Heart For His Will
If you want to be guided, make up your mind to obey God and what you know is His will.
Alright, thank you very much. And hello again, radio friends. How in the world are you? Everything alright at your house? I hope so. Bless your heart. Glad to be back with you. This is your good friend, Bob Cook. And we’re doing a little recap on the chapters of the Gospel of John, “Just hitting the high spots,” as my father used to say. One thing that I noticed in Chapter Seven, is the ‘if,’ I-F, the ‘if’ of unbelief. Our Lord Jesus was approached by members of His family, concerning whom it says, “For neither did His brethren believe in Him.” Boy, that’s rough on people, to whom you are so close, doubt your credibility in matters spiritual, or for that matter, in anything else.
His brethren said to Him… This is Verse 3 of John 7, ” ‘Depart hence and go into Judea, that thy disciples may see the works that thou doest. If thou do these things, show thyself to the world,’ for neither did His brethren believe in Him.” I point this out, because everyone of us is subject to that ‘if’ of unbelief, “What if I yield to God in this matter, concerning His will in my life, and then things go wrong? What if I take the step of dedication, and then things don’t work out the way they should? What if I break off a romance with this unsaved young man, or woman, and then nobody else ever wants me? What if I take a stand for God in my business, to do things honestly, and then the boss fires me, or passes me over when it comes to time for promotion?” ‘If,’ that’s the ‘if’ of unbelief. The nobleman, on whose arm the King of Samaria leaned, said, “If the Lord would make windows in heaven, might such a thing be?” Speaking of the prophet’s promise of food in 24 hours.
Watch out for that friends. Everyone of us is subject to it from time to time and we rather should have the ‘if’ of commitment. I think of what happened with the three Hebrew young men, whose story is found in Daniel, the Third Chapter. They had been apprehended and dragged before the king, who was livid with fury, that anyone, especially someone brought as a captive from another nation, should stand against his kingly fiat, the command that everyone should bow down to this big, golden idol that he had set up, and so he said, “I’ll give you one more chance, and when you hear the orchestra begin to play, if you fall down and worship, alright, but if not, I’m gonna throw you into the burning fiery furnace.” And they said, “King, we’re not worried to answer you in this matter. Our God, whom we serve, is able to deliver us from the burning fiery furnace and He will deliver us. But if not, be it known unto thee, O King, we will not bow down and serve the image which thou has set up.”
“I am committed to God, no matter what,” that is their point. That’s the ‘if’ of commitment. But if not, if I obey God and things go wrong, hallelujah anyway. If I trust God for the supply of my need, as I perceive it, but if it doesn’t come in, hallelujah anyway. “Oh,” you say, “That’s a Pollyanna kind of a thing.” No, it isn’t. It’s commitment to God. Why? Because he hath said, “I will never leave thee, nor forsake thee.” And our Lord Jesus constantly had to speak to the disciples, concerning their lack of trust in Him, and He would say, “O, ye of little faith. Ye of little faith.” That ‘little faith’ is one word, I believe, in the Greek. ‘Little faith,’ not much faith. Would you, today, make up your mind that you’re gonna trust God all the way? That’s the essence of a New Testament faith, risking the situation on God.
Our Lord Jesus prayed in the Garden of Gethsemane. Luke quotes Him as saying, “Father, if thou be willing, take this cup away from me. Nevertheless, not as I will, but as thou wilt.” That’s the ‘if’ of commitment. Watch out for the ‘if’ of unbelief. What if it doesn’t work? Stick to the ‘if’ of commitment, no matter what happens. If things don’t go the way I want them to go, hallelujah anyway. I belong to God. That’s the kind of faith that will see you through. Small thought here, faith does not excuse me from doing my duty. A friend of mine overextended himself during the World War II years, when defense contracts were pouring in, and then when the contract stopped, he found he was overextended, and short of cash. He borrowed on his invoices, and when he got to the end of that, there was nothing more to borrow on, and he went broke. Meanwhile, I want to tell you he was praying. Oh, he was praying up a storm, but he had made a business mistake and God let him stew in his own business juices at that point. Faith does not excuse you from doing your duty or from making wise decisions, but faith sees you through. I saw the man, say 10, 15 years after that happened, and he was doing alright, and the blessing of God was on Him. God saw Him through. The ‘if’ of commitment, no matter what, I’m gonna trust God. Alright?
