By Lee Sexton
Proverbs 18:1 , Ephesians 5:17, Luke 1:37
‘Desiring to Know God’s Will’
As we’ve already been taught and shown this past Sunday, it is clear that God has a PERFECT WILL for each and every person that He has created.
And I’m certainly not here tonight to try and teach it or preach it better than our Pastor…but tonight I want to just maybe show you from a different perspective the results of man’s will versus God’s will.
Almost without fail…at least once a week, when I come in to this auditorium, my mind goes back to summer of 1999 when I entered this building for the first time.
I had no idea then what God was trying to do…but it wouldn’t take long for me to figure out.
Fifteen years goes by quite rapidly and as I look back, it is clear to me now what God’s plan for me was then and is for me today.
And tonight I’m certainly not here to toot my own horn, rather, I’m here to show how things turn out when we do our own will…and how things turn out when we ‘DESIRE TO KNOW GOD’S WILL.’
Here’s the thing, as I’ve already mentioned, God has a perfect will for everyone and He wants us to know that perfect will.
So if you’re here tonight and you’re saying, “God certainly doesn’t have a plan for me!!” You’re sadly mistaken.
I believe there are two parts to knowing GOD’S PERFECT WILL after a person is saved…whether it be the pastor of the largest church in the world or the garbage man that picked up my trash on Monday!
#1 – I don’t believe you’ll ever know GOD’S PERFECT WILL for your life until you first do the revealed will of God for your life. OK…What’s the revealed will for your life? I’m glad you asked…
It’s that which you and I have heard our preacher, your Sunday school teacher and others say a thousand times.
READ YOUR BIBLE…you think God’s gonna show us anything if we aren’t reading our Bible…NO
GO TO CHURCH…If my children are living in disobedience to me, I’m not doing them any favors. God’s way more gracious than I am, but He more than likely feels the same.
PRAY…If I’m not communing with God then there’s no possible way for me to know His perfect will for my life.
TITHING…If you’re stealing from God…don’t expect Him to reveal Himself to you.
I’m talking about the REVEALED WILL OF GOD…that which you and I already know, yet we refuse to hearken to.
I said, I believe there are two parts to knowing GOD’S PERFECT WILL after a person is saved…FIRST is doing HIS REVEALED WILL and…
#2 – DESIRING to know God’s Will
What is DESIRE: An emotion or excitement of the mind, directed to the attainment or possession of an object from which pleasure is expected; a passion excited by the love of an object, or uneasiness at the want of it, and directed to its attainment or possession.
It is Love; affection.
If we are ever going to know and do God’s perfect will for our lives…then we are going to have a desire…a passion…a love and affection for the things of GOD. It’s something that must be sought after.
I’ve adopted Luke 1:37 as my life verse.
Originally it was probably because it was easy to remember… but as I look at this passage of Scripture and see all that God did through the lives of Elisabeth and Mary…I see what a miracle that only the God of Heaven could do.
And then I began to examine my own life…I experienced God working in a miraculous way with someone who was so undeserving of any blessing…
Thus far, I come to only ONE conclusion…’For with God nothing shall be impossible.’
However, at some point in my life, there was had to come a time when my life was no more about SELF…there had to come a time when a DESIRE for the things of God became more important to me than a desire to do what I wanted to do.
I want to give you a little bit of my testimony tonight and I’ll be done pretty quickly.
I have the greatest mom and dad in the whole world…
Brought up in a Christian home…church…
Christian School up to third grade…
Public School through graduation…
While in school, I always had a desire to go in to the medical field and become a doctor, and more specifically an anesthesiologist.
As graduation approached my parents had me visit a Christian college in hopes that I would choose to go there rather than a secular school.
And let me just say this to the young people…and I’m not trying to be mean…but when you’re a teenager and you’re too ignorant to figure out God’s will for your own life…more than likely your parents will for you will lead you in the direction of God’s Will.
I speak from experience…
But, against my parent’s better judgment, I did what I wanted to do and went the secular route.
