History speaks of a Bishop, who is said to have proclaimed that heavier-than-air human flight wasn’t possible because it contradicted God’s will. His name was Milton Wright and he was the father of Orville and Wilbur Wright. Apparently, his understanding of God’s will was seriously flawed!
Although humorous, Bishop Milton reminded me that most of us make bad decisions in life because we assume God’s will when we are unable to discern His will. In my sermon tonight, I am going to give you a checklist to help you discern the will of God when in situations you are not sure of the outcome of a decision you need to make.
1. God’s will and the Scriptural Approach
2 Timothy 3:16
A. The first question to ask yourself: “Has God already granted his approval for this in His Word?”
B. Skeptics say that the Bible is outdated and doesn’t fit the lifestyle of the man of the 21st Century.
C. The truth is you can’t customize God’s Word to fit your lifestyle. But you can always upgrade your lifestyle to meet the requirements of His Word.
2. God’s will and the Secrecy Approach
A. The second question to ask yourself: “Would it bother me if everyone knew this was my choice?”
B. Someone said, “Character is what you do when nobody is watching.” The right to privacy is not an excuse to indulge in immorality.
C. Regular health checkups are helpful for the prevention of deadly strokes. Likewise, the secrecy test helps to guard the character.
3. God’s will and the Surveyed Approach
A. The third question to ask yourself: “What if everyone else followed my example. Will they be blessed?”
B. Illustration: The mother who taught her daughter to say thank you. Gave her a glass of milk and asked “Now what do you say?” The little girl said “cheers!”
C. Our actions speak louder than the sermons we preach or the bible studies we teach. God will hold us accountable for the souls of our followers.
4. God’s will and the Spiritual Approach
A. The fourth question to ask yourself: Am I being led by the Holy Spirit to make this decision or pressured by people to do it?”
B. Illustration: When Jane goes out on a date, her main concern is how much the man likes her and how to impress him? Not whether he is a suitable partner for her?
C. People pleasers will always live the dream of another. They will never experience the fulfillment of God’s will for them.
Making decisions, whether they are big or small can be very difficult, especially when you want to be certain your decision is within God’s will. The approaches I shared with you are not perfect, but they will definitely take the mystery out of the process of discerning God’s will.
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