Thy Will Be Done
(Sermon Notes) By Warren Zehrung 1/18/2020
In today’s sermon, we will explore God’s will in the life of a Christian. The title of today’s sermon comes from here:
Luke 11:1 And it came to pass, that, as he was praying in a certain place, when he ceased, one of his disciples said unto him, Lord, teach us to pray, as John also taught his disciples.
Luke 11:2 And he said unto them, When ye pray, say, Our Father which art in heaven, Hallowed be thy name. Thy kingdom come. Thy will be done, as in heaven, so in earth.
Have you ever noticed how Paul begins a lot of his epistles with the phrase “according to, or by the will of God?” Paul is indicating that he is not doing his work because he thinks it’s a good idea—of his own volition—by his own will—but that he is compelled and constrained by God’s will to preach the Gospel to the world…
Paul is saying that he has deliberately made his own personal will subservient and deferential to God’s will. Paul has come to a point in his own life where he has no personal agenda to accomplish his own goals in life at all. God had called Paul, and Jesus had knocked him down and blinded him – turned him around… It was God who made Paul an apostle… (Ephesians 1:1) The only thing Paul was seeking was the will of God. Paul says:
Romans 1:10 Making request, if by any means now at length I might have a prosperous journey by the will of God to come unto you.
As Paul starts to wind up his letter to the Roman Christians he says:
Romans 15:32 That I may come unto you with joy by the will of God, and may with you be refreshed.
1Corinthians 1:1 Paul called to be an apostle of Jesus Christ through the will of God…
2Corinthians 1:1 Paul, an apostle of Jesus Christ by the will of God, and Timothy our brother, unto the church of God which is at Corinth, with all the saints which are in all Achaia:
Galatians 1:4 Who gave himself for our sins, that he might deliver us from this present evil world, according to the will of God and our Father:
Ephesians 1:1 Paul, an apostle of Jesus Christ by the will of God, to the saints which are at Ephesus, and to the faithful in Christ Jesus:
Philippians 1:12 But I would ye should understand, brethren, that the things which happened unto me [beatings, prison, stoning etc…] have fallen out rather unto the furtherance of the gospel;
Colossians 1:1 Paul, an apostle of Jesus Christ by the will of God,
1Thesalonians 4:3 For this is the will of God, even your sanctification,
2Timothy 1:1 Paul, an apostle of Jesus Christ by the will of God, according to the promise of life which is in Christ Jesus.
Brethren, when we hear the World News we see the need for God’s will on earth. It is not only the wars all around the world… It is not only the destabilizing migrations of vicious peoples, and spreading sectarian violence… It is not only the lying, deceit, and hatred that congressmen have for one another… It is not only the false philosophies that threaten the moral fabric of America and Great Britain…
God’s will is not something that is sought after by our country—quite the contrary—God, and everything that is good is belittled and done away with…
What could be more important than the will of God? Jesus made it abundantly clear that God’s will is that His Church people be unified in one Spirit. But, how many ministers are working to bring about the oneness of the brethren that Jesus so ardently desires?
A good Church pastor will be laying down his life for the brethren just as Jesus did. How many Church Pastors would lay it all on the line to save a single member of their congregation? How many Church Pastors would give up their reputations, their position, their salary, and everything that goes with it, to restore a hurt member who has been driven away?
That is what Jesus Christ would do—absolutely everything to save every single person. Jesus Christ is not willing that any should perish, and that extends not just through the Church brethren, but even through the world.
John 17:11 And now I am no more in the world, but these are in the world, and I come to thee. Holy Father, keep through thine own name those whom thou hast given me, that they may be one, as we are.
Our response to this deep desire for unity that Jesus pleaded for should be to do everything humanly possible to bring about the unity and oneness of the brethren of the Church of God.
Like Diotrephes, who loved to have the preeminence among them (3John), some ministers are disfellowshipping the faithful Church members—in order to advance their own social status…
Brethren, we are not one people—we are scattered. God’s will is not that we all be in the same corporate organization—but, that we recognize each other— all who are led by His Spirit (Romans 8:14).
Jesus taught us to pray, “Thy will be done.”
What all does God’s will entail? I’m sure that we would all agree that God’s will is the most important thing. But, what is God’s will for us?
What is His will for all Christians? Let’s look at it this way:
How important was God’s will to Jesus Christ when He was on earth? More than anything, Jesus continuously sought to do His Father’s will. Not his Own! God’s will was Jesus’ entire motivation—it is what kept Jesus alive and going unto the end:
John 4:34 Jesus said, My sustenance is to do the will of Him that sent me, and to finish His work.
John 19:30 [As He was dying] …Jesus said, It is finished: and He bowed His head, and breathed His last breath.