While attending the U.S.A., I made a lot of poor choices, okay really, really dumb choices.
It’s amazing to me that when we do our own will, it’s our own stupidity that seems to mess things up!
But all the while God was trying to get my attention because He had a much bigger plan for my life than what I had.
~I was going to be a doctor… I was going to make a lot of $$$ and be very successful…THAT WAS MY PLAN. I knew exactly what I wanted to do and nothing was going to get in the way.
One night I was working in a restaurant, we were closed…
Another time, two other guys and I were driving down the road in a bad rain storm…and God saw fit to spare MY life.
THIS IS WHILE I WAS DOING MY WILL…
God was doing a work in me that I never saw coming or expected.
Through a series of events God brought me to Bethel Baptist Church.
I got saved here and God immediately began revealing to me the reason that He had brought me here.
LIFE CHANGING DECISIONS…
God was constantly at work…
I believe that it was the Phil Kidd tent revival where God really revealed Himself to me and He put a desire in me to know His will.
I finally came to place where I knew that it wasn’t my will that mattered any more…God’s will is the only thing that will ever bring complete joy & fulfillment in a Christian’s life.
Jack Hyles said, “Nothing is happy until it fulfills the purpose for which it was created by God.”
I also figured out that that never changes…
As a college graduate, as a preacher, as a husband, a father… at no point does my will or my plans ever trump God’s purpose and plan for my life.
God saved me, I surrendered to His call to preach the Gospel… and then the Lord blessed my wife with the most wonderful husband in the entire world.
But over and over again in my life God was proving to me that He is everything He claims to be and More.After college graduation I waited patiently for God to continue working and moving.
Someone once said to me, “You don’t have to seek God’s will when you are doing God’s will.”
My graduation didn’t mean that it was time for me to put down the plough and relax.
I believe the year that I was here after graduation, working in a warehouse, was a time of testing in my life.
I believe God wanted to know if I could be trusted, if I was going to be faithful…
I stayed busy working my job, but most importantly serving the Lord.
I desired to know God’s WILL for my life.
Each and every one of us ought to have a DESIRE for the perfect will of God in our lives…in our family’s and children’s lives.
If that truly is your desire, then let me ask you this question…are you doing the revealed will of God in your life? How can God speak, when we aren’t listening?
We must be in tune with the voice of God.
The greatest peace in the entire world will come when you know for sure that you are doing ‘exactly’ what God has set forth for you to do.
You see, when I was doing things my way…it always became a mess… But when we do things God’s way…it’s then that we can understand and know His perfect will for our lives.
God opened the door, a year after graduation, for Lydia and I to move to PA and be on staff at Revival Fires!
We were there for 8 years and while I thought we would be there forever, God was still working in our lives, leading and guiding us by grace in His perfect Will…and here we are today.
I can’t always figure out why God does certain things…but some things aren’t for me to figure out. I just have put SELF on the altar and let God take control.
I’ve seen God do some amazing things in our lives…things that could only be accomplished by a miracle-working God…His Word is 100% true…’For with God nothing shall be impossible.’
With all of that being said, there are several valuable lessons that God has shown me and taught me throughout my short-lived life.
I think it’s interesting as we go through life or even when we study the Bible…whether it’s the life of Joseph, the children of Israel or the story of Ruth…there are two things that are always clear to me…
- God has a time table. It may not, and most likely won’t be the same as my time table. But God is ALWAYS, ALWAYS, ALWAYS right on time.
- He’s Everything He Claims to be and SO MUCH MORE!
~Let me briefly give you some of these VALUABLE LESSONS that God has taught me.
- He gives COMFORT in times of LOSS.
I can’t help but think about the life of Joseph and all that this young man went through.
As you get older, we are all going to suffer loss. There’s going to be times when you’re all alone crying yourself to sleep.
Your buddies won’t be able to help…no one will be able to help.
But as Joseph faced the worst loss one could ever imagine…there was only ONE person with him throughout the whole ordeal.
In fact, the Bible says over and over again in Genesis that ‘the Lord was with Joseph.’
