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He Will Show You His Will - Part 1

In Touch / Charles Stanley
The Truth Network Radio
February 21, 2024 12:00 am

He Will Show You His Will - Part 1

In Touch / Charles Stanley

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February 21, 2024 12:00 am

Dr. Stanley outlines seven key questions to ask when making decisions that are according to God's will for your life.

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Welcome to the In Touch Podcast with Charles Stanley for Wednesday, February 21. Does finding God's will seem like walking a spiritual tightrope? One mistake and disaster strikes. Thankfully, that's not the way God works, as you'll discover in the third session in the series, The Will of God. My father died when I was about nine months of age, and so those were pretty tough years for me because I was sort of pushed around to this one and that and somebody to keep me while my mother worked. I don't remember anything much about those years except that I do remember feeling very lonely because I would come home and my mother was gone because she had to work and she was not there, not because she didn't want to be, but because she couldn't be.

My only remembrance of those early years was that I felt real empty and all alone. And then when I was twelve years of age, the second row where I usually sat on the edge, I stepped out one Sunday morning, fell on my knees and asked the Lord Jesus Christ to save me, and immediately without anybody ever telling me, somehow I had this awesome sense of feeling. God not only has saved me, but God has something to do in my life. God must have a will, a plan, a purpose in my life. Never heard a sermon on it.

Never heard anybody explain it. It was just a witness of the Spirit that God had something in mind for me. Two years later when I was fourteen years of age, I knew that the Lord wanted me to preach the gospel. It's the only thing I've ever thought about doing, the only thing God ever impressed me to do. Never doubted it one single time from the moment I was absolutely sure. Did I know how to find the will of God in those days?

Probably not. And in my ignorance of just asking the Lord, what do you want to do with my life? I'm sure that He impressed me so strongly, so clearly, so simply, so early in life, He knew that I would never doubt what He was saying in my life. And I think one of the most overwhelming, assuring, encouraging things that I've ever learned in my life is God has a will and a plan and a purpose for every single one of us, no matter who we are. I don't know of anything much more exciting than to know that the God who created all of this has you in mind, has me in mind, has a purpose and a plan.

And the wonderful thing about it is He doesn't keep it a secret. And so what I want to talk about in this message, listen, not only the fact that He has a will for your life, but you can know the will of God for your life. The will of God, He will show you His will for your life. So I want you to turn, if you will, to Ephesians chapter 5. And I want us to look at a couple of verses here. In this fifth chapter, Paul has been talking about our relationship to evil and sin and how we should lay those things aside that do not fit who we are in Christ Jesus. And so then he comes down to this 15th verse, and here's what he says of Ephesians chapter 5. He says, Therefore, based on all the things that he'd said about laying aside the old man and so forth, he says, Therefore, be careful how you walk, not as unwise men, but as wise, making the most of your time because the days are evil. So then do not be foolish, but understand what the will of the Lord is. Now, my friend, God has a personal plan and purpose for your life. And so the question is, well, can we know what God's will and plan for our life is?

Yes, we can. Not only does He have one, but we can know it. Why would He say, So then do not be foolish, but understand what the will of the Lord is. Would God tell us in His Word to understand what His will for our life is? He says we're not to be unwise as the world is, walking as the world walks, walking as unbelievers walk. He says we're to understand what the will of the Lord is. That means that not only does God have a plan and a purpose for your life and mind, but we have the wonderful privilege of being able to understand what it is. Now, that's just as consistent with God as knowing that He has a plan, that He is willing to show us what that plan is. Because, you see, it'd be inconsistent for God to say, I have a plan for your life, but I'm not going to tell you what it is. I want you to live a certain way, but I'm not going to tell you how. I have a purpose for your life, but you have to figure that out. It would be totally inconsistent for God to require of me something and then not tell me what it is nor enable me to do it. Because, you see, the truth is you and I cannot live a spiritual life in the flesh. The God who has a will and a purpose and a plan for our life also is the same God who has promised to enable us and equip us not only by our spiritual gifts, but also by the fact of the indwelling presence of the Holy Spirit.

