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Will of God


Will of God Greater Than His Work

         Miriam Booth, daughter of the founder of the salvation Army, we a beautiful and cultured lady who began her Christian work with great promise and achieved unusual success. Then suddenly disease laid hold on her and brought her to the point of death. A friend visiting her one day said it seemed a great pity that a person with her capabilities should thus be hindered from doing the Lord’s work. She replied with gentle graciousness, ‘It is great to do the Lord’s work but greater to do the Lord’s will.’ (I John 2:17). ── Michael P. GreenIllustrations for Biblical Preaching


Will of God Known and Obeyed

         David Brainerd was waiting upon the Lord in order to ascertain His will concerning him. In 1742 he received a communication from Mr. Pemberton of New York to the effect that David Brainerd’s presence was required for some important deliberation in connection with the sending of a Gospel Mission to work among the Red Indians of America. David Brainerd called together some Christian friends, read the letter in their hearing and solicited their counsel, prayer and co-operation. Then he bade them farewell. The die was cast and the Rubicon crossed: he became the apostle to the Redskins.

The late Tom Baird wrote:

         Dispose my will to will Thy will,

         And then to will is well:

         The willing will that wills God’s will

         Within God’s will will dwell.

── Michael P. GreenIllustrations for Biblical Preaching


Will of God

        God is said to speak to men in “a still, small voice” (1 Kings 19:12), which may partially explain why we find it hard to hear him when he speaks. It’s much like receiving a phone call in a house with the T.V. going, the stereo blaring, and a house full of people chatting with one another. To understand the caller, it requires asking the friends to be quiet and turning down the stereo and T.V.

        So it is with hearing God. It may well require removing those distractions, those areas of sin that deafen our ears to the voice of the Lord. ── Michael P. GreenIllustrations for Biblical Preaching


Will of God

        When David Livingstone was asked if he didn’t fear that going into Africa was too difficult and too dangerous, he answered, “I am immortal until the will of God for me is accomplished.” ── Michael P. GreenIllustrations for Biblical Preaching


Will of God

        Just before Abraham Lincoln issued the Emancipation Proclamation, a group of ministers urged him to grant immediate freedom to all slaves. “It is my earnest desire to know the will of Providence in this matter,” Lincoln wrote. “And if I can learn what it is, I will do it…I suppose it will be granted that I am not to expect a direct revelation; I must study the plain physical facts of the case…and learn what appears to be wise and right. The subject is difficult, and good men do not agree.” ── Michael P. GreenIllustrations for Biblical Preaching


Will of God

        If it were in the will of God, I’d plant an oak tree today, even if Christ were coming tomorrow.— Martin Luther


Will of God

        F.B. Meyer was sailing many years ago to England from northern Ireland. He told the story of how it was night and, as the ship entered the harbor, nothing was to be seen but a confusing array of lights. Dr. Meyer wondered how the captain could hope to navigate into the harbor safely at night in such a confusing jumble of lights, and so he asked him. The captain took him up to the bridge and said, “You see, sir, it’s really very simple. I’ll show you how. Do you see that big light over to the left? And do you see that other big light over there to the right of it? And now, do you see that outstanding light farther still this way? Well now, keep your eyes on those three lights and see what happens.” As Dr. Meyer watched, the big outer light on the left gradually moved in until it coincided with the middle one. Then, as the ship turned, the light gradually merged into the third. “There now,” said the captain, “all I have to do is to see that those three big lights become one; then I go straight forward.”

        The point is that the believer also has three lights to guide him into the will of God. When Scripture and conscience are lined up with outward circumstances so that the three become one, we need have no fear. We may go straight ahead. God’s will is clear. ── Michael P. GreenIllustrations for Biblical Preaching


Will of God

        God has his best things for the few

              That dare to stand the test.

        He has his second choice for those

              Who will not have his best.

        It is not always open ill

              That risks the promised rest.

        The better often is the foe

              That keeps us from the best.

        Give me, O Lord, thy highest choice;

              Let others take the rest.

        Their good things have no charm for me

              For I have got thy best.