He didn’t have his dad and certainly not his brothers. He didn’t have his preacher or his college professors. He was all alone…but the Lord was with him and brought him COMFORT in the time of his LOSS.
- He gives SAFETY in times of TROUBLE
Proverbs 18:10 says, ‘The name of the LORD is a strong tower: the righteous runneth into it, and is safe.’
Proverbs 21:31 says ‘safety is of the Lord.’
In times of LOSS, in times of TROUBLE, I’m glad that my safety and protection wasn’t dependent upon me.
I’m glad that I have a strong tower that I can run to.
Joseph, a man in a strange land, all alone as a prisoner… but he was safe, he had all the protection that he needed!!
WHY? HOW? Because his faith was in his God. Not in money, not in self, not in prosperity, not in friends, but in God!!!!
- He gives DIRECTION in times of DARKNESS.
You know one of the hardest things in the entire world to do……………………………………………..is WAIT!!!
And because God has a time table…some times we have to WAIT.
I remember before we moved back here…for two years I felt like God was trying to make some changes in our lives.
There were times I wanted to make a quick decision, and just jump ship…but a very wise preacher taught me in Bible College not to jump ship in the midst of a storm. He taught me not to undo in darkness what I had done in the light.
And there were times I didn’t understand what was going on…but God was steady working…He was working out all of the details for us to come to here.
I’m so glad that I waited on God and did things in His timing.
No doubt Joseph’s life was clouded with darkness…but he always waited on God…and through his poverty and imprisonment God made him powerful and prosperous.
- God gives PEACE in times of FEAR.
In I Samuel 17, David, a man after God’s own heart, faced a huge giant.
Although he was brave, I’m sure there were some fears that overtook him as he stepped out onto that battle field.
In the Christian life, as you step out by faith, as you surrender to God’s will for you life…there are always going to be GIANTS, problems bigger than you are.
You’ll be overcome with fear and at times you may want to run and hide.
You see David laid all of his fears aside and he secured the facts…He knew he belonged to God.
David even said, ‘…the battle is the LORD’s, and he will give you into our hands.’
When we allow God to have preeminence in our lives, then each giant, each problem that we face can be used by God to help us unleash HIS POWER and increase our faith.
And then what…Peace comes…the peace that passeth all understanding.
- He gives CHASTENING in times of BACKSLIDING.
These are the least fun lessons learned. Although some of the greatest.
Hebrews 12:6 says, ‘For whom the Lord loveth he chasteneth, and scourgeth every son whom he receiveth.’
From time to time we slip up, we stumble, we mess up!!
I’m so glad that my God loves me so much that when I fail Him, He’s willing to take me back.
While the chastening part of it is not fun, it’s necessary and I’m glad He loves me enough to take the time to show me where I went wrong.
The love of God is something that I don’t think I’ll ever understand completely…but I’m so glad He’s made it available to us today.
And just like David and Peter and Paul, we get ourselves in trouble…we have to suffer the punishment…but then God can take us and use us as He planned.
Without any doubt, without any question whatsoever I can boldly say ‘He’s Everything He Claims to be and MORE!’
My standing here today is nothing but a miracle…
The will of God isn’t something that should be taken lightly.
Jonathan Edwards made this statement…“I claim no right to myself, no right to this understanding, this will, these affections that are in me. Neither do I have any right to this body or its members, no right to this tongue, to these hands, feet, ears or eyes. I have given myself clear away and not retained anything of my own.”
We must understand that this life doesn’t belong to us, but to God. And it must be surrendered completely to Him for His safe keeping.
I read the story of two young men, John Leonard Dober and David Nitschman…
This story gives new meaning to the phrase ‘sold out for Christ.’
And while God may not be calling you to sell yourself into slavery to a foreign land…He IS without a doubt calling you into His perfect will.
But it takes DESIRE…
You have to decide today, whatever, wherever, whenever…will you give yourself wholly to Him and listen closely as He guides through each phase of the Christian life????