Jesus completed the work His Father gave Him to do. It is now our time to do the work God has given us to do. When Jesus Christ was on earth He knew what He had to accomplish. He had a job to do, and He did it. Jesus did not have an agenda of His own to perform, but that of His Father.
Luke 22:42 Father, if you are willing, remove this cup from me: nevertheless not my will, but your will be done.
Jesus demonstrated to John, and to us, that it was His will to do the Father’s will— everything the Father required of Him – setting us an example to follow. Jesus continuously deferred to His heavenly Father’s will. He said:
John 5:30 I can of mine own self do nothing: as I hear, I judge: and my judgment is just; because I seek not mine own will, but the will of the Father who has sent me.
Brethren, we must grow in Godly character to the point where we too seek God’s will in our lives just as Jesus did. Godly character is life’s goal for those of us called by God. God is sharpening and perfecting His character in those who believe Him and humbly yield to His will.
A Christian must always choose God’s righteous way over his own personal desires and will. In that way, one becomes “like” God—with Godly character. A man must be conquered by God. He must willingly yield his will to that of God. He must always choose God’s righteous way over his own personal desires and will. In that way, one becomes “like” God—with Godly character. He is obligated to learn what it means to “lay down his life,” just as Jesus did, and then daily and continuously do so (Romans 12:1). Then he will be taking on the very character of God.
1Thesalonians 5:18 In everything give thanks: for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus concerning you.
A man must be conquered by God. He must willingly yield his will to that of God—the will of God. Jesus set the example for us: He said:
John 6:38 I came down from heaven, not to do mine own will, but the will of Him that sent me.
John 6:39 And this is the Father’s will who has sent me, that of all which He hath given me I should lose nothing, but should raise it up again at the last day.
John 6:40 And this is the will of Him that sent me, that everyone which sees the Son, and believeth on Him, may have everlasting life: and I will raise him up at the last day.
Did you know that it is the Father’s will that everybody who ever lived should receive everlasting life in His Kingdom?
John 3:16 For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in Him should not perish, but have everlasting life.
Matthew 18:12 How think ye? if a man have an hundred sheep, and one of them be gone astray, doth he not leave the ninety and nine, and goes into the mountains, and seeks that which is gone astray?
Matthew 18:13 And if so be that he find it, verily I say unto you, he rejoices more of that sheep, than of the ninety and nine which went not astray.
Matthew 18:14 Even so it is not the will of your Father which is in heaven, that one of these little ones should perish.
Does the Church of God feel like God does toward the world? Sometimes it seems that Church brethren can’t wait for God to crush those people out in the world.
John 3:17 For God sent not his Son into the world to condemn [punish] the world; but that the world through Him might be saved.
Jesus came to do the will of God the Father. Jesus gave and He gave until He gave His all. Jesus gave His life. He was crucified! Jesus lay down His life doing the will of God. In doing so, Jesus left us an example of how we must follow in His steps. Jesus said:
John 13:34 A new commandment I give unto you, That ye love one another; as I have loved you, that ye also love one another.
How did Jesus demonstrate His love for us? We just saw that. He literally gave His life and died in service to us. He taught the lesson of humble service in the Passover Footwashing. He then instructed—He commanded— His disciples to do the same thing:
John 13:15 For I have given you an example, that ye should do as I have done to you.
Jesus served us unto death—we too must lay our lives down—at least as living sacrifices. Jesus was not only referring to His example of washing and drying their feet as a lowly servant.
If we are always trying to preserve our lives by protecting our status—we are ungodly servants. But is we put all our being into making personal sacrifices in service to others—we will reap eternal life.
Matthew 16:24 Then said Jesus unto his disciples, If any man will come after me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross, and follow me.
Matthew 16:25 For whosoever will save his life shall lose it: and whosoever will lose his life for my sake shall find it.
Jesus most assuredly signified that they should be willing to give their lives in helping others into the Kingdom of God, just as He was giving His life for others. Jesus laid down His life in exchange for our salvation.
1John 3:16 Hereby perceive we the love of God, because He laid down His life for us: and we are obligated to lay down our lives for the brethren.
God’s will is that we lay down our lives for others—especially those who are of the household of God. When a brother or sister has strayed and allowed a serious sin to enter their life – we must serve them by going to their spiritual rescue, no matter what it takes – that is laying down our life for them.
Galatians 6:1 Brethren, if a man be overtaken in a fault, you who are spiritual, restore such an one in the spirit of meekness;
As God’s children, we should be laying down our lives to help bring about unification in attitude, direction, and fellowship of the brethren; especially as we find ourselves separated by the imaginary walls of worldly administrations.
James 5:19 Brethren, if any of you should stray from the truth, and one convert him; turn him around to God’s will;
James 5:20 Let him know, that he which converts the sinner from the error of his way shall save a soul from death, and shall hide a multitude of sins.
