanding of what He would have us to do in life. But, if we place anything before that desire, then we shouldn't expect God to speak with us and to tell us what He'd have us to do. In other words, if we are serious about finding God's will in our life, we must be on praying terms with Him. We must have an avenue of communication between us and God, just like we find in the scripture so often, where someone would be seeking the will of the Lord, be seeking direction from the Lord, and they would come confessing and admitting their weaknesses and some things that were involved in their life and ask the Lord to help them come to an understanding of what He'd have them to do. There comes a time in our life when we reach a crossroad and we certainly need the help of the Lord. When we come to those places, it is best that we be on praying terms with Him to where that we'd have the communication between us and the Lord. Now that's a sweet time in our life, to feel that we can call upon the Lord anytime. Isn't there a word of a song that says something along that line that we can call Him anytime? A lot of those things are not based on scriptural facts. He is available at any time, but a lot of times you and I are not in position. We can't dial His number as we might be led to believe by some people that write songs of that nature and do things that regardless of what our position is in life, the Lord will hear and answer any type of prayer for us. But we have to be in a particular attitude of mind and heart before the Lord will hear. In this verse of scripture here in Psalms 66:18 is one clear basic scripture in the Bible, and if we regard iniquity in our heart, we shouldn't expect the Lord to hear us, but we should realize that there is something that we have to do before the Lord will hear our plea.
We've got five practical rules here to determine God's will in our life. We want to look at those a little in detail as we go through this lesson. The first one is, there must be an honest, sincere willingness to do God's will. We must be honest with God, we must be sincerely willing to do His will before we ask. If we just ask to be asking or to make a fair show in the flesh, it's very, very unlikely that God will pay attention to our asking Him. But if our attitude can be in comparison to the one that Jesus had in the Garden of Gethsemane, I believe that we can find the Lord to be near us when we are asking for help as far as the knowledge of His will is concerned. We are having reference to that statement He made in the darkness of the night in Gethsemane, when He had gone out a space, asked Peter, James and John to follow out there and to watch with Him for awhile, and there He prayed to the Father. This was on the eve of His crucifixion. He was betrayed just a few moments after this by Judas. He was taken from there to the hall of Caiaphas, they had their kangaroo court there among the Jews, then they took Him to Pilot early the next morning. But in that agony that night when He prayed the great drops of sweat as if they were blood came from Him, Jesus prayed this way; 42nd verse of Luke Chapter 22; "Father, if thou be willing, remove this cup from me: nevertheless not my will, but thine, be done." I do believe that Jesus had a sincere desire to be removed from that circumstance, but rather than pursuing that course, what does He say? "Nevertheless not my will, but thine, be done." So then if we have an honest, sincere, willingness to do God's will, I think that we can find the Lord a present help in that particular time and He will help us to obtain the knowledge of His will. But if we're not willing, I don't believe that God will answer our prayer. If we can always take the example of Jesus Christ, remember this prayer in the Garden of Gatheseme when He said "Father, if thou be willing, remove this cup from me:" He knew
that the Father had the power. He knew that He could command the legions of angels and be removed from that circumstance. He knew all of those things, but He submitted to God's will and He says; "Nevertheless not my will but thine be done." So, this can be a good example of the first rule to determine God's will in our life. That we have an honest and sincere willingness to do His will once He has revealed that to us. Remember the prayer that Jesus prayed and pattern after that when we are asking for the Lord's will. After He prayed that particular prayer, we find an angel coming from Heaven and strengthening Him. We'll find similar aids from God in similar circumstances when we're honestly and sincerely asking for the Lord's will to be revealed to us in order that we might do that thing.
