Posts Tagged ‘God’s will


Jesus Was Raised

Good Monday morning to you! In 1 Peter 3:18, Peter wrote that it was God’s will that His Son, Jesus, die so that the sins of humanity could be forgiven. Jesus didn’t stay dead, though. He was raised back to life by the Spirit of God. Peter then writes:

After being made alive, he went and made proclamation to the imprisoned spirits— 20 to those who were disobedient long ago when God waited patiently in the days of Noah while the ark was being built. In it only a few people, eight in all,were saved through water​…​ – 1 Peter 3:19-20 (NIV)

Martin Luther said that this is a very strange and difficult passage to understand. There are various interpretations as to what Peter meant. It raises many questions and offers little insight. Rather than focus on who these imprisoned spirits were or what Jesus preached to them, I want to focus on the fact that Jesus was raised from the dead. No other religious leader can claim that. Because Jesus is alive, we now have the hope of resurrection, too.

Obeying The Lord’s Will

Good Monday morning to you! Knowing God’s will and doing God’s will are two different things. In James 4, he writes about how we shouldn’t make plans without consulting the Lord and His will for our lives. Making plans is arrogant and boastful, he says. James writes:

As it is, you boast in your arrogant schemes. All such boasting is evil.17 If anyone, then, knows the good they ought to do and doesn’t do it, it is sin for them. – James 4:16-17 (NIV)

If you know what the Lord’s will is and you refuse to do it, you are guilty of sin. If you know that God wants you to tell your neighbor about Jesus and you won’t do it, you’re sinning. If you know that God wants you to serve Him at your church and you refuse to do it, you are sinning. If you know that God wants you to be generous and instead you are stingy, you are sinning. If you know that God is calling you to sacrifice for Him in some way and you refuse, you’re sinning. What is God calling you to do for Him that you’re struggling with right now? Quit refusing to do what He wants you to do and go out there and just do it. Otherwise, you’re sinning against Him.

Is It The Lord’s Will?

James wrote that our lives are but a mist or a vapor. Like the steam that rises above a kettle of boiling water, they are here one moment and gone the next. Yet we make plans as though we will live on this earth forever. Rather than making our plans for what we want to do, we should surrender our lives to God’s will. James wrote:

Instead, you ought to say, “If it is the Lord’s will, we will live and do this or that.” – James 4:15 (NIV)

When was the last time you consulted the Lord about His will for your life? When was the last time you prayed, “Thy will be done.”? When was the last time you meant it? It’s one thing to say it and another to mean it. To actually mean it means that you are OK with whatever God says. If He says, “No.” it means that you trust that He has something better in mind. It means that if He says, “Go.” that you are ready to drop everything and follow His lead. Praying that the Lord’s will is done requires total surrender to His will, whatever that means for us.

The Mists We Are

We make so many plans in our lives, don’t we? We’re going to get married or get this job or buy this house. We’re going to have this many kids or retire at 65 or live this many years. We have no idea what tomorrow holds, but we make plans as though it is guaranteed. James writes:

Now listen, you who say, “Today or tomorrow we will go to this or that city, spend a year there, carry on business and make money.” 14 Why, you do not even know what will happen tomorrow. What is your life? You are a mist that appears for a little while and then vanishes. – James 4:13-14 (NIV)

Our lives are but a mist or a vapor. In the grand scheme of eternity, we are but a mere breath. We don’t know if we’ll wake up tomorrow, but we act as though we’ll never die. We need to live and experience life today. We need to do God’s will today. Don’t worry about or plan for tomorrow. Live your life today because tomorrow may not come.

You Have Not Because You Ask Not

Good Monday morning to you! There is a battle raging inside of us. We want what we want and we want it right now. So we’ll do anything we can to get what we want. But the one thing we should do, we don’t do. Listen to what James says:

What causes fights and quarrels among you? Don’t they come from your desires that battle within you? 2 You desire but do not have, so you kill. You covet but you cannot get what you want, so you quarrel and fight. You do not have because you do not ask God. – James 4:1-2 (NIV)

People covet and steal and kill to get what they want, but they don’t pray. We don’t turn to the One who can give us the desires of our hearts. We don’t submit to God or His will and instead we resort to sinful means to get what we want. So what is it that you truly want? Have you asked the Lord to provide that which you desire? Trust Him that, if it is His will, He will, in His time, give you what you need and what you want.

The Double-Minded Doubter

James wrote that when we doubt God in our prayers that we are like waves tossed about by the sea. He continued:

That person should not expect to receive anything from the Lord. 8 Such a person is double-minded and unstable in all they do. – James 1:7-8 (NIV)

God is willing and able to answer the prayers we pray according to His perfect will. The question is, “Do we truly believe?” Or do we doubt God’s power and His love before we ever bow in prayer? James says that we are double-minded. When you pray today, pray in faith. Trust the Lord to provide. Trust God for healing – whether it is physical or emotional. Know that our God can move mountains if mountains need to be moved. If He doesn’t move mountains, He can carry you over them. Too often, though, we don’t even pray. I’ve heard it said that God will not answer the prayers we don’t pray. Humble yourself before Him. Pray in faith. Surrender to His will. Know that He knows what is best and will take care of you. Take a moment to pray to Him now about the most pressing need you have. May His will be done in your life today.

God’s Will and God’s Ways

John 7:10-13 (NIV)

 However, after his brothers had left for the festival, he went also, not publicly, but in secret. 11 Now at the festival the Jewish leaders were watching for Jesus and asking, “Where is he?”
12 Among the crowds there was widespread whispering about him. Some said, “He is a good man.”
Others replied, “No, he deceives the people.” 13 But no one would say anything publicly about him for fear of the leaders.

One of the questions I have about the first part of John 7 is why Jesus said that He wasn’t going to go to the Feast of Tabernacles in Jerusalem and then went secretly to the feast.  John 7:8 (NIV) says:

You go to the festival. I am not going up to this festival, because my time has not yet fully come.

While some Greek manuscripts translated it as, “not yet,” that’s not what the best manuscripts said. Did Jesus lie to His brothers about not going to the feast? He did not. He said that He would not go to the feast because His time had not yet fully come. God the Father did lead Him to go to the feast with His family as was the custom. Instead, God the Father directed Jesus to remain in Galilee until later when He could go to Jerusalem in secret instead of publicly.
Why did Jesus sneak into Jerusalem? Again, the time was not right for Him to be crucified. Under the Father’s direction, He had to remain in secret. He wasn’t afraid of the Jewish leaders. Jesus knew what was coming – the cross. The time wasn’t quite right just yet. The day would come when Jesus would reveal Himself and would face the Jewish leaders and go the cross to suffer and die. This was not the right time and that is the focus of the passage.
We would do well to remember that God’s timing is not always our timing. God’s ways are not our ways. We want our will to be done in our lives and in the lives of others. Jesus’ brothers wanted Jesus to hurry up and do what He had to do. God’s timing was, and still is, best. So let us trust the Father to do His will in HIS timing and rest in knowing that His will and His ways are best.
PRAYER: Father in Heaven, thank You for Your Son, Jesus. Thank You for His willingness to go to the cross to suffer and die for my sins. I rejoice in the salvation You have given to me by Your grace through Your Son. I pray that You will help me to remember today that Your will and Your ways are best. Help me to wait upon You to do Your will in Your timing. In Jesus’ name, amen.

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