Preacher's PulpitTM                                          Dr. Joe Tims

TEXT: Ephesians 5:17

SUBJ:  3 Rules for Knowing the Will of God

The will of God is not hidden, but rather it is revealed to us through the Word of God.

The Word of God says that God does not bypass our minds when it comes to His will for us.

That's why Paul said in

(Eph 5:17)  "Wherefore be ye not unwise, but understanding what the will of the Lord is."


A. The Bible is not a book of rules, but rather it is a book of principles.

1. Too often we want to make a list of rules to govern our lives rather than living by Biblical principles.

2. God is not pleased by our following rules - anymore than we are pleased when our children do just what we say, instead of living like we want them to.

3. Any list we make would be drastically insufficient!

B. We never have to pray about something that the Word of God commands.

1. Example: Marriage

(2 Cor 6:14)  "Be ye not unequally yoked together with unbelievers: for what fellowship hath righteousness with unrighteousness? and what communion hath light with darkness?"

"Can two walk together, except they be agreed?" (Amos 3:3)

a. There is more to choosing a mate for life than just whether or not they are a professing Christian.

b. Example: Saved but not living for the Lord.

c. Which one do you marry?

d. The one you love!

2. Example: Vocation

(1 Pet 4:11)  "If any man speak, let him speak as the oracles of God; if any man minister, let him do it as of the ability which God giveth: that God in all things may be glorified through Jesus Christ, to whom be praise and dominion for ever and ever. Amen."

(1 Cor 10:31)  "Whether therefore ye eat, or drink, or whatsoever ye do, do all to the glory of God."
(Col 3:23)  "And whatsoever ye do, do it heartily, as to the Lord, and not unto men;"

3. Whatever vocation we enter into we must be able to honor God with our lives.

4. Can we glorify God in what we are doing? If not then it is not the will of God!

C. The question we must answer is this: What is your final authority?

1. In the realm of Christendom, we find four final authorities.

2. For some the church is the final authority.

a. This is the Catholics - the church is final unless

b. The pope speaks 'ex cathedral' then his word is to be taken as God's word.

3. For others, human experience is the final authority

a. This is the position of the much of the Charismatic crowd.

b. "It happened to me, therefore it is true!"

c. "I don't care what the Bible says, I know what I feel!"

4. Then there is human reasoning as the final authority.

a. This is the position of liberals and includes most of the Protestant churches.

b. Nobody is right and nobody is wrong because we are all looking for truth.

c. What they cannot conceive they will not believe; what they cannot understand, they will not accept.

d. "It doesn't make sense to me that there is a hell, so there is no hell!"

5. Finally, there are those who take the Bible as the only final authority in their lives.

a. I would hope that this is where each of us are.

b. Many People say that the Word of God is their final authority but they continually make important decisions on the basis of human reasoning or human experience.

c. Final authority means that, like it or not, there is no where else to turn to for answers.

d. What is the final authority in your life?


A. God wants us to be ready and willing to do anything He should ask.

1. Ex. in the military, when the commanding officer issues a command he expects immediate obedience.

a. There is no room for discussion or arguments.

b. The purpose of boot camp is to shape and train young men to obey orders immediately.

c. On the battlefield may hesitation to obey could result in disaster.

2. We are in a battle!

a. Our enemy is real!

b. When we balk or hesitate in our obedience to our Master, we open ourselves up for disaster in our lives

3. We must be ready and willing to obey our Lord.

a. When Miss or I would call our children's names they were to come to us immediately.

b. For to answer "yeah!" was not acceptable.

c. They came immediately to us to receive whatever instructions we had to give.

d. Now that isn't natural, they had to be trained to respond in that manner.

4. God wants us ready and willing to obey Him.

B. Acts 9:6, "Lord, what wilt thou have me to do?"

1. That question will go unanswered unless we are ready and willing to serve Him.

2. God will never reveal to us His will for our future if we aren't obedient to His will for our present.

3. Many times our prayers are not to find the will of God but to see if God will let us do what we want instead of what He has said.

C. Eph. 4:30, "And grieve not the Holy Spirit of God..."

1. When we continually refuse to do what God wants and we repeatedly do what we want,

2. Then the Holy Spirit - who was given to be our guide into all truth - is grieved!

3. At that point you can be sure that you are not in the will of God.


(Rom 12:1-2)  "I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that ye present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable unto God, which is your reasonable service. {2}And be not conformed to this world: but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind, that ye may prove what is that good, and acceptable, and perfect, will of God."

A. The key is surrender. cf. Jn 6:38

(John 6:38)  "For I came down from heaven, not to do mine own will, but the will of him that sent me."

B. It is absolutely impossible to not know the will of God if you are yielded to HIM!

(Isa 30:21)  "And thine ears shall hear a word behind thee, saying, This is the way, walk ye in it, when ye turn to the right hand, and when ye turn to the left."

C. God will direct - He will guide - "...He will guide you into all truth..."

(John 16:13)  "Howbeit when he, the Spirit of truth, is come, he will guide you into all truth: for he shall not speak of himself; but whatsoever he shall hear, that shall he speak: and he will show you things to come."

D. He will guide us by His eyes. cf. Ps. 32:8

(1 Pet 3:12) "For the eyes of the Lord are over the righteous, and his ears are open unto their prayers: but the face of the Lord is against them that do evil."

E. We must keep our eyes upon the God if we are to be led and directed into His will

(Heb 12:2)  "Looking unto Jesus the author and finisher of our faith; who for the joy that was set before him endured the cross, despising the shame, and is set down at the right hand of the throne of God."

F. He will give us our way if we refuse to yield.

(Psa 106:13-15)  "They soon forgat his works; they waited not for his counsel: {14}But lusted exceedingly in the wilderness, and tempted God in the desert. {15}And he gave them their request; but sent leanness into their soul."

G. Along with our way will come leanness into our soul.

H. How much better it would have been if they (Israel) only would have yielded - how much better for us!

Nothing is the will of God if it is not in accordance with the word of God.

Before we can know the will of God we must be willing to do the will of God.

The key is a surrendered life.

Tonight, do you know the will of God for your life?

If not why not determine that you will seek to apply the principles of His Word to your life.

Are you willing to do what He asks?

Are you truly surrendered?

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