Listen, anything and everything, you've heard me say this over and over again because I want you to understand it. Anything and everything God requires of us to become or to be, that is to be or to do, God has committed Himself to enable us by His indwelling presence to do that in our behalf for us, through us, to us and in us. He knows that apart from us we can never discover His will. Apart from Him, we can never discover His will, nor could we ever do His will. Therefore, we have the wonderful privilege of knowing that He has a will for our life and the wonderful privilege of knowing that He has assumed responsibility for revealing His will to us. And so God has not said, you figure it out. He says, for example, the Holy Spirit is the one who discerns the mind of God and He's the one who speaks through our spirit and enables us to know. And sometimes when a child trusts the Lord Jesus as their Savior at six or seven or sometimes five, I'm sure that sometimes adults say, well, how in the world could they understand what God is doing in their life at five?

Never underestimate the power of Almighty God to speak to a child. And so when I understand that the Lord God has a purpose and a plan for my life and that He is willing to reveal it, look in Psalm 16 for a moment. Here's a wonderful promise that our Lord gives us. In this eleventh verse, in the eleventh verse of the sixteenth chapter of the Psalm, here's what He says. The Psalmist says, Thou wilt make known to me the path of life in Thy fullness, and Thy presence is fullness of joy. In Thy right hand there are pleasures forevermore. He says, God will make known to us the path of life.

What is that? His path for you and me to walk. That is, what is the will and the purpose of the plan of God for your life? He says, He will certainly make that known to us.

Why? Because it will certainly be in keeping with His will for us. Look back, if you will, in John chapter 16, and you'll recall that when Jesus was talking to His apostles the night before His crucifixion. In the sixteenth chapter, you'll recall what He said to them. He said, in the thirteenth verse, He said, Now when the Spirit of truth comes, He will guide you into all the truth. He will not speak on His own initiative of whatever He hears He will speak.

He will disclose to you what is to come. That is, when you not trust that the Lord Jesus Christ is our Savior, we have the Holy Spirit who is on the inside of us, living on the inside of us, giving us guidance and direction. And oftentimes, He gives us direction when we don't even realize where it's coming from.

We think we thought that up or somebody else said that. That is the Spirit of God bringing to our mind and heart, unveiling to us, showing us, revealing to us, manifesting to us, this is the will of God. This is the purpose of God. This is the direction for your life.

Here's what I want you to do. That is the gift of God which He's given to us. Sometimes we struggle with that.

Sometimes we ask Him to show us and we don't feel like it's coming as clear as we are. So let's talk for just a moment about what are those things that hinder us from being able to discern the will of God? Because I think that's true in all of our lives. And sometimes I'll be praying about something and I'll think, all right, Lord, if you had two or three alternatives, what is your will?

And oftentimes it doesn't come very quickly. Well, I think there are several things that could hinder us on discerning what His will is for our life in general, His purpose as far as direction for our life, what He would have you to do about big major decisions in your life as well as those daily decisions. One thing that hinders us oftentimes is self-will. Sometimes we have already decided what we want to do and we have already decided what we are going to do. If I've already decided what I want to do and what I'm going to do, it's very difficult for God to reveal His will in a way that I will understand because the truth is, in a subtle fashion, I've shut Him out.

A second thing that hinders us is the influence of other people. When you're asking and seeking the mind of God about a particular decision, be careful who you ask. Watch out for ungodly influence.

Watch out for people who will tell you what they think you want to hear rather than what you ought to hear. And besides that, listen, you and I want to develop such an ear with God, such a heart before Him, such a sensitivity to Him, such an openness to Him, such a submission to Him, such a yieldingness to Him, that when God speaks, you and I will be able to hear what He says, that we won't be running to someone else each time asking, Lord, what would you have me to do through someone else? This is not to say that we should never seek godly counsel, but oftentimes it is the counsel, the opinions, the advice of other people that frustrates and puts static in our heart about what the will of God is because oftentimes people will say, or what they're thinking is, this is what I would do.

