UNDERSTANDING THE WILL OF GOD
Eph. 5:17; Col. 1:9Ė For this cause we also, since the day we heard it, do not cease to pray for you, and to desire that ye might be filled with the knowledge of his will in all wisdom and spiritual understanding;

    Dr. Bob Jones, Sr. said, "Success is knowing the will of God and doing it." 
    The word "success" only occurs one time in the Bible. Joshua 1:8, "This book of the law shall not depart out of thy mouth; but thou shalt meditate therein day and night, that thou mayest observe to do according to all that is written therein: for then thou shalt make thy way prosperous, and then thou shalt have good success." Success for the Christian is inseparable from the Bible. That is because, the Bible gives us the basis for making successful decisions.
    If you were to have a face to face encounter with the Lord Jesus, and could ask Him any question you wanted, what would that question be? The Apostle Paul had such an encounter on the Damascus road (Acts 9:1-6). He asked TWO very important questions. 

   1) "Who art thou Lord?" This is the single most important question in all of life. Who is Jesus Christ to you? Your answer determines where you will spend your eternity! 
   2) "Lord, what wilt thou have me to do?" This is the second most important question in life. Godís will and His will alone should be the heartís desire for every child of God. 

    God told Paul to go into the city and there, he would be told what to do. God sometimes uses another Christian to help us understand the will of God. 
    Now, before you can know Godís will for your life, you must understand how His will operates. There are four workings of the will of God.

   1. Godís Sovereign Will - This is a decision of God that is always carried out, nothing in the universe is ever able to stop it. God is God and He will do whatever He wishes. 

   2. Godís Moral Will - This, too, is forever settled and is unchanging. Some things are right and some things are wrong, (It matters not what society says!) This moral will is revealed in the Word of God and the conscience of man. These are things you never have to pray about (1 Thess. 4:3; 5:18).

   3. Godís Particular Will - He has a will that is particular and peculiar to your life. (Ill. Saul - Acts 9:15-16) This particular will varies from saint to saint. It is Godís will that every Christian be serving Him in some local church ministry (Rom. 12:1-2).

   4. Godís Permissive WillĖ This is when God permits a particular thing to happen. As Paul wrote to the church at CorinthĖ "I will come to you shortly, if the Lord will" (1 Cor. 4:6). We are always to make our plans contingent on the will of God (James 4:15).

    Even though you and I are a small part of Godís vast creation, and our lives seem very insignificant, God knows you! He loves you! Even the very hairs of your head are numbered and known by Him. As a result, He has designed a particular plan for your life, and, He has promised to reveal it to you and to guide you into it.
    God lead His people in the wilderness with a pillar of fire. Often the Jews relied on the Urim and Thummin and putting out a fleece to determine the will of God.
     Some people today pay $100-$150 an hour to a psychic to find out what the will of God is.

 
THE PROCESS OF KNOWING THE WILL OF GOD: 
1. STEP #1Ė The step of PRESENTATION (Rom. 12:1-2)ó To know Godís will, you must first be committed to do it (Rom. 12:1-2). God doesnít waste His time communicating His will to people who are not interested in obeying it. ASK YOURSELF: "Am I willing to do whatever God says He wants done?"
2. STEP #2Ė The step of PREFERENCE  (Ezra 7:27; Ps. 37:4; Phil 2:13). God communicates His will by instilling in us a desire to do what He wants done. Prayerfully examine the desires of your heart. What do you want to do for God? The desires that come from God will not conflict with His revealed will in His Word. ASK YOURSELF: "If I had the necessary resources and was capable of doing anything I wanted for the Lord, what would it be? What is the desire of my heart? Does this conflict with Godís Word?"
3. STEP #3Ė The step of PROVISION  (1 Thess. 5:24; Heb. 13:21). There will be a provision of Godís power and resources to fulfill His will. God not only puts the desire in your heart, but also supplies the power and resources to accomplish it. ASK YOURSELF: "Is God supplying what I need to fulfill this desire?"
4. STEP #4Ė The step of PEACE Ė The peace of God will accompany the knowledge of Godís will (Ps. 25:12-13; Prov. 3:13-17, 24; Phil 4:6-7; Col. 3:15). ASK YOURSELF: "Do I have perfect peace about following this course?"

CONCLUSION: There is one three areas of the will of God that is no mystery: It is Godís will for you to be: 
   SAVED (2 Pet. 3:9); 
   SANCTIFIED (1 Thess. 4:3); and 
   SERVING Him (Rom. 12:1-2). 

A sermon outline by Pastor Al Hughes, Port Orchard Wa