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December 31, 2021 1:00 am
Marie Flores looking to Jesus found her believers don't want to know what lies ahead in the plan of God. God's will is a series of small events that ultimately take us where he wants us to go today more like taken from the Scriptures to make your path and mine more clear from the church in Chicago. This is with Dr. Erwin was clear teaching helps us make it across the finish line. Esther looks are.
It seems people seek guidance in different ways your right Dave, people seek guidance in various ways, but of course what we need to do is to once again renew our faith in God's promises in as we contemplate the future and all of us know that today is the last day of 2021 2022 begins tomorrow. It's very sobering time is going passed quickly and of course all of us look forward to the new year and hope that it will be better than the previous year with all of its problems with all of its craziness as people have described it.
I want to thank the many of you who support this ministry and as today is the last day that you'll hear running to win in 2021. Would you consider making a special gift so that you can help us where in 20 different countries in three different languages, but we'd like to expand our ministry here is what you can do. Go to RTW offer.com RTW offer.com or you can call us right now at 1-888-218-9337 that's 1-888-218-9337. As you listen to this message. Listen to it with tomorrow the new year in mind. The point is that David kept asking and Saul on the other hand, it only says once the soul inquired of the Lord and the Lord did not hear him because this is always living in disobedience. He was into his own agenda. He wanted God now to come along and to help him in his own rebellion in God didn't hear him. So interestingly, the very next verse says that he went then, and he inquired of the sorceress. Remember he went to the switch at an door and I thought yesterday as I was looking at that.
That's a lot of reason why many people are into the New Age movement today. That's why so many people read the horror horror scopes and it's because they pray to God and they think will you know God is listening.
God does not hear them. That's true they are not coming to God in the name of Christ, they are not coming to God in their own terms and so God is silent in the heavens are silent and so they turn to all of these other occult forms of guide which God incidentally abhors well what does it say it says ask why is it that we don't ask two reasons. Number one, we think in advance that we know what the will of God is. I've often thought that I just thought will. This is the will of God. This seems like a reasonable decision and it turned out that it was quite unreasonable. The other thing and I think that now were getting to the heart of the matter is the reason that we often do not ask is because we fear. We fear that God is going to actually give us the answer that does not agree with who we really want to.
We would rather not ask, what's the most important decision that you could ever make in life. It is whether or not you become a Christian. What is the second most important decision. It is with whom you marry. That's the second most important decision. Now it's interesting that in the process of time when you do some marriage counseling and you try to help couples solve their problems i.e. I sometimes ask them a question which you can't ask unless you ask in the right way, unless you've built a relationship and unless you have really gotten close to the situation because you don't want to just ask a question like this, but I sometimes ask people later on in reflection, did you really pray about your decision. Did you ask and give God a good saying decent chance to break you up. See, unless you do that you're not really asking you're only pretending to ask.
Here are some of the answers. As I remember them no, we didn't. I felt uneasy about it but I had invested so much in the relationship. I couldn't back out there somebody else know I didn't ask because I assume that because she was a Christian it would work out all right.
And then here is the real winner here. Yes, I did ask I didn't have peace about the decision, but I prayed until I did. I want to tell you something today. Peace is only one part of the puzzle of the will of God. And if you really want to do something and you're determined to it.
You can pray your self into peace. Even the devil will give it to you if you want it bad enough.
I've seen people do some very foolish things because they had peace about it. They had disregarded some good counsel in and they throw it all out and they said well I have peace watch that piece because it's only one piece of the puzzle.
Now you say well what you do than if you didn't pray about it.
Well guess what God has a whole brand-new will for you. Those of you who never prayed about whom you were to marry and now you're married smile. God has a whole new will for you and that is to be faithful and to see him work a wheel within your marriage because you see, we have to get over this idea that the will of God is somehow dispatch that we must we must tread very very carefully and should we ever fall to one side or the other or should we ever take a wrong path.
When we come to the fork in the road that God suddenly gives up on us and says well you know they've taken this wrong path. There's nothing I can do with them now.
Now after you take the wrong path you begin to submit to God. The asphalt under your feet turns out to be the will of God.
God has as many possibilities as there are masses in this world don't we say or deserve a great God.
In fact, I don't care where you are at today. If you are willing to submit to God and do what ever he wants you to do no matter whether it is a mess of somebody else's making, or you're making today. You can look into the mirror and say I am doing the will of God.
That's right, and will explain how that is in just a moment.
But Jesus is first of all, yes. Have you asked God for guidance. Have you asked, telling him that no matter what he shows you are going to do. Secondly, seek and you shall find, and how do we seek we seek through the Scriptures we seek God through the Scriptures beyond the sacred page.
I see the Lord. Now when we begin to search the Scriptures by the way, we suddenly discover it is filled with references to what God's will is Romans 12 one and two I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that you present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy and acceptable unto God, which is your reasonable service. And be not conformed to this world but be transformed by the renewing of your mind that you might prove that glued and acceptable and perfect will of God. Another something that you can do today you have to wait for a light in the sky, you don't need a revelation.
