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Your Will, or God's?

The Bible Study Hour / James Boice
The Truth Network Radio
October 31, 2021 8:00 am

Your Will, or God's?

The Bible Study Hour / James Boice

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October 31, 2021 8:00 am

How can a sinner know the will of God? It’s a question that’s been posed by believers throughout the ages. It seems impossible for a mere mortal to understand the requirements of a righteous God. Join Dr. James Boice on The Bible Study Hour as he reveals the rather simple answer to a perplexing question.

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How can we know the will of God for our lives.

A great many of God's children don't believe it's possible to know the intentions of the Almighty still. Why would the Lord want us to do his will, without showing us his will and welcome to the Bible study our radio and Internet broadcast with Dr. James Boyce preparing you to think and act biblically. Perhaps God's will is more easily understood than we might imagine. Maybe the difficulty lies more in obeying God's will, then, knowing it.

Join Dr. Boyce as he reveals the rather simple solution to this age-old dilemma and challenges us not only to know God's will, but do it. The third petition of the Lord's prayer.

I asked that the will of God might be done in earth, as it is in heaven.

This request is an important one for the only things that we can properly pray for us Christians are things that are in God's will.

No Christian can pray Lord I am about to commit adultery. And I want you to keep me from getting caught so I can get away with it.

No Christian can pray Lord help me to cheat on my income tax and be clever enough to out with the computer.

No Christian can pray Lord make me smart enough to cheat my partner on this deal. No Christian can ask the Lord to help them lie convincingly a Christian simply cannot pray that way. Christian must always pray for thy will be done in my life as it is in heaven. If we are to understand the fullness of what this statement means. However, we must begin by realizing that all of the troubles that exist in this world exist because somebody or some group of people once his will, instead of the will of God. The Bible says.

As for God to accuse way is perfect. Only God is perfect.

Consequently, any way that is not God's way is imperfect. It is sinful must it's contributory to the problems of this world.

I believe that this truth can be most clearly illustrated from the fall of Satan from the act of the will, by which Lucifer, the son of the morning became the devil which means one who disrupts or destroys the story is told in the 14th chapter of Isaiah verses 12 through 14. The most interesting feature of the story is the number of times the phrase I will occurs.

Here it is.

How art thou fallen from heaven old Lucifer, son of the morning.

I worked out cut down to the ground, didst weaken the nations lower said in my heart I will ascend into heaven, I will exalt my throne above the stars of God. I will sit also upon the mount of the congregation and the sides of the north. I will ascend above the heights of the clouds, I will be like the most high, and that short passage, Satan says I will five times the point of the passage is that this event marked the entrance into the universe of the second will one in opposition to God's and that this was the origin of sin. I notice what Lucifer says.

He says, first, I will ascend into heaven. This phrase teaches us that sin began on earth, where Satan had been placed to do God's bidding. Satan's first rebellious thought was to move into heaven, and to take charge of its government's second cry was, I will exalt my throne above the stars of God, since the word stars is often used in the Bible is a symbol for God's servants are messengers. This statement might well mean that Satan was determined to take the place of that of God's other creatures third, Satan boasted that he would sit also upon the mount of the congregation and the sides of the north. This is not a reference to any earthly congregation of men because men had not yet been created. This is the congregation of those angelic beings near to God, whom the psalmist was writing when he said in the heavens shall praise thy wonders, old Lord, thy faithfulness also in the congregation of thy saints who in the heavens can be compared and the Lord God is greatly to be feared in the assembly of the saints, and to be had in reverence of all those who are about him. In other words, Satan also desired to rise above the angelic hosts that were closest to and surrounding God.

Satan's fourth cry was to ascend above the clouds. These are the clouds of God's glory, clouds that surround this person.

From this point the fifth and final step was to displace God himself. Hence, Satan declared in final arrogance. I will be like the most high Satan said I will ascend into heaven, I will exalt my throne. I will sit upon the mount of the congregation I will ascend above the clouds, I will be like the most high.

I will I will I will I will I will five times and God answers yet thou shalt be brought down to Sheol, to the sides of the pit. This point it's proper to ask what did God do when he was faced with the emergence of the second rebellious will in his universe. Well, two courses were open to him.

