Thursday, March 6, 2014

What is the Will of God?

(Taken from WVW Newsletter)
1.  God has ordained His will for us before time began
Ephesians 2:10:
For we are His workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand that we should walk in them.

2.  God reveals His will in His Word
John 7:17:
If anyone wills to do His will, he shall know concerning the doctrine, whether it is from God or whether I speak on My own authority.
Psalm 119:105:
Your word is a lamp to my feet And a light to my path.
Ephesians 5:17:
Therefore do not be unwise, but understand what the will of the Lord is.
Ephesians 5:18:
And do not be drunk with wine, in which is dissipation; but be filled with the Spirit,
2 Timothy 3:16-17:
All Scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness, that the man of God may be complete, thoroughly equipped for every good work.

3. The Holy Spirit Illuminates The Word and Will of God
Psalm 119:133:
Direct my steps by Your word, And let no iniquity have dominion over me.
Romans 12:2:
And do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, that you may prove what is that good and acceptable and perfect will of God.
1 Corinthians 2:9-16:
But as it is written:
“Eye has not seen, nor ear heard,
Nor have entered into the heart of man
The things which God has prepared for those who love Him.”
But God has revealed them to us through His Spirit. For the Spirit searches all things, yes, the deep things of God.  For what man knows the things of a man except the spirit of the man which is in him? Even so no one knows the things of God except the Spirit of God.  Now we have received, not the spirit of the world, but the Spirit who is from God, that we might know the things that have been freely given to us by God.
These things we also speak, not in words which man’s wisdom teaches but which the Holy Spirit teaches, comparing spiritual things with spiritual.  But the natural man does not receive the things of the Spirit of God, for they are foolishness to him; nor can he know them, because they are spiritually discerned.  But he who is spiritual judges all things, yet he himself is rightly judged by no one.  For “who has known the mind of the Lord that he may instruct Him?” But we have the mind of Christ.
4. The Holy Spirit leads us in God’s will
Proverbs 16:9:
A man’s heart plans his way, But the Lord directs his steps.
Psalm 119:133:
Direct my steps by Your word, And let no iniquity have dominion over me.
Psalm 143:10:
Teach me to do Your will, For You are my God; Your Spirit is good.
Lead me in the land of uprightness.
John 14:16:
And I will pray the Father, and He will give you another Helper, that He may abide with you forever.
1 John 2:20-21:
But you have an anointing from the Holy One, and you know all things. I have not written to you because you do not know the truth, but because you know it, and that no lie is of the truth.
1 John 2:27:
But the anointing which you have received from Him abides in you, and you do not need that anyone teach you; but as the same anointing teaches you concerning all things, and is true, and is not a lie, and just as it has taught you, you will abide in Him.

5.  A true believer walks in God’s Will
1 John 2:17:
And the world is passing away, and the lust of it; but he who does the will of God abides forever.
Matthew 7:21:
“Not everyone who says to Me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ shall enter the kingdom of heaven, but he who does the will of My Father in heaven.
I Peter 4:2:
that he no longer should live the rest of his time in the flesh for the lusts of men, but for the will of God.

6. Faith and obedience cause us to persevere in God’s Will 
Philippians 2:12-13:
Therefore, my beloved, as you have always obeyed, not as in my presence only, but now much more in my absence, work out your own salvation with fear and trembling; for it is God who works in you both to will and to do for His good pleasure.
Galatians 2:20:
I have been crucified with Christ; it is no longer I who live, but Christ lives in me; and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave Himself for me.
1 Corinthians 9:27:

But I discipline my body and bring it into subjection, lest, when I have preached to others, I myself should become disqualified.

What is the Will of God?

1. It is the will of God that we know His will

Romans 12:2:
And do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, that you may prove what is that good and acceptable and perfect will of God.
Ephesians 5:17:
Therefore do not be unwise, but understand what the will of the Lord is.

2.  God’s will is our salvation
1 Timothy 2:4:
who desires all men to be saved and to come to the knowledge of the truth.
2 Peter 3:9:
The Lord is not slack concerning His promise, as some count slackness, but is longsuffering toward us,[a] not willing that any should perish but that all should come to repentance.

God’s will is our sanctification

1 Thessalonians 4:3:
For this is the will of God, your sanctification: that you should abstain from sexual immorality;

4.  God’s will is that we abstain from sexual immorality
1 Thessalonians 4:3:
that you should abstain from sexual immorality;

5.  God’s will is that we face persecution
1 Peter 4:19:
Therefore let those who suffer according to the will of God commit their souls to Him in doing good, as to a faithful Creator.
2 Timothy 3:12:
Yes, and all who desire to live godly in Christ Jesus will suffer persecution.
John 15:20:
Remember the word that I said to you, ‘A servant is not greater than his master.’ If they persecuted Me, they will also persecute you. If they kept My word, they will keep yours also.
1 Peter 3:17:
For it is better, if it is the will of God, to suffer for doing good than for doing evil.
1 Peter 4:1:
Therefore, since Christ suffered for us[a] in the flesh, arm yourselves also with the same mind, for he who has suffered in the flesh has ceased from sin,
Philippians 1:29:
For to you it has been granted on behalf of Christ, not only to believe in Him, but also to suffer for His sake,
Acts 14:22:
strengthening the souls of the disciples, exhorting them to continue in the faith, and saying, “We must through many tribulations enter the kingdom of God.”

6.  God’s will is that we are thankful
1 Thessalonians 5:18:
in everything give thanks; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you.

Today many people are chasing after mystical and extra-Biblical revelations such as dreams and visions, false prophets and false apostles. Many are following such lies because they claim they want to find what many of them think is the hidden or secret will of God for their life. God’s Word warns us that in this New Testament Church Age that the Word of God is all that we need to be thoroughly equipped for every good work. (2 Timothy 3:16-17.)
Gnosticism includes the pursuit of higher knowledge through occult practices. God’s Word warns us to have nothing to do with Gnosticism in Ephesians 5:11 we are told:
And have no fellowship with the unfruitful works of darkness, but rather expose them.
In Colossians 2:8 Paul warns about the dangers of Gnosticism when he writes:
Beware lest anyone cheat you through philosophy and empty deceit, according to the tradition of men, according to the basic principles of the world, and not according to Christ.
Finding the will of God and walking in the will of God is an imperative for the true believer. The will of God is not found in false teaching, man-centered theology or through emotional experiences. God’s will is clearly revealed to us through His Word and the ministry of the Holy Spirit that helps us to understand or illuminates what we read and study in God’s Word.

The Holy Spirit then providential leads and guides us in God’s Will. Providence is a word that has for the most part been abandoned in the vocabulary of today’s evangelicalism. The providence of God is something that we largely cannot see until after the fact. Joseph is a perfect example of this truth. At the time that he was sold into slavery he did not realize that this would lead him to be Prime Minister in Egypt. Yet, by Genesis 50:20 Joseph clearly understands that it was God’s providential leading and directing that orchestrated the events of his life. Thus, he told his brothers “what you mean for evil God has meant for good.”

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