You don't need a day timer for that you submit yourself to God. You pull yourself under that altar and then you stay there and you and if you crawl off you crawl back onto it how you like this in everything give thanks, for this is the will of God in Christ concerning you unconvinced we will never overcome temptation unless we give thanks for it and see God's hand in it as an opportunity to test our loyalty.
The giving of thanks. Transforms the way in which we see reality. Now there is the will of God that you can do today.
First Thessalonians chapter 5 verse 18 is what I quoted, but also first Thessalonians chapter 4 verse three says this is the will of God that you abstain from fornication. Now there is something that is the will of God that is clear and unambiguous.
And here's the point. Now if we are willing to walk in those areas that God has revealed he will give us guidance in those areas that he is not revealed.
You walk in the light and God will give you more like you walk in this light. And God will give you the ability and the wisdom to make those decisions about which the Bible has nothing direct way to say so we seek God through the word and then we wait on God. My soul waits out only on God before my expectation is from him. We wait on God with the full expectation that he is going to give us guidance and leadership, and he will show us the way in whatever way he chooses to do that and then you know what we discovered when we begin to seek wheat we suddenly see the will of God entirely different. No longer is the will of God simply making the right decision, but it is the right devotion. No longer is that this mysterious path. Suddenly the will of God becomes a person, namely our relationship with God and becomes the important factor in our decisions and and we begin to see that knowing the will of God is basically at root, knowing God. Knowing God, and so we seek. We seek and then we knock and I suppose that Jesus I'm sure that Jesus was still thinking about is knocking to the gates of heaven. Then we keep knocking and we knock it we knock Bunyan in his Pilgrim's progress, which incidentally is going to be available to be purchased in a new English translation tonight as we learn about Bunyan. I believe it is there. He says that when Christian was knocking on the gate there was a dog barking you had that experience. Now, you have come to a mansion and you'd like to think that this is where your friend lives there you're looking for some kind of guidance or direction or something and you feebly begin to knock and your knees are knocking because you're scared and all that you need to do is to hear. This is why old sounding dog come running out and then you know you're just terrified you like the way the devil doesn't, we come before God and we begin to knock and we hear all of these voices and there's all this anguish and there's all this opposition, and there are all these questions and they're all these doubts. It's the dog barking. But if you continue to knock the owner comes to the door and as soon as the owner comes to the door the dog backs away and minds his business.
The owner says in the dog goes, whatever that means in dog language and you discover that it was worth knocking. That's the way it is when we pray, all hell seems to come loose all of the reasons as to why we shouldn't be praying come to mind when you're praying, if you're like I am, you sometimes have to keep a notepad because it is then that everything comes to mind that you have to do anything that you have forgotten the last week suddenly begins to surface what you need to do is to write it down so no longer bothers you or pray about it pray about every distraction that you have in prayer. Give every distraction that you have God so you keep knocking but I'd like to extend this and say that you not only knocking out in the presence of God, you begin to knock in terms of opportunity in Revelation chapter 3, I believe it is the Lord is speaking to the church in Philadelphia and he says I am the one who opens doors and when I opened them nobody can close them and when I closed them nobody can open them and and it's a door of opportunity and and so you begin to pursue various avenues. Are you inclined to be a nurse. Then you begin to search out nursing and you begin to move in that direction. Fully telling the Lord that if you're going the wrong way. He has every right to stop you. And when you live that way he will stop you. I've often make decisions like that. I've often said to myself, you know Lord I'm going to choose to do this. This is what I'm planning to do, but if I'm wrong, you let me know and and God is brought all kinds of roadblocks into my life to give me guidance and he will do the same for you. I only mention that that you might know that God is faithful. If we seek the wisdom or that guidance. Do you want to be an accountant that you thankful that there are people in this world who want to be accountants.
I thank God for them because each of them must be a very very unique person you want to do that you pursue that you believe that God might be leading you to do some remote part of the world as a missionary. You begin to investigate missions. You begin to knock you begin to seek opportunities you begin to send out applications you become active where you are, God will begin to give you guidance and leadership because he he doesn't want you to just spend the rest of your life in this no man's land that I don't know what in the world.
I'm supposed to be doing another couple of comments that I want to make the first is this that time when we do this we should do it persistently and continually in Greek, ask, seek and knock our present tense, and Greek scholars tell us that what it really means is you ask, you go on asking you seek and you keep seeking you not and you keep knocking and it's a continuous thing every single day you begin to say Lord today I want to do your will and I seek your guidance and I ask you to leave me and I want to do what you want me to do and and it becomes a lifestyle. It becomes a habit is reading yesterday were somebody said that he didn't seal an envelope without breathing a prayer, and he didn't get a glass of water without breathing a prayer and if you ride the elderly. You shouldn't get onto it without breathing at least two prayers and all the way along the line we live a life of dependence day is a new day to say God here I am, what wilt thou have me to do so is continual.
