June 6, 2023 3:00 am
Most pilots follow an unwritten rule: if they flip a certain switch and the plane suddenly starts going crazy, they switch it back. Pretty basic. Well, spiritually, if we think a certain path we’ve chosen is God’s will for our lives but then our lives suddenly fall apart, maybe it’s worth reconsidering. Today on A NEW BEGINNING, Pastor Greg Laurie brings helpful insights on following God’s will for our lives. It’s practical help for those of us who are unsure about God’s direction.
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A New Beginning is the daily half-hour program hosted by Greg Laurie, pastor of Harvest Christian Fellowship in Southern California. For over 30 years, Pastor Greg and Harvest Ministries have endeavored to know God and make Him known through media and large-scale evangelism. This podcast is supported by the generosity of our Harvest Partners.
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Hey everybody, you're listening to A New Beginning, which is a podcast made possible by Harvest Partners.
If this program has impacted you, I'd love to hear from you. So just send an email to me at greg.harvest.org. Again, it's greg.harvest.org.
You can learn more about becoming a Harvest Partner by going to harvest.org. When we're trying to confirm God's will in our lives, Pastor Greg Laurie says there are signs to look for. Today on A New Beginning, he gives us good insight. I have found that when I'm in the will of God, circumstantially things will come together. This is what we often refer to as doors opening, right?
Or doors closing. I'm telling you the Lord will lead you more than you realize if you'll just tune in to the promptings of the Holy Spirit. Most pilots follow an unwritten rule. If they flip a certain switch and the plane suddenly starts going crazy, they switch it back.
Pretty basic. Well spiritually, if we think a certain path we've chosen is God's will for our lives, but then our lives suddenly fall apart, maybe it's worth reconsidering. Today on A New Beginning, Pastor Greg Laurie brings helpful insights on following God's will for our lives.
It's practical help for those of us who are unsure about God's direction. All right, let's grab our Bibles. Turn to Romans chapter 12 and the title of my message is, How to Know the Will of God. God's given us the manual on how to know His will and it's right here and it's called the Bible.
So grab your Bible. Turn to Romans chapter 12 and here are the words of the Apostle Paul on how to know the will of God in your life. Romans 12. I'm reading verses one to two. Paul says, I beseech you therefore brothers by the mercies of God that you present your bodies as a living sacrifice holy and acceptable to God which is your reasonable service. Don't be conformed to this world but be transformed by the renewing of your mind that you may prove what is the good and acceptable and perfect will of God. So present yourself to God. Don't be conformed to this world.
Here's the question you need to ask yourself. Are you going to be a conformer or are you going to be a transformer? A conformer or a transformer. You're either going to be conformed to this world or you're going to transform the world or you're going to be a thermostat or a thermometer. A thermometer tells you what the temperature is and the thermostat sets it. So you know you can be a thermometer.
You just react whatever it is. I'll blend in with that or you can be the thermostat. You say I'm going to set the temperature of this room. I'm going to walk into this room and I'm going to be a light for Jesus Christ.
Or I'm going to cave in and compromise and try not to stand out in any way. Don't be conformed to this world but be transformed by the renewing of your mind that you may know what is the good and acceptable and perfect will of God. God's will is good. Now our definition of good might be different than God's definition of good. Our definition of good is probably something along the lines of it's fun. It's pleasurable.
It's pain-free and it's in the moment. God's definition of good may be that which is productive or character forming and more eternally focused. Now that doesn't mean that there are times God is not working in my life and it's not fun but what I'm saying is there are things I go through that are not enjoyable for the moment but they're producing something that is far greater and that's why it's good. And one day I'll see that when I get to heaven.
I'll understand a lot of things that I went through but until that day I have to trust the Lord. I look at the small picture. God looks at the big picture.
I look at the here and now. God looks at the by and by. So you have to understand that His will for you is good even though it might be difficult at times. So how do I discover the will of God?
First and foremost God speaks to you through the Bible. And that's why you need to read the Bible. And that's why you need to read the Bible every day. And that's why you need to memorize the Bible. Because God will never contradict what is written in Scripture.
