What God Wants
Doing God's will is inevitably bound up with your relationship with Jesus.
Alright, thank you very much. And hello again, radio friends. How in the world are you? You doin’ alright today? Well, yes, I wait for you to answer ’cause I know some people do. [chuckle] The broadcast wouldn’t be quite complete for some of you if you didn’t have a chance to answer and say, “Well, everything’s fine,” or, “Everything’s terrible,” or, “Yuck,” or, “Don’t ask,” or whatever it may be as the case may be. [chuckle] Yes, I care how you are, and I pray that God may make these brief broadcasts a source of encouragement, and help, and blessing, and inspiration, and salvation as those who listen take advantage of God’s truth. What I try to do is put a handle on the Word of God so that you can get hold of it for yourself. I pray that that may be so.
You and I are looking at John 6. We’ve got the fact that seeing doesn’t always mean believing. Your heart has to say yes to God first, that’s verse 36. We consider the great invitation, “Him that cometh to me, I will in no wise cast out.” We consider the great motivation. Do His will. “I came down from heaven not to do my own will but the will of Him that sent me.” And the last time we got together, when time ran out we were just talking together about this matter of purpose, “Him that sent me,” Jesus said, “As my Father hath sent me even so send I you.” Are you aware, beloved, of having been sent anywhere by God? You see, most of us live in generalities so far as spiritual matters are concerned. We talk in terms of blessing, we talk in terms of doing the will of God, glorifying God. See, those are great high, lofty but general terms. You wouldn’t do business that way.
Let’s suppose you’re a sales manager or an advertising manager, and you go into the boss and you say, “We need more advertising.” Is that gonna impress him? I should say not. He wants to know what kind of advertising and where and what will it cost and what will the results be? He wants something specific, doesn’t he? [chuckle] You businessmen would laugh at my experience back in the 19… When was it? Late 1950s I guess it was when I was working for Vic Cory at Scripture Press. I was Vice President and sales manager. At that point, we owned a couple of retail stores where we sold books and all sorts of things as well as our vast publishing effort for the Sunday school materials that went all over the world. But it was those two stores we were thinking about at the time, one of which was in the Loop of Chicago.
So the boss said to me, he said, “We’ve got to put some kind of an air conditioning system in that store.” Well, I knew that he had talked about closing that store down in two years when the lease ran out because it wasn’t all that profitable. But that wasn’t in the back of my mind at the time so I went out, contacted an air conditioning firm, got specifications drawn up and an estimate, and probably brought it into him in a few days. I said, “Here’s the whole workup, it’ll cost X number of thousands of dollar.” He looked at me and said, “Where are the other estimates?” I said, “What others?” He said, “Yeah, you gotta get several.” He said, “Listen, come in with alternate choices. Always alternate choices. Get other estimates,” and he added, “You know, we’re gonna close that thing down, have you thought of getting any kind of used equipment that would be cheaper and we wouldn’t suffer such a loss when we stopped using it?” Well, I hadn’t even thought of that. [chuckle]
See, in business you have to be specific and you have to come with alternate choices, don’t you? I used to tell my folk at the college something that I learned from Jack Norton, my good friend who is an ex-IBMer. He brought me a copy one day of Thomas Watson’s Definition of Good Staff Work. I can’t quote the whole thing ’cause it’s a page long but I’ll summarize it for you. What that great man said was, “Never come into a meeting or come to your boss with a question. Come with answers. Come with alternate answers. Come with alternate answers costed out and then come with one on which you’re willing to risk your job.” [chuckle] I used to read that to my folk on the administrative council every now and again, and they would feel bad for awhile and then go away and do better.
You don’t come and ask the boss what shall I do? You come with an answer to the problem. Otherwise, you’re part of the problem, aren’t you? Well, all of that grew out of my observation that most of us spiritually speaking don’t have the good sense to be specific, we live in generalities. “Oh, Lord bless me. Lord, help me glorify you.” See? Well, yes, that’s great, that’s good praying, it sounds great but let’s get specific. “Lord, guide me in my relationship with my wife, with my husband, with my children. Guide me in my conduct on the job. Guide me in dealing with that co-worker who is impossible. Guide me in my thought life. Father God, control my thoughts.” See? You have to get to be specific, don’t you? Yes, you do. And in that connection God will give you specific guidance as to what he wants you to do.
