Knowing God’s Will
A recent survey revealed that in an average Bible Believing, independent Baptist Church, maybe 40% of the members know God’s will for them, 48% want to know God’s will, and the remaining 12% are unconcerned. The twelve percent either just do not know, do not care, or have not really given any thought to the matter.
Very few people today can actually say today that they know the will of God for them personally. Romans chapter 12 discusses the will of God and how to know. So hopefully this lesson will enlighten us a little bit as to what we need to know to understand this better.
I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that ye present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable unto God, which is your reasonable service. Rom. 12: 1
And be not conformed to this world: but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind, that ye may prove what is that good, and acceptable, and perfect, will of God. Romans 12:2
For I say, through the grace given unto me, to every man that is among you, not to think of himself more highly than he ought to think; but to think soberly, according as God hath dealt to every man the measure of faith. Rom 12: 3
For as we have many members in one body, and all members have not the same office: Rom. 12: 4
Verses one and two give the formula for knowing God’s will. There are other things involved in a full knowledge of God’s will. For example, circumstances have a part in the will of God. Circumstances involve God working things out in a given situation to guide His servant, (which would be you). Yes, since we have become saved, we are now a servant of Jesus Christ. Why are we a servant of Jesus Christ? Because if we want blessings in our life, and also in our eternal home, heaven, we are to serve Him, and obey Him in all things.
Other Christians, wiser than ourselves, can often help us in ascertaining the will of God. God can use many different ways to reveal His will to an individual. Consequently, when we speak of a certain “formula”, there may also be many other factors involved. Be that as it may, the principles found in Romans 12 must be operating in one’s life if he or she is to really know God’s will for them.
Consider this basic formula for knowing God’s will. Paul says, “I beseech you” in verse 1. Beseech means to beg or plead with someone. The apostle is begging us to do something. That something must certainly be worthy of our attention for him to beg us. We need to pay attention and see what it is.
Look at verse 1 again. “I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God.” Paul calls our attention to something that should motivate us to want the will of God in our lives.
A Living Sacrifice
Paul says to “present your bodies a living sacrifice” That is exactly what the three Hebrews did in Daniel 3:28, when Nebuchanezzar made the golden statue.
They said, (Dan 3:16-17), “our God whom we serve is able to deliver us from the burning fiery furnace, and He will deliver (us) out of thine hand, O king. But if not, be it known unto thee, O king, we will not serve thy gods, nor worship the golden image which thou hast set up.” They sais God was able to deliver them, but if He chose not to, they would still serve Him. They yielded their bodies that they would not bow down to any God except their own.
That is what Paul is beseeching Christians to do: “present your bodies a living sacrifice.” That is, we are to take ourselves, ourselves totally, and give ourselves to God.
Look at Rom 6:13 Neither yield ye your members as instruments of unrighteousness unto sin: but yield yourselves unto God, as those that are alive from the dead, and your members as instruments of righteousness unto God.
That is a command. That is what Paul is begging us to do in chapter 12. He pleads in chapter 12what he commanded in chapter 6. Our members are the parts of our bodies. We are to yield, or present, them unto God, as instruments of righteousness. God wants us to verbally and consciously commit ourselves to Him. He wants us to yield our members to God through prayer.
God, I give you my eyes that they might look for you and see the needs of people that you might minister through me to those people.
The little member that needs yielding the most is the tongue. It causes more trouble than any other member.
Jam 3:5 Even so the tongue is a little member, and boasteth great things. Behold, how great a matter a little fire kindleth!
The “Tongue” Defies
Jam 3:6 And the tongue is a fire, a world of iniquity: so is the tongue among our members, that it defileth the whole body, and setteth on fire the course of nature; and it is set on fire of hell.
The Bible says that in the tongue is the power of life and death (Pro. 18:21). If every Christian would completely yield his tongue to God, everything he had would be God’s. James says (1:26) if a man does not bridle his tongue, his religion is vain. If one can control his tongue, he has control of the whole body. (James 3:2)
Eli in the Old Testament is an illustration of this perfect yielding to God. He had a lot of problems, mainly in his own family. He was not good in the discipline and training of his sons. Because of that, the curse of God came on Eli’s family.
Now, there was a man to whom God said, “I’m going to cut your family off. You’ll have no descendants in Israel at all, because of your disobedience in raising your sons in a godly manner.” When Eli received that negative message from God, he said (1st Sam. 3:18), “It is the Lord: let Him doeth what seemeth Him good.” That is total submission to the will of God.