Secondly, I want you to know that even though God may not give you what you want. He's going to give you what is best. Let's look at the next verses of the text. Jesus said, is there any man who if his son were to ask him for a piece of bread with the we give them a stone that you don't understand that verse unless you realize that there are sometimes little stones that look like little loaves of bread. You seem nice round the stones and there are sometimes some fish, but luckily a little bit like some snakes, so Jesus said if you being evil, know how to give good gifts unto your children if they're in the text. If you being evil, know how to give good gifts unto your children. Listen to this. How much more shall your Father in heaven give what is good. Give what is good to those that ask now, the reason often we don't want God's will is because we don't believe that God is good. That's the devil's life.
That's what he used for with Adam and Eve there in the garden. He said a God would never restrict you like this and so he blinds their eyes to the hundreds of trees that they could eat from and he concentrates on the one that they couldn't eat from and said God would never do this to you, and today the devil does the same thing and says good, God will never let you do what's going to make you happy and free. If you really want to do what's best for you.
You have to both out of his control and you have to do your own thing. Listen, that is a lie and that is nonsense. As a father I would never give my child a stone if one of our children had asked for bread, but you know there are times when we do that unknowingly, because sometimes you and I can't tell the difference between the stone on the piece of bread. God will never do that. That's what the text says you see, God knows the difference between a stone and bread and he will never give you a stone. When you ask for bread, he will never give you something that is bad for you if you ask you see and you knock doesn't mean it's always gonna work out pretty doesn't mean that God comes along that he takes all of our rosebushes and removes the thorns and just lets us be with the roses and the beautiful smell that they might have known it doesn't mean that at all. I've already told you that the will of God is sometimes difficult was a seminary young man who wanted to attend seminary in American he left Nigeria they left a good job there where they wanted to promote them in the company in a land with a lot of poverty, but he had wealth and and he said no to it because God was giving him this strong impression that he was to come in to study in the United States of America and he came to Dallas seminary, and he died while a student there the first time a student in international student is ever died while being in seminary. Now he is his wife and six kids in America can we look at that site will you know that was a foolish decision.
God didn't guide him know my friend looked at from the standpoint of eternity.
No question about it. That's what was best. That's what was best, but God sees it differently than we do and if we are evil and sinners and if we know how to give good things to our children how much more shall your Father who is in heaven give good things give good things to those that ask now if you ever put God to the test. If you ever asked him, I told you that when you left here you're going to know what to do what you already know what I hope that you have the verbs underlined in Matthew chapter 7 verse seven. I can't tell you specifically God's will, but I can tell you that if you ask and you seek and you knock the promise is God will give you something good. He is willing to lead those who sign a blank check. That's where the rub comes another category of people here today. Some of you do not know Christ as your Savior.
I can tell you, God's will. Right now we don't have to say what you know I don't really know what God wants me to do. Jesus said to the people of his day. This is the will of God that you believe on him whom he hath sent.
There is God's will now you can't leave here and say you know I'm confused about God's will. There is this is the will of God that you believe on him whom he hath sent. Remember this.
The issue never never is to overcome God's reluctance. We just need to get out of the way and let him die. Let him die. Perhaps that's the emphasis in today's message we let him do the guiding and the guy he will if we come with open arms and an open heart, asking and seeking, and knocking and trusting the promise from the lips of Christ himself is when you do that he'll give you something good and not something bad and if you will let us pray our father.
We do thank you today that many of us have experienced your guidance and hundreds of people are present today who could right now.
Talk about your faithfulness in guiding their lives. Many others are confused because they have very important decisions to make. We ask the Lord Jesus that you shall show them that you cannot abandon them. You have not left them, but that you stand ready to give them guidance grant is that today we pray in Jesus name on my friend today. I want you to listen to my heart.
I trust that is we enter the new year, which of course begins tomorrow that it will be with the single-minded pursuit of God.
We do not know what the future holds, but is this saying frequently is made.
We do know who holds the future and I trust that this coming year will be a time when we look upon God not only with worship but with yield goodness with faith and with all that we are that we might exalt his son Jesus Christ. We here at the ministry of running to winter so please that God has enabled us to get into 20 different countries in three different languages but I need to tell you that our desire is to expand this ministry.
Wouldn't it be wonderful if we could add to this ministry new languages so that more people would hear the good news of Christ. Would you consider making a very special gift as we come, indeed, to the end of this year. Here's what you can do. Go to RTW offer.com. By the way, I hope that you have a pencil ready so that you can write this down. You can go to RTW offer.com and as you might guess, RTW offer is all one word and then here's a phone number 1-888-218-9337 now because it is the end of the year, I'm going to be giving you that contact info again in advance. I want to thank you for helping us. As you know, the ministry of running to win his listener supported. And it's because of your participation that the gospel is able to go to many parts of the world through this ministry. Here is the contact info RTW offer.com or call us at 1-888-218-9337 and you can call right now: 1-888-218-9337 and let me be the first to wish you a very blessed new year. You can write to us running to win 1635 N. LaSalle Boulevard Chicago, IL 60614 running to win is all about helping you find God's roadmap for your race of life is a new year beckons make running to win a part of your daily journey through the unknowns that lie ahead. Thank you for being part of the running to win family this past year.
We look forward to sharing another year of teaching to help all of us make it across the finish line for Dr. Irwin lutes are this is Dave McAllister running to win is sponsored by the Moody Church