Right? And I bring this up because I've had people say crazy things to me that they tell me the Lord told them. God told me this. I've had couples come up. You know we're living together. We're having sex. But the Lord said He's cool with it.
Did He actually say He's cool with it? Direct quote. I don't know who you're listening to but God didn't say that. Now how do you know that Greg? Because the Bible says this is the will of God even your sanctification that you abstain from immorality. So I know the Word of God on that. So don't tell me the Lord told you to do something the Bible says you should not do. So as you know the Word of God you will be able to discern those voices that you hear or people that speak to you saying they are speaking for God. You evaluate everything according to Scripture. Everything you need to know about God is found on the pages of the Bible.
2 Timothy 3.15 says, 16 rather, all Scripture is given by inspiration of God. It's useful to teach us what is true and makes us realize what is wrong in our lives. It straightens us out and teaches us to do what is right. And that's important because sometimes our emotions get the best of us. Right? If you ever had a time where you're just gripped with fear, anxiety, you're panicking and then you correct it with the Word of God.
Oh right. Here is what the Bible says. Go back to what Scripture says. I don't need pious platitudes.
I don't need cute little posts from Pinterest or you know sunsets with nice sayings on Instagram. I need the Word of God. That is what is going to sustain me in times of difficulty. And that is what is going to sustain you.
Nothing else. So it is there in the Word. Jesus said, Behold I come in the volume of the book. It is written of me to do your will. Oh God.
Number two. God will speak to you through circumstances. I don't know that I have ever based any big decision of my life on circumstances alone. However I have found that when I am in the will of God circumstantially things will come together. This is what we often refer to as doors opening.
Right? Or doors closing. So the Lord will open doors.
Let me give you an example. The Lord came to Philip who was having some great meetings and people were coming to Christ and people were being healed. And an angel of the Lord said to him, Go to the desert. Nothing else. Just go to the desert.
He is like, Are you sure? Go to the desert. Ok. So scene two.
He is standing in the desert. Leans on a cactus. Ow. Wait. What am I supposed to do here? And what? Preach to the lizards?
I mean why am I here? And all of a sudden at a distance he sees a dust cloud and looks like some people are approaching and they get a little closer and he can make it out. It looks like a chariot. Oh it is a few chariots. Oh there is security around this one chariot.
This is someone important. Now the person pulls into view and he can see this is a foreign dignitary from Ethiopia who had gone to Jerusalem searching for God and he is reading out loud from the scroll of Isaiah chapter 53. And Philip is standing there and he is thinking, Ok Lord I got it from here.
I think I know what is going on. He says to this man from Ethiopia, Excuse me. I am Philip just hanging out in the desert as it turns out.
Do you understand what you are reading? The man from Ethiopia says, How can I unless someone shows me the way? So Philip climbs into the chariot. Explains Isaiah 53 which happens to be talking about the death of Jesus on the cross.
That man believes in Jesus and he is baptized. So this is how the Lord will often lead you. One step at a time. I don't get like divine direction in the morning. Like go to the gas station at 403 and you are going to talk to some guy.
Usually it is I am driving along and my idiot light goes on. I am running on fumes. So I go to the gas station. I pull in. I am pumping gas. Here is a guy right over on the other side.
He is pumping gas. Hey how is it going? Good.
Great. All of a sudden something comes up. Maybe I say something. He says something.
We start a conversation. Now I am sharing the gospel with him. Now it has gone to the next level. I realize that was a divine appointment. I am telling you the Lord will lead you more than you realize if you will just tune in to the promptings of the Holy Spirit. So circumstantially but then there is that work in your heart. This is what I mean by the prompting of the Holy Spirit. Sort of a spiritual stirring. I have found that when I am in God's will I will have this peace.
Does that make sense? Kind of this peace. In fact we are even told over in Philippians chapter 3 verse 15. Let the peace of God rule in your heart. Or literally a better translation let the peace of God as an empire settle with finalities all matters that arise in your hearts. I have found when I am in the will of God I will have the peace of God. Isaiah 55 says, You shall go out with joy and be led forth with peace.
