Willing To Be Willing
When your will and mind is yielded to the sovereignty of God — then He guides you.
Alright thank you very much, and hello again dear radio friends. How in the world are you? Doing Alright today? Well, this your friend, Dr. Cook, and I’m glad to be back with you. These moments that we can invest together, we don’t just spend them, invest them, because there’s a dividend that pays off, doesn’t it These moments we invest together beloved, are part of your and my link to eternal things, and what we learn as we speak together of God’s Word will be worth talking about a million years from now.
A lot of the small talk in which we engage, day by day, with our fellow human beings is lost with the saying, what about the weather, what about the football scores, what about the basketball scores, what about the hockey scores, what about the politics of the nation and of the world around us, and what about the neighbors, and who’s going with who, and what can he see in her, so on down the line.
Most of the things we say to each other perish with the saying, but I want to remind you that what you and I say to each other, based on the Word of God, has eternal value. It never dies. Jesus our Lord said, “Heaven and Earth shall pass away, but My Word shall never pass away”. “Forever”, the Bible says, “Forever oh Lord, Thy Word is settled in Heaven”, so you and I are dealing with matters that are eternal, and that puts a different cast on the broadcast, doesn’t it?
Instead of being just a few moments that slip by so rapidly, then are forgotten, for somebody this very day it may well be the contact with eternity that makes a difference, where Jesus becomes Lord of some area of your life, where God’s power is poured out, where something happens that you and I will remember throughout eternity. That beloved, is the perspective with which I approach these daily broadcasts and it’s my prayer as it has been this day again, that God’s love and God’s truth and God’s power may come through my voice and through my heart and mind to you, my dear, dear friend. God bless you today.
Come with me then to Colossians, the first chapter. We’re talking about the Divine spillover, the divine spillover, filled, that means filled to overflowing, filled with joy and peace and hope, filled with all the fullness of God, filled with the fruits of righteousness, filled with the Holy Spirit. A fullness of God in your life, the spillover of God.
You and I are not to be eager proselytizers. Jesus had a word of rebuke for people like that, He said as recorded in Matthew’s Gospel, “You compass land and sea to make one proselyte and when you have made him, you make him twofold more, the child of hell then yourselves”. Proselytizing always leaves, always leads to a feeling of frustration. After a person has been converted by eager proselytizing efforts, he or she backs off from the situation and say, “I wonder what happened to me. I wonder why I did that”, but once you’ve been in contact with the precious Son of God, and the Holy Spirit of God who comes upon the new birth to dwell in the believer’s heart has filled your life, you know that there’s something real and something rewarding and something eternal that has happened in your own soul. That’s the difference, and so it’s the Divine spillover that we’re talking about.
To be so full of God and so full of His Presence and blessing, that every contact of life enables you to share just a little bit, or maybe a lot of that artesian well of blessing that springing up in your own heart. Jesus said during the great day of the feast, “If any man thirst, let him come unto Me and drink. Out of his innermost being shall flow rivers of living water, this spake He of the Spirit which they believe on him should receive”. You beloved, have the right to be full of God. Jesus said so. Now, that’s the background of what we’re talking about here.
We come now to the actual phrase of, “Filled with the knowledge of His will”, Colossians 1:9. We’ve been walking all around some of the other passages, haven’t we, and now we come to consider this phrase, “Filled with the knowledge of His will”.
First of all, I think we better start where of my precious friend Dr. Bill Bright starts in his four spiritual laws. God loves you and has a plan for your life. Our Jesus made very clear that God has plans and that they are prior plans. God has made plans for you from before the foundation of the World, “Come ye blessed of my Father, inherit the Kingdom, prepared for you from the foundation of the World, this were His words”.
Well then, if it be so that God knows me, He knows my name, “Fear not thou worm Jacob, I have called thee by thy name, thou art mine”. God knows your name. If it be true, and it is, that the God of the infinitesimal details has assigned a separate number to every hair follicle on your body, and Jesus said so and He never made a mistake, the Divine computer has far more capacity than anything you and I’ve ever manufactured or used, you may be sure.