      A.B. Simpson


Will of God

        A middle-aged farmer who had been desiring for years to be an evangelist was out working in the field one day when he decided to rest under a tree. As he looked into the sky he saw that the clouds seemed to form into the letters P and C. Immediately he hopped up, sold his farm, and went out to P-reach C-hrist, which he felt was God’s leading. Unfortunately, he was a horrible preacher. After one of his sermons a neighbor came forward and whispered in his ear, “Are you sure God wasn’t just trying to tell you to P-lant C-orn?” ── Michael P. GreenIllustrations for Biblical Preaching


Will of God

        “I think I’ll be a preacher when I grow up,” the small boy confided to his mother.

        “It’s a wonderful calling,” the mother agreed, “but why do you want to be a preacher?”

        “Well,” resolved the youngster, “I figure I’ll have to go to church all my life, anyway, and it’s harder to sit than to stand up and holler.” ── Michael P. GreenIllustrations for Biblical Preaching



         Jessica Hawn, former church secretary who committed immoral acts with Jim Bakker (former host of the PTL Club), and later brought down the PTL empire, said today (9-28-87) that God gave her "real peace" about granting an interview to Playboy magazine and posing for topless pictures. On 9-29-87 the news reports that she still considers herself a Christian, but goes to God "one-on-one," not through any church or organization. Also: she doesn't consider herself a "bimbo." But her mother does. ── Source Unknown.



         Once while Francis of Assisi was hoeing his garden, he was asked, "What would you do if you suddenly learned that you were to die at sunset today?" He replied, "I would finish hoeing my garden."── Source Unknown.



         One day Dwight Morrow and his wife, the parents of Anne Lindbergh, were in Rugby, England.  After wandering through the streets they realized that they had lost their way.  At this moment an incident occurred that entered into Morrow's philosophy and became a guiding principle in his life. He stopped a little Rugby lad of about 12 years. "Could you tell us the way to the station?" he asked. "Well," the boy answered, "You turn to the right there by the grocer's shop and then take the second street to the left. That will bring you to a place where four streets meet. And then, sir, you had better inquire again."  

"This  answer came to symbolize for Dwight Morrow his own method of approaching complicated problems," writes Harold Nicolson in his excellent biography. "It implied in the first place a realistic skepticism regarding the capacity of human intelligence. It was in the second place an object lesson in the inevitability of gradualness. And in the third place, it was a parable of how, when the ultimate end is uncertain, one should endeavor to advance, if only a little way, in the correct, rather than the incorrect direction."── Bits and Pieces, December 1991, p. 14.



         Writing about God's sure guidance, British pastor Frank W. Boreham recounted a time when a minister visited his home in New Zealand.  Being young and inexperienced, Boreham sought the counsel of his guest. He said that one morning they were sitting on the veranda, looking out over the golden plains to the purple sunlit mountains. He asked the minister, "Can a man be sure that in the hour of perplexity he will be rightly led by God? Can he feel secure against making a false step?" "I am certain of it," exclaimed the minister, "if he will but give God time! As long as you live, remember that. Give God time!" ── Tim LaHaye, How to Study the Bible for Yourself, Harvest House, pp. 95-96.



         When God bolts the door, don't try to get in through the window.  The will of God never will lead you where the grace of God cannot keep you.── Source Unknown.



         As the golfer approached the first tee, a hazardous hole with a green surrounded by water, he debated if he should use his new golf ball. Deciding that the hole was too treacherous, he pulled out an old ball and placed it on the tee. Just then he heard a voice from above say loudly: "Use the new ball!" Frightened, he replaced the old ball with the new one and approached the tee.

Now the voice from above shouted: "Take a practice swing!"  With this, the golfer stepped backward and took a swing.  Feeling more confident, he approached the tee when the voice again rang out:  "Use the old ball!"

The will of God, nothing more, nothing less, nothing else.── Source Unknown.



