1. Hello, listening friends.
2. If you have been listening to this series of messages from the Lord's Prayer, you know that we stopped when we were talking about "Thy Kingdom come..."
3. and, today, we’re going to talk about "Thy will be done."
4. Probably, one of the most recurring questions by a Christian is this:
5. how do I know the will of God?
6. This question takes many forms.
7. "Should I marry this person or not?"
8. "Should I take this job or not?"
9. "Should I make this move or not?"
10. "Should I accept doing certain ministry or not?"
11. Most of these questions have to do with the things that are not clearly revealed in the Word of God;
12. and I have met people, though, who confuse the will of God with their own will.
13. They answer their own prayers.
14. They rationalize their sin,
15. and they do things contrary to the will of God as it is revealed in the Word of God.
16. They say, ‘"God wants me to do this or that."
17. There are others who are contented to pray,
18. "Thy will be done on earth as it is in Heaven,"
19. unless, of course, God’s will clash with their will,
20. or, until God’s will challenges their will,
21. or, until God’s will denies their will.
22. Listening friends, please listen carefully.
23. We don’t like for our will to be thwarted.
24. We don’t like our rights to be questioned.
25. If there was one visible change that has taken place throughout the world in the past few decades, it is this:
26. our need, or what we think our needs are, or what we are told our needs are, has become the focus of many economies.
27. The problem with that is this:
28. we have raised our expectations to an unrealistic level;
29. but, even something worse than this --
30. as long as our perceived needs appear to be met at the expense of morality and ethics, we are willing to sell our morality, our integrity, to whomever can meet our needs.
31. This is happening at many levels.
32. Husbands and wives look at each other and ask, "How are you going to meet my needs?"
33. Employees look at their employers and say, "How are you going to meet my needs?"
34. Alas, this cancer has now crept into the church of Jesus Christ.
35. The church is the one place where everyone is to be serving and ministering to one another;
36. yet, people look for their needs to be met;
37. and, often, they don’t know what these needs are;
38. and that’s why you find people are going from church, to church, to church, looking for their needs to be met.
39. When Jesus said to His Disciples, “When you pray, pray in this manner:
40. 'Our Father, Who’s in Heaven,
41. hallowed be Your name.
42. Your Kingdom come,
43. Your will be done,'”
44. what is Jesus saying?
45. Where is the emphasis placed?
46. Let us look at it.
47. God’s name,
48. God’s Kingdom,
49. God’s will;
50. and Jesus did not say, "Do what I say,"
51. but He showed us how that the very essence of the Christian faith is not a list of "do’s" and "don’ts," but the essence of the faith is a person --
52. a person Who owned the universe, but became the poorest of the poor,
53. a person Who gave up His job of running the universe so He may become an itinerate preacher,
54. a person Who had no need for anything and, yet, asked for a drink of water,
55. a person Who was robed in splendor and, yet, He hung on a cross,
56. a person Who could demand and receive the allegiance of the entire human race, yet, He gave Himself up to redeem only those who believe in Him;
57. and that is why the true Christian faith is finding itself in a head-on collision with this world’s system of unmet needs.
58. Now, please don’t misunderstand me.
59. I am not saying that human needs are irrelevant.
60. I’m not saying that human beings are to be valued only in spiritual and non-material terms.
61. Poverty is degrading and harmful.
62. Disease and sickness and death are a result of sin;
63. but what I am saying is that, if perceived needs become our focus, they will soon become our god.
64. That is why Jesus told the Disciples that, when you pray, you must pray in like manner.
65. "Thy will be done."
67. Because Jesus knew that, if my needs become central,
68. then, God’s will, and God’s glory, and God’s honor, will cease to be central in my life.
69. If my needs become the focus,
70. then, my prayer will not be "Your will be done;" but it will be, "My will be done."
71. You may find initial excitement; but, ultimately, it is in the doing of the will of God that you can truly find fulfillment; not in meeting of your felt needs.
72. It is in serving and giving, not in taking and receiving, that you will find true joy.
73. We are made for seeking God’s honor and glory.
74. We are made for obeying and doing the will of God.
75. We are not made for the world’s systems;
76. and that is why our prayer and our true cry should be, "Your will be done on earth, as it is in Heaven."
77. When you truly seek to know the will of God, you are doing something important.
78. You are rebelling against the modern idea that says that sin is inevitable, so you might as well give in to it.
79. You are rebelling against the ungodliness of this world’s system.
80. You are rebelling against the error that says, "All bad and wrong and evil things in this world come from the hand of God, and we must accept it thus."
