What is God's Will?

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powerful but yet allow such bad things to happen to His children and still ... Romans 12:1-2 – “I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that you .... Let me show you how this plays out in Scripture in the story of Joseph in ...

What is God’s Will? - If you are here today and you do not have a personal relationship with Jesus Christ, I would like to introduce you to a sovereign, holy God who loves you! - If you do have a relationship with Jesus Christ, I hope your view of God increases! - Have you ever asked the question, “What is God’s Will for my life?” - “Why did this happen to me?” - “What is God’s purpose for my present circumstances?” - We may never fully know clear answers to all of these questions in all of life’s circumstances. - But one thing is for certain, we never need to doubt God’s power and control. - It is very difficult for us to reconcile in our minds how God can be so good and so powerful but yet allow such bad things to happen to His children and still accomplish His good and perfect plan. - That is why I want to deal with the question today, “What is God’s Will?” - Romans 12:1-2 – “I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that you present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable to God, which is your reasonable service. 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.” - It is our responsibility to prove what God’s Will is and to accept it as good and perfect! - There are some difficult truths that we must try to reconcile in our minds in order to fully trust in God’s power and plan. - God is absolutely sovereign over all things and yet disapproves of much of what happens in this world. - God grieves when His children experiences suffering yet He ordains it to accomplish a greater good. - How can these things be? - I want to answer this question by answering the question “What is God’s Will?” - Broken into three parts: God has a sovereign, revealed, and permissive will. I. God’s Sovereign Will - Sovereign means ‘possessing supreme or ultimate power’, ruler over all of the Universe ordaining all that happens within. - There is nothing that happens that is outside of God’s sovereign control. - Ephesians 1:11 – “In Him also we have obtained an inheritance, being predestined according to the purpose of Him who works all things according to the counsel of His will,” - Matthew 10:29 – “Are not two sparrows sold for a copper coin? And not one of them falls to the ground apart from your Father’s will.” - Proverbs 16:1 – “The preparations of the heart belong to man, But the answer of the tongue is from the Lord.” - Proverbs 16:9 – “A man’s heart plans his way, But the Lord directs his steps.” - Daniel 4:35 – “All the inhabitants of the earth are reputed as nothing; He does according to His will in the army of heaven and among the inhabitants of the earth. No one can restrain His hand or say to Him, “What have You done?””

- You want this to be TRUE because God’s absolute ability to deliver on every one of His promises hinges on His sovereignty! - Romans 8:28 – “And we know that all things work together for good to those who love God, to those who are the called according to His purpose.” - The reason why God can make a promise like this is because He is ultimately in control and His will cannot be frustrated! - There is nothing that happens outside of God’s overall plan. - Isaiah 45:5-7 – “5 I am the Lord, and there is no other; There is no God besides Me. I will gird you, though you have not known Me, 6 That they may know from the rising of the sun to its setting that there is none besides Me. I am the Lord, and there is no other; 7 I form the light and create darkness, I make peace and create calamity; I, the Lord, do all these things.’” - Many people try to rescue God’s character when bad things happen by saying that it was outside the will of God. - All hope is lost if something can happen outside the will of God! - In conjunction with God’s Sovereign Will, He also has a Revealed Will. II. God’s Revealed Will - We could also call this the commanded will of God, which is revealed to us in Scripture. - 2 Timothy 3:16-17 – “16 All Scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness, 17 that the man of God may be complete, thoroughly equipped for every good work.” - 1 Thessalonians 5:16-18 – “16 Rejoice always, 17 pray without ceasing, 18 in everything give thanks; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you.” - God has revealed to us what He wants us to know about His will so that we can walk and live in a way that is pleasing to Him. - Micah 6:8 – “He has shown you, O man, what is good; and what does the Lord require of you but to do justly, to love mercy, and to walk humbly with your God?” - It is our responsibility to do that according to Romans 12:1-2 – “I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that you present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable to God, which is your reasonable service. 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.” - Many Christians today are too busy searching for what God’s will for their life is without surrendering themselves to the will He has revealed to them. - We are obligated to obey God’s revealed will but we do have the ability to disobey. - But do not think for one minute that your disobedience has the ability to mess up God’s plans. - You are not that powerful! - If that were the case, the opposite would have to be true that His plan would require your obedience in order for it to be carried out. - God, in His sovereignty, can use even your disobedience to carry out His plan. - God is always at work in our present circumstances accomplishing His good plan. - There is one other aspect of God’s Will that we need to explore, His permissiveness. III. The Permissive Will of God

