As Christians, people who have been saved, of course we are too familiar with the term “God's will”. But do our actions and deeds accord with the will of God? Keep in mind, once we were sinners who lived in unrighteousness and obeyed the will of its own because being influenced by the power of darkness with Satan as our Father (John 8:44). And we were supposed to end with the condemnation of brimstone fire forever (Revelation 20:12, 15). But we have been redeemed by the sacrifice of Jesus and given the right to become children of God by believing in His Name (John 1:12).

As children of God, we must strive to live according to His will, as written in the Bible, the Word of God. Let us be honest, we thought that we have done the will of God but the truth is we do not. Testimony: the speaker once experienced a marital problem, which affected his service, due to his unbelieving wife.

Both of them retained their stand on their places of worship. The speaker went to church alone and envied other couples who could go to church together. Whenever he came from church, he shared the Word of God, that a wife should be subject to her husband and so on.

Hearing this , the wife could not be won but instead contention arose. The speaker was confused because he thought that he had testified accordig to the will of God. He just longed to be able to worship together with his wife. He became very erratic during service since there was no unity in his marriage. Until one day in a prayer meeting, he kneeled down with a broken heart not knowing what to do, then God spoke to him.

He found out that God’s will in His Word was first and foremost intended for him, not his wife. He realized that all those time he had used the Word to pierce his wife but he forgot to confirm himself.

At that moment he asked God for forgiveness. And everytime he came from church, he kept sharing God's Word to his wife, but without coercion. Days passed. Until one day, on Passover Day, the wife said that she wanted to go to the church with him. So it was evident that God's will is for our personal experience before it is addressed to others. Differing interpretations of God’s will may lead to quarrels.

How do we know God's will? How to do His will without the influence of any particular circumstances? The  fact is that we often lust after something and use God's Word to back us up. We will learn from a person in the Bible who was zealous in obeying the Law but was not in accordance with God's will. Who is he?

Acts 22:14 (NET)  wrote : Then he said, ‘The God of our ancestors has already chosen you to know his will, to see the Righteous One, and to hear a command from his mouth,

The above verse was a dialogue between Ananias and Saul (later known as Paul). Who was Saul and what did he do? He was very aggressively pursuing the followers of Jesus (the Way of the Lord) who were regarded as a cult. Stephen was killed on consent as a member of the Sanhedrin (Acts 8:1). 

He even received a letter of authorization from the council to be brought to the synagogues in Damascus, so that he could catch the followers of Christ and took them to Jerusalem to be punished (Acts 9:2). Can you imagine the 240 km distance from Jerusalem to Damascus? And transportation was not easy as it is now!

But on his way to Damascus , suddenly a light flashed from heaven around him. He fell down and heard the voice of God. He was blinded and led into Damascus. There was a disciple named Ananias who was told by God (through sight) to meet Saul and lay hands on him so Saul could regain his sight (Acts 9:3-12). And following this event, we had read.

How did Saul respond when Ananias told him that God had ordained him to know His will? He must be confused because he had obeyed the Torah extremely zealous. To the best of his belief, He lived in God’s will up to that day. Let us trace Saul’s background. He was a Jew born in Tarsus (southern Turkey, which is a province of the Roman Empire, with a strong infidel culture), raised in Jerusalem and educated by Gamaliel (a rabbinical descendant), who was highly respected among Jews. On the the traditions of his fathers (The Torah), he was zealous for God and even persecuting the followers of the Way of the Lord (Acts 22:3-4).

He was of the tribe of Benjamin, a Hebrew of Hebrews and the establishment of the law he was a Pharisee (Philippians 3:5-5). He was without a doubt a Jew! And being one, certainly he must have been taught the law since childhood, anytime, anywhere (Deuteronomy 6:7). I am sure he memorized all the law, moreover as a member of the Sanhedrin council, a supreme court in Jewish community. Their opposition to Jesus, whom they accused of vandalism, was articulate. They wanted to get rid of Him.

Strangely, Saul, who had been studying the Law and doing what it said, did not know God's will, as said by Ananias. So, the matter of knowing God’s will is not based on having a great background. Rather, it is God who determines that we see and hear His Word. Let us be careful, cultural background, education, custom and many other things may pull us away from obedience to God’s Word that we hear and read.

Introspection: Does not marital conflict still happen even though husband and wife are shepherded in the same church? So does dispute among the congregations, and among STTIA students though they belong to the same institution. And don’t forget contentions among Pentacostal pastors, who always preach the Bride Tidings in the light of the Tabernacle. Contentions arise because one feels purer, more biblical than the others. Simply because they do not know God’s will.

What must Saul do then? “And now , why do you still hesitate ? Get up , be baptized, and wash away your sins , calling on the name of the Lord!” ( Acts . 22:16 ) He must repent! After being baptized, he was filled with the Holy Spirit and chosen by God to preach the word of truth .

Implication: After we read God’s Word and know His will, a lot of former conduct is brought to light. Therefore we need to repent- our former lives should be buried with the death of Jesus on the cross, to be raised in a new life. Remember, hardness of heart makes our ears dull and our eyes dim. We hear the Word of God but do not understand. We look but do not perceive (Isaiah 6:10).

The persecution to Jesus’ followers (for the Law sake) that Saul breathed was done ignorantly in unbelief (1 Timothy 1:13). Jewish customs and strict upbringing in the Law overpowered him! He himself admited that he did what he hated (Romans 7:15). Therefore, he needed to be baptized. It was not to clean the physical impurity but the appeal of a good conscience to God (1 Peter 3: 19-21). After Saul obeyed God’s command through Ananias, he was filled with the Holy Spirit (Acts 9:17) and his life radically renewed.