81. Bad things are from the hand of Satan.
82. What God does is bring good out of them;
83. but God is not the Author of evil.
84. There are people who are afraid to pray, "Your will be done."
86. They think that God’s will is capricious and vindictive.
87. They think that God’s will is to punish us for our past sins.
88. Please listen carefully to what I’m going to tell you.
89. These thoughts could not be further from the truth.
90. God’s will is consistent with God’s character;
91. and we saw in earlier broadcasts how God’s character is that of mercy, grace, love, integrity, impeccability, compassion and justice.
92. No wonder Jesus said, in Matthew 7:21,
93. people can claim to be religious all they want,
94. but, if they are not living in obedience to the will of God that is revealed in the Word of God, they will not enter into the Kingdom of God.
95. Some of you may ask the question that we started with in this broadcast.
96. "How do I know the will of God?"
97. First, by obeying His Word.
98. I know there are some who try to obey God by gritting their teeth until their jaws are about to explode.
99. Is this what Jesus had in mind?
100. Probably not.
101. Obey whatever way you want, but why not enjoy the journey of obedience?
102. Why not have fun in melding your will with the will of God?
103. Listen again to what Jesus is teaching us.
104. "Father in Heaven, Your will be done on earth as it is in Heaven."
105. It is obvious to everyone that the perfect will of God is not being done on earth as it is in Heaven.
106. Think about it.
107. What is in Heaven?
108. There are no miseries in Heaven.
109. There are no hardships in Heaven.
110. There is joy in Heaven.
111. There is contentment in Heaven.
112. There is perfect peace in Heaven;
113. and, when you enjoy doing the will of God, and not just enduring the will of God, you are bringing Heaven into your heart.
114. Things may be falling apart all around you, but you will be at peace.
115. When you bend your will to His will, you are having Heaven on earth.
116. Listening friends, don’t mistake this.
117. The Christians who go around sad, sour and sulking are an embarrassment to God.
118. If anyone should be joyful and fun-loving, it is the Christians.
119. The only thing that will bring you misery is self-assertion and stubbornness and the unyielding of your will.
120. I speak from firsthand experience. I am not just preaching to you or at you.
121. To obey and cooperate is to submit myself to someone else.
122. The Psalmist says, in 40, verse 8, “I delight to do Your will, O my God.”
123. “If you obey My words, you abide in My love.”
124. In John 15:14, Jesus said, “You are My friends, if you do whatever I command you.”
125. You may be asking and saying, "How do I do that?"
126. You begin by making a decision in your heart to live under His control.
127. Secondly, you ask the Holy Spirit to invade and permeate your mind and your will;
128. then, you’ll discover that you will have the mind of the Spirit;
129. but I’m sure some of you are saying, "I endeavor to live in obedience to the will of God and the Word of God, but my problem is in the areas you mentioned in the beginning of your message --
130. which way to go,
131. which job to take,
132. which person to marry?"
133. Let me give you my personal program in answer to this question.
134. First, I ask myself,
135. "Is this consistent with the Word of God, or, is it contrary to the Word of God?"
136. If I’m not sure, I ask a godly Christian to help me;
137. and, if it is consistent with the Word of God, then, I go to the next step.
138. Second, I ask myself,
139. "Have I faced this situation or a situation like this before?
140. If so, what did God show me then?"
141. You see, God is a consistent God.
142. If you have made a mistake before, don’t repeat it.
144. if the decision is a hard one and far beyond me, I seek the wisdom of prayerful counsel.
145. I seek the wisdom of mature, godly individuals.
147. seek God’s perfect will for the situation and mean it.
148. Sometimes, we say we want God’s will, but, most often, we want God’s perfect will to agree with our perfect plan.
150. expect and wait for God.
151. His delay does not mean His denial.
152. One time, I prayed for something for more than ten years.
153. I knew in my heart that I was praying for God’s perfect will;
154. but God said, "Keep on praying.
155. I have already ordered the answer."
156. It is only the delivery that is taking longer, because it is serving God’s purpose in my life.
158. be ready for God to, either, open the door wide, or, close it tight.
159. It is my prayer for each one of you
160. that you will seek to know and obey the will of God no matter the cost.
161. Until we meet again, I wish you God’s richest blessing.