- You might be tempted to interpret this as permission in the way that we typically use it in our language today that means a positive approval or sanction. - To say that God allows or permits evil does not mean that He approves of it. - It simply means He lets it happen. - He chooses to not directly intervene or prevent it from happening. - And when He does so He obviously has a purpose for allowing it. - If we believe that things can happen outside of God’s control, then we reduce God to a heavenly spectator who has to figure out how to use our circumstances and still accomplish His purposes. - That makes man more sovereign than God and lets us call the shots! - Let me show you how this plays out in Scripture in the story of Joseph in Genesis 37-50. - God needed Joseph to get to Egypt and find favor in the eyes of Pharaoh in order to use him to be the great deliverer during the famine that was coming. - So in order to reach that goal, God permitted Joseph’s brothers to sinfully sell Joseph into slavery to some Ishmaelite traders who were headed to Egypt. - Through the course of several more betrayals, over the course of about 20 years, coupled with a spiritual gift that God had given Joseph of being able to interpret dreams, God perfectly positioned Joseph where he would find favor in the eyes of Pharaoh. - Joseph led Egypt to store up grain for the upcoming famine that plagued the land. - This famine drove Joseph’s brothers to travel to Egypt in search of food only to be found bowing at the feet of their younger brother. - We see the beautiful sovereign will of God shine through in the words of Joseph to His brothers at the end of Genesis 50:20 – “But as for you, you meant evil against me; but God meant it for good, in order to bring it about as it is this day, to save many people alive.” - The sin and the suffering in Joseph’s life were permitted and used by God to accomplish a far greater plan that worked out for the good of His people. - You may be thinking, “What does all of this have to do with Celebrating the Resurrection of Jesus Christ on Easter Sunday?” - God’s Sovereign, Revealed, and Permissive Will is prevalent all throughout the events of Passion Week! - Everything that happened during Passion Week happened to get Jesus to the cross. - On Palm Sunday, Jesus specifically rode into Jerusalem on a donkey so that there would be no doubt He was the One who had been prophesied about. - They were provoked to cry out to Him in praise as the New King in order to infuriate the religious leaders who were present. - The next day Jesus walks into the temple in Jerusalem and cleans house, wrecking their money-making venture. - His teachings and ministry in the city over the next several days further sealed the deal for them to want to crucify Him in order to do away with Him. - God was not only allowing the deception and plotting to take place, but He was also controlling the timing. - The day in which Jesus was brought to trial and later crucified just so happened to be the preparation day of Passover.

- The Preparation Day of Passover was the day that the Lamb was selected and prepared to be slaughtered in order to celebrate the Passover in remembrance of God’s salvation and deliverance from death in Egypt. - That is why it is said of Jesus in Revelation 5:11-14… - There are so many details found in the crucifixion of Jesus Christ that show God’s sovereign will. - John 19:8-11 - John 19:23-24 – Every detail down to what they did with His clothes afterwards was all part of God’s Divine plan! - John 19:33, 36 - John 20:5-7 - So let’s bring all of this together!!! - Without a written, revealed law there would be no sin. - God uses His law to expose sin and He then uses sin to bring His son to the cross. - Romans 3:23 says that all have sinned and Romans 6:23 says that sin deserves death. - Because there is sin, there had to be a cross! - If there had been no cross, there would have been no death. - If there had been no death, there would have been no burial. - If there had been no burial, there would have been no resurrection. - And if there had been no resurrection, there would be no WAY! - The Cross was a not a plan B to fix what man had messed up. - Acts 2:22-24 – “22 “Men of Israel, hear these words: Jesus of Nazareth, a Man attested by God to you by miracles, wonders, and signs which God did through Him in your midst, as you yourselves also know— 23 Him, being delivered by the determined purpose and foreknowledge of God, you have taken by lawless hands, have crucified, and put to death; 24 whom God raised up, having loosed the pains of death, because it was not possible that He should be held by it.” - Therefore it was God’s will to put His Son on the cross to pay the price for our sins! - Isaiah 53:10 – “Yet it pleased the Lord to bruise Him; He has put Him to grief. When You make His soul an offering for sin, He shall see His seed, He shall prolong His days, and the pleasure of the Lord shall prosper in His hand.” - Christ’s Death, Burial, and Resurrection was not a last hope or solution to the sins of the world. - It was all part of God’s glorious plan from the beginning and He had you in mind the whole time!!! - So no matter what you have gone through or are currently going through, God is in control. - He has a glorious plan that He is accomplishing and TODAY is part of that plan! - Romans 8:28 – “And we know that all things work together for good to those who love God, to those who are the called according to His purpose.” - Don’t underestimate the far reaching effects of knowing that God is Sovereign. - There are no accidents, birth defects, surprises, reasons for abortions, etc. - GOD has a plan and you are a part of it! Trust Him! His plan is good! - Jesus Christ has Risen from the grave, Just as He said He would!

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