The mountains and the hills shall break forth before you into singing and all the trees of the field will clap your hands. Finally there is God's timing. Just as important as the will of God is the timing of God. Sometimes we have the right idea.
We are just a little ahead of schedule. Think of old Moses. Moses had the right idea. Get the Israelites out of Egypt. He was just about 40 years too soon. He took matters into his own hands. That didn't go well at all.
He went into exile into the desert for 40 years and then the Lord commissioned him to go and deliver the people of Israel. So it comes down to this. If the request is wrong God says no. If the timing is wrong God says slow.
If you are wrong God says grow. But if the request is right and the timing is right and you are right God says go. Pastor Greg Laurie will have the second half of his message in just a moment. You know there is nothing like hearing the word of God and worshiping the Lord together. I want to encourage you to join us for something we call Harvest at Home. It happens every Saturday and Sunday at harvest.org. You can join Christians from around the world as we worship and we study the word of God together.
So join us for Harvest at Home at Harvest.org. Well we're talking about God's will today here on A New Beginning. Pastor Greg is presenting a practical message called how to know the will of God. Yes God wants to reveal his will to you but you're not always going to like it. Oh Greg you shouldn't say that. Oh no I don't always like the will of God. I'll be honest. There are things that God's allowed in my life and I'll say Lord really seriously is this necessary?
Why have you allowed this in my life? I mean Job struggled with that. Talk about horrible things happening. He lost his family most of them. Probably wished he lost his wife after what she said to him.
She looked at him and said why don't you just curse God and die? He's like thanks for those encouraging words. He's covered in boils head to toe. He's lost his children. He's lost his possessions.
And what does he do? Job 1 21. He says to God, naked came I from my mother's womb.
Naked shall I return. The Lord gives. The Lord takes away. Blessed be the name of the Lord. Do you think Job liked God's will at that moment?
I doubt it. But he acknowledged God was in control. Even Jesus struggled with the will of the Father.
That might surprise you but it's true. In the Garden of Gethsemane as he was contemplating the horrors of Calvary that were on the horizon he said Father if it's possible let this cup pass from me. Nevertheless not as I will but as you will. So it wasn't easy but he submitted to it.
Why? Because he knew God's will was good. God's will for you is good. And look at what it accomplished. It purchased the atonement for all of our sins.
So I don't know what you're going through right now. Maybe God's will isn't making sense to you right now but let me just say this to you. Never be afraid to commit an unknown future to a known God. A God who loves you. A God who is good. A God who has a plan that is good for you.
And a God who promises that he'll make all things work together for good to those that love him and are they called according to his purpose. I've told you this story before but I'm setting it up to tell another story. My son Christopher who's been in heaven now over 10 years. He just celebrated his birthday. And Christopher was a little boy that you know when he was a little boy I should say rather we would go to toy stores. And you know I'll admit I spoiled my first son. I would just take him to toy stores for no reason and buy him really big toys. Maybe I was trying to relive my childhood.
I don't know. But we went to Toys R Us. And Star Wars toys were out. This is the first time Star Wars came out. So that dates it right?
70s. So we're looking at all the Star Wars toys and there's all the little figures. You know Yoda and Princess Leia. Luke Skywalker. Han Solo etc. So he's looking at all the figures and I said Christopher pick out any figure you want.
So he thought about it for a while. He picked out Han Solo. I want Han Solo dad.
I said okay buddy. But all that time he was looking at those little characters I was looking on the top shelf at all the hardware. X-wing fighters. Millennium Falcon. And so he picked out Han Solo. I said that's a good choice. How about a Millennium Falcon to go with it? And I pulled this giant box off the shelf. Well he was very happy. So we get home and Kathy sees the Millennium Falcon.
She just rolls her eyes like what are you doing? Okay. So the moral of the story is let your dad choose for you. Right.
