THE SPECIFIC WILL OF GOD
1. We are studying the subject: how to know God’s will for your life.
2. We have made these statements concerning knowing God’s will for our lives.
a. God’s will is His Word.
b. God has a general will and a specific will for each of us.
1. General will = the information given in the Bible.
a. What God has already done / provided for us through Jesus.
b. How He wants us to live — His commandments.
2. His specific will — who to marry; where to live; what your ministry is, etc.
c. The Bible speaks of doing the will of God rather than being in the will of God.
1. If you do the will of God (walk / live in agreement with the written Word), you are in the will of God.
2. If you do the will of God (live / walk in agreement with the written Word), God will get you to His specific will.
d. We tend to focus on God’s specific will more than His general will — that is putting the cart before the horse.
1. We end up begging God to do things He has already done for us through Jesus.
2. We agonize over whether or not things are His will for us when the Bible clearly spells it out.
3. We hold on to habits, attitudes, and behaviors which block God’s help because we don’t know His written will.
e. If we gave as much effort to learning the general will of God as we do to worrying about the specific will of God, His specific will would be much easier to figure out.
3. The essence of Christianity is — not my will, but your will, God.
a. When you set yourself to do His will, (walk in the light of His written Word), He will see to it that you are in His will (in the correct geographic location, at the right time, meeting the right people).
b. How? That is God’s responsibility!!
c. You take care of your part (obedience to the written will), and He will get you to the specifics — or get them to you!
4. In this lesson, we want to look at what God’s general will (the Bible) tells us about determining God’s specific will for our lives.
a. Prov 3:6 — If we will put God first, He will get us to the right place at the right time.
b. John 14:21 — If we will walk in the light of His Word, God will make Himself known to us.
a. God says that is how it works — His Word lights our way. Ps 119:105
b. Prov 6:20-23
1. Every day and all night long their counsel will lead you and save you from harm. When you wake up in the morning, let their instruction guide you into a new day. For their advice is a beam of light directed into the dark corner of your mind to warn you of danger and to give you a good life. (Living)
2. Wherever you turn, wisdom will guide you … and when you wake, she will talk with you. (REB)
2. From the written Word of God, we learn the principles which will help us determine and / or get to God’s will for our lives.
a. His Word helps us determine His will by giving us guidelines and principles to make wise choices.
b. His Word helps us get to His specific will:
1. End up at the right place at the right time.
2. Jesus said seek the kingdom first and all things will be added to you. Matt 6:33
1. First, you get into agreement with scriptures on guidance.
a. John 10:27; Prov 3:6; Ps 31:15; 37:23; 139:3,10,23,24; Jer 29:11; Phil 1:6; 3:15; I Cor 12:27
b. Faith is all about knowing what God has said in His Word, agreeing with Him, and then seeing Him bring that Word to pass in your life.
c. You say what He says about your situation.
2. Then, you must learn to follow the leading of the Holy Spirit. Rom 8:14; I Cor 2:12
a. The Holy Spirit leads us in line with the written Word of God. John 16:13,14
1. Everything He directs us to is in agreement with the written Word.
2. Everything He directs us to glorifies Jesus.
b. He leads us by an inward witness = an assurance given to us by the Holy Spirit in our spirit. Prov 20:27; Rom 8:16 (translations:)
1. Testifies; endorses our inward conviction
2. The Spirit confirms that; assures our spirits that; joins with our spirit to say
c. As the apostles did the Lord’s general will (obeyed His commands to preach, teach, and make disciples), the Spirit of God led them into the specifics (where to go, when to go). Rom 1:13: Acts 8:25-29; 10:19; 11:12;16:7
d. Keep these warnings in mind:
1. Be cautious about how you use the phrase “the Lord told me” — Christians tend to attribute every thought, idea, and gas bubble to the Lord. 2. If you do not spend time in the written Word, you will have trouble accurately hearing the leading of the Holy Spirit. Heb 4:12
3. His Word helps us discern His voice.
e. The leading of the Holy Spirit is very gentle — we would call it a hunch.
1. Each time you follow that leading, it is easier to perceive the next time.
2. His leading is rarely spectacular.
3. The Holy Ghost more often says no or nothing rather than yes; remember, if you are doing God’s will, you are in His will.
4. In many decisions, we gather all the facts we can, and make the most reasonable decision (based on principles from God’s Word) we can — all the while maintaining the attitude, “I’ll change course immediately if you tell me to do so, Lord.”
3. One caution — physical circumstances are not necessarily indicators of God’s will for your life.
a. What about open doors and fleeces?
1. Open doors in the NT are opportunities, not methods of guidance. I Cor 16:9; II Cor 2:12; Acts 14:27; Col 4:3; Rev 3:8
2. Fleeces — Gideon was an OT man who did not have the Spirit of God within Him. Judges 6:36-40
b. You cannot look to physical circumstances as indicators of God’s will.
1. satan is the god of this world, and is fully capable of setting up circumstances. II Cor 4:4; I Thess 2:18; II Tim 1:17
2. That doesn’t mean if something looks good, it can’t be the will of God.
3. The question is: What are you looking to for guidance and direction? Circumstances or the Word and Spirit of God?
1. There is a course marked out for your life.
a. God does have a plan for your life.
b. You must believe it first — before you see it!
2. Jesus is the author and finisher of your faith.
a. He can / will finish what He has started.
b. He can / will get you to where He wants you to be.
3. Jesus is the pattern for our life and race.
a. His motivation in His race was to do the Father’s will. Heb 10:5-10
1. There was a specific plan for His life — written in scripture before He came to earth.
2. Jesus learned the Father’s will for His life by studying scripture. Luke 2:40,46-49,52; 4:16
b. Jesus’s commitment to do the Father’s general will helped Him know the specifics for His life.
1. It gave Him spiritual discernment. John 4:34,35
2. It gave Him the ability to judge properly. John 5:30
c. Jesus assures us in John 7:17 that doing the Father’s will protects us against deception.
d. If you will to do God’s will, and study God’s will, insight and understanding will come.
e. Was Jesus in the will of God? Of course He was!
1. But His emphasis was on doing the will of God.
2. He then found God’s will for His life in the scriptures
1. There is no way to accurately know the will of God for your life (general or specific) without spending time in the Word of God.
a. It reveals His general will to us.
b. It helps us discern the leading of the Holy Ghost and make wise choices in specific situations.
2. God’s Word helps us renew our minds so that we can cooperate more fully with the Holy Ghost as He directs our lives. Rom 12:2
a. Then you will be able to decide what God wants for you. (Everyday)
b. This is the only way to discover the will of God and know what is good, what God wants. (Jerusalem) So as to find and follow God’s will. (Williams)
3. How can you know the will of God?
a. Study His written Word and put it into practice.
b. Thank God that He is leading you and guiding you.
4. As we practice His general will for our lives, He will make His specific will clear to us!