Pastor Choi talks about knowing God’s will today. As part 1 of 3 series, he exposes four spiritual lies concerning knowing God’s will among God’s children: 1.You don’t have to know God’s will. 2. You don’t deserve to know God’s will. 3. It is impolite to inquire of God’s will. 4. It is impossible to know God’s will. He exhorts God’s people to seek God’s will and accomplish God’s work in their daily lives.
Following is a summary of the sermon:
How to know God’s will? Part 1 of 3 Ephesians 1:9
Ephesians 1:9 New American Standard Bible (NASB)
9 He made known to us the mystery of His will, according to His kind intention which He purposed in Him.
For the next three Sundays, we are going to learn about God’s will for His children, that is, for you and me. It is essential for us to know God’s will for our daily lives. This is my favorite subject to preach. In fact, in my 25 years of preaching, knowing God’s will was the second most popular sermon topic (#1 was Anger). This is what we are going to do: today, we are going to consider why it is necessary for us to know God’s will. Next Sunday, we will lay the foundations of knowing God’s will by removing the obstacles in knowing His will. Following Sunday, we will talk about five practical applications of how to know God’s will. I pray that all of us will benefit from this sermon series.
One of the greatest tragedies in the Christian world today is that many of us believe in lies regarding God’s will for us. I can identify four lies.
#1. That we don’t have to know God’s will for us. That’s a big fat lie that Satan whispers to our ears. Here’s why we should never believe in his lie. While God wants us to have an abundant life in Jesus, our enemy wants to steal, kill and destroy us (John 10:10). While God wants us to walk in the light, the devil wants us to stay in darkness. While God wants us to live in love, joy, peace, and righteousness, our enemy wants to keep us in discontent, lusts, envy, hate, and un-forgiveness. Many of us are so unfamiliar with God’s will for us that we end up living our lives like non-believers according to own fleshly desires. The bottom-line is: God repeatedly says to us, “Know My will and don’t settle for less.” Say after me, please: I will know God’s will for me. I will not settle for less.
#2. That we don’t deserve to know God’s will for us. Don’t forget you are God’s child, not a slave. God wants every child of His to be fully assured in every will of God (Colossians 4:12). If you believe that you are not worthy to know His will for you, it is the same as telling yourself that you are a slave who doesn’t deserve to know what your father is doing. Listen again: you are God’s child; therefore, you have the right to know His will. You are not a slave or an outsider. You are a member of God’s family. Listen to Jesus who already said that you are in the know: No longer do I call you slaves, for the slave does not know what his master is doing; but I have called you friends, for all things that I have heard from My Father I have made known to you (John 15:15). Say after me once more: I am a child of God. I have every right to know my Father’s will for me.
#3. That it is impolite to inquire of God’s will from Him (this is equal to keeping Him as an impersonal and indifferent God from our daily struggles). It is like us asking a child never to ask what her parents expect her to do. Our Father in Heaven never frowns upon us when we ask about His will for us. He welcomes our inquiries on His will; that’s a sure sign of a healthy relationship between us and God. Furthermore, it is God who commands us to ask for God’s will and His wisdom (But if any of you lacks wisdom, let him ask of God, who gives to all generously and without reproach, and it will be given to him—James 1:5). Here’s another promise: This is the confidence which we have before Him, that, if we ask anything according to His will, He hears us—1 John 5:14). Repeat after me: I will ask for God’s will with confidence every day.
#4. That it is impossible for us to know God’s will (this is equal to agnosticism). This lie is so contradictory to the Scripture which says it is possible to know God’s will. How? First, God reveals His will to us both generally (applies to all) and specifically (applies to individuals). Take the Ten Commandments, for instance. They are God’s will for all people, aren’t they? He also reveals His will that applies to a specific individual (e.g. ‘Should I take this job or not?). Next, God reveals His will when we ask. Listen to what Jesus says: ask and it shall be given to you; seek and you shall find; knock, and it shall be opened to you (Matthew 7:7). So, when asked by His children about God’s will, God keeps His promise and let us know His will. Please repeat after me: it is absolutely possible to know God’s will for me by asking for it.
The point is this: knowing God’s will is not an option. It is a must for every believer to know God’s will so that we may lead an abundant life in Christ. Say after me, please: I must know God’s will for me. Please keep in mind here: living out God’s will is an integral part of genuine Christian experience, not a special and isolated experience for a few believers. God wants you to be familiar with His will. Say after me one more time: God wants me to know His will. Without knowing God’s will, we won’t be able to distinguish from what is pleasing to the Lord and what is not. We will waste our time and energy, sometimes for years, on things earthly that don’t last or things that don’t matter to God thinking that they do. The end result will be eternally tragic. E.g. Matthew 7: 21-23 21 “Not everyone who says to Me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ will enter the kingdom of heaven, but he who does the will of My Father who is in heaven will enter. 22 Many will say to Me on that day, ‘Lord, Lord, did we not prophesy in Your name, and in Your name cast out demons, and in Your name perform many miracles?’ 23 And then I will declare to them, ‘I never knew you; depart from Me, you who practice lawlessness.’
Doing God’s will is not an occasional thing. It is an everyday thing. It should be daily practice like the way we breathe and eat (John 4:34, “My food is to do the will of Him who sent Me and to accomplish His work”). We pray daily the Lord’s Prayer which says, “Thy will be done on earth as it is in heaven.” ‘On earth’ also means ‘in our daily lives.’ We are to say to God, “Your will be done in my life today and every day.”
What’s the benefit of knowing God’s will? Three benefits: First, there is no waste of our time and energy in daily situations. For instance, Jesus commands us to love our enemies (Matthew 5:44). We would bless them, not curse, when we know His will. When we know what’s pleasing to the Lord and what’s not, we won’t waste any breath on wrong prayers, either.
Next, the knowledge of God’s will helps us to live our lives to the fullest. By understanding His will, we will learn to do God’s will. By doing God’s will, we will accomplish what God wants us in our lives and in our relationships. E.g. Do not let the Sun go down on your anger (Ephesians 4:26). This will lower adrenalin and give us a better life.
Thirdly, it shapes our character into a Christ-like image. The more faithfully we follow God’s will day in and day out, the more our character will become like that of Jesus.
It is God’s will for us to know God’s will. He expects us to live out His will in our daily lives (“For whoever does the will of My Father who is in heaven, he is My brother and sister and mother”—Matthew 12:50). He reveals His will to us (Ephesians 1:9). He prepares us with everything good to do His will (Hebrews 13:21). He rewards those who do God’s will with eternal blessings (1 John 2:17).
Why do we need to know God’s will for us? So that we may understand His will and not be a fool (Ephesians 5:17). So that we may live out as God wants us. So that we may accomplish His work. So that we may walk close with God. So that we may faithfully and effectively live out God’s purpose for us here on earth, that is, to advance His Kingdom on earth. He wants us to know His will (Acts 22:14). He wants us to understand His will (Ephesians 5:17). He wants us to do His will (Matthew 7:21).
Closing prayer: Our Father in Heaven, Your will be done in my life today and every day. You expect me to know Your will. I want to know Your will, too. I am Your child. I have every right to know Your will for me. It is absolutely possible to know Your will, because You reveal it to me. I must know Your will. I humbly ask for Your will every day. I will not settle for less. In Christ’s name, I pray. Amen.