When God’s Will is Done by Pastor Abidan Shah

WHEN GOD’S WILL IS DONE by Pastor Shah, Clearview Church, Henderson

whengodswillisdoneIntroduction: We’re in the 4th message in our series on the Lord’s Prayer called “Talking to the Father.” This morning we will focus on the next line – “Your will be done on earth as it is in heaven” and the message is titled – “When God’s Will is Done.”

Matthew 6   9 In this manner, therefore, pray: Our Father in heaven, Hallowed be Your name. 10 Your kingdom come. Your will be done on earth as it is in heaven. 11 Give us this day our daily bread. 12 And forgive us our debts, as we forgive our debtors. 13 And do not lead us into temptation, but deliver us from the evil one. For Yours is the kingdom and the power and the glory forever. Amen.

Overall Background: The hardest thing for me this week was coming up with a title for this message. I tried everything from – “How to find God’s will for your life” to “When God guides your life” to “What is God’s plan for your life” but the more I studied this passage, the more I realized that this petition is not about finding God’s will for our personal lives. It’s about submitting to God’s grand will for the entire world. It’s about telling God, “I am setting aside my prayer for guidance and direction in my life and I want to embrace your sovereign will to redeem and restore this world through Jesus Christ.” Now someone may say – “I guess our life doesn’t matter.” To the contrary, when we pray this way, God is not only pleased with us but in His grand will He reveals His place for us. But first the midpoint of the circle of life has to shift from us to God. It’s not you in the center waiting for God to guide you but God in the center carrying out His will and showing you where you fit in.

Question: What concerns you more? God’s will for your life or God’s grand will period. Many of us are praying – “God, show me your will for my life” when we should be praying – “God, carry out your will in this world. Do what you have determined to do. I want to be with you. Not that you need me but I need you.” When we pray this way, not only do we discover God’s will for us but we pray with Jesus in the Garden of Gethsemane “O My Father, if it is possible, let this cup pass from Me; nevertheless, not as I will, but as You will.” (Matthew 26:39)

Application: Are you seeking for God’s will for your life? Are you waiting for God to reveal His perfect plan for your life? Maybe it’s time to rephrase your prayers – “Not my will but thine be done.” Are you saved? I Timothy 2:4 tells us that God “desires all men to be saved and to come to the knowledge of the truth.” That’s God’s first will for your life.

3 things we will understand about “God’s will on earth as it is in heaven.”

I. WHAT IS THE WILL OF GOD? 

Background: To understand it, we need to ask the same question we did in the last message about the “kingdom of God” – “What did it mean to Jesus’ audience when He mentioned “God’s Will?” If they knew their Old Testament, they knew several things–

  • God has a secret will and a revealed will. Although William Perkins, a Puritan theologian, gave these designations much later in the 16th century, they are still valid. Deuteronomy 29:29 “The secret things belong to the LORD our God, but those things which are revealed belong to us and to our children forever, that we may do all the words of this law.”
  • God’s secret will includes God’s hidden decrees by which He governs His universe. It is His plan for how He will complete what He promised to Adam and Eve, began with Abraham, through His people Israel, by His Son Jesus, and into the New Heavens and the New Earth. Sometimes God even lets us in on some of His secrets through prophecies in the Bible but most of the times He chooses to keep them hidden from us. Isaiah 46 9 “…I am God, and there is none like Me, 10 Declaring the end from the beginning, And from ancient times things that are not yet done, Saying, ‘My counsel shall stand, And I will do all My pleasure.’” Daniel 4:35 …He (God) 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?’”
  • God’s revealed will includes God’s clear commands for our moral behavior in life. It is His precept for how we should live. God clearly reveals them to us through His Word. Deuteronomy 30   11 “For this commandment which I command you today is not too mysterious for you, nor is it far off. 12 It is not in heaven, that you should say, “Who will ascend into heaven for us and bring it to us, that we may hear it and do it?’ 13 Nor is it beyond the sea, that you should say, “Who will go over the sea for us and bring it to us, that we may hear it and do it?’ 14 But the word is very near you, in your mouth and in your heart, that you may do it. 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?”