The truth is they don't know what they would do. A third reason, and I think a major reason we have a difficulty in discerning the will of God is because of our ignorance of spiritual principles. Listen, you can read the Bible, read the Bible, read the Bible, know this verse and that verse and the other verse. A spiritual principle, listen, there are those dos and don'ts, the moral will of God, thou shalt not do this, thou shalt do this, but those principles of God are something different. Those principles have to do with if you do this, this is what you can expect.

If you do that, this is what you can expect. So when we oftentimes ignore those principles or we don't understand what the principles are, we will make decisions that violate a particular principle of Scripture, which we'll come to a little later. Another thing that I think hinders us is oftentimes harboring sin in our life. If you and I harbor some area of sin in our life, oftentimes that clouds our mind and our spirit so that we can't really discern the mind of God because something going on in our life, listen, that counteracts what God seeks to do.

He is interested in unveiling Himself to us so that we will walk in His will and honor Him and bring glory and honor to His name. Another reason that we have difficulty, I think, is that we just doubt the fact that God would show us to begin with. And some people say, well, you know, why should I ask God, how can I expect God to show me something? Why should God speak to me? And oftentimes the problem is a sense of unworthiness we have.

Usually that unworthiness is based on some guilt of something about the past. And so therefore we think, well, why should God speak to my heart? And so we doubt, we have a sense of unworthiness and we think, well, after all, what makes me think that I'm important enough for God to speak to me or show me His will? How do I know He has a will for my life? Because He loves you, because He cares, and because He says, understand what the will of the Lord is. Why would He say that? What does He say? I will direct your path. Why does He say, commit yourself unto Him and He will give us direction for our life. Over and over and over again, He promises direction.

Why? Because He wants the best for us and to have the best for us, we must be able to hear Him, listen to Him carefully in order to obey Him, not to satisfy some curiosity. So when I think about all the reasons that we have a problem, then I want to come to the most subtle one of all. You know why we have such a difficult time discovering and understanding what the will of the Lord is for our life?

Here's what it is. Because we get so busy, too busy to listen, too busy to spend time listening and waiting for God to show us. It's real easy to stay busy, busy, busy. That's why if you don't set aside time to listen, if you don't set aside time to be quiet and to be still and wait for God to speak to your heart, listen, God is not going to chase you down to say, listen, listen, stop, stop, stop, stop, stop so I can show you my will for your life. God's not going to do that. He says, be still. He says, stop striving and know that I'm God. When I know Him in the intimacy with which He wants me to know Him, God is so willing to unveil His will. He's willing to show us the way. He delights. He takes great delight in showing you and me what He would have us to do for life because we're His children. He wants the best for us because He wants the best for us.

He's more than willing to show us exactly what to do. But oftentimes we're too busy. You see, He says, my soul waits in silence upon God only. Why? Because I want to hear what He has to say.

Very important. So when you think about the reason sometime we think, well, God hasn't spoke to me and I'm not hearing God saying anything. I've been trying to figure out what to do next.

Maybe you have found in one of these areas here one of the primary reasons. Now, what should be my attitude? I'll give you four things right quickly. Here should be my attitude. Number one, I've got to trust Him. I may not understand a lot of things God says. I have to learn to trust Him. Trust in the Lord with all your heart. Listen to this. Lean not to your own understanding.

Get you in trouble every time. Lean not to your own understanding. In all thy ways, acknowledge Him. God, what would you happen to do here?

What do you want me to do here? Somebody says, you mean to tell me that God wants us just asking Him all the time? Listen carefully. God wants us to seek His mind about everything. Here's what He will do when you and I learn to walk in His Spirit. Listen, we listen. The Spirit of God will give us such clear direction.

It's as if it's automatic. We just know that's the next thing to do because you know what? The Spirit of God is guiding leaders and you and I know when we're in the flow of the Spirit of God in our life and when we're out here trying to do something ourselves. Lean not to your own understanding. I've got to trust Him.

That's one attitude that must be above all the rest. Second, I must learn to wait on Him. Wait upon the Lord. Be of good courage, He says, and I will strengthen your heart. In Psalm 27, I must learn to wait.

