FINDING GOD'S WILL IN LIFE PREACHED AT FELLOWSHIP M.B.C. JUNE 1983
BY: ELDER CALVIN PERRIGO
THE PURPOSE FOR FINDING GOD'S WILL
We've been studying basically from a few verses in the 1st Chapter of Colossians throughout these services that we have been involved in this study. We might need to read those again tonight to refresh our minds toward those scriptures that we based the things on that we have already studied together. In the 1st Chapter of Colossians beginning with verse 9 and reading through the 12th verse; Paul wrote to the saints and faithful that were in Colossi and said this: "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; That ye might walk worthy of the Lord unto all pleasing, being fruitful in every good work, and increasing in the knowledge of God; Strengthened with all might, according to his glorious power, unto all patience and longsuffering with joyfulness; Giving thanks unto the Father, which hath made us meet to be partakers of the inheritance of the saints in light:"
Our thought this evening will be "Our purpose for finding the Lord's will in our life." Our text for this particular thought will be found in the 3rd Chapter of the Ephesian letter, the 21st verse of that Chapter as Paul wrote to the saints in Ephesus. Let's see how he addressed this letter in the first chapter. Ephesians 1:1 "...to the saints which are at Ephesus, and to the faithful in Christ Jesus:" Now that's not much different than how he addressed his letter to Colossi. "To the saints and faithful brethren in Christ which are at Colossi." So, he's writing to the same type of individuals. He addressed the letter to the faithful and to the saints, and that's the same type of person. In Ephesians 3:21 we find the reason for any born again child of God wanting to find the will of God in their life. And that simply is because that; "Unto him be glory in the church by Christ Jesus throughout all ages, world without end. Amen." The purpose for seeking for, wanting to, and finding the Lord's will in our life then, will be because that we have a desire to glorify our God in the church by Christ Jesus. That will be the reason behind a person or a church finding or wanting to find the Lord's will in their life. To glorify Him in their life that He might receive the praise and the honor and the glory that is due Him as our God, the one that provided our Savior. The one that saved our soul. The one that has remained with us since salvation. The one that has promised to be with us always, even to the end of this world, and then throughout eternity be in His presence. So shall we ever be with the Lord is the way that Paul phrased the resurrection of the dead, as that we that are alive and remain are changed and those that have already died in the Lord being resurrected and he says; "And so shall we ever be with the Lord." So we are talking about glorifying the God of all mankind. That will be the purpose for wanting to find the will of God in our life.
Alright, let's think about how God is glorified in the work of the church, or in the church by Christ Jesus. And here is the "why" that the church that the Lord left in the world was left as a working organization, this is why that Christ was concerned with the church at Ephesus when He asked them to remember and to return to their first love, and He went on and said; and do the works that were involved in that. So whatever the first love of the church at Ephesus had drifted away from, it did involve some work. We can see a little clearer into that if we will consider what the Lord told His eleven apostles after Judas had left them in the upper room where they had the first Lord's Supper; Jesus made this statement concerning how God is glorified in the church. In the 15th Chapter of John the Lord has emphasized here their need as abiding in the vine and the things that would take place if they did and the things that wouldn't take place if they didn't abide in Him. He says this concerning our thought tonight, in the 7th verse of John 15: "If ye abide in me, and my words abide in you, ye shall ask what ye will, and it shall be done unto you. Herein is my Father glorified, that ye bear much fruit; so shall ye be my disciples." We see here a way that God is glorified in the work of His church. How is that? By His church bearing much fruit and He says; "so shall ye be my disciples." We can understand then from Ephesians 3:21 that God receives glory in the church of Christ Jesus. Here in this verse we can understand how He is glorified, and that is that the church bears much fruit back to Him. So then we might say that our purpose for finding the Lord's will in our life then is to be fruit bearers. That's what we will be doing if we are able to glorify God in the church that we are a member of, we will be doing that by bearing some type of fruit back to Him. The Lord has clearly shown us here in this 15th Chapter of John just exactly how important He is to us. He says; "Without Him we can do nothing." So we need the presence of the Lord, we need His help, we need His guidance, we need His understanding that we might truly be able to glorify God. The purpose of us finding the Lord's will in our life then is to glorify our Father which is in Heaven, through the work of the church here upon this earth. Let's think about that for a little while. Can we actually know HOW to do God's will? Can we do God's will and not know