Both these wills are important and they go hand in hand – If you remember in Genesis when Joseph’s brothers sold him into slavery, what was God’s revealed will for them? They should love him, forgive him, and not hurt him. They disobeyed God’s revealed/moral will. But later on what happens? God raised Joseph to become the second in command in Egypt. Then there was a great famine in the land and his brothers came to Egypt looking for grain. When they found out his true identity, they were scared for their lives but do you remember what Joseph said to them? Genesis 50:20 “…as for you, you meant evil against me; but God meant it for good, in order to…save many people alive.” There you see God’s secret will in action.

Application: Are you obeying God’s moral and revealed will in your life? Are you living your life in a way that pleases God? Are you trusting God’s hidden and all-powerful will in your life? Are you resting in the fact that God will work all things together for good? When we begin to understand the depth and power of God’s will (both secret and revealed), we lose all fear and anxiety in this life.

II. WHICH WILL IS MENTIONED HERE? 

“Your will be done on earth as it is in heaven.”

Background: What did Jesus mean when He gave this petition? Did He mean the secret will or did He mean the revealed will? Was Jesus referring to God’s perfect will for the world or was He referring to God’s moral expectation of me? There is a big difference. If it is His secret will, then we are saying – “God, do what you need to do to accomplish Your purpose in this world.” If it is His reveled will, then we are saying – “God, help me to do what I need to do to obey your commands in Your Word.” As much as I would like to say it’s both or focus on God’s revealed and moral will, the real focus is God’s secret will. If you remember, the first 3 petitions are in the 3rd person and divine passive. This means that “Your will be done” is not a request to God but just a humble declaration. What we are saying is “God, may your secret will be done in Your world. We surrender ourselves to your divine purpose.” By the way, we find this same petition in the Kaddish (Ancient Jewish Prayer) – “Exalted and sanctified is God’s great name in the world which He has created according to His will, and may He establish His kingdom in your lifetime.” Meaning: Not only has God in His sovereign will created this world and glorified His name but, one day soon, in His sovereign will, He will also establish His kingdom among us. All of that is part of His secret will for His world.

But before we move on, listen again to the whole petition – “Your will be done on earth as it is in heaven.” What does that mean – “on earth as it is in heaven”? Some people misunderstand this. I did too. They think that what Jesus is saying here is that – “In heaven God’s will is always and perfectly done but that’s not the case on earth. People rebel against God and refuse to obey His commands and follow His plans. So we are asking God to try to do on earth what He’s always able to do in heaven.” That’s problematic. It assumes that somehow God is not in control over what’s happening in this world. I think about what’s happening in our world and in our own nation today. Think about this whole HB2 mess that’s going on. I’ve wondered in my heart – what is God up to? He does not approve this. Why is He allowing this? Is it beyond His control? Is it just man’s free will running its course? Listen carefully – Yes, human beings have a free will to choose God and His way or rebel against it. Having said that, every moment and in every situation, God is in perfect control over this earth and not a single thing is going on without His permission. Do you believe that? Listen to–

  • Proverbs 16:4 “The LORD has made all for Himself, Yes, even the wicked for the day of doom.”
  • Psalm 37   12 The wicked plots against the just, And gnashes at him with his teeth. 13 The Lord laughs at him, For He sees that his day is coming.
  • Psalm 2   1 Why do the nations rage, And the people plot a vain thing? 2 The kings of the earth set themselves, And the rulers take counsel together, Against the LORD and against His Anointed, saying, 3 “Let us break Their bonds in pieces And cast away Their cords from us.” 4 He who sits in the heavens shall laugh; The LORD shall hold them in derision.

When we pray for God’s will to be done on earth as it is in heaven, it is not with a tone of defeat and despair. It is with the rock solid assurance that God is perfectly in control of what’s going on and He will work His perfect secret will in His own way and time. We have total faith that God is in control and His purpose will prevail.

Application: Does it frustrate you as to what is happening in our world today? Do you get fearful for your children and your grandchildren? Trust God and know that He is perfectly in control. His plan is not for a moment in jeopardy. He is still on His throne. We may not be able to see His secret will but we can trust Him to be in control.

