Shared: 19 June 2021
These notes below can be useful for you to follow along while you listen to the audio message.
Detailed Notes: COV019 19.6.21
Your will be done 3
In my last two sharing, I considered with you the 2nd half of
Matt. 6:10: Your will be done, on earth as it is in heaven.
The Lord willing, this will be my concluding sharing on:
Your will be done.
Our prayer ‘Your will be done…’ is the longing of our hearts that God's will be done – and we pray to God accordingly.
It is not passive acceptance
- not the attitude: ‘everything that happens is the will of God’.
It is actively praying and striving in this direction
We reflected on the examples of the Lord Jesus and the apostle Paul.
They did not accept passively everything taking place as God’s will. They actively sought to live out the will of God - even if it meant going through much pain, suffering and anguish.
We must learn to live in like manner.
In the last part of my last sharing, I mentioned:
When we set our hearts to live in this way, we need not be upset, discouraged, miserable - because circumstances, people or the forces of darkness seem to prevent us from following and serving the Lord effectively.
To live out meaningfully the principle and spirit of ‘Your will be done’, it is important to exercise true faith accompanied by a proper appreciation of the sovereignty of God.
When we are committed to live out God's perfect will and look to Him to guide and enable us, we can meaningfully trust Him to undertake and help us live out a life of spiritual abundance and fruitfulness - because that is God's will for us.
If we are submitted to the Lord and prepared to do our part as He desires of us, nothing can stop us from living out such a life - no one and no circumstance can block it.
The degree God's will will be fulfilled in and through our lives is directly related to the degree of freedom God has to work in and through us – the degree we submit to God and do our part as He desires of us.
It is the will of the Lord Jesus that His disciples live a life of spiritual abundance and fruitfulness
I will now continue to consider with you the meaningfulness of trusting God's sovereign undertaking for our lives as we live by the principle and spirit of ‘Your will be done’.
The story of Joseph illustrates well what we are considering – and can be a strong encouragement to us to live in this way – and trust God's sovereign undertaking.
The story of Joseph
The story of Joseph illustrates this area of truth beautifully.
It has been recorded in the Scriptures for our learning.
The brothers of Joseph were jealous of him: Acts 7:9
and he was sold as a slave into Egypt.
He was falsely accused by his master’s wife because he refused to succumb to her seduction – and he was then thrown into prison.
His circumstances may seem very distressful and hopeless- but it was not so.
God has His plans and purposes – and He had a part for Joseph to fulfil – and no one could thwart it.
Joseph may seem helpless and his situation hopeless
However, when we look at the total picture, it is clear God was sovereignly undertaking in Joseph’s life - so that his brothers selling him as a slave into Egypt and his master’s wife’s false accusation landing him in prison became part of the unfolding of God's plan for Joseph – and Joseph fulfilling an important part of God's overall plan and the fulfilment of God's purposes.
God sovereignly undertook and overruled so that the evil deeds of his brothers and his master’s wife actually became part of the chain of events that led to Joseph being elevated to the second highest position in Egypt
The testimony of Joseph to his brothers indicates he had some understanding of God's sovereign undertaking in the whole chain of events.
“As for you, you meant evil against me, but God meant it for good in order to bring about this present result, to preserve many people alive.
It does not mean that the Lord's will for our lives will automatically be fulfilled.
Joseph was ‘successful’ and he fulfilled God's will for his life because he was faithful and he trusted God - even though his circumstances were very difficult
God was with him – this is the reason for his success in life.
The Lord was with Joseph, so he became a successful man. And he was in the house of his master, the Egyptian.
9 “The patriarchs became jealous of Joseph and sold him into Egypt. Yet God was with him,
10 and rescued him from all his afflictions, and granted him favor and wisdom in the sight of Pharaoh, king of Egypt, and he made him governor over Egypt and all his household.
Though others may seek to harm Joseph and the circumstances may appear very unfavourable, God was sovereignly at work – to bring about His intentions and will for Joseph – and no one and nothing can thwart what the Lord wants to bring about in and through the life of Joseph
As we read the story of Joseph, we can see it is very meaningful and important for Joseph to maintain unwavering faith and confidence in God – whatever the circumstances - but it was not easy for Joseph
Joseph was living during O.T. times.