how to do His will? Maybe that's the question that we need to ask at this time. Is it possible for an individual to know the will of God in their life and then not know how to do His will? I think that this might be a big problem today. I am of the opinion that most honest, sincere Baptists want to please the Lord. I believe that they want to work in His will. Somewhere along the way God has probably spoken to all of us in doing something or wanting us to do something that would be His will in our life. But how much do we know about doing the will of the Lord? If we would have a desire to do His will, understanding the purpose behind wanting to do His will is to bring glory to Him, then it would behoove us to learn HOW to do His will in our individual circumstances. There is a verse of scripture recorded in the Book of Psalms that will help us to learn HOW to do the will of God in our life. It simply reads like this; from Psalms 25:4 "Shew me thy ways, O LORD; teach me thy paths." So, we have a request made here from the Psalmist David, asking God to show him His ways and then continuing on and begging the Lord to teach him His paths. "Shew me thy ways, O LORD; teach me thy paths. Lead me in thy truth, and teach me: for thou art the God of my salvation; on thee do I wait all the day." In Psalms 25:4 we have a request from an individual, from a mortal, from a human being like we are upon this earth, who asked the Lord to show him His way, teach him His paths. We find then that this would be an honorable type of prayer for us to pray to God if we had come to the knowledge of His will and now we want to do it God's way and not our way. Really there's not much involved if we are trying to do God's will and we're not doing it His way. We're still not doing His will if God wants us to do it His way then that becomes part of His will, becoming obedient to God and doing it God's way. If we try to do God's will OUR way, we'll make the same mistakes that modernist have made in the past years upon this earth. I think that is the reason for modernism. You can check the most, especially the people that wear the name "Baptist", and a lot of things you can read about their views and their beliefs will be in harmony with what we write or say about our beliefs. Our Articles of Faith are in harmony, or were for the most so called "Baptists" and in paper you can read those things to be foundational and they seem to be very similar. But I think that the reason that Baptists are modern today is because that they tried to do the will of God their way instead of God's way. You think about that. There are some Baptist churches that still have this bench here, but it is there for a bench of deception. There are some that have taken it out, some may have never had, but there are things that take place in modern ranks today that are kind of along the pattern of the true way of seeking for soul salvation. Some modernists have their personal workers. Now if we were modern here, this house would have been full this morning and we would probably have had the back two rows of this house full of dedicated workers, and when the altar call was given they would have come down that aisle checking every stranger here, and they probably would have asked them "Have you been born again? Have you accepted Christ?" That's the way the modernists do it. But that is not the way that God would have it done, so they made a great mistake in trying to do the will of God, but they try to do it their way. What is the danger in doing it our way and not God's way? Is there a little difference between God's ways and our ways? Is there some difference between God's thoughts and our thoughts? In the 55th Chapter of Isaiah we have it very clearly taught to us that there is such a vast difference between God's way and our way that God described it as the distance between heaven and earth. He says that's the difference between the way I'd have it done and the way you would do it, is as high as the heavens are from the earth. Isaiah 55:9 "For as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways, and my thoughts than your thoughts." With that thought in mind, surely in finding the will of God in our life, then coming to an understanding what His will is, it behooves us all then to find out HOW God wants it done. How that we must do it in order for it to be done God's way. There is a great difference between the way that we think and the way the Lord thinks and He says; "For as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways, and my thoughts than your thoughts." That brings us to a point where we're going to have to follow the Lord even though we may have come to an understanding of His will. The Apostles, when they were called from the walks of life, the Lord knew this, that His way was far unto that world. They didn't know anything about how the church was going to function. They didn't know anything about the days of grace and those things that were about to happen there. So He appealed to those men and He said; "You follow me and I'll make you fishers of men." In the 4th Chapter of Matthew, the 19th verse we find that statement recorded. "Follow me and I'll make you fishers of men." That was just another way of the Lord saying; You follow me and I'll show you HOW to do my will as a fisher for the souls of mankind. We have to follow the Lord if we're going to do His will and do it His way.