Get the illustration. So we think God you know oh God just wants to take everything. God just wants to wreck everything. God just wants to ruin everything. What a warped concept of your loving Father in heaven whose will for you is good.
Doesn't the Bible say in Ephesians 3 20 that God is able to do exceedingly above and beyond that which we could ask or think right. So he wants to do more. So now that was the setup for this story.
So fast forward many years. My younger son Jonathan has his son Christopher who is named after his uncle after Jonathan's brother. Same name.
Christopher David Laurie. So I am with little Christopher in a toy store. And he is really into Legos. And so I said you can pick out some Legos. And there was one little character he wanted and there was one tiny little box with the character and one other tiny little Lego thing. Then there was a whole set.
Had the same character. A bunch of other things in it. So you know Legos aren't cheap.
You know that right. So I took the little box of Legos and I took the big one. I said Christopher I will give you either one you choose. He looked at them both and he said I will take the small one Papa. And I said okay buddy. Why are you taking the small one. He says I don't want you to have to spend too much.
He got the big one too. So look your father loves to bless you. Your father wants to reveal his good and perfect will for you. Let me close with this thought of God's will. We say well what is God's will. There's some things we know are God's will. Number one we know that it is God's will for everyone to be saved. Everyone to be forgiven of sin.
How do we know that? Because the Bible says God is not willing that any should perish but that all should come to repentance. So God wants to forgive you of your sin.
And maybe you have joined us here today and you are not sure if your sin is forgiven. You don't know God in a personal way. In fact your life is kind of a mess. And you don't know what is going to happen next. And you are filled with anxiety and fear. And you don't know where to turn. I am telling you God has everything you want. And it is found in a friendship.
In a relationship with Him. Jesus says He stands at the door of your life and He knocks. That is Revelation 3.20. I heard about a pastor that went to visit someone in his church on a Saturday. Knocked on the door.
No answer. So he took out his business card. Wrote Revelation 3.20.
Behold I stand at the door and knock. Next day he saw her at church. She put a little card in the offering. It was his card with another Scripture written. He wrote Revelation 3.20.
She wrote Genesis which said, I was naked and in the garden and afraid. So we won't deal with that verse. Let's go back to Revelation 3.20. You can find a verse to support anything right? It is true Jesus stands at the door and He knocks. But only you can open that door and ask Him to come into your life. And have you done that yet?
Think about this. By asking God to forgive you of your sin you could leave here today wherever you might be in this new relationship with the Lord. He is just a prayer away. You have to admit you are a sinner and turn from that sin and understand that Jesus Christ the Son of God died on that cross for you. Yes in Gethsemane the garden He struggled with it but He went through with it because He knew there was no other way for you and I and all of us to be made right with God. And if I will ask Him to forgive me He will enter into my life and change me.
And if you need Him in your life I am going to give you an opportunity to ask Him to come in. Let's all bow our heads for a prayer together. Everybody praying please. Father thank you for loving us so much that you sent Jesus to die on the cross in our place.
Lord Jesus thank you for coming and laying your life down on the cross. Now we pray for anyone who has joined us wherever they may be. If they don't know you yet let this be the day they believe. Let this be the day they pass from darkness to light. Let this be the day they change their eternal address from hell to heaven.
Help them to come to you and believe in you and receive you into their lives right now. In Jesus name I pray. Amen. Pastor Greg Laurie with an important prayer. And if you'd like to make a change today in your relationship with the Lord, Pastor Greg will help you do that in just a moment before today's edition of A New Beginning concludes. So please stay with us. Well Pastor Greg we're making available the film Jesus Revolution on DVD so many of our listeners have asked about that.
Nice. Well I read across a listener comment about the movie. This lady writes and says, my husband took my 86 year old father to see the movie. Before it started I handed him some tissue.
He asked why. I told him he would probably get emotional during the movie because that was the era of his salvation. Well dad chuckled at me but when the movie was over he had used up all the tissue. That's so beautiful. So this was Lionsgate's most successful movie since 2019 but it's now available to watch in our own homes.