Does God the Father actually desire that Christians be willing to go that far in getting involved—even dying if necessary? That is a most serious commitment! To make sure that there was no mistaking how far God desires a Christian to be willing to go in service to His fellow man, Jesus reiterated the requirement of a true Christian:
John 15:12 This is my commandment, That ye love one another, as I have loved you.
How did Jesus demonstrate His love for us? He died out of His love for us. And just so that there would be no mistake in what He meant when He said, “as I have loved you,” He spoke of our laying down our lives in Christian service as He did.
John 15:13 Greater love has no man than this, that a man lay down his life for his friends.
Could it actually be God’s will that we literally die to help another person into the Kingdom of God? Yes! We have to be ready to do just that. Too many of our church-going brethren seem to think that we are more privileged than the other Christians, and that we will just breeze into the Kingdom of God without learning to put God’s Will into our lives.
It is seldom that we are actually called upon to have to actually die. Paul tells us that most of the time when we are willing to make the ultimate sacrifice, God does not require it of us, but we are allowed to keep on living in order to be able to take that supreme stand again and again:
Romans 12:1 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.
What is God’s will? How can we know? How important is it to know what the will of the Father is? Did Jesus teach His disciples what the will of the Father is? If He did, where is that information revealed for us today?
The entire concept of our conversion has to do with allowing our own personal desires to be replaced by the will of God. It is crucial that we know what the will of the Father is in order to avoid the pitfalls that deceive so many in the Church today.
Matthew 7:21 Not everyone that says unto me, Lord, Lord, shall enter into the kingdom of heaven; but he that doeth the will of my Father which is in heaven. (Matthew 12:50)
King David wrote in Psalms 40:8, “I delight to do Thy will, O my God: yea, Thy law is within my heart.”
When Christ returns to this earth and ushers in the Kingdom of His Father, He will also begin to establish the Father’s will in all the earth. Every time we see the words “Thy will be done on earth,” we should be reminded that Satan is going to be displaced by Christ who will be bringing His Father’s peace and truth. Until then, we as Christians are to come out of this present evil world and be separate – seeking the will of our Father in heaven.
A convert is one who has been called by God; repented of that which is evil in God’s sight; accepted Jesus Christ in faith as his personal Savior; been baptized receiving God’s Holy Spirit; been turned around from the ways of this evil world; been transformed by the restoration of his mind; chosen that which is good; and fully yielded to the perfect will of God.
Romans 12:2 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.”
As the children of God, we are given instructions on how to make God our Father, and Jesus our elder brother. Jesus says that doing the Father’s will establishes a relationship with Him.
Matthew 12:50 Whosoever shall do the will of my Father which is in heaven, the same is my brother, and sister, and mother. (Matthew 7:21
As children of God and citizens of heaven, we are to live by the rules of the Kingdom—even now. As he was created, there is an element lacking in man’s thinking, an element that needs to be added to man’s heart and psyche so that man can properly control his thoughts and the actions they produce.
The Bible reveals that God has promised to give His people the knowledge, understanding and the power of His Holy Spirit to rightly manage and control how to think, feel and behave. With God’s Spirit, man is enabled and even desires to choose correctly – having the rebellious spirit of the human mind restrained and brought under control by the Holy Spirit to the mind and will of God.
Jesus was baptized though He never sinned. He told John the Baptist that the reason that He was being baptized was to fulfill all righteousness—it was the right thing to do. Righteousness means obedience to the will of God.
Jesus demonstrated to John, and to us, that it was His will to do everything the Father required of Him – setting us an example to follow (Matthew 3:13-16). The question is: Will I do His Will?
Jesus taught, “Thy will be done” (Matthew 6:10). Again, the question is, will we do His will? The answer is so clear: We must do so. (Matthew 24:46) The crux of Christianity lies in coming to the point of yielding one’s self to the perfect will of God. Yield to God in everything, without equivocation. Not, “…if it works out.” Not, “…if it is convenient.” Not, “…If I get the chance.” The 1st Commandment is put God 1st. That means that God’s will is always placed ahead of personal inclination (Matthew 22:37-38). And, that means maintaining Godly principles even when they are difficult or seemingly impossible.
The natural carnal man cannot submit entirely or surrender his will and mind to the will of God. Without the gift of God’s Holy Spirit to purge an evil conscience it is impossible for man to relinquish his thoughts in favor of the higher power (Hebrews 9:14; 10:22). Isaiah wrote of the evil and complex machinations of the carnal mind:
Isaiah 55:7 Let the wicked forsake his way, and the unrighteous man his thoughts: and let him return unto the LORD, and He will have mercy upon him; and to our God, for He will abundantly pardon.
Isaiah 55:8 For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways, says the LORD.