If it is true, and it is, that God knows you, He knows your name and He has catalogued every detail of your body and your life, and what happens to you are, is, ordered of God, “The steps of a good man are ordered of the Lord”, said the psalmist, “and he delighted in his way, though he fall, he shall not be utterly cast down, for the Lord upholdeth him with His hand”. “Steps and stops and stumbles”, said Dr. Pettingill, “are ordered of the Lord”.
Since all of that is true, you and I can approach confidently, the questions of everyday, when we ask, what is God’s will concerning this particular. See, you reason enough from the particular to the general, but in this case you reason, you reason from the general to the particular. God is God, He’s on the throne, He’s all-powerful He’s sovereign, He is the Creator, He made me, I’m the creature, He knows me, He knows my name, He has assigned particulars concerning my very body and my whole life, He knows everything I could say, “There’s not a word in my tongue, but oh Lord Thou knowest altogether”. He knows what I’m thinking, “Thou art acquainted with all my thoughts”. He knows all of my daily schedule, “Thou knowest my down sitting, and my uprising”. This God then can be trusted to guide me today. See the logic of that? I want you to have an experience of trusting the God who reveals His will. You don’t have to flounder, beloved.
Now there’s some people who claim that once you commit yourself to the Lord as Lord and the Savior, that He allows you to make whatever choices you wish and blesses insofar as He can, those choices. I’ve heard people say, “Don’t bother God with details. That’s your responsibility”. Well, you and I are up against the age-old problem of the difference between the sovereignty of God and the free will of man, and I must confess I live comfortably by accepting both of these concepts as being true. God has made me free and He also is sovereign. The point in which those two concepts come together is the point of surrender of your will. When your will and mind is yielded to the sovereignty of God then He guides you, as you freely make decisions, He guides you to make those decisions in line with His perfect will. Filled with the knowledge of His will. You’re free alright to make all the mistakes that you wish to make, or to make wise decisions on the other hand. Free, yes that’s true, but to that freedom in Christ turns out to be freedom to surrender yourself to Him, “I beseech you therefore brother by the mercies of God that ye present your bodies, a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable to God which is your reasonable service”.
It’s reasonable to surrender your will to God so that He can guide you, isn’t it? Any other tack, it seems to me, is foolish and tragic. To pray in generalities and then to go your own way and make your own decisions is asking, it seems to me, for trouble. Why not realize that Christ is made you free so that you can yield yourself to Him. Free to serve.
Paul says to the Galatians, “You’ve been called to freedom, only use not that freedom as an occasion of the flesh, but by love serve one another”- serve Christ, serve one another. The idea of freedom to serve, freedom to yield, freedom to surrender to God, free from the law, “Oh blessed condition”, says the songwriter, freedom to obey, freedom from the constraints of my old sinful nature that had me bound, freedom from the thought patterns and habits that constituted the matrix of my former life, free now to say yes, for the first time perhaps, to say a glad, wonderful yes to God’s will. That’s what this is all about.
So he says, “Filled with the knowledge of His will”. You can know the will of God, He has provided that for you. Now, it does depend upon whether you’re willing to obey Him. “We are His witnesses of these things”, said Peter, “and so is also the Holy Ghost of God, who hath given to them that obey Him”. Jesus our blessed Lord said as recorded in John 7:17, “If any man will do His”, God’s, “will”. “If any man will do God’s will, he shall know of the doctrine, whether it be of God or whether I speak of it myself”.
If you want to do God’s will, you’ll know. Now, this it seems to me is a working principle that we must never forget. It’s one thing to pray, “Lord guide me”, while all the while reserving in your own mind, the desire to do what you really wanted anyway. A fruitless endeavor which gets very, very little answer from above. It’s another thing to pray, “Lord, this is what I want humanly, but I want your will more- now reveal your will to me and I give up the right to try on my own”. See, if you’re willing, to do God’s will.
Percy Crawford used to say when people complained about not being able to do the will of God, he said, “Well then pray, ‘Lord, make me willing to be willing. Make me willing to be willing’”. Pray that. Start somewhere in yielding to the will of God- when you do, I can promise you that He will reveal to you what His will is for you in any given area. We’ll get at this again the next time we get together.
Dear Father today, may we know and do Thy will, Amen.
Till I meet you once again by way of radio, walk with the King today and be a blessing!
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