Application: Our life vessels must be cleansed by the Word of God (Ephesians 5:26) so we can obey His will, not our own-cultural-influenced-will. Furthermore, after we repent and have been washed by the Word, we should offer our bodies as a living sacrifice. We know His will, our lives are changed from day to day. And we are sensitive to distinguish which is God’s will and which is my will (Romans 12:1-2).

Please pay attention, do not read the Word of God like you read a newspaper. Once you are finished, you do not remember a thing. Instead, meditate the Word of God and experience it in your life. If we do so, Satan cannot distort it. We must admit, sanctification does not feel good for our flesh. But it is worth it. The new birth brings about a good conscience toward God. What is the will of God for our marriage, family, relationships and so on? It is all written in the Bible. And who is the perfect example in exercising perfect obedient to the will of God? JESUS. He came down from Heaven to earth solely to do the will of His Father (John 6:38-40), though He knew that He would suffer and die.
What exactly is God's will?
·     That no one should perish as a result of sin, but whoever believes in Jesus has eternal life. All because of God’s great love to sinful men.
Introspection: After becoming a Christian for so long, do we still believe in the Word of God – the very person of Jesus? Do not be misled by the so-called Hypergrace, saying once you were saved, you are always saved no matter what. Then you live recklessly and violate the Word. Do not also be shackled with life's problems that you do not understand God's will. You do everything as you will on a whim and you lose salvation. When we trust Him, we need not to fear whenever the Lord calls us to return to Him because our salvation is guaranteed (cf.Revelation 1:11).
To those outside, though they read the Word of God, they do not understand perceptively. But for us, His chosen ones, He has revealed the secret of His will (Ephesians 1:9, 13-14).
Applications: We are chosen by God, sealed by the Holy Spirit and given mercy to know His will. How blessed are we to obtain such mercy from Him! We need not to cry our eyes out and insist on asking God to help us! Jesus, who loved Martha and Mary, was quickly moved with compassion when He saw them shedding their tears over Lazarus’ death. He immediately raised him from the dead (John 11​​:5,33-44). God loves us so much. Our salvation and sonship is worth His only begotten Son who died for us.
What is the result of being His chosen people? We are, not only saved and receiving mercy, but also appointed as priests and kings to proclaim the great deeds of Him (1 Peter 2:9-10). It is clear that we must not be passive kings and priests. We must actively serve. You should take careful note that the least ministry you join is of high value before the Lord. Because it is kingly priesthood.
As a holy nation (consisting of more than one person in which each is purified by the Word of God, the Holy Spirit and the same blood that make them one nation), we should give ourselves to always be sanctified by the word of God because we still make mistakes. And as God’s people, we must not be selfish. We are obliged to proclaim His wonderful deeds to our husbands, wives, brothers, relatives and friends, that they come out of darkness into His marvelous light.

·     Doing good to silence the ignorance of shallow minded people ( 1 Peter2:15). It means: we still do good though we are treated unfairly; beyond the world view “an eye for an eye and a tooth for a tooth” (Matthew 5:38-44 ).

·         Living as servants of God, who is evil free (1 Peter 2:16). Before, we were slaves to sin and our master was the devil, the father of liars and murderers. But now we become slaves to righteousness of the Father who loves us and owns our lives (Romans 6:16-18). As His servants, God wants us to have a living testimony sealed with His ownership. Do not abuse the freedom that God has given!

·         Fear God , love others and honor all people including the king (verse 17 ).
We should respect one another and give preference to one another in honor. Love one another because God first loved us and saved us. Fear God because all that we have comes from Him. Do not kindle His anger with your disobedience and stubbornness!

Honor the king by complying with government regulations because the government holds the sword of the Lord. The offender must be punished. If we do right, why should we be afraid? The government officials should be able to see our good deeds. We must dare to be different from the world who is in darkness.

How was Paul's life after knowing the will of God? He was sent to preach Christ to the Gentiles (Acts 22: 15,21). Paul's life was changed radically. He was willing to be sent without a second thought, arrested in Jerusalem willingly, though he had been warned not to go there because bonds and afflictions waited for him (Acts 20: 22-24; 21:4).
Also in the presence of members of the Sanhedrin (who were his former best friends), Paul was not afraid. He said that he lived with a clear conscience before God resulted in him being slapped by a person standing nearby (Acts 23:1-2). There was a division among his accusers and forty people conspired with the chief priests and the elders of the Jews who vowed to kill him (verses 12-14). 

But God did not will him to die, so he was safe. He finally arrived in Rome and rented a house for two years. He preached the kingdom of God and taught about the Lord Jesus Christ without any hindrances (Acts 28 : 30-31 ).

How about us now? We should be willing to be corrected by the Word of God. We start from believing when we hear the Word of God, then we repent. After that, we are born anew and led by the Holy Spirit. After we know His will, we do it. So that we obtain mercy to be able to love and respect. It begins with the smallest component, husband and wife, extending to your family, the congregations of GKGA and to the body of Christ. And we are able to do it all because He loved us first. Amen

Transalator: Samuel Sirait

Editor        : Interpreter Team

Sunday, 6 December 2015
Assistant Pastor, Budi Avianto

0 Response to "“GOD'S WILL OR MY WILL?”"

Post a Comment

Iklan Atas Artikel

Iklan Tengah Artikel 1

Iklan Tengah Artikel 2

Iklan Bawah Artikel