Alright, rule number two. God's will is always in harmony with God's Word. His will is always in harmony with His Word. God wouldn't ask us to do something that would not be in harmony with His teachings. That's an assurance to us, that we can rest assured that God's will is always in harmony with His Word. He won't ask us to do something contrary to what is taught in the scriptures that we have access to in the Bible. Let's look at Psalms 119 for some evidence of this statement that we might understand what we are getting at here in rule number 2. Psalms 119 the 105th verse will give us some information that will show us that God's will is always in harmony with His Word. Psalms 119:105; "Thy word is a lamp unto my feet, and a light unto my path." Alright, what is the lamp to the Psalmist's feet? God's Word. What is the light that lights his path through life? God's Word. So we have here a guide devised that will lead us along the path of life that lightens our way. "Thy word is a lamp unto my feet, and a light unto my path." We have then this opportunity in coming to the knowledge of God's will. We can test our leads or our impressions with/or against the written Word of God. That would require something wouldn't it? That would require a knowledge of God's Word. That would require us to know some basic things that are taught in God's word and we're not implying that we have to know the Bible from Genesis to Revelation in order for God to reveal His will to us, for us to have a knowledge of His will, but certainly with the basic principles and teachings in God's word, we have an opportunity to test our feelings, our leads, and our impressions against the teaching of the Bible. Let's give one example of that. Let's say that an individual gets saved and for some reason or the other they come up with this thought in their mind; "the Lord is directing me to be sprinkled for baptism." Now could we consider that being the will of God, knowing the teaching of the scriptures, that birth takes place, salvation comes to the soul, and then if we have the proper mode of baptism, we'll see a burial and a resurrection to a new life? We'll see the burial and resurrection of the Lord Jesus Christ and those things taught in water baptism. So we can conclude by such a feeling in the heart of an individual that has been saved; "that the Lord has directed me to be sprinkled rather than be immersed", that the lead or impression would certainly not be from God but it would be from some other source. It would be from the person's own desire or from some influence that Satan might put in there. That is one simple example that we might consider when we talk about the Lord's will being always in harmony with His Word. I don't think that we could say that it would be the Lord's will for a saved individual to unite with the Buddhist belief, or that of some other foreign belief. I don't believe that we could accuse the Lord's spirit of leading in that direction. So, rule number two is: God's will is always in harmony with His Word. His leadership will not go contrary to the true teaching of His Word in any circumstance.
We need to test our leads and impressions against what the Bible teaches. Would the Lord today, our Sunday School lesson may have brought this to our attention a little more vividly, would the Lord today lead a church member to quit assembling together with the Church? We discussed about the candlestick in the adult class and what happens when the church is determined to go into heresy and maybe a few people that know the truth finally have to leave there and unite with another congregation. Well, will God's spirit, will it be His will, for five of those people to leave and just three of them get to another church and two of them drop off and stay at home? I don't think that we could consider that being God's will even in a circumstance like that. Rule number two is: God's will is always in harmony with God's Word.
Alright, rule number three in determining the will of God will be providential circumstances may indicate God's will. Providential circumstances may come in our life to indicate God's will. We have a statement in I Corinthians Chapter 7 verse 20 where we are taught that we are to abide in our own calling. In other words, whatever God has directed us to do, we should abide therein. In I Corinthian Chapter 7 verse 20 Paul says to the Church at Corinth; "Let every man abide in the same calling wherein he was called." The 21st verse asks a question; "Art thou called being a servant? care not for it: but if thou mayest be made free, use it rather. For he that is called in the Lord, being a servant, is the Lord's freeman: likewise also he that is called, being free, is Christ's servant. Ye are bought with a price; be not ye the servants of men. Brethren, let every man, wherein he is called, therein abide with God." So, providential circumstances may indicate God's will in our life. God is a God of circumstance. He can change everything about us in order for us to follow and to do His will. He can reverse the circumstances, He can change everything about us in order to place us somewhere to do something for Him. How and what do we mean by that in particular? At one given time in my life I had a burning desire to go to the state of Oregon to try to do some work for the Lord. I don't have that today. God