Community Bible Chapel
Tuesday, July 23, 2019
A place to grow.... where everybody is somebody and Jesus Christ is Lord.
 What In The World Does God Want Me To Do?  9/7/14
 

We live in a very confused world.

          -Drug use, broken relationships, and an aimless direction give evidence that

                   we are confused.
          -I’ve heard so many parents tell me

                   “I don’t push my children in any direction because there seems to be so many

 possible ways for them to go in and I want them to discover it

on their own.”

                   -What that really means when you decode it is that the parents

                             haven’t found anything worthwhile to pass on to their kids.

                   -And I don’t know why those parents would expect their kids to discover

it on their own when they haven’t discovered anything

worthy themselves.

          -And the church isn’t too far behind the world either.

          -So much confusion exists.

          -We read the Bible and it can be a confusing book.

          -It raises many questions that are difficult to understand much less answer.

          -Sue and I were talking to a young lady the other day who was envious of her

friends that seemed to have “all their ducks in a row”

while she “didn’t know what God wanted her to do.”

          -But the fact remains that this young lady is very much like many in the church

who are confused about God’s will.

Now, today we are not going to clear up all the confusion, but I want to present some things that are very clear, and they should give us a solid place to stand as we work to figure out the rest of God’s will.

 

Deut 29:29 gives us some help.

          “The secret things belong to the Lord our God, but the things revealed belong

to us and our children forever.”

          -The first part tells us that some things are only for God to know.

                   -The future is one of those “secret things” that you and I shouldn’t spend

a lot of time trying to figure out.

                   -That is for God to know.

          -At the same time, there is plenty that God has revealed to us.

                   -God’s Word is God’s revelation to us.

-We have that and we will always have it.

-God’s Word tells us about God, our lives, and answers all the important questions

in this life.
 

-Romans 12:2 instructs us that if we want to know God’s will, we have to line up

     our thinking and our lives with God’s revealed Word – not his secret will.

 -When I use the truth of God’s Word as the basis for my thinking,

          then God’s will become clear to me.

                    -Whether I get married, move to Washington, or become an astronaut,

                             should not be the focus of my life, although I may be working toward

 them;  what is my concern is how I pursue those things in a way

that is lined up with God’s revealed will.

                   -So my concern should be focused on how to live as a single person in

Cooperstown while I work at the grocery store in a way

that is in line with God’s revealed will.

 

Now, before we go on to look at some of the things that God has revealed to us,

          I want to take a brief look at why we might be so confused in the first place.

 

X  Why the confusion?

       Top Five Reasons!

          X 1. -Our sinful nature doesn’t want to do what God asks us to do,

so we look for other ways.

-We are more concerned trying to make the future happen in a certain way

 than we are about living in the present according to God’s will.

          X 2. -Finding out God’s will is not easy work. 

-It takes careful study of God’s Word to discern it.

-It takes lots of time putting off and rejecting the philosophies of   

the world and putting on the righteousness of Jesus.

          X 3.  -We want to know God’s secret will rather than His revealed will.

                   -Which means that we want to know how the decisions we make today

                             will turn out tomorrow.

                   -But we need to make decisions today that are based on our trust of God’s

revealed will rather than our hope of His secret will being what

we want it to be.

                   -If we knew how our decisions would work out, we wouldn’t need to trust.

          X 4. -The circumstances of life might challenge our knowledge and faith.

                   -Why does God allow bad things to happen to His children can be a

kunundrum for us, but without the instruction o God’s Word

we will fall to the world’s philosophies.

          X5.  -We are trying to understand a God who is infinite with finite minds.

           -If any of these apply to you today, you may have some business to do with your

 own heart.
 

                   -I just want to make sure that we are not looking for God to do what

He expects us to do. 

-Many people complain to me that it’s impossible to know God’s will and how hard life is.

-But what they often times mean is that it is impossible to know God’s secret will.

          “Does God want me to go to Africa?”

-And they don’t want to know God’s revealed will because that is to hard to do

and might interfere with what they want to do.

-So they base their lives on the confusion and struggle of knowing God’s secret will

instead of following the simple and very clear direction God has already given. 

So, let me make it simple this morning and start with what God has made very clear.

