In Thy Will
God never scolds you for your wants. What He does ask is that you take your thoughts and the things you want and you bring them to Him and you subject them to His perfect, sovereign Will.
Alright, thank you very much, and hello again, dear radio friends. How in the world are you? Are you doing all right? Well, I trust everything’s all right at your house and that you’re looking up and trusting God. If you happen to have struck a rough day or night, just trust your blessed Lord to see you through. The key word is “through;” “Yea, though I walk through the valley, I will fear no evil.” God is with you. He said, “I will never leave thee nor forsake thee,” so you can trust your blessed Lord. He never fails. Hallelujah for that.
Well I’m grateful for the opportunity of sharing with you once again from the Word of God and I trust that what is said will somehow give to you the blessing and the love and the inspiration and a word of wisdom that will help you as you go on to put on a handle on the Word of God so you get hold of it for yourself. That is our purpose in presenting these broadcasts. We’ve been looking at Romans chapters 12 and onward to get some practical applications of the redemption truth that is found in the early chapters of Romans.
Now Paul is talking about some personal matters in chapter 15. He said, “I’ve always wanted to come and see you, you people of Rome, and so after I get finished with the work that I am now doing which is to take a special love offering to the poor saints at Jerusalem, after I get through with that, then I want to come and see you.” I think the last time we got together we were asking the question “Is it all right to want something that you want to do?” And the answer is yes under the will of God.
“Delight thyself in the Lord and He shall give thee the desires of thine heart,” says the Psalmist. Our Savior said in John 15, “If ye abide in me and my words abide in you,” “ye abide in me” that means you get your life from Christ, you get your directions from Christ, you acknowledge the Lordship of Christ, you are sustained by His power–that’s what it means to abide in Christ; and He says “My words abide in you,” and you know what that means. The Bible gets a hold of your life and becomes part of it.
If that happens, He says, “Ye shall ask what ye will and it shall be done unto you.” God wants you to have what you want under the umbrella, so to speak, of His sovereign will. And so when you ask the question “Is it all right to want something?” Of course it is. Paul says in a number of places “I want to do this or that or the other.” In the book of Hebrews, the writer says “This will we do if God permit.” James says, “Go to ye that say, tomorrow we will go into such a city, and stay there a year, and buy and sell, and get gain.”
He said that kind of talk is evil because you don’t know. “What is your life? It’s a vapor that appears for a little while, and then vanisheth away. For that ye ought to say,” James remarks, “if the Lord will and we live, will do,” so and so. So the Bible’s very clear about that. God is not against your desires. He simply wants them to be under the umbrella, so to speak, of His perfect will. And so that’s why, you can see, that’s why the Savior taught us to pray “Thy will be done,” “Thy kingdom come, ThyÂ willÂ beÂ doneÂ on earth, as it is in heaven.”
“Not my will,” the Savior prayed, “but thine be done.” It’s pretty plain, isn’t it? Now then, take your desires, honestly to God. I’ve found myself praying for things sometimes that I wanted very much and then as I prayed, I found that that desire was fading as it took its proper place and perspective to the rest of my life and to the will of God. The things you want are not necessarily wrong but they may be ill-timed or they may be less important than other things. And it is the function of the precious Spirit of God to show us the important things about which to pray.
That’s what Paul says in Romans 8. “Likewise,” he said, “the Spirit also helpeth our infirmities: for we know not what we should pray for as we ought: but the Spirit himself maketh intercession for us with groanings which cannot be uttered.” We know not what we should pray for as we ought. That is certainly a true statement. We don’t really understand the eternal purposes of God. How can we? And so we’re very frequently mistaken about things. What we want is not always wise or it’s not time for it yet or it’s ill-placed in terms of its comparative importance with other things.
This little boy wanted a third piece of cake, wanted it very badly and was just making a big fuss about it. And his mother patiently explained and said, “Son, if you eat another piece of cake, you’re going to be sick.” He said, “Give me a piece of cake and send for the doctor.” Now, that’s our attitude oftentimes, isn’t it? Oh, the other version of that joke is “If you eat another piece of cake, you’ll explode.” He says, “Give me the piece of cake and get out of the way.” But, you know, that’s how we are. We’re like little children oftentimes, aren’t we?