He could've struck Satan down immediately blotting them out and then creating another, perhaps even more beautiful creature to replace him but if he had done this if you'd struck Satan down. He would always have been faced with the possibility of the emergence of an infinite series of similar rebellions followed by similarly harsh judgments and new creations. He could've done that but instead, God chose a second way. Instead of condemning Satan instantly as he could've done would've been right to do God withheld his judgment and stepped aside a bit in order to allow the rebel to try every ounce of his own wisdom in every possible course of action open to him so that it might be demonstrated through the course of what we call history that nothing good will ever come of any will that is in opposition to God's. That is precisely what we do find in history, when Satan rebelled the cohesion of the universe was broken first were two wills, one perfect and one corrupt. Then there were four wills, one perfect and free corrupt. This was followed by eight wills, one perfect and seven corrupt and multiplication went on until today, there are billions of wills, including yours and mine and everyone but God's is corrupt and the source of on ending sins and rebellion rebellion against God's will leads not to joy and happiness, but the misery and it proves that there is no life, joy, peace, happiness, or any other good thing, apart from a complete dependence upon God and a willing submission to his will. Someone will say that's all very well and good but what does that have to do with me what is everything to do with you for happiness and joy in peace will come to your life only as you allow God to bend your will to his.

Last week I asked the question what is God doing in this age mansard because we were talking about God's kingdom that God was taking persons of every imaginable condition and from every part of this globe and turning them into men and women like Jesus Christ and other words into men and women in whom God's kingdom comes the light of this week's discussion we can see that it would also be possible to say the same thing in this way, we can say that God is taking persons with sinful and rebellious wills from every imaginable condition of life and from every part of this globe and then by means of the new life which he gives them freely through the Holy Spirit bringing their wills into perfect conformity to his own. Such persons are now learning to will is God wills.

The day will come when they will be able to say, as Jesus did.

I do always those things that please him. Now they pray by will be done in earth, as it is in heaven now, what is God's will. That's a valid question for someone will say I agree that I should want God's will and to some degree thanks to the new life with. I do want it. However, what is God's will. How can I sinful person know what a holy and righteous God requires.

There's only one answer, we may know the will of God by coming to know the word of God. We know the word of God only as we study it, and as the Holy Spirit throws light upon its pages is excellent study of prayer. Andrew Murray writes the great mistake here is that God's children do not really believe that it is possible to know God's will or if they believe this lady do not take the time and trouble to find out what we need is to see clearly in what way it is that the father leaves his waiting, teachable child to know that his petition is according to God's will and then Murray adds. It is through God's holy word taken up and kept in the heart. In the Bible, God's will is expressed in great principles take John 640 is an example.

I believe that this verse can be called the will of God for all unbelievers says and this is the will of him that sent me, that is God, that everyone who sees the sun and believe that on him may have everlasting life, and I will raise him up at the last day.

If you are not a Christian, God's will for you begins here in one since all of God's will is wrapped up in the life and ministry of the Lord Jesus Christ and God will not take you on to other things until you believe in him, he will not teach you spiritual calculus until you have mastered rudimentary math other verses that also speak of the will of God, explicitly or Romans 12 one and two. These are an expression of God's will for the Christian, I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that you present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy and acceptable in the God which is your reasonable service.

And be not conformed to this world but be transformed the renewing of your mind that you may prove what is that good and acceptable and perfect will of God. Any Christian can accept as an unchangeable principle the truth that anything that contributes to his growth in holiness and the surrender or renewal of his mind is an aspect of God's will for him and anything that hinders his growth in holiness is not a Christian may also claim any of God's promises because these are certainly God's will for his life and for that of all others.

James 15 says if any of you lack wisdom, let him ask of God would give that all men liberally, and abraded lot and it shall be given him. So you go to God as a believer in the Lord Jesus Christ and ask for wisdom. You can be absolutely certain that you are praying in God's will, and that your prayer will be answered here is another be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known unto God and the peace of God which passes all understanding, shall keep your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus.

In other words, God wills that you have peace even in the midst of calamities and he promises to impart it to you if you will lay your requests before him. I was someone saying Dr. Boyce. None of these verses cover the little things in life things with which I am wrestling.

Well let me give you a verse for these in Philippians 48 we read.

Finally, brethren, whatsoever things are true, whatever things are honest, whatever things are just, whatever things are pure, whatever things are lovely, whatever things are of good report, if there be any virtue, if there be any praise, think on these things.

Verse means, quite simply, that you are to pursue the best things that life has to offer. They are the best thing for you then do them. If not, go in another direction. Just be sure that you get your understanding of the will of God from Scripture what you will do that, then you will be able to pray to God with absolute confidence and you can know and rejoice in the fact that your will is being increasingly conformed to his John the evangelist wrote to the believers of his day and this is the confidence that we have in him that if we ask anything according to his will.