The Apostle in writing to these people that our reading lesson was taken from mentioned a desire along this line, to do it God's way. In the 4th Chapter of the Colossian letter in the 12th verse we have a statement recorded that will bring this to our attention and it reads like this; In Colossians 4:12 the later part of this verse we find this desire to be in a man by the name of Epaphras: "..one of you, a servant of Christ, saluteth you, always labouring fervently for you in prayers, that ye may stand perfect and complete in all the will of God." This man was with Paul at that time. He had been a member of the group at Colossi and he was a servant of Christ. He saluted these brethren in this letter that Paul wrote to them. And Paul said that he labored fervently in prayer for those people and one of the things that he prayed for fervently was that the people at Colossi might stand perfect and complete in all the will of God. So if we could stand perfect and complete in all of His will, then that would include knowing HOW to do God's will. It is of utmost importance if we know that the purpose of finding God's will in life is to glorify Him in the church by Christ Jesus, then to come to an understanding of HOW to do His will in any given circumstance.
We have another verse of scripture recorded in Proverbs Chapter 3 verse 5 that bears witness to that one that we read from Isaiah 55 a moment ago, and that was that we should depend upon the Lord and not lean on our own self. Now you get a bunch of children that come together to do business for the Lord, and if they don't know God's way, it won't be long until they'll be leaning to their own understanding and they'll be setting up some things and doing some things that are contrary to God's will. That is one of the pitfalls of people going out before they are ready to, to establish a church or do a work outside of the influence of the home body, until they are rooted and grounded in the faith and those things that are important, they are likely to lean to their own understanding when they come up against something that they don't fully know. "Lord, what would you have us to do here?" When we pray a prayer like that, when we reach a point to where that we're not certain and we don't know what the Lord would have us to do or the way He'd have us to do it, we need to pray fervently for Him to show us what and how that He'd have us to do that thing, and listen for an answer from Him and not get it from someone else or some influence that might be camouflaging himself as Satan. Proverbs 3:5 gives us this instruction: "Trust in the LORD with all thine heart; and lean not unto thine own understanding." So if we can look at that as we think about trying to do the Lord's will and do it His way, we can do the will of the Lord in the way that the Lord would have it done. The Lord left His work here, He left His church here, He left the way here. In fact when He was through with rebuking Peter because he had said that he was willing to die for Him and go to prison for Him there in the conversation in the 13th Chapter of John, the 14th Chapter He tells those disciples that He was going away to prepare a place for them, then He was going to come back and receive them unto Himself, so where He was there they might be also. He made this statement that He was the way, the truth and the light. We have to think about doing God's will His way if we're really going to do it. Now we know that if we didn't do it God's way that it really wouldn't be His will. We have to think about the purpose of wanting to find God's will in our life and how that that will is to be performed is of utmost importance. So if we trust in the Lord with all of our heart and not lean to our own understanding, if in all our ways we acknowledge Him, what is the promise in the 6th verse of Proverbs 3? It says this; "...and he shall direct thy paths." What has He promised to do? Hasn't He promised to lead and guide us into all truth? The Lord will help if we will submit ourselves to Him and ask Him HOW are we to do this particular task in life. How would you want it done Lord? Now this church has a burden within itself and we are all aware of that. I think that the reason that we're not doing more about trying to reclaim some of our members here is maybe we don't know how. And it is certainly not going to be something that you legislate. We've seen that happen to one of our sister churches here in this city just recently, where you can't legislate a law that says; you're going to go visit this group of people or you're going to send this group of people letters and say do this or do that. That won't work. Its got to come from our heart if we ever reclaim anybody that's not coming anymore. We've got to have the desire in our heart first, then we've got to do that God's way in order for it to glorify God. We are certainly fully aware of that. I think that everyone is aware of that particular burden that hangs over this church now to get some people re_interested in the work of the Lord. It's nothing that we should forget, but keep praying and ask the Lord to help us do it His way and when it is done, then God will be glorified and they'll be edified and the church can go on and fulfill a greater purpose for the Lord. Let's don't lean to our own understanding even in that category, but in all thy ways acknowledge Him and let Him direct our paths. Proverbs 3:7 "Be not wise in thine own eyes: fear the LORD, and depart from evil." These things in the 3rd Chapter of Proverbs will help us to draw away from our own understanding and try to lean on the Lord a little more as far as doing God's will.