has changed things and circumstances have presented themselves to where that I know that that's not the place that God would have me to labor at this particular time. We may have a desire to go north, and God changes the circumstance to where we have to go south. We may have a desire to go east, and God may change the circumstance to where we go west. Providential circumstances may indicate God's will in our life. I think that we can see a little bit of that in the Macedonian call that we mentioned the other night in this lesson. Paul wanted to preach in Asia. He was not allowed to do that by the Holy Ghost. Paul then wanted to preach in Bethania. The Holy Ghost wouldn't allow him to do that either. So while he was at Troas a vision came from God and he heard the man across the strait there in Macedonia saying "Come over in Macedonia and help us." From that vision, Paul and those people with him, gathered assuredly that God had called them to preach the Gospel to those people and all circumstance and all desires to preach in Asia cleared away and they set sail for Macedonia and the Gospel came to the shores of Europe for the first time. We have providential circumstances to enter as rule number 3 in finding God's will. Obtain the knowledge of God's will. For us to see that God is a God of providence and He can change every circumstance around us if He wants us to do something else. There is a caution in this. A lot of people get caught into this snare, especially preachers, but a lot of church members that don't know where they belong and they run from this church to that church. They think that they can solve their problems by going across town, or they can solve their problem by giving up one church and taking up another. A new location will not change an unfaithful servant. Don't ever forget that. "Well, I just know too much about those people, they know too much about me, so I believe a breath of fresh air will do the job." But, that's not the way that is. An unfaithful servant on the intersection of X and Y streets, if he moved down to the intersection of A and B street, he'll still be unfaithful. His unfaithfulness will follow him. He may thrive on his new location for a little while or she may thrive on her new location for a little while, but sooner or later the unfaithfulness of that individual will come to surface. The providential circumstances must be considered very carefully that we might not get off the deep end of those things and look up and see the cloud a certain shape or certain color and say "That's the Lord telling me to do so and so." Remember, God reveals His will to us through His voice and we know His voice and the voice of a stranger we will not follow. A new location is not the answer to an unfaithful servant. Providential circumstances therefore may indicate God's will.
The fourth rule in coming to the knowledge of God's will is: That God's will is made known in answer to prayer. We started out by the theme of prayer. If we ask God to help us to come to an understanding of His will, and we regard iniquity in our heart, we understand that God won't hear us in that circumstance. If God's will is made known now in answer to prayer, we certainly need to be on praying terms with the Lord. Acts 9:6, when Paul was down in the dust on the road to Damascus and he asked the Lord "What would thou have me to do" is a model prayer for you and I when we come to realize that God's will is made known to us in answer to an honest, sincere prayer toward God. If we'll ask Him what He'd have us to do in the same attitude of heart and mind that Paul did, I believe that we can get direction from God. We should never step out on ground that we first haven't prayed over. What does that mean? We should never step out into any territory that we have not prayed about. If we jump at conclusions, if we jump at this first impression, that first impression, we may find ourselves just like the frog that jumped and didn't have a place to land. We all know about those old cliche. If a frog jumps, he'd best have a location yonder where he's going to land at. Sometimes we need to pray about things and have an understanding that we are praying over a territory that God has for us to labor in. When we talk about a rule to find God's will in our life, in this particular rule number four is that He make that known to us in an answer to a prayer. Let's be sure that we pray before we move. Let's be sure that we understand what God would have us to do, what He'd have us to say, and where He'd have us to go before we start doing that. God's will is made known in answer to prayer. Paul's prayer there was "What will you have me to do?" And God didn't tell him there, he said "You go down to the house of Annanias and it will be told you what you must do." Often times we have to wait upon the Lord in those circumstances, but don't ever move out on ground that you first have not prayed over. Consider it seriously. Pray from every angle. Be honest with God when you pray about things. Don't come up here and say "Now Lord I cannot do that, I want to pray to you about it, but I just can't do that." Don't take that attitude of mind and heart. Be honest with the Lord because He knows all things and He knows all about us. He knows what we can do and what we can't do. God's will often comes to us in answer to a prayer.