Had he submitted to God like that 25 years earlier, God would not have had to curse his family. Had he yielded himself as a father to God, to be used of God the way God wants a father to be, then he would not have had serious problems with his sons later. God would not have had to destroy his family. Finally he came to a point in his life where he totally submitted to God, but it was too late to salvage his family.
Is that not the way it is with a lot of Christians? They wait until their children are grown, gone astray, and on their way to hell, before they finally wake up and get right with God. We should get right years and years before that happens.
Someone once asked a Christian educator, “When do you start educating a child?” His answer was, “twenty years before he‘s born, by educating his parents.” We must start as early as possible. So we need to yield ourselves to God at whatever point in our lives we are at right now. If one is saved, it matters not if he is only ten years old; he needs to yield himself to God. God wants total submission, just like Eli expressed.
Be a Light
Isaiah gives another picture of total submission to God. God said, “Whom shall I send?” Isaiah looked around and said, “Lord, I’m here. Why don’t you send me? That is total submission. God is asking that same question to all of us: “Whom can I send to the mission field? Whom can I send to your next door neighbor to tell them about Jesus?
Too often we do respond as Isaiah did: “Lord, here am I; send me.” Instead, we say, “Lord get somebody else to go to my neighbor.”
“Whom can I send to witness to your fellow employee or your schoolmate?” We should quickly reply, “Lord, You don’t have to look any further. Here I am, ready to do your will.” May we, as Isaiah, totally submit to the will of God?
Go “Present your whole bodies a living sacrifice.” The first step one must take, in order to know for sure what the will of God is for him, is to dedicate himself totally to the Lord.
1st Th 5:23 And the very God of peace sanctify you wholly; and I pray God your whole spirit and soul and body be preserved blameless unto the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ. This concerns more than just dying and going to heaven and waiting on the second advent of the Lord. He is saying that He wants us Christians to be in such a state when the Lord comes back, that at that moment we are blameless. We will not be in sin nor even having wicked thoughts.
We will be doing what God wants us to be doing right at that moment. If one is planting an apple tree when Jesus comes back and that is what God wants him doing, he is just as much in the will of God as the person standing on the street corner preaching. He is yielded to God and doing what God wants him doing.
1Th 5:24 Faithful is he that calleth you, who also will do it. What will God do? He will preserve us blameless unto the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ. In order for Him to do that, there are some things contingent on us. We have to yield ourselves to Him.
God wants us to live our lives and do the things necessary for living. He wants men to make a living for their families. He wants ladies to be homemakers. It is His will for us to do all the things necessary to living. Paul says that whatever we are doing, we should be blameless in body, soul, and spirit, when the Lord returns.
God wants the whole person to be sanctified. When does He want that; when does He want us to yield ourselves totally to Him?
God wants us dedicated today, so He can bless us this day. That is why He tells us in Mathew chapter 6 to concern ourselves with today, and do not worry about tomorrow.
Mat 6:34 Take therefore no thought for the morrow: for the morrow shall take thought for the things of itself. Sufficient unto the day is the evil thereof. Forget what may happen tomorrow, or next month, or what happened last week. We must concern ourselves with today. Living today, not yesterday, not tomorrow. Dedicate ourselves to God today, that He may bestow upon us a blessing today. The reason we go through many days without blessings from God is because, on those days, we have not dedicated ourselves unto the Lord.
Another passage shows when God wants us dedicated unto Him. 1Ch 29:5 The gold for things of gold, and the silver for things of silver, and for all manner of work to be made by the hands of artificers. And who then is willing to consecrate his service this day unto the LORD?
The materials mentioned were being dedicated for the building of the temple. After consecrating the gold and silver, David inquired as to who of the people would consecrate his service “this day” unto the Lord. God cannot bestow a blessing on us this day unless we are willing to consecrate ourselves this day unto Him.
God wants us to consecrate our whole being to Him today. We might respond, “Well, I did it yesterday. Is that good enough for today? It is not. That is why we should get up every morning dedicating ourselves for that day unto the Lord.
Psa 118:24 This is the day which the LORD hath made; we will rejoice and be glad in it.
Lam 3:23 They are new every morning: great is thy faithfulness.
And our dedication to Him should be new every morning. And it will be, if our faithfulness to Him is great.
Fishing for men is similar to fishing for fish. You have to lure them with the Word of God.
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