We want to use one little example in the scriptures concerning Moses and the will of God and the fact of how Moses sought out to do God's will and maybe it will give just a little insight on how important it is for us to do it God's way. We all know the story of Moses. How that he was preserved against the rule of the Pharaoh, placed in the river in the little ark that was prepared for him there. How his life was preserved. How Pharaoh's daughter wound up with the child. How the child's mother became its nurse and he grew up in the house of Pharaoh. He was in the government family of Pharaoh and he was being prepared for the rulership of Egypt in his future. But, some way or the other, its not clearly explained in the Old Testament, Stephen got involved in it in his sermon that's recorded in the 7th Chapter of Acts, but somewhere in Moses' life he came to realize that he was going to be the deliverer of Israel from Egypt, and that was before he ever went to the backside of the desert. If you'll read about it in the 7th Chapter of Acts you can get a little indication that something was going on in the heart and mind of Moses about him being the one that was going to help those people that were slaves down there in Egypt. In the course of time he defended two of his brethren and killed an Egyptian that was mistreating them, and buried that Egyptian in the sand. Well now we're talking about doing God's will our way and not God's way. Now if you look at that from that angle, how long would it have taken Moses to have killed every Egyptian, one by one, and buried their bodies in the sand in order to get God's people out of there? He wouldn't have done it in 1200 years. He didn't have but 120 years of his life. He couldn't have done it in a thousand years, one by one. But God's way was so far superior to Moses' way that even by this attempt to help his people by slaying that one Egyptian, that was the open door for Moses to get out of Egypt, get on the backside of the desert, and the Lord sent him to school for 40 years back there to learn to do His will God's way. He stayed there in the land of Midian for 40 years and then when he got ready, when God was satisfied with Moses being ready to do it His way, He appeared to him in the burning bush and sent him back down there and he did it God's way. Moses was the leader, but it was done God's way. We studied about that in Sunday School a little this morning concerning the strength of Pharaoh and the strength of Egypt in that day, that God might be glorified. Surely we can see an example here of a man wanting to do God's will yet not knowing how to do it. But God will teach you and I just like He taught Moses, and if we do it God's way then we can glorify God in a greater fashion. Moses was going to kill one by one and overcome the Egyptians. God decided that He would be glorified and let all the world know about His power and He went down and confounded the magicians of Egypt, and by His great miraculous power, Pharaoh let them come out to the edge of the Red Sea, changed his mind and then God showed him His power in the opening of the Red Sea, making deliverance of His people, then closing the Sea upon the armies of Pharaoh and destroying all of those people. Moses could be a good example of doing it God's way and how much greater, how much more perfect God's way is than our thinking or as Moses' thinking was in that particular circumstance.
Alright, there's another aspect of doing God's will for the purpose of glorifying God, and that is to love His will. To love the will of God. We are a rebellious type people. Our flesh causes us to rebel against the things of God. We're all familiar with that aspect of our character. We have to be almost driven into something and that in turn glorifies God. You be cautious of people that volunteer too quickly in some category of the work of the Lord. You kind of watch those people that might volunteer too quickly for something. I'm not advocating that we drag our feet anymore than we are, because we're dragging too many feet in Fellowship Church. But, let's be cautious about a person that really dives into something, over eager, and beware of that individual, because it's not our nature, unless we're able to bring this flesh under total subjection to the spirit of Lord, we're liable to rebel. But we can love God's will and should love it. And those that He's used down through the years to keep the church in progress down to you and I, have been people that loved His will. It's not unusual to love the Lord's will. It might be kind of unusual today in our age for people to say that they love to do the will of the Lord, but God's glorified in those that do His will because they love Him.