III. HOW CAN WE FIND GOD’S WILL FOR OUR LIVES?

I’m always amazed and amused as how people decide what is God’s will for their lives! They base it on coincidences, feelings, dreams, conversations, etc. I’m not suggesting that God cannot speak through these things. Let me repeat what I said earlier – first the midpoint of the circle of life has to shift from us to God. It’s not you in the center waiting for God to show you His will but God in the center carrying out His grand will and showing you where you fit in. In other words, when we approach God and say to Him – “‘May your will be done on earth and heaven’ – I am here to trust you and obey you. I am unworthy of anything. I am just grateful that you have saved me. I want to do whatever pleases you.” When we pray such a prayer of submission, God in His sovereign grace turns the box of jigsaw puzzle over and shows us the whole picture and then gives us our tiny piece and says “I’ll help you finish your part of the puzzle.” The Jewish people were not praying for some special individualized prayers. They were simply praying that God will do what He had already begun and what He was intending to complete in His time.

It all comes down to the song – “Trust and Obey for there is no other way to be happy in Jesus but to trust and obey.” Stop looking for signs and things to line up. What if they don’t line up tomorrow?! Then what?! Instead, Trust His secret will and obey His revealed will. Trust that He has the whole world in His hands and Obey whatever He has called you to do.

Are you saved? Are you trusting and obeying

DELIGHT IN GOD’S WILL, NOT DREAD IT (Article)

DELIGHT IN GOD’S WILL, NOT DREAD IT (Article) by Pastor Shah (Clearview)

“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.” Romans 12:2 

DELIGHT IN GOD'S WILL, NOT DREAD ITSome people have the wrong idea that they have to discover God’s will for their lives, as if He has hidden it somewhere. Others have the false idea that if they submit to God’s will, then He might lead them to a miserable life—they may have tolive in abject poverty or be forced to go on the mission field to some God-forsaken place; they may get terribly sick and even die; or they may lose a relationship or someone very special in their life. Nothing is further from the truth! All the above are the enemy’s scare tactics to keep us from receiving God’s best for our lives. When we come to God and seek His will for our lives, Romans 12:2 promises us that His will is good, acceptable and perfect. Here’s how–

First, “do not be conformed to this world.” This does not mean that we should move to some remote desert and avoid modern technology, scientific inventions, fashionable clothes, or musical styles of our time. Primitive Living is not necessarily Godly Living. What it does mean is that we shouldn’t conform to the values of this age. Here’s a list of some of these values—God is not the center and focus of your life; the Bible is not the final authority in your life; you don’t have tobe grateful to anyone; whatever feels good, do it; there are no rules for sexual behavior; get rich at any cost; do whatever you can to get ahead; and so on. If we want God’s will, we have to reject these values. Are you allowing the world to squeeze you into its mold?

Second, “be transformed by the renewing of your mind.” Along with rejecting worldly values, we have to allow the Holy Spirit to re-program/re-format our minds to the truth of God. He does this every time we read God’s Word and hear God’s Word. He teaches us the difference between right and wrong. He gives us biblical convictions regarding morality and life choices. Based on this new information, we are expected to be transformed = “metamorphosis.” Meaning: Wehave to change the way we walk, talk, think, and act. Truth without Change is a Couch Potato. Is there a noticeable change in the way you think and live?

Finally, “that you may prove what is that good and acceptable and perfect will of God.” The benefit of rejecting worldly values and applying godly truth is that you are able to “prove” the will of God. Some people are waiting to “discover” God’s will in—Who to marry? When to go back to school? What career to choose? What financial decision to make? Where to live? How to rear their children? If you are one of these people, you may be waiting forever! Here’s the truth from Romans 12:2—when you reject the values of this age and apply the truth of God’s Word, you are already in God’swill. Can you imagine an apple tree wondering—“What kind of fruit does God want me to bear? Which colour apple will it be? Green, yellow, or red.” Of course not! When the conditions are right – right soil, right sunlight, right water –the tree will prove by its fruit what colour apples it bears.

Someone might object – what if I make a mistake? Let me ask you – If you reject worldly values and obey God’s Word, will He allow you to go off a cliff? And, even if you miss a step, does He not promise “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.” (Rom. 8:28)

Begin today by receiving Jesus as your Savior, which is God’s first will for your life (II Pet. 3:9). And, as God told the people of Israel—“You have circled this mountain long enough.” Go forward and prove His good, acceptable, and perfect will for your life.

DELIGHT IN GOD’S WILL, NOT DREAD IT

DELIGHT IN GOD’S WILL, NOT DREAD IT – By Pastor Shah, Clearview Church, Henderson

DELIGHT IN GOD'S WILL, NOT DREAD IT

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.”

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