Isaiah 55:9 For as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways, and my thoughts than your thoughts.
Paul gave a good example in expressing that he worked diligently to yield his ways to God’s ways when he said:
Acts 24:16 …I exercise myself, to have always a conscience void of offence toward God, and toward men.
God has shown His Will to many in order to ascertain if they will either live their lives in accordance to the will of God, or follow their own whims.
The Greek for will is G2307 thelēma pronounced thel’-ay-mah, comes from the prolonged form of G2309; a determination (properly the thing), that is, (actively) choice (specifically purpose, decree; abstractly volition) or (passively) inclination: – desire, pleasure, will.
Again, we find today’s Title:
Matthew 26:42 He went away again the second time, and prayed, saying, O my Father, if this cup may not pass away from me, except I drink it, thy will be done.
For us, God’s will is necessary if we are going to be in the Family of God. Jesus said so:
Mark 3:35 For whosoever shall do the will of God, the same is my brother, and my sister, and mother.
There is a Parable for us about the will of God:
Luke 12:45 But and if that servant say in his heart, My lord delays his coming; and shall begin to beat the menservants and maidens, and to eat and drink, and to be drunken;
Luke 12:46 The lord of that servant will come in a day when he looks not for him, and at an hour when he is not aware, and will cut him in sunder, and will appoint him his portion with the unbelievers.
Luke 12:47 And that servant, which knew his lord’s will, and prepared not himself, neither did according to his will, shall be beaten with many stripes.
Whose prayers does God hear? Is God’s will a factor in our prayers being heard?
John 9:31 Now we know that God hears not sinners: but if any man be a worshipper of God, and does His will, him He hears.
1John 5:14 And this is the confidence that we have in Him, that, if we ask any thing according to His will, He hears us:
1John 5:15 And if we know that He hears us, whatsoever we ask, we know that we have the petitions that we desired of Him.
1John 3:22 And whatsoever we ask, we receive of him, because we keep his commandments, and do those things that are pleasing in his sight.
1John 3:23 And this is His commandment, That we should believe on the name of his Son Jesus Christ, and love one another, as He gave us commandment.
Brethren, we are privileged to know the will of God.
Ephesians 1:9 Having made known unto us the mystery of His will, according to His good pleasure which He hath purposed in Himself:
Ephesians 1:10 That in the dispensation of the fullness of times He might gather together in one [ie the one Body] all things in Christ, both which are in heaven, and which are on earth; even in Him:
Ephesians 6:6 Not with eye-service, as men-pleasers; but as the servants of Christ, doing the will of God from the heart;
Ephesians 6:7 With good will doing service, as to the Lord, and not to men:
Colossians 1:9 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;
Colossians 1:10 That ye might walk worthy of the Lord unto all pleasing, being fruitful in every good work, and increasing in the knowledge of God;
Colossians 4:12 Epaphras, who is one of you, a servant of Christ, salutes you, always laboring fervently for you in prayers, that ye may stand perfect and complete in all the will of God.
I want to mention how true Christians suffer in this evil world when following the will of God: As Paul said in Romans:
Romans in 8:18 For I consider that the sufferings of this present time are not worthy to be compared with the glory which shall be revealed in us.
Hebrews 10:36 For ye have need of patience, that, after ye have done the will of God, ye might receive the promise.
1Peter 2:15 For so is the will of God, that with well doing ye may put to silence the ignorance of foolish men:
1Peter 3:17 For it is better, if the will of God be so, that ye suffer for well doing, than for evil doing.
1Peter 4:2 That he no longer should live the rest of his time in the flesh to the lusts of men, but to the will of God.
1Peter 4:19 Wherefore let them that suffer according to the will of God commit the keeping of their souls to him in well doing, as unto a faithful Creator.
1John 2:17 And the world passes away, and the lust thereof: but he that doeth the will of God abides forever.
2Thesalonians 1:3 We are bound to thank God always for you, brethren, as it is meet, because that your faith grows exceedingly, and the charity of every one of you all toward each other abounds;
2Thesalonians 1:4 So that we ourselves glory in you in the Churches of God for your patience and faith in all your persecutions and tribulations that ye endure:
The Judgment at Christ’s Coming
2Thesalonians 1:5 Which is a manifest token of the righteous judgment of God, that ye may be counted worthy of the kingdom of God, for which ye also suffer:
2Thesalonians 1:6 Seeing it is a righteous thing with God to recompense tribulation to them that trouble you;
2Thesalonians 1:7 And to you who are troubled rest with us, when the Lord Jesus shall be revealed from heaven with his mighty angels,
2Thesalonians 1:8 In flaming fire taking vengeance on them that know not God, and that obey not the gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ:
Ephesians 5:17 Wherefore be ye not unwise, but understanding what the will of the Lord is.
End: Thy Will Be Done