Now, I wanna go down then, to Verse 17 of John 7. Our Lord Jesus said, “If any man will do God’s will, he shall know of the doctrine, whether it be of God or whether I speak of myself.” Our Lord Jesus was referring to Himself there. He said, “My doctrine is not mine, but His that sent me.” But hidden in that passage, is a principle that I just want you to be clear on, “If any man will do His will, He shall know of the doctrine.” Paul says, “For if there be first a willing heart, it is accounted, according to that a man hath, and not according to what he hath not.” A willing heart. He says of the people in Macedonia, “First, they gave themselves unto the Lord, and then unto us by the will of God. If any man will… ” A heart to do the will of God. If you wanna be guided, make up your mind to obey God and what you know, at the time is His will. And I’ve dealt with young people all my life, it would seem. Not quite all my life, ’cause I’m not done yet. [laughter] But I’ve been familiar with their problems and needs, as they came along through the years, in Youth for Christ, and in the college.
And oftentimes, a young man or woman would say, “Oh, I wish I knew the will of God for my life.” What they really mean is, “I wish I knew which way I was going and where I’ll be 10 years from now.” Actually, the matter of the will of God, is settled step by step, as you go on living. You settle the basic principles on which you live, and then start obeying God step by step. “If any man will do His will.” What’s the will of God for you today? First, is to trust the Lord Jesus, “This is the will of Him that sent me, that everyone that seeth the Son may believe on Him and have everlasting life,” said Jesus.
That’s the first part of the will of God, is to commit yourself to Jesus as Lord, and let Him then be your wonderful Savior. What else? It’s holy living, “This is the will of God, even your sanctification,” Paul says in Thessalonians. What is sanctification? It’s a long word that means set apart for God to use. A holy life, not just a pious life. I have a little saying that oftentimes proves itself true, “If you find somebody that’s pious all the time, you have to watch him, he’s apt to lie about other things too.” [chuckle]
Sanctification is a life that’s set apart for God to use, holy life, the presence of God there. His will is that you live a holy life. God’s will is that you be thankful today, “In everything, give thanks, for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus, concerning you.” Now, there are certain things that you can do today. You can live for God. You can stand true to Jesus. You can praise God for the experiences that come your way. You can trust your Lord Jesus in absolute commitment, and obedience, and in the process, you’ll know what God wants you to do, in terms of the next step.
You may not know what will happen 10 years down the road. When in 1957, I told the fellas in Youth for Christ, “I am getting more and more tired from these trips I have to take, and I think I ought to move aside, lest Youth for Christ become known as Old Men for God.” It was kind of a chuckle, but it has an element of truth in it. And so, in 1957, I shifted gears, you may say, and went over to work with Vic Cory, and Bernice, his wife, and all the rest of the good folk at Scripture Press. Vice President in charge of distribution, that’s a pious way of saying sales and there were five years there of wonderful training.
I didn’t know, in 1957, that God was going to call me, in 1962, to the college in Briarcliff Manor, New York, as President. Here I am, a minister with a smattering of business knowledge and some experience in leadership, that’s about what you could say of me. Trained in the Word of God, experienced in 18 years in the pastorate, experienced in working with young people in Youth for Christ over eight, or nine years, or more, 1944 to 57, that’s more than nine, isn’t it? [chuckle] And maybe a little bit of business ability along the way. That’s the best you could say of me. But here I am, president of a college in 1962, and God has used everything that has been happening before to get me ready. You don’t really know, nor do I, what God wants of us in the days and years that lie ahead. But He knows. “Known unto God,” the Bible says, “Known unto God are all His works from the beginning of the world.” He knows what He’s doing. He says, “I know the thoughts that I think toward you, thoughts of good and not of evil, to give you a desired end.”
And the Bible tells us, “Delight thyself in the Lord and He shall give thee the desires of thine heart.” So you have God’s desires for good for you, and your desires for the will of God, and the two meet at the place of prayer, and God works His wonderful will in your life. Do you really wanna do God’s will today? Start doing what you know. You know you should read your Bible. You know you should pray. You know you should live true to God. You know you should take your stand for Jesus. You know that you should let your light shine, in terms of good works. A lot of things you know, start doing them. God will guide you, step by wonderful step.
Dear Heavenly Father, today, help us to want to do Thy will and get busy doing it. I ask in Jesus’ name, Amen.
Till I meet you once again by way of radio, walk with the King today and be a blessing!
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