Now, most of us don't want to. Listen, if I'm going to know the will of God, I must trust Him that He's going to show me. I must learn to wait on His timing and that's very, very difficult.

My soul waits in silence upon God only. I do believe in my own heart as I think about how God has worked in my own life and I hope I can say, I never say I've learned. I say I'm learning.

I'm still learning. I believe one of the most valuable principles that God has placed in my heart and that is to learn to wait on Him. Learning to wait till you get clear guidance and clear direction.

I don't mean being slothful and lazy and just putting it off. I mean that you're sensitive to the mind of God, sensitive to the Spirit of God, waiting for Him to speak, ready to move the moment He says move. Learning to wait upon Him is one of the most valuable lessons you can possibly learn. And so, listen, learning to wait upon Him is extremely important.

The third thing is this. My attitude must not only be to trust Him and to wait upon Him but to be submissive to Him. If I want to know the will of God about this, I've got to be submissive to Him. That is, Lord, show me Your will. And I won't say a whole lot more about that because I've already talked about that but living, listen, living in submission to the will of God, that means I'm willing to do the will of God whether I know it or not. Lord, I don't know what Your will is but whatever it is, I'm willing to do it. Now, coming to that place isn't always easy. But that's a sure way for God to show us when we come into His presence saying, Lord, whatever you want, the answer is yes no matter what the issue is.

Then I'm going to just say one last thing here and that's this. And that is I must have courage. Sometimes the will of God is very testy. Sometimes the will of God is very demanding. Sometimes the will of God is very scary. You think, now wait a minute, Lord, I, mm-mm, this could, this, this has got to be the flesh. This can't be of you.

You wouldn't say that. And then you get on your face and you begin to ask the Lord, now Lord, make this clear. This is what I want you to do. Remembering I'm going to be with you every step of the way. It takes courage to do the will of God. It takes courage sometimes just to hear what He has to say. So if I'm really looking to know the will of God, I must be willing to trust Him that He's going to show me. I must be willing to wait upon Him to give me direction. I must be willing with all of my heart to walk in submission to Him when I don't even know what He's asking for me next.

And then I must have the courage to say, Lord, whatever it is, the answer is yes. You know what, I don't know of anything much more exciting than to know that God says, here's where I want you to go and look at that and think, there is no way. But you know that God says do it.

You know what? You know that when you take that step, all of omnipotence is under you to keep you from falling. That's how much God loves us. You see, I think God has planned the Christian life to make it exciting, to make it a wonderful adventure so that you, listen, it doesn't make a difference how long you live, how old you are or what happens in your life. Listen, the Christian life should become a greater adventure with every passing year, more exciting, more thrilling than ever before.

Why? Because God is teaching you more. You're learning more about Him.

He's unveiling Himself to you. And the idea that the older you get, the more you sort of settle down, just sort of get satisfied with the Christian life, you have missed the God that I know. You've missed the God that I know.

If in your older age, you've just sort of settled down and thought, well, you know, I think I've learned enough. If you're studying this book, you've not learned enough, you won't ever get to the place you think I know enough about God. Now, this much I know, it is the will of God for you to be saved. This much I know, it's the will of God for you to be baptized. It's the will of God for you to be a part of a local fellowship somewhere. And I know there's some people who live in different areas of the country where they live maybe many, many miles away from a church and can't get there every Sunday.

I do understand that there are those circumstances health-wise and so forth. But under normal conditions, it's His will for you to be a part of a local body of people who believe God's Word and love Him, love each other. It's the will of God that you walk in the Spirit. It's the will of God that you love each other. It's the will of God that you forgive. It's the will of God, listen, that you and I are growing in our faith toward Him. A lot of things I know are the will of God for your life. And I just want to say to you, if you've never trusted Jesus Christ as your Savior, you ask Him to forgive you of your sin, tell Him that you're putting your life in His hands, in that moment, you've taken the most awesome step you can take because you will have just changed your whole eternal destiny in one commitment of obedience to Jesus Christ.
Whisper: medium.en / 2024-02-21 03:38:17 / 2024-02-21 03:47:07 / 9

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