That's right. It's a great day isn't it? It really is and I want to add one more story to that gentleman story. A lady writes me great movie my kids are 10 and 11 and they loved it. My son who was 10 leaned over while the movie was playing and whispered that he was sorry for being disrespectful and he's planning to bring his bible to school the next day so he could ask his friends to meet him at the pavilion at recess so he could tell them about Jesus.
He said I know mom that might sound kind of scary but I'm not scared because Jesus wants me to be bold. So you know think about this an 11 year old boy and an 86 year old man all touched by this movie. This is a multi-generational movie. There's not a lot of movies you could sit down and watch with grandpa your mom and dad your son and your daughter and maybe even your grandkids but this movie kind of covers multiple generations in such a powerful way and we are very excited to announce that you can now order your own personal copy of the Jesus revolution film on DVD. That means you can watch it as many times as you want.
You can show it to as many people as you want whenever you want. It was a blockbuster hit in the theaters shocking many people but I believe it was an answer to our prayers because we've been praying about this film for a long time. The movie connects the movie impacts lives the movie in a way does the heavy lifting. Here's your job just get someone who's not a believer to sit down and watch the movie with you. You could show it to them on your computer you can show it to them in your front room you can show it wherever you want to show it and afterwards there's a special message that I recorded that's uniquely on this DVD we're offering. It's about eight minutes in length where we shot it on a beach as the sun was setting really beautiful and I pick up where the story of the film leaves off and I tell a person how they can accept Christ and even lead them in a prayer. I'm telling you right now you will see people come to Christ with this movie as a tool if you get them to listen to it and watch it I think you might be surprised at what God will do. This is I believe the greatest resource we've ever offered in the entire history of Harvest Ministries so get your copy today and I'll give it to you for your gift of any size but I want to be upfront we have to pay more for this resource than we normally pay but we're not going to charge you we're going to ask you to just send whatever you can but please be generous so we can continue to teach the word of God and proclaim the gospel right here in a new beginning. Yeah that's right and we so much appreciate your generosity we'll be glad to send you Jesus Revolution on DVD along with a free streaming code as soon as you contact us just give us a phone call at 1-800-821-3300.
You can reach us anytime around the clock at 1-800-821-3300 or write A New Beginning Box 4000 Riverside California 92514 or go online to harvest.org. Well Pastor Greg you spoke today about having a relationship with the Lord someone can enter into that kind of relationship with God right now can't they? Yeah they really can that's the amazing thing I think people are surprised that it doesn't take years to become a Christian it doesn't take months it doesn't take weeks it doesn't take days it doesn't even take hours you can believe on the spot and I would like to lead you in a prayer where you can ask for his forgiveness a prayer where you can receive Jesus Christ into your life as your Savior and Lord. So if you want Christ to come into your life if you want him to forgive you of your sin if you want a second chance in life if you want to go to heaven when you die stop what you're doing and pray after me these words Lord Jesus I know I am a sinner and I'm sorry for my sin and I turn from it now and I choose to follow you from this moment forward as Savior and Lord as God and God and friend thank you for loving me and calling me and forgiving me in Jesus name I pray Amen. And listen if you have just prayed those words with Pastor Greg and meant them sincerely the Bible assures us your sins have been forgiven we're told the Lord is faithful and just to forgive us of our sins and cleanse us from all unrighteousness and we want to send some resource materials your way that'll help you in your new relationship with the Lord we call that our new believers growth packet we'll send it without charge if you prayed for the first time today with Pastor Greg just ask for it when you call 1-800-821-3300 that's 1-800-821-3300 or write a new beginning box 4000 Riverside California 92514 or go to harvest.org and click the words know God you know God has given his children gifts spiritual gifts what spiritual gifts have you been given do you know we'll open up that subject next time as Pastor Greg continues our studies in the book of Romans join us here on a new beginning with pastor and Bible teacher Greg Lord. Thanks for listening to a new beginning with Greg Laurie a podcast made possible by harvest partners helping people everywhere know God sign up for daily devotions and learn how to become a harvest partner at harvest.org.
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