We are living in N.T. times - under the New Covenant.
Christ has come.
The outpouring of the Holy Spirit has taken place.
We have the whole Bible – O.T. and N.T.
We have brothers and sisters in Christ who can pray for us, uphold us and go through with us the difficulties in life.
No matter how dark the circumstances may appear, the words of Paul can greatly encourage us - we can have proper basis for exercising faith in God's sovereign undertaking.
And we know that God causes all things to work together for good to those who love God,
to those who are called according to His purpose.
‘God causes all things work together for good to those who love God...’
In the story of Joseph, there was provision of food and the preservation of the lives of many, including Joseph’s family
In our context, as we go through difficulties and trials:
Do we recognise the ‘good’ that is emerging?
If we can't see it, can we trust God and the teaching of the Scriptures that it is so?
Q. What ‘good’ are we expecting?
Material wealth and a comfortable life?
If we look for the wrong things we may be disappointed.
We ought to look to the Lord for what is ‘good’ in His sight.
One vital area we can meaningfully trust God to undertake and bring about:
Rom 8:29 comes after v.28: ‘conformed to image of His Son’
2 Consider it all joy, my brethren, when you encounter various (all kinds) trials,
3 knowing that the testing of your faith produces endurance.
4 And let endurance have its perfect result, so that you may be perfect and complete, lacking in nothing.
God's intention for us: that the trials we go through may perfect us – that we may be perfect and complete, lacking in nothing
This is a vital aspect of the meaningfulness of trusting God's sovereign undertaking for our lives as we live by the principle and spirit of Your will be done
→ increasing effectiveness and contribution in spiritual labour and the advancement of God's kingdom
Self-centredness is a serious hindrance to God’s work.
Denying ourselves, taking up the cross and following the Lord Jesus → our inner man built up and contribution to the advancement of God's kingdom.
I will now wrap up my sharing on: Your will be done.
Prayer: Your will be done.
Implications: deep longing in our heart - and we pray and look to God to guide and enable us to work in that direction
→ the advancement of God's kingdom.
→ increasing submission of men to God's reign in their hearts and manifestation of God's glory.
We align our heart with God heart and available to God
If this is our settled approach to life,
we can meaningfully trust God's sovereign undertaking
We need not feel insecure or helpless, hopeless
There is a proper basis for a deep sense of assurance of well-being, joy and peace.
Do not receive or harbour a false sense of assurance of well-being, joy and peace – when there is no proper basis for such an assurance - it will be detrimental to us.
We run with endurance the race set before us,
fixing our eyes on the Lord Jesus
The Lord Jesus says in:
“Then I said, ‘Behold, I have come (In the scroll of the book it is written of Me) To do Your will, O God.’ ”
The Lord Jesus came into this world to do the will of God the Father - in everything – always:
‘I always do the things that are pleasing to Him’: John 8:29
In the garden of Gethsemane, the Lord Jesus prayed:
‘Not My will but Yours be done’: Luke 22:42
→ fruitful life.
He never asked whether convenient, easy
His approach to life: actively sought to accomplish God’s will.
Jesus said to them, “My food is to do the will of Him who sent Me and to accomplish His work.
John 17:4 “I glorified You on the earth, having accomplished the work which You have given Me to do.
Through His ministry, death and resurrection,
the Lord Jesus laid the foundation for the building and the advancement of God's kingdom,
established the New Covenant,
opens the way for us to be forgiven, reconciled to God,
become God's children, blessed with every spiritual blessing in the heavenly places in Christ.
Feasible for us to rise up to God's call – having the potential to grow in moral and spiritual stature up to the highest level – to a mature man – to the measure of the stature which belongs to the fullness of Christ: Eph. 4:13
God the Father highly exalted Him and bestowed on Him the name which is above every name: Phil. 2:9.
He is the first-born amongst many brethren: Rom. 8:29.
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