         A lady once asked John Wesley if he knew that he would die at midnight the next day, how would he spend the intervening time. He replied, "Why, madam, just as I intend to spend it now. I would preach this evening at Gloucester, and again at five tomorrow morning; after that I would ride to Tewkesbury, preach in the afternoon, and meet the societies in the evening. I would then go to Martin's house...talk and pray with the family as usual, retire myself to my room at 10 o'clock, commend myself to my Heavenly Father, lie down to rest, and wake up in glory."── Today in the Word, March 1989, p. 40.



         Once while Francis of Assisi was hoeing his garden, he was asked, "What would you do if you were suddenly told you would die at sunset today?" He replied, "I would finish hoeing my garden." ── Moody Monthly, April, 1990, p. 76.



         Walter Knight told of an old Scottish woman who went from home to home across the countryside selling thread, buttons, and shoestrings. When she came to an unmarked crossroad, she would toss a stick into the air and go in the direction the stick pointed when it landed. 

         One day, however, she was seen tossing the stick up several times. "Why do you toss the stick more than once?" someone asked. "Because," replied the woman, "it keeps pointing to the left, and I want to take the road on the right." She then dutifully kept throwing the stick into the air until it pointed the way she wanted to go! ── Today in the Word, May, 1989.



         A bishop of a century ago pronounced from his pulpit and in the periodical he edited that heavier-than-air flight was both impossible and contrary to the will of God. Oh, the irony that Bishop Wright had two sons, Orville and Wilbur! Wright was wrong. Sure of himself, but wrong. 

── Robert P. Dugan, Jr., Winning the New Civil War, Page 38.



         Do not hastily ascribe things to God. Do not easily suppose dreams, voices, impressions, visions or revelations to be from God. They may be from Him. They may be from nature. They may be from the Devil.── J.K. Johnston, John Wesley Why Christians Sin, Discovery House, 1992, p. 102.


WILL OF GOD, Commentary and Devotional

         If we want God to guide us, our attitude needs to be right. Here are some guidelines as to how we can play our part in arriving at right decisions.

         First, we must be willing to think. It is false piety, super-supernaturalism of an unhealthy pernicious sort that demands inward impressions with no rational base, and declines to heed the constant biblical summons to consider. God made us thinking beings, and he guides our minds as we think things out in his presence.

         Second, we must be willing to think ahead and weigh the long-term consequences of alternative courses of action. Often we can only see what is wise and right, and what is foolish and wrong, as we dwell on the long-term issues.

         Third, we must be willing to take advice. It is a sign of conceit and immaturity to dispense with taking advice in major decisions. There are always people who know the Bible, human nature, and our own gifts and limitations better than we do, and even if we cannot finally accept their advice, nothing but good will come to us from carefully weighing what they say.

         Fourth, we must be willing to be ruthlessly honest with ourselves. We must suspect ourselves: ask ourselves why we feel a particular course of action will be right and make ourselves give reasons.

         Fifth, we must be willing to wait. "Wait on the Lord" is a constant refrain in the Psalms and it is a necessary word, for the Lord often keeps us waiting. When in doubt, do nothing, but continue to wait on God. ── James Packer, Your Father Loves You, Harold Shaw Publishers, 1986, Page 13.



         The whole counsel of God concerning all things necessary for his own glory, man's salvation, faith and life is either expressly set down in Scripture or by good and necessary consequence may be deduced from Scripture, unto which nothing at anytime is to be added whether by new revelations of the Spirit or traditions of man. ── From the Westminster Confession of Faith.



God's will for us is:

I. Sanctification is God's will for us

   A. Avoiding sexual immorality and impurity is God's will for us - I Thessalonians 4:1-8

   B. Wise living is God's will for us - Ephesians 5:15-21

   C. Non-conformation, transformation, and renewal are God's will for us - Romans 12:1-2

   D. Continual rejoicing, ceaseless prayer, and constant thanksgiving are God's will for us - I Thessalonians 5:16-18

II. Security is God's will for us - John 6:38-40

III. Service is God's will for us - Ephesians 6:5-9; I Peter 5:2

IV. Suffering is God's will for us - I Peter 3:17; I Peter 4:19

── Source unknown