VIDEO Is God’s Will My Will? – Taking the Mystery Out of Knowing God’s Will

Is God’s Will My Will?

Sanctification is not a question of whether God is willing to sanctify me— is it my will? Am I willing to let God do in me everything that has been made possible through the atonement of the Cross of Christ? Am I willing to let Jesus become sanctification to me, and to let His life be exhibited in my human flesh? (see 1 Corinthians 1:30). Beware of saying, “Oh, I am longing to be sanctified.” No, you are not. Recognize your need, but stop longing and make it a matter of action. Receive Jesus Christ to become sanctification for you by absolute, unquestioning faith, and the great miracle of the atonement of Jesus will become real in you.

All that Jesus made possible becomes mine through the free and loving gift of God on the basis of what Christ accomplished on the cross. And my attitude as a saved and sanctified soul is that of profound, humble holiness (there is no such thing as proud holiness). It is a holiness based on agonizing repentance, a sense of inexpressible shame and degradation, and also on the amazing realization that the love of God demonstrated itself to me while I cared nothing about Him (see Romans 5:8). He completed everything for my salvation and sanctification. No wonder Paul said that nothing “shall be able to separate us from the love of God which is in Christ Jesus our Lord” (Romans 8:39).

Sanctification makes me one with Jesus Christ, and in Him one with God, and it is accomplished only through the magnificent atonement of Christ. Never confuse the effect with the cause. The effect in me is obedience, service, and prayer, and is the outcome of inexpressible thanks and adoration for the miraculous sanctification that has been brought about in me because of the atonement through the Cross of Christ.

WISDOM FROM OSWALD CHAMBERS

There is no allowance whatever in the New Testament for the man who says he is saved by grace but who does not produce the graceful goods. Jesus Christ by His Redemption can make our actual life in keeping with our religious profession. Studies in the Sermon on the Mount, 1465 R


Taking the Mystery Out of Knowing God’s Will

My Real Face

I thank Christ Jesus our Lord, who has given me strength, that he considered me trustworthy, appointing me to his service. 1 Timothy 1:12

For years, feelings of unworthiness and shame over my less-than-godly past had an adverse impact on every aspect of my life. What if others discovered the extent of my blemished reputation? Though God helped me muster up courage to invite a ministry leader to lunch, I strived to seem perfect. I scrubbed my house spotless, whipped up a three-course meal, and donned my best jeans and blouse.

I rushed to turn off the front-yard sprinklers. Twisting the leaking nozzle, I screamed when a gush of water drenched me. With towel-dried hair and smeared makeup, I changed into dry sweat pants and a T-shirt . . . just in time to hear the doorbell. Frustrated, I confessed my morning’s antics and motives. My new friend shared her own battles with fear and insecurity stemming from guilt over past failings. After we prayed, she welcomed me to her team of God’s imperfect servants.

The apostle Paul accepted his new life in Christ, refusing to deny his past or let it stop him from serving the Lord (1 Timothy 1:12­–14). Because Paul knew Jesus’s work on the cross saved and changed him—the worst of sinners—he praised God and encouraged others to honor and obey Him (vv. 15–17).

When we accept God’s grace and forgiveness, we’re freed from our past. Flawed but fiercely loved, we have no reason to be ashamed of our real faces as we serve others with our God-given gifts.

Lord, thanks for eliminating our shame and insecurities as You use us to serve You, no matter what our life looked like before You saved us.

God accepts us as we are, and changes us as we serve Him in love.

By Xochitl Dixon 

INSIGHT

When Paul said he was shown mercy because he acted in ignorance and unbelief (1 Timothy 1:13), he was echoing a common theme of Scripture. Old Testament sacrifices were made for sins done in ignorance (see Leviticus 4:2, 13, 22; Hebrews 9:7). So was mercy only given to Eve who was deceived—and not to Adam? (1 Timothy 2:14). No. Even when we consciously do wrong, as Adam did, He still offers His mercy. Who doesn’t need to hear Jesus say, “Father, forgive them, for they do not know what they are doing” (Luke 23:34).

Mart DeHaan

One Big Request

John 15:16

Yesterday we looked at God’s promise in John 14:14. Too often people take the verse to imply, “If you ask anything, I will do it.” They overlook the most essential phrase: “in My name.”

Asking in Christ’s name has two meanings. First, believers are welcome to make requests that align with God’s purpose and plan. To do that, we need to ask Him if our prayers match His will. God has several ways of assuring followers that they are on the correct path. For instance, He may increase right desires or decrease wrong ones. Another possibility is that He will use His Word to redirect a Christian’s steps or confirm that the believer is going the right way. Either way, God will make a path for the man or woman who seeks to do His will.

Second, invoking Christ’s name means that we desire to glorify Him instead of ourselves. James gives this warning: “You ask and do not receive, because you ask with wrong motives, so that you may spend it on your pleasures” (James 4:3). To understand that, let’s consider those who are trying to pray their way out of a financial hole as an example. The question is, Does a person want to get out of debt so that he has more for himself or so that he can use the excess in God-honoring ways? Motives are apparent to God, and He will not encourage ones rooted in sin.

In the name Jesus Christ, there is abundant power. However, calling upon Him in prayer is not a magic charm to get what we want. Rather, it is a signal that we are laying down our personal desires and our own way of getting things done. In so doing, we commit to follow God and bring honor to Him.

 

 

Vine Connection

“What could have been done more to my vineyard, that I have not done in it? wherefore, when I looked that it should bring forth grapes, brought it forth wild grapes?” (Isaiah 5:4) 

In Scripture we find many references to vines and vineyards, but there are three major passages that together reveal three aspects concerning the character of God and His love for His people.