-In all of the Scripture, there are only three passages that specifically say

                    “It is God’s will that you . . . “ or something very close to that.

-These are all highlight passages in our Bibles.

I Thes 4:3

 “It is God’s will that you should be sanctified: that you should avoid sexual immorality; that each of you should learn to control your own body in a way that is holy and honorable, not in passionate lust like the pagans, who do not know God; and that in this matter no one should wrong or take advantage of a brother or sister.”

 
X  Sanctified

          -We are to be sanctified or made holy or to be growing in Christ.

          -Our sanctification is both a gift from God that happened the moment we trusted in

Jesus Christ and is also a command that we should be growing in Christ.

          -Sanctification is a lifetime process of growing into the children that God has

made us to be.

-We call that Progressive Sanctification.

-And as a precursor to that, we have to have trusted in Jesus Christ.

          -It’s God’s desire for all to come to salvation in Jesus, and that is

why He is so very patient.

          -But once we trust in Jesus, then God as a very specific goal for us – to grow.

          -The process of our progressive sanctification happens as Phil 2:12 outlines.

“continue to work out your salvation with fear and trembling, for it is God who

 works in you to will and to act according to his good purpose.”

-So we are talking about this joint work between God and us.

-God provides the circumstances of life, His prefect Word, and His Spirit.

-He is a Sovereign God who “works all things together for our good . . . to

          conform us into the image of His Son.”  Rom. 8:28-29

-Our work is to include God into every aspect of our lives.

-Now, I know that you are thinking, PJ God is always included in our

lives, you already said that he provides the circumstances.

                   -And all that is very true, but for our part, we have to develop the habit of

including Him into all of it.

                             -Knowing that the reason stuff happens is for us to become more like

 Jesus – Romans 8:29 and then working toward it.

-We include Him in when we trust in His wisdom rather than our own . . .

          and then follow that in our actions.

                   -And rather than quenching the Holy Spirit by doing it our way,

we ignite His fire in our hearts by following Him.

                   -Of course that all takes work on our part, but it’s work that God empowers

us for and strengthens us through.

And I can’t ignore the context of this passage as it addresses a specific area of growth.

X  Sanctified in Sexual Relations.

          -I will attempt to handle this as well as I can without being graphic or overly prudish. 

          -Verse 3 uses the word “porneia” and is translated “sexual immorality”.

          -But we need to define what sexual immorality is, because we would all have

a different definition for it.

          -God’s word defines sexuality in terms of purity and holiness – a reflection of

God’s faithfulness to His church.

          -Even in this passage, it speaks to controlling your own body.

                   -That runs the gamut of the need for self control over your desires both

with others as well as with yourself.

          -The passage also says “in this matter” speaking of sexual immorality,

“do not wrong or defraud another”.

-That term “wrong” or “defraud” speaks to hinting at or making a promise that

you do not intend - or cannot carry out.

                   -That would include everything from flirting on the one end to engaging in

sexual contact outside of the marriage covenant on the other.

                   -Men – be men of God - Protect and provide for women by controlling yourself.

          -The world teaches that love makes sex right – but it has the wrong

definition of love.

-Love is doing what is best for the other person, no matter the cost to me.

                    -God has given sexuality as a gift to be enjoyed between husband and wife.

                   -Everything else is “sexual immorality” by definition.

-You might be wondering why you are not growing in Christ and it could be because of

this area, and in a culture that is explicitly charged with sexual immages,

we have to be diligent.

-It could also be a much more generic sin that keeps you from growing in Christ.

          -By definition, sanctification is the opposite of staying in sin.

          -So it makes perfect sense that if we don’t eliminate our sin,

we will not be growing and God will seem very distant from us.

          -And that can certainly cause a problem for the next area that God wills for us.

 

X  Live Joyfully

I Thes 5:16-18

 “Rejoice always,  pray continually,  give thanks in all circumstances; for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus.”

          -Pretty straight forward, but not so easy to follow through on.

-Three things listed.

          -Rejoice always, pray continually, and give thanks in all circumstances.

          -Notice the 100% nature of Paul’s words.

                   “Always, continually, in all”.

          -There is not a time where we can say

      “This circumstance is making me complain or only bad things ever happen to me”.

