How to know and do God’s will: Adjust and obey
Experiencing God will involve making adjustments so that we can join God in what He is doing and obeying Him by surrendering our will to His will and depending on Him in all things.
Something To Talk About:
- You must make major adjustments in your life to join God in what He is doing: Many of us want God to speak to us and give us an assignment. However, we are not interested in making any major adjustments in our lives. Biblically, that is impossible. Every time God spoke to people in the Scripture about something He wanted to do through them, major adjustments were necessary. They had to adjust their lives to God. Once the adjustments were made, God accomplished His purposes through those He called. That is true throughout Scripture: Noah could not continue life as usual and build an ark at the same time; Abram could not stay where he was and father a nation in Canaan; Moses could not stay on the back side of the desert herding sheep and stand before Pharaoh at the same time; Peter, Andrew, James, and John had to leave their fishing businesses in order to follow Jesus; and Saul (later Paul) had to completely change directions in his life in order to be used of God to preach the gospel to the Gentiles. Making the adjustment of your life to God is a turning point. If you choose to make the adjustment, you can go on to obedience. If you refuse to make the adjustment, you could miss what God has in store for your life. Saying “yes” to God will always require us to make some changes in our lives, to align our hearts more properly toward God and His good news. To join Him requires me to worship Him and not myself, Him and not my own dreams and ambitions, Him and not my own comfort and happiness.
- You come to know God by experience as you obey Him, and He accomplishes His work through you. God has always been at work in our world. He is at work where we are. God always will take the initiative to come to you and reveal what He is doing, or what He is about to do. When He does, this will be His invitation for you to join Him. Joining Him will require major adjustments of your life to Him, so He can accomplish His will through you. When you know what God has said, what He is about to do, and have adjusted your life to Him, there is yet one remaining necessary response to God. To experience Him at work in and through you, we must obey Him. According to John 14:15, 24 and the other Biblical passages, we can draw some conclusions about loving God and obedience. Obedience is the outward expression of your love of God. When you obey Him, He will accomplish His work through us; and we will come to know Him by experience. In other words, knowing God and doing His will is a repetitive cycle. I see and hear Him. I decide to join Him. I am transformed and I watch Him work. When I see Him