The first, Isaiah 5:1-7, includes our text. Here we find that God, the owner, planter, and caretaker of the vineyard, cannot contain His disappointment, for despite the loving care showered upon the vine, it has brought forth improper, worthless fruit. In this parable, “the vineyard of the LORD of hosts is the house of Israel, and the men of Judah his pleasant plant” (v. 7), the chosen people who had seen more clearly than anyone else His abundant provision, but who had chosen to reject Him and not bear Him fruit. To them, and to those of us who reject His cultivating grace, He says: “I will lay it waste” (v. 6).

Psalm 80:8-19 gives us a picture of the abject desolation of the unfruitful vineyard once it is abandoned by the vinedresser. It is ravaged by enemies, wild animals, and fire, utterly helpless. The “vine” (Israel) may cry for help and restoration, but there are consequences to be paid. What a graphic picture this is, and what a reminder to believers today that we cannot for long ignore His will for our lives.

The last and most precious passage is found in John 15:1-16 and concerns fruitbearing. “I am the vine, ye are the branches: He that abideth in me, and I in him, the same bringeth forth much fruit: for without me ye can do nothing” (v. 5). Here are found the secrets of the believer’s growth and fertility in glorious union with Christ. “Herein is my father glorified, that ye bear much fruit; so shall ye be my disciples” (v. 8). JDM

Christ hath redeemed us from the curse of the law

Galatians 3:1-5, 19-29

Galatians 3:1

What strange, Satanic influence has come over you? By what horrible deceit have you been entangled and held captive? You have heard and known the way of salvation by faith in the crucified Saviour—how could you then have been duped by legal teachers?

Galatians 3:5

Paul’s argument is, that hitherto all the good they had received had come to them by grace and not by works, by the Spirit and not by the flesh, by faith and not by ceremonies, and he chides them for yielding in any degree to the delusive teaching of Judaizers. We have the best reason for keeping to the gospel, for no real good ever comes to men by the opposite teaching. The following testimony is only one of many, and establishes the point:—”I preached up sanctification very earnestly for six years in a former parish,” says Mr. Bennet, in a letter, “and never brought one soul to Christ. I did the same at this parish for two years, without having any success at all; but as soon as ever I preached Jesus Christ, and faith in his blood, then believers were added to the Church, and the people flocked from all parts to hear the glorious sound of the gospel, some coming six, others eight, and others ten miles, and that constantly. The reason why my ministry was not blessed when I preached up salvation partly by faith and partly by works is, because the doctrine is not of God; and he will prosper no ministers but such as preach salvation in his own appointed way, namely, by faith in Jesus Christ.”

Galatians 3:19

If it cannot save, why was it given? It was given to discover and lay bare our sin to us. A sight of misery must go before a sense of mercy. Lex, lux, the law is a light, and shows us our need of a mediator. Therefore the apostle says—

Galatians 3:20

And this proves that God and men were opposed, or a mediator would not have been needed. Thus the giving of the law showed mans state of alienation.

Galatians 3:21, 22

concluded or shut up as prisoners

Galatians 3:21, 22

The law is not therefore the opponent of the promise, but an agent for putting men where they feel themselves to be in need of mercy, and therefore accept salvation by grace.

Galatians 3:23-27

We are not baptized unto Moses, we have put off legal robes, and are dressed in the garments of grace.

Galatians 3:28, 29

So that we obtain all the blessings of the law by faith, even in the same manner as Abraham became the heir of all things. Evermore in our hearts let us make a clear distinction between the law and the grace of God, so shall we be sound in doctrine and preserved from much bondage.

 

Faith and Prayer go together

The effectual fervent prayer of a righteous man availeth much. (James 5:16)

In Hebrews we find a long list of benefits which faith brings to its possessor: justification, deliverance, fruitfulness, endurance, victory over enemies, courage, strength and even resurrection from the dead.

Then, everything that is attributed thus to faith might with equal truth be attributed to prayer; for faith and true prayer are like two sides of the same coin—they are inseparable!

Men may, and often do, pray without faith (though this is not true prayer), but it is not thinkable that men should have faith and not pray.

Whatever God can do faith can do, and whatever faith can do prayer can do when it is offered in faith.

It should not be considered strange, then, that an invitation to prayer is an invitation to omnipotence, for prayer engages the Omnipresent God and brings Him into our human affairs. According to the Bible, we have because we ask or we have not because we ask not. It does not take much wisdom to discover our next move. Is it not to pray and pray again and again until the answer comes? Let us not fail the world and disappoint God by failing to pray!

 

God’s Multiplication Table

“A little one shall become a thousand, and a small one a strong nation: I the Lord will hasten it in his time.” Isa. 60:22

Works for the Lord often begin on a small scale, and they are none the worse for this. Feebleness educates faith, brings God near, and wins glory for His name. Prize promises of increase! Mustard seed is the smallest among seeds, and yet it becomes a tree-like plant, with branches which lodge the birds of Heaven. We may begin with one, and that “a little one,’ and yet it will “become a thousand.” The Lord is great at the multiplication table. How often did He say to His lone servant, “I will multiply thee”! Trust in the Lord, ye ones and twos; for He will be in the midst of you if you are gathered in His name.

“A small one.” What can be more despicable in the eyes of those who count heads and weigh forces! yet this is the nucleus of a great nation. Only one star shines out at first in the evening, but soon the sky is crowded with countless lights.

Nor need we think the prospect of increase to be remote, for the promise is, “I Jehovah will hasten it in his time.” There will be no premature haste, like that which we see at excited meetings; it will be all in due time; but yet there will be no delay. When the Lord hastens, His speed is glorious.

 

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