I’m afraid I disagree with those who say that you can just accept the will of God in general and then go ahead and do your best and God will bless you. I believe you ought to pray your way through the day. Pray when you answer the phone, before you say hello, you don’t know who’s at the other end of the wire. Pray before you open a letter, you don’t know if it’s a bill or a check or a threat. Pray before you make a decision, God knows the results of it. Pray before you hire a person, God knows whether he’s a jewel or a fake. Pray before you sign a contract, God has already read the fine print. Pray before you go on a date, I used to tell the young people at the college, you’ll have far less praying to do during and after the date if you pray before you go on a date. Pray before you make some of these great decisions in life. Where shall I live? What work shall I do? Whom shall I marry? All of these great life-changing decisions. Pray before you make any decision. And yes, pray about small matters like a parking space in a crowded city area. God can guide you. Oh, yes, he can.
“My Father sent me. Him that sent me.” Are you aware of having been sent anywhere by God? Somebody of course is saying, “Well, Brother Cook, I’m anchored to a wheelchair, I’m not going anywhere but to the undertakers by and by. How can you talk to me about being sent?” Oh, listen, the influence of your life isn’t limited to your physical mobility. If you’re anywhere near a phone you can talk on the phone. If you can still write, you can send a postcard now and again to encourage people. And if you can talk, you can communicate with others in terms of the blessing of God. Instead of telling ’em about all of your physical symptoms, you can you can honor and glorify your Lord and share some blessing that you may have gotten from God’s Word this very day. Live in the Word of God and share the blessings of it, and you’ll be one that God has sent into other people’s lives. How often I’ve heard people say, “God sent you.” What did they mean? Whatever you said was right from the heart of the Lord. See? That is being sent. “Do the will of him that sent me.” Now, where does that start? It starts when you cross over and say, “Lord, I don’t want my will anymore. I want your will.”
I’ve told this story before but it’s such a good illustration, I want you to hear it again. When our children, our two older girls were very young. We lived in LaSalle, Illinois, we were pastor and pastor’s wife and two little girls. And on Sundays we would go out to eat dinner at a local restaurant where I knew the chef and the owner, and that meant that he would give us some extra portions and be kind to us on the price. And so on a given Sunday we were there, seated at the table and feeling mischievous I took this huge menu, and they had a big menu and I placed it before Marilyn, who at that point was, let us say, well she was born in ’39 and this would have been ’42 or 3. Well, she was probably three or three and a half, something like that. And I placed it in front of her and I said, “Well, Sweetie what do you want today for dinner?” And she looked at it, of course, she couldn’t read yet and her eyes filled up and she said, “Papa, I just want what you want.” Well, I wanna tell you something, she could have had the world with a pink ribbon tied around it at that point, absolutely. “I just want what you want.”
Now Jesus used the word “Abba Father” and that is a very tender familiar word that was used in families between children and parents, it’s the equivalent of our word “Papa”. And so you understand then how that illustration touches my heart when I talk about God, “Papa God I just want what you want.” Have you ever said that to him? Usefulness begins there. Usefulness does not begin with strategy. Usefulness begins with surrender. Usefulness does not start with strategy and plans, usefulness under God starts with surrender. I just want what you want. Oh, boy! God help us to do it, huh? Yeah.
“This is the Father’s will which hath sent me.” This is verse 39 John 6, “That of all which He hath given me, I should lose nothing but I will raise it up again at the last day, and this is the will of Him that sent me that everyone would seeth the Son,” that’s Jesus, “and believeth on Him may have everlasting life and I will raise him up at the last day.” Doing God’s will is inevitably bound up with your relationship with Jesus. Now you see, the reason many people are stumbled at what Paul the Apostle called the reproach of the cross, Christ crucified and dead and buried and resurrected and now glorified to be our wonderful Lord and Savior, many people back up when they come to that point. But because that is the point at which you begin to do the will of God. Everyone that seeth the Son and believeth on him should have everlasting life, and I will raise him up at the last day.
Being involved in the will of God is inevitably bound up with your relationship with Jesus Christ and it starts with commitment to Him. It is God’s will that you surrender to Jesus Christ, that’s the truth there. Doing the will of God is not doing good things here and there, helping an old lady across the street and so on. Doing God’s will starts with commitment to Jesus Christ as your Lord and Savior then, all of the good things you can do follow. Ephesians 2:10 says that so clearly after 2:8-9 said, “By grace are ye saved, through faith and that not of yourselves, it’s a gift of God, not of works lest any man should boast.” You don’t do anything to be saved but then immediately in Ephesians 2:10, the verse following, he says, “For we are his workmanship created in Christ Jesus unto good works, which God hath before ordained that we should walk in them.” Yes, you do a lot of good things because you’re a Christian, not in order to be one. You see the difference? Doing God’s will is inevitably bound up with commitment to Jesus Christ. That’s where you start to do the will of God, when you receive the Lord Jesus as your Lord and your Savior, and let him start to rule your life.
Lord Jesus, we give ourselves to Thee. We wanna do Thy will in serving God and in glorifying our Lord. 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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