DELIGHT IN GOD’S WILL, NOT DREAD IT – By Pastor Shah, Clearview Church, Henderson
Everybody knows God’s will for someone else’s life. I know God’s will for your life and I’m sure, you know God’s will for my life. We know what our children should do when they grow up. We know whom our friends should marry. We know what that person on the next pew should be doing with their life and how they should be rearing their kids. The only thing we don’t know is “what is God’s will for my own life?” We are like that man who went to the psychiatrist with an omelet on his head. The psychiatrist asked him, “How can I help you?” The man replied – “I don’t need any help. I’m here to talk to you about my brother.” That’s how many people are. In fact, many people are terrified at the thought of God’s will for their life.
Rom 12:2 “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.”
Overall Background: Many people have the false understanding that God’s will is dreadful, painful, and awful. They think that if they submit to God’s will, then bad things will happen—they may get called to live in abject poverty or go on the mission field; they may get terribly sick and even die; or they may even lose a relationship or someone special from your life. Nothing is further from the truth! All the above are the enemy’s scare tactics to keep us from trusting God and receiving the best for our life. When we come to God and seek His will for our lives, He does not say – “Let me see…what can I do to make your life miserable?” To the contrary, Romans 12:2 is a beautiful description of how God’s will works in our lives. There are three basic important principles to apply.
I. AVOID THE WORLD’S VALUES.
“And do not be conformed to this world,
Background: The word “World” is actually “age” = the culture in which we live. The translation should actually read “do not mold yourself to this age.” Meaning: Don’t try to become like the generation you are living in.”
Now, people throughout history have misunderstood that command. They think that in order to avoid being conformed to this world, we need to run away from it. They think that in order to be a Christian, you have to join a monastery or become an Amish. That’s not true.
For e.g. Past summer I met a couple at camp who shared with me how they both grew up Amish and when they were teens, they left their Ordnung and lived in rebellion for a while and later came to know Christ as their Savior. I asked him – how many Amish are really saved? His answer – “it’s a way of life for many and has nothing to do with Christ.
When it says – “Do Not Mold Yourself to the Age in which you are living” – it does not mean:
– technology and scientific inventions of this age (using cell-phones or sending telegrams)
– clothing and styles of this age (dress like people did during the Elizabethan era or Victorian era; how about the hook and eye Baptists who thought that buttons were worldly.)
– language and communication of this age (talk and pray in King James English)
– food and drinks of this age (eating can food or not)
– and the music of this age (Should we stick to Acappella music or Praise band)
Meaning – you can live primitive, act primitive, and think primitive and still be lost. Someone might say – “I’m a conservative.” No – you are a preservative.
What this verse really means is that “don’t conform yourself to the values of the age/culture in which you live.
What are the Values of this Age? If you look at some of the shows that are on TV, you will know very quickly what the world values. They revolve around Money, Sex, and Power.
– God is not the center and focus of your life.
– God’s Word is not the final authority in your life.
– Think about your own happiness.
– If it feels good do it; If it makes you happy and doesn’t hurt anyone do it.
– Get rich at any cost.
Application: Are you trying to become like the people in their values and thinking? Some of the shows we are watching are spiritually evil, sexually deviant, morally degrading, and anti-God.
II. APPLY THE TRUTH FROM GOD’S WORD.
but be transformed by the renewing of your mind,
What does that mean? “By the renewing of your mind.” Once you are saved, the Holy Spirit begins the process of re-programming/re-formatting your mind.
For e.g. The young people will understand this illustration. If your computer ever gets a bad virus, sometimes you have to reformat everything. If you do, all your previous data will be lost. After reformatting, your computer is like brand new.
That’s why it is vital that we read God’s Word and hear God’s Word and get into Sunday School and Bible studies. That’s how our mind is renewed. How you think is how you behave.
When the Holy Spirit reformats us, we don’t loose all our memory. We still have some of that old junk still saved up here. But, now we have a new operating system. It’s a whole new format.
How does this work? Romans 1:29-32 gives us a list of viruses that come from the world. Let’s look at our list from Romans 1:29-32
– 28 And even as they did not like to retain God in their knowledge, God gave them over to a debased mind, to do those things which are not fitting; 29 being filled with all unrighteousness, sexual immorality – God created sex. It’s beautiful. It should be enjoyed in the confines of a marriage between a man and a woman.
– Wickedness, covetousness – Desiring something that belongs to someone else.
– maliciousness – just being hateful in our words, thoughts, and actions.
– full of envy – not only desiring something that belongs to someone else but also hating that person who owns/possesses it.
– murder – Abortion is murder. Euthanasia is murder.
– haters of God – God has blessed us so much and we should welcome Him.
– violent, proud, boasters – God hates the proud but gives grace to the humble.
– disobedient to parents,
– 31 undiscerning, untrustworthy, unloving, unforgiving, unmerciful – Instead of believing that love covers a multitude of sins
Once this change of mind starts taking place, start applying it. The word for transformation is “metamorphosis.” Start changing in the way you walk, talk, think, act, and interact. It’s not automatic.
For e.g. Like that old farmer – When lightning struck his old barn, he said – That’s wonderful! God saved me from having to tear it down. When it rained all day, he said – That’s wonderful! God saved me from having to wash my car. When asked what he was doing sitting on the porch during the harvest, he said – “I waiting for an earthquake. God is going to help me shake the potatoes out of the ground.”
You know better. Now start living better according to the Word in the power of the Holy Spirit for the glory of God. You are no longer the same. Sometimes the change is faster in some people than others. Don’t try to compare one person’s change to another. Nonetheless, the change is real. It is noticeable.
Application: Has there been a change of mind? Has there been a change of action.
III. APPROVE GOD’S WILL BY LOOKING BACK.
that you may prove what is that good and acceptable and perfect will of God.”
Background: People have the wrong understanding that you have to go around trying to discover God’s will as if its hidden somewhere, as if God wants you to search and search, as if He gets His angels to hide it from you. Nothing could be further from the truth.
Many people are sitting around waiting for God to show them His will—Who to marry? What career to choose in life? What financial decision to make? How many children to have? Where to live? You are going to wait forever.
For e.g. How does an apple tree bear fruit? Does it stand out in the field and wonder what kind of fruit does God want me to bear this year? Which colour apple does He want this year? Green, yellow, or red. When the conditions are right – right soil, right sunlight, right water – it will bear the right apples in their season (between early September and mid-October in NC). It will prove what colour apples come from that tree.
Listen to that verse once again – Rom 12:2 “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.”
As you reject the worldly values and begin to put into practice what you are learning, your life is automatically in the will of God. In due season you will prove the will of God in your life.
What will the will of God look like? GAP TEST – Good, Acceptable and Perfect.
Good – No evil intent, no making your life miserable.
Acceptable – When all’s said and done, it will be acceptable to God and to you.
Perfect – There’s no cutting corners here; no second best; no favourites here.
As Rom. 8:28 says, “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.”
You can look back at your life and see the things that were done according to God’s will and put them to the GAP TEST.
Application: The first will of God for everyone’s life is for him or her to be saved.
II Peter 3:9 “The Lord is not slack concerning His promise, as some count slackness, but is longsuffering toward us, not willing that any should perish but that all should come to repentance.”