Let's look at the 40th Psalm to get a prophesy of how the Lord Jesus Christ was going to look on the will of His Father. We know that He came, in the 40th Psalm in the days of David a prophesy was spoken. A lot of times David speaks things or things are written in the book of Psalms as if it was talking about him when it was actually talking about the Lord. The 7th verse of Psalms 40 reads like this; "Then said I, Lo, I come: in the volume of the book it is written of me, I delight to do thy will, O my God: yea, thy law is within my heart." So here was a prophesy of the attitude of Jesus Christ our Lord toward doing God's will. Verse 8 of Psalms 40; "I delight to do thy will, O my God: yea, thy law is within my heart." So the Psalmist here was prophesying of the attitude of Christ as a delight to do God's will. So we can delight to do His will. We can do God's will because we love it, then we are glorifying God and He is pleased with our efforts. If we love Him, then we can do His will, do it His way, and God will be glorified in our efforts. We can love to God's will, and most people that have ever found themselves in the center of God's will and have done anything according to God's pattern and God's way, have learned to love the Lord more intently than they had prior to finding themselves a part of His work and His plan in this world. We can love to do the Lord's will. We can delight in His will. Once you find out how to do it God's way, it is a joy and a blessing to do the will of the Lord. You don't have to look to the right or to the left. You don't have to ask for this advice or that advice if you know how to do God's will and want to do it and love to do it, it's a blessing in life to be able to walk down life's pathway and try to please the Lord. But it's a hard road when every step you take you have to stop and ask 4 people; "Is this the way that I should do this, is this the way that I should do that?" How did they do it yesterday? How did they do it in history? How should we do it today? God's way doesn't change. His way doesn't change, but is adaptable to any age that man exists upon this earth. We can do God's will today as our forefathers did a thousand years ago, and I'm sure that if they could be resurrected for 5 minutes and see this world today and the things that you and I have that they probably never dreamed of having, that we could still do God's will in that age and do it in this age and God would still be glorified. But a lot of things have been modified as to how that we do it. I don't want to get personal, but how long would it have taken for Brother Lyles to have gone to Alaska a hundred years ago? Do you know how long it would have taken him to have gone there and back? That's one of the things I'm talking about of modification of doing God's will. His going to Alaska for just a few days would have been such a chore a hundred years ago, that it would have taken a segment out of his life, well I'd say we're probably looking at, you could calculate the time that it took to get out there and to get back and the days that he stayed there, we're probably talking in the line of 3 or 4 years. When you consider the flying time versus the staying time, how long would it have taken for him went where he went a hundred years ago, and for someone to have done the will of God a hundred years ago and went that distance, it would have certainly been a lot greater task than it was last week or this week for him. We are not wanting to get personal about the thing, but that's just a good example that we can do God's will in this age just like our forefathers did a hundred years ago but we have ways and things have been modified in doing His will and we should take advantage of those things more than we are.
How do you think it would have been for us to have had a tape recorder on the Day of Pentecost and heard Peter? How would you have liked to have heard Paul preach at Mars Hill? Do you think that all that he said is recorded in the Bible? If we had access to the sermons that Paul, Peter and John preached on tape from those days, can you see what a great difference it would have made for that thing to have been invented back in those days? God's will can be done today like it was a hundred years ago. It can be done a lot easier today, and I believe a lot more can be done today than it was a hundred years ago. We should think about those things.