Rule number five to find God's will, to have the knowledge of God's will in our mind and heart is: Peace of mind should attend the doing of God's will. Peace of mind should attend the doing of God's will. Now here we're going back to the inner and outward man. We'll have to separate the two circumstances if this rule is workable. Remember, peace of mind, not peace of life. Peace of mind should attend the doing of God's will. Let's look at a verse or two of scripture found in the New Testament that will help us understand this statement a little more. In John Chapter 14 verse 27, Jesus talking to the eleven Apostles before He went down to the Garden of Gethsemane, before Judas came back with the Jews and betrayed Him. Here is what the Lord said to those eleven men while still in the upper room where they had just observed the Lord's Supper. John 14:27; "Peace I leave with you, my peace I give unto you: not as the world giveth, give I unto you." See, He makes a distinction here. He says I'm going to leave peace with you. He goes further and says I'm going to leave my peace with you. "My peace I give unto you: not as the world giveth, give I unto you. Let not your heart be troubled, neither let it be afraid." Here is a good indicator, a promise from the Lord to His church. "Peace I leave with you, my peace I give unto you:" So the Lord left His peace with the church. He gave His peace to us and He clearly tells us here; Now this that I'm talking about is not as the world gives. I'm giving you a different type of peace. Now we're not talking about soul salvation peace, because these eleven men had already been saved and baptized by John the Baptist then called into the work of apostles. They had already gone on their limited commission to the lost sheep of the house of Israel. He's talking about a different type of peace. He's talking about the peace of mind that attends doing the will of God. Remember John 14:27. Jesus left His peace with us and it is not as the world gives. He gave us His peace so let's remember that as we think about the peace of mind that comes with doing the will of the Lord. We have a statement also that Paul made to the saints at Philippi when he spoke to those people concerning peace of mind attending the doing of God's will. In the 4th Chapter of the Philippians letter we find these words: In the 7th verse, "And the peace of God, which passeth all understanding, shall keep your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus." What is this peace of God that Paul mentions to the saints at Philippi? That type of peace that passes all understanding, and he says that it will keep your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus. We find then that there is a peace from God that passeth all understanding. Now is it possible to be in the center of God's will and the storm raging outside, and a man still have peace within? If he's in the center of God's will, his heart can be at peace. His life may be torn all to pieces. He may have troubles on top of troubles. Paul is one the best examples of this found in the Bible. He didn't have anything but trouble. He knew that the Holy Spirit had informed him that wherever he went bonds and afflictions abided him and he expected trouble. Now today by our standards all a preacher would have to do is to run into about one tenth of the trouble that Paul ran into and he would get an order from Satan that "You are not in the center of God's will, take inventory of yourself and see what you've done wrong." But, our rule says that peace of mind should attend the doing of God's will. The outer storm can rage and we can have peace within our heart if we are in the center of God's will. Let's not let the outside storm disrupt our doing God's will. Remember, check the peace in your heart. Check the still quietness within your heart and remember what Jesus said to those eleven apostles. Remember what Paul said to the Philippians saints; "And the peace of God which passseth all understanding shall keep your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus." Regardless of the storms outside, we should have peace of mind when we are doing the Lord's will. Remember that, you don't necessarily have to be eliminated from the storms of life, but the inner peace that comes in doing God's will should exist in the heart and mind when we are in the center of His will. Let the storms rage if they have to, but don't listen to Satan and say; "I must be out of God's will by all these things that are happening to me." Do you think that Job was in God's will when the storm came and blew his children away? Do you think that Job was in God's will when all of his wealth was taken from him? We find no where that Job was out of the will of God. God was bragging to Satan about Job and He let those things happen to Job to prove to Satan the integrity of His servant. If Job would have been among us today he would certainly have taken inventory of what he was, if he was out of the will of God or if he was in the center of God's will, but Job gave us plenty to answer to us when the storms rage in our life, the peace of mind is still there knowing that we are doing God's will and we feel in our heart that we are, we have to say "The Lord giveth and the Lord taketh away, blessed be the name of the Lord." We may be set up as an example as Job was in those circumstances. That may be God's will at that particular time in our life, for you and me to be an example to some weak individual. But if we all show the same weakness, we're all going to be just as weak as we can be and the Lord is not going to be glorified in our life. So the fifth rule is: Peace of mind should attend the doing of God's will. If a person is convinced in their heart that they are doing the will of God, that peace is therein, Satan has very little advantage, very little opportunity to get involved in that life and to cause that individual to drop away or to fail to do what God would have him to do. So, we need more examples of those types of people among us today, that feel assured in their heart that they are doing God's will regardless of the storms that may come and buffet our life. If we've got that peace of mind in our heart that we are pleasing God, then we can be a servant of the Lord that would glorify Him.
Let's look at these five rules in order, again before we close. Number 1: There must be an honest sincere willingness to do God's will. We used the prayer of the Lord in Gethsemane for an evidence of that rule. Number 2: God's will is always in harmony with God's Word. His will, will not lead contrary to the teachings of His Word, because His Word is what? A lamp to our feet, a light unto our path. Rule Number 3: Providential circumstances may indicate God's will. He's able to change every circumstance within our life and cause us to realize that we are not where we should be, not doing what we should be, and we should abide in the calling that we were called to do. Rule Number 4: God's will is made known in answer to prayer. We know that we must be honest and sincere when we ask the Lord to reveal His will to us. We need to pray honestly and sincerely because of our need, and we need to listen to the answer that God gives to you and me when we have prayed in that fashion. Rule Number 5: Peace of mind should attend the doing of God's will. Regardless of the outside storms, inside peace should reign in our mind and heart that we are in the center of God's will. Satan has won many battles because men have assumed that they were not in the center of God's will when things went wrong. For a pastor to give up a church sometimes when the church is in trouble, tends just to add to the problem. Often that is a guideline for many pastors, as long as things are well, they think that the Lord would have them to remain there, and the first time that some problems arises, many assume that that is an indicator that God is through with them there. Well, what do we do with the still small voice that talks to the angel of the church? What are we going to do with the communication that we taught the other night concerning God revealing His will through the medium of His voice, the spirit speaking to our heart and those things?
So, I hope that we've covered some things here tonight in this lesson that will be beneficial as far as being filled with the knowledge of God's will. Not just a little part of our being down here occupied, but the entire being of you and me can be filled with God's will. We can know that will if we will honestly and sincerely ask the Lord to reveal that to us because we want to do it. The next lesson that we take up will be the purpose of finding God's will in our life. We'll try to conclude this by next Sunday night if the Lord wills.
Do you have a question or anything concerning being filled with the knowledge of God's will? Anything at all on your heart? We appreciate your coming.
Question: I would like for you to elaborate a little more on that verse "If I regard iniquity in my heart the Lord will not hear me."
Answer: A better word for regard would be "Cherish". If we look at it from that direction, if I cherish a sin in my heart the Lord will not hear me. The word regard seems to teach in this particular verse a cherishing of something that we would hold dear in our life that God might look upon as being sin. To cherish iniquity or sin will cause the Lord not to hear us. Now, can we find some examples of something that someone cherished in the scriptures? Something that someone held onto above doing God's will. Can we find any circumstance as we let our minds wander through the scriptures as to where people have regarded iniquity or have cherished something in their heart to the extent that the Lord did not hear them? Anyone come up with some circumstance that you can recall without any difficulty? Akin, when he took the Babylonian garment and the gold and buried it in his tent? He surely didn't get any mercy from the Lord. He knew the command not to take those things, but he cherished those things to the extent that he did take them and then he buried them or hid them from mankind. The Lord knew that and He caused the Israelites to loose that battle there at Ai because of that man's sin. So, he surely cherished those things and I know the Lord didn't hear him if he ever prayed a prayer for forgiveness of for mercy, because the Lord destroyed him completely. I think about when the Jews had been allowed to come back from Babylon. We mentioned the wall this morning in the days of Nehemiah that was rebuilt. Well, a little later on, or somewhere right in that period of time, they started to rebuild the Temple. They laid the foundation of that and they were very zealous to get a Temple rebuilt there in Jerusalem, and all of a sudden something became more important to them than the building of God's Temple. Here is what happened to those people; Haggai 1:2 "Thus speaketh the LORD of hosts, saying, This people say, The time is not come, the time that the LORD'S house should be built." Alright, that might be an honorable statement. It's not time for us to build the Lord's house. Alright, let's take that under consideration. Maybe it isn't the time. Let's see what time it was for those people. Verse 4 of Haggi Chapter 1, the question; "Is it time for you, O ye, to dwell in your cieled houses, and this house lie waste?" Here we have something going on with these people. It wasn't time to rebuild the temple that had been destroyed by Nebuchadnezzar but they did decide that it was time for them to build their own cieled houses and let God's house lie waste. God called upon them in the 5th verse to consider their ways. Look at what happened in the 6th verse, they sowed a lot, they brought in a little. They ate but it was never enough. They would drink but they never were filled. They were clothed but they were not warm. He that earned wages earned wages to put into a bag with holes in it. I believe that we can see here that they regarded iniquity above building the Lord's house. They went to their own ways and they began to strive in that direction and let the Lord's house lie waste. There is a multitude of things where we would cherish something in our heart that would be in opposition to the way of the Lord, and if we continue in that pattern, the Lord will get to where He won't hear our prayers whatsoever. I would suspect that most of the empty seats in.......(End of tape)
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