Here with us and if we know that he hear us whatever we ask, we know that we have the petitions that we desired of him to be faithful to this text. However, I must also say that there are Christians who use the idea of God's will in a way that is entirely antithetical to everything that I've been saying here are Christians who make a great show about praying according to God's will, who in spite of their words are actually using the idea to save face mean by this that they pray with so little confidence that God will ever answer their prayers that they are constantly adding if it be thy will to each of them as if to say to themselves and each other that they already know in advance that the thing they're asking for will not happen. Many of these Christians are deeply astonished and when God actually does answer some prayer. Let me give you an example of this type of praying from the earliest days of the Christian church when Herod Antipas was the reigning king in Palestine under his rule, Peter was imprisoned in Jerusalem and the Christians were worried about him. Been imprisoned before and had been released, but Herod had just killed James the brother of John and there was every reason to think that he would execute Peter also Christians began to pray they were praying in one part of Jerusalem at the house of Mary the mother of John Mark and as they were praying God was already at work in another part of the city releasing Peter from prison gates were flung open and an angel of the Lord led them out into the streets of the sleeping city now we do not know what the Christians were saying in their prayers. They may have been praying that God would comfort Peter or the God would stay the hand of Herod door, which is more likely that God would deliver the old apostle from the prison, but I am sure they were saying if it be thy will, because they were not expecting God to answer any rate as they prayed.

Peter came to the door the house and locked in a maid named Rhoda went to see who was there.

She was astonished.

So much so that she returned to the group that was praying without even letting Peter in buns were praying or worse off than she was, however, because when they were told it was Peter. They wouldn't believe it. I said I heart my head. The story continues, but she constantly affirm that it was so. And they said to the angel, but Peter continued knocking and when they had opened the door and saw him, they were astonished.

But he beckoned under them with the hand to hold their peace declaring under them how the Lord had brought him out of the prison.

How many of our prayers are like that.

Many of our churches. Prayers become a form duty Christians pray without any short expectancy of God's answer to prayer meeting is been removed from the week's events or skill attended and the leaders think that they can arrange God's blessing without asking for it. Jesus prays this prayer as he did to teach us that we are to live and praise so much in the sphere of God's name God's kingdom and God's glory, that we may be bold in saying by will be done. We may ask in confidence that God's will may be done in our lives and in our churches was a sense of being in the center of God's will that gave Luther his great boldness and prayer in 1540 Luther's great friend and assistant Frederick Michael Linnaeus became sick and was expected to die within a short time on his bed.

He wrote a loving farewell note to Luther with a trembling hand. Luther received the letter and then instantly sent back a reply. I command thee in the name of God to live because I still have need of the in the work of reforming the church the Lord will never let me hear that thou art dead but will permit the to survive me for this. I am praying this is my will and maybe mine will be done because I seek only to glorify the name of God, the words are almost shocking to us as we live in a more sensitive and cautious day but they were certainly from God because although my coleus already lost the ability to speak when Luther's letter came the short time he revived, he recovered completely and he lived six more years to survive. Luther himself by two months. We are never so bold as when we can look into the face of God didn't say my father. I do not pray for myself in this thing and I do not want my will on. I want thy name to be glorified. Glorify it now in my situation in my life and do it in such a way that all men will know it is of the and it is thus our father that we do pray, glorify thy name in us and made thy will be done in us in earth as it is in heaven a man you listening to the Bible study hours featuring the teaching of Dr. James Boyce for many of us God's will for our lives, often gets in the way of our own will and desires, but only aligning with God's will can bring us true peace and happiness. Find out more in a hopeful message entitled God's good, pleasing and perfect will. Also delivered by Dr. Boyce.

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That number again is 1-800-488-1888 at the Bible study our we believe it's the Lord's will for Dr. Boyce's timeless teaching to continue reaching people hungering to know God better. You can join in this crucial work by supporting our broadcast ministry with your prayers and financial gifts give online today that the Bible study our God work you might choose to call us directly at 1-800-488-1888, and our postal address is 600 Eden Rd., Lancaster, PA 17601. Thanks for your continuing support reformation 21 and a place for truth are websites of the Alliance of confessing Evangelicals, proclaiming biblical doctrine to foster reformed awakening in today's church, find blogs, articles, and podcasts from today's most influential reformed thinkers you can connect to it all from the Bible study our.org.

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