-Does that mean that everything that happens is good?

 

          -Life may be hard and difficult, but because God is sovereign and is also good,

we rejoice in Him, we pray continually

to Him, and we can always give thanks to Him.

-Way better than texting, we have constant communication with God.

          -Constant prayer fills our lives with the presence of God.

                             -For those who are in Christ, the presence of God is a joyful thing.

          -What’s the alternative?

-To look for joy in the circumstances of life.

-You and I both know that if that is where we look for it,

we are going to be disappointed.

          -But since our joy is rooted in our solid relationship with God through His Son,

Jesus Christ, our joy isn’t in the circumstances of this cursed world,

but in its Savior and the hope of our salvation.

          -That doesn’t mean that you will be happy all the time, but exceeding joy can

be yours because of the salvation we have in Jesus.

                   -There is not a circumstance that we might face where we cannot say:

                             “all glory to God in the highest”

          -Our lives should reflect that glory in the joy of Christ.

 

X  Going Good

I Peter 2:15

“Submit yourselves for the Lord’s sake to every human authority: whether to the emperor, as the supreme authority, or to governors, who are sent by him to punish those who do wrong and to commend those who do right. For it is God’s will that by doing good you should silence the ignorant talk of foolish people. Live as free people, but do not use your freedom as a cover-up for evil; live as God’s slaves. Show proper respect to everyone, love the family of believers, fear God, honor the emperor.”

          -This one is interesting in that God’s will has a stated result. . .
                   “that it will silence the ignorant talk of foolish people”.

                    -We may or may not see that result in our lifetime, but it will take place

in God’s timing.

          -But that is His responsibility, ours is to “do good”.

          -While we could go on all day about all the different areas that we can apply this

                   command of God to do good.

                   -In our relationships, marriage, parenting, friends, and work.

          -Let’s narrow down to what the text addresses.

-The context of the passage is speaking to living under the

authority that God has placed over us.

                   -Sometimes we forget or lose track of that fact.

                             -We are quick to complain about our government or whatever authority

 God has placed over us.

                             -And in so doing, we miss the last “will of God for us”

                                      -Rejoice, pray, give thanks.

                    -When the Scripture speaks of doing something in the “will of God” by the

 “servants of God”, it’s referring to actions that bring glory to God

and exalt Him.

                   -God has willed for us to respond to the critics of Jesus Christ and His church

                             by doing good rather than opposing their authority.

                   -Christianity is never about political systems or parties, it’s about faith

in Christ that can exist in the midst of any political realm.

                             -Romans 12 tells us to attempt to live at peace with all people.

                   -As we live quietly as law abiding citizens, we exalt the name of Christ.

                   -Before we move off this subject, we need to pull the bus over and

                             talk about what we do when the authority mandates that we stop

 or change our message – The Gospel.

                   -When the Jewish leaders dragged Peter and John into their council  

and ordered them to stop speaking about Jesus . . . Acts 5:29

                              “Peter and the other apostles replied:

“We must obey God rather than men !”

                   -So in matters of the Gospel of Jesus Christ, we continue to preach

the message of the cross. 

                   -But in matters of society and culture, we have a clear Biblical mandate to

 obey the authorities.

                   -That goes for parents, church, local, state, and national governments.

                   -And we praise the Lord for the freedom we enjoy in this nation.

                             -It allows us to worship as God leads us without interference

 or persecution.

                             -It is not that way in many areas of the world and we should be praying

 for our brothers and sisters who are trying to live their faith

in Christ in Iraq, Syria and China.

 
What in the world does God want me to do?

          -I could have spent a lot more time on each of these this morning and fleshed them

out much more.

          -I encourage you to spend some time in these this week and study them as you

                   look at how your life lines up with them.

-God’s will for us is not a mystery.

          -We should not be confused by it at all.

          -His Word is very clear – at least in these areas.

-We are to be wildly growing in Christ – all the way to our dying breath

–growing toward complete maturity in Him.

-Through the Holy Spirit living in us, we can live a life of joy – no matter

the circumstances.

-This is a cursed world – we should expect hardship.

-And because we have been adopted as sons and daughters, we reflect

His goodness as we do good to bring healing in the midst of

a very broken world.

          

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