“Oh, I want this so much.” Well, God knows that. He never scolds you for wanting things. He never scolds you for wanting relationships. What He does, however, gently, lovingly, kindly, what He does in love is to show you as you pray the comparative importance of one thing as over against another and you find oftentimes the tremendous desire you may have had for something fading and fading as something else that is eternally important takes its place. Bring your desires to God, beloved. Bring your wants to God. They’re not wrong. God doesn’t scold you for what you want; He does hold you responsible to want Him more than anything.
That, I think, is the determining factor in Christian motivation. It’s not that what I want is wrong; it is that God wants me to want Him and His will more than anything else in all the world. And when you do, then the promise is fulfilled – “If you abide in me and my words abide in ye, ye shall ask ‘What ye will?’ Why? Because your will, your “want to” is now subjected to — submersed in, let us say — the will of God. Oh, that’s a blessed truth. You know, and it’s a remarkable privilege, really, when you start to think about it that you and I can pray at any given time and say, “Lord, make me want what you want.”
Now, that’s the thrust, I think, of Philippians 2:13. “It is God,” says Paul, “that worketh in you both to will and to do of his good pleasure.” To will and to do. You see, our problem is oftentimes, we don’t want to do the right thing. We don’t really want to do the right thing. And the second thing is, even when we want to, oftentimes, we can’t. And we say sadly, “I know I should but I can’t.” The twin problems of sinful human nature lie in the will and in the action; the “want to” and the ability to accomplish. These have been touched by sin and they are forever faulty until and unless the blessed Spirit of God touches us and then, Philippians 2:13 is fulfilled in the believers heart, “For it is God that worketh in you both to will,” that takes care of the “want to, “and to do,” that takes care of the performance, “of his good pleasure.”
What a luxury I say it is to look up and say, “Oh, God, I want Your will. Make me want Your will. Take care of the wants in my life. Make me want to please You and then help me do it.” And, dear friend, whenever you pray that kind of a prayer, you can be sure of an answer. Yes you can. God will answer and you’ll be delighted with the result. So Paul says, “Yes I want to go when I take my journey into Spain, I want to come see you.” No, it’s not wrong to want things. It’s a mistake to want them more than God.
A young couple came up a good many years ago now, it would be back in the- Oh, I guess it would have been back in the 1930s so I can tell the story without hurting anybody, I’m sure. My brother-in-law, Torrey Johnson, told me about it. He was holding meetings up in Wisconsin somewhere as a young evangelist and he’d been preaching on the fact that- just what I’ve been telling you, that you have your choice between God’s will and your own. And that repentance, actually, is turning away from your own way of doing things and going God’s way.
Three words- three Greek words translated with the one English word “repentance.” One means to think things over differently, “metanoia;” and another means to feel differently about sin and righteousness and salvation, “metamelomai” I think is the word; and then the third word is to turn around and go the other way, “strepho.” And so he’d been telling people that repentance means that you have to turn around and go the other way, go God’s way and then you can commit yourself completely to Jesus Christ who will take control of your life and keep you going God’s way.
Well, after the service, he said, this couple came up and the lady did the talking. She said, “I am in love with this man. He is married to somebody else.” She said, “If I understand what you said tonight, preacher, if I trust Christ as my Savior, I’m going to have to give up this man.” Well, my good brother-in-law, Dr. Johnson, looked at her and said, “Well, what do you think?” She said, “I think that’s what it is.” And she said, “If that’s so, then, I’m going to keep this man.” And she turned on her heel and her arm through the gentleman’s arm; they walked away, and out into the night without Christ.
Many people do that. That is the option, you see, that is presented. And so what you want needs to be brought under the control of the Lord Jesus Christ beginning with your thought life, 2 Corinthians 10:5 “Bringing every thought into captivity to the obedience of Christ.” “As a man thinketh in his heart, so is he,” the Bible says. And so we need to bring the thought life under the control of Christ. So as you pray today, my precious friend, wherever you are and whatever the circumstances, remember your wants- God never scolds you for your wants. What He does ask is that you take your thoughts and the things you want and you bring them to Him and you subject them to His perfect, sovereign will so that it can be fulfilled in you, “it is God that worketh in you both to will and to do of His good pleasure”.
Dear Father, today, help us to want Thy will, in Jesus’ name I pray, Amen.
Till I meet you once again by way of radio, walk with the King today and be a blessing!
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