Being in the will of God
Matthew 14:22-33 (NKJ)
(This is right after Jesus fed the five thousand)
22 Immediately Jesus made His disciples get into the boat and go before Him to the other side, while He sent the multitudes away. (Would you say the disciples were in God’s will when they set out in the boat?)
23 And when He had sent the multitudes away, He went up on the mountain by Himself to pray. Now when evening came, He was alone there. 24 But the boat was now in the middle of the sea (about 4 miles), tossed by the waves, for the wind was contrary.
25 Now in the fourth watch of the night Jesus went to them, walking on the sea (between 3 & 6am). 26 And when the disciples saw Him walking on the sea, they were troubled, saying, “It is a ghost!” And they cried out for fear.
27 But immediately Jesus spoke to them, saying, “Be of good cheer! It is I; do not be afraid.”
28 And Peter answered Him and said, “Lord, if it is You, command me to come to You on the water.”
29 So He said, “Come.” And when Peter had come down out of the boat, he walked on the water to go to Jesus. 30 But when he saw that the wind was boisterous, he was afraid; and beginning to sink he cried out, saying, “Lord, save me!”
31 And immediately Jesus stretched out His hand and caught him, and said to him, “O you of little faith, why did you doubt?” 32 And when they got into the boat, the wind ceased.
33 Then those who were in the boat came and worshiped Him, saying, “Truly You are the Son of God.”
There is a great horse park in Lexington, Kentucky. My horse Blackfoot would really like to go there, but that would be a long hard journey for him (840 miles). It would be a whole lot easier journey if he was trailered there and didn’t have to walk. Blackfoot wants to go, but he doesn’t want to get on the trailer.
It would be a blessing for Blackfoot to not only get to go to Lexington, but a bigger blessing not to have to walk the whole distance.
Let’s say the will of God is for Blackfoot to get on the trailer and the blessing of God is being transported to the Lexington park. Blackfoot will miss out on the blessing of God, no matter how hard he prays, as long as he refuses to get in the will of God (getting on the trailer).
That is how we are sometimes. We want the blessings of God, but are not in the will of God. We pray and pray for blessings, all the while we are not in the will of God.
How do you know when you are in the God’s will?
1 - Are you saved?
2 - Are you filled with the Spirit of God (Not referring to Baptized in the Holy Spirit), but feeding on and delighting yourself on the Spirit of God.
Psalm 37:3-5 (NKJV)
3 Trust in the LORD, and do good;
Dwell in the land, and feed on His faithfulness.
4 Delight yourself also in the LORD,
And He shall give you the desires of your heart.
5 Commit your way to the LORD,
Trust also in Him,
And He shall bring it to pass.
Notice the Word tells us first to “feed on His faithfulness” and to Delight yourself also in the Lord, before the Word speaks of the desires of our hearts.
If you are saved and filled with the Spirit of God, you will seek the will of God. His will, will be your desire. According to His Word, He will then give you the desires of your heart.
Why did we start a Cowboy Church? Because we wanted too. Because it was a desire God placed in our hearts. So, are we in God’s will? Well, does God want His people to spread the gospel? Is it pleasing to God that we meet and share the gospel? I would say yes, therefore, I would also say we are in the will of God.
Let’s get back to Blackfoot’s problem.
So, Blackfoot gets on the trailer. He is in God’s will. But, along the way the wind blows strongly through the trailer and it’s loud. The trailer shifts and pitches when moving from lane to lane, making turns, or when someone stops or pulls out in front of us. Blackfoot staggers and becomes afraid. How could this be God’s will? This is so scary and uncomfortable. He may even start to think, “Maybe I’ve made a bad mistake”.
Going back to our text in Matthew 14, the disciples were in God’s will when they got in the boat and started across the sea, but a storm came. Peter was in God’s will when he got out of the boat and walked on the water, but he “started” to sink.
God was on the scene, but they didn’t see Jesus right away. If they left after feeding the people, it would have been, say dinner time, around 6 or 7 pm. Now some nine or more hours later they were only halfway across. They probably had been fighting this storm for hours. They could not have been any more in God’s will then when they got into the boat and set out to cross the sea.
But now they were in a storm and since they most likely had been fighting this storm for hours, they may have felt like all was lost. I would think they must have been praying for God to save them. Jesus sent them out into the sea and now they would surely die there. But, they had not been forgotten. Jesus walked on the water four miles upon a stormy sea. Their prayers were answered. They were saved by the One who calmed the sea. They made it through the storm, because Jesus was with them. Peter did not sink and drown because he called out to Jesus, held to the hand of Jesus and walked back to the boat.
What if they did not know Jesus?
What if they had went out into that sea all on their own?
How could someone that does not know the Lord and makes no effort to be in God’s will for their life expect prayers to be answered when they face problems or struggles?
Going to church does not make you a Christian no more than standing in a horse trailer makes you a horse.
Acting and sounding like a horse may be fun, but it doesn’t make you a horse. Praying for God to solve your problems or to help you during the storm doesn’t make you a child of God either.
Going to church every once and awhile or saying a prayer ever once and awhile does not make you a Christian or entitle you to God’s blessings.
What makes you a Christian and the right to be called a child of God?
- Confessing you are a sinner.
- Turning from your sin.
- Acknowledging Jesus as the Son of God
- Asking Jesus to be Lord of your life
But, asking Jesus to be Lord of your life means to continually seek His will in your life. If you are doing that, then you have a personal relationship with Him. He hears your prayers. His grace and blessings are yours for the asking. “You have not because you ask not” (James 4:2) “Ask and it shall be given” (Matt. 7:8)
1 John 3:22
And whatever we ask we receive from Him, because we keep His commandments and do those things that are pleasing in His sight.
Is the life your living pleasing in His sight?
Are the things you are doing and the things coming out of your mouth pleasing to God?
(Eph. 4:29, Let no corrupt communication proceed out of your mouth, but that which is good to the use of edifying, that it may minister grace unto the hearers)
But, seek ye first the kingdom of God, and his righteousness; and all these things shall be added unto you. (What things? The blessings of God and answered prayers)
Seek God's will in your life and live your life for Him. See your prayers answered and be blessed.