Alright, as we close, what is the result of doing God's will and doing it His way? Let's go back to our reading lesson and we're going to find some things that resulted here from Colossi doing the Lord's will and doing it His way. The result of doing the will of the Lord and doing it His way and loving His will is clearly taught in our reading lesson tonight. In the 10th, 11th and the 12th verses of Colossians Chapter 1 we can find a list of things here that are pointed out that were developed in a life that does God's will His way and loves to do it God's way. What is the first thing mentioned in verse 10? Obedience. The individual that does God's will and does it His way and loves His will, walks worthy of the Lord. So we have obedience coming into the life that wants to do the will of God and do it God's way. "That ye might walk worthy of the Lord unto all pleasing," So we have an obedient person. That is clearly brought to the surface when a person wants to do the will of God. Do it God's way, submit to God's way; "Thy will be done" in other words, and the law to do His will is an obedient person. What is the next thing mentioned in that verse? We're back to the word fruitful again. What kind of fruits? "....being fruitful in every good work," Now we are back to where we took our text from a while ago, the glorification of God in the church and what the Lord said to those disciples there in the 15th Chapter of John that we looked at that by bearing much fruit God is glorified. The individual that does God's will His way and loves to do His will is fruitful in every good work. So fruit is produced. Obedience, and now we have a production of fruit. What is the next thing that we find in this verse of scripture? Being fruitful in every good work "and increasing in the knowledge of God;" Alright, we have increase mentioned here. We have a growth mentioned. What is the desire of God for every one of His children, regardless of our age here tonight? Is not His desire for us to grow in grace and knowledge of the Lord? That we that are getting old and already grown and getting bald and those things about us physically, show clearly that we might be more like the Lord and might be able to give good sound advise to people that have not traveled as far as we have. "..in every good work, and increasing in the knowledge of God;" The more you come to know about the Lord, the more useful you are in this world to someone else. So the third characteristic of the person that does God's will God's way and loves to do that, is that there is a growth in that individual's life. You can look at what Peter advised us to add to our faith in II Peter Chapter 1 and see growth. It's like a set of stair steps going higher and higher. Number four, what do we find? In the 11th verse of Colossians 1, "Strengthened with all might," We find a person to have strength that does the will of the Lord, does it God's way and loves to do the will of God, we have strength manifest there. So Paul was writing to these people first that they might walk worthy of the Lord unto all pleasing. Second, fruitful in every good work. Third, increasing in the knowledge of the Lord. Fourth, strengthened with all might, according to what? "according to his glorious power," of the Lord. So, strength is part of the life that does the will of God and does it God's way and loves to do His will. What's the next characteristic of this individual? Patience. A patient person. A patient person, listen verse 11 of Colossians 1; "Strengthened with all might, according to his glorious power," to where? "unto all patience" "Unto all patience." We can be obedient, we can be fruit bearers, we can grow, we can have strength and we can also have patience in those things. So, the individual that does it God's way, does God's will His way, loves His will, can be a patient individual. And he'll certainly pay the same price that is required of patience, and that is tribulation. Tribulation worketh patience. We can apply that if we do the will of the Lord and do it His way. How long did it take Moses to learn it God's way in the backside of the desert of Midian? Forty years he was back there. God wasn't interested in getting married and raising children, He wasn't interested in Moses taking care of Jethro's sheep, but He taught him some things back there. One of them was patience. So, patience will be one of the characteristics of an individual that does it God's way. Number six, there's joy in doing God's will, in doing it His way. Look at this last verse of this Colossians 1:11 "with joyfulness;" "With joyfulness." A person can be a happy individual if they're doing God's will, doing it His way, loving His will, they can be a joyous individual. Paul is an example of that. Jesus Christ is an example of that. Did not it please the Lord to do what He did for you and me? Didn't He despise the cross, but what else do we read concerning the Lord despising the cross? We find the joy that was set before Him. He was joyous about paying our sin debt. He realized we couldn't pay it and it pleased Him and He got joy from being our sacrifice. The individual that does God's will and does it God's way is a happy individual. There's joy in doing that. And the final thing on our list here is that person is a thankful individual. Verse 12 of Colossians 1; "Giving thanks unto the Father, which hath made us meet to be partakers of the inheritance of the saints in light:" We offer our thanks to God the Father because we know that He allowed us to do whatever His will may have been. He permitted us to have a part in His work and we offer thanksgiving to Him as an individual, as a church, that loves God's will and does God's will HIS way. So, do remember those characteristics that we mentioned here concerning the person that does the will of the Lord and does it His way. Obedient, fruit bearers, a growing individual, a strong individual, a patient individual, a joyful individual and a thankful individual.
Do you have any questions? We hope, if the Lord wills, to close this study Wednesday night on finding the will of the Lord in our life. We have appreciated your coming tonight. The purpose of doing God's will is to glorify Him. If can find God's will, the next thing is to find how God's wants it done and then be obedient to His way and God will be glorified. You see God is from everlasting to everlasting. He knows the end from the beginning and as I once read, a person said He knows all in between those two things also. So He knows the way through the wilderness of life and we just have to follow Him. So if we know how He wants it done, how He has said "Do it this way", then we can do it God's way and He can be glorified. Do you have a question or a comment, anything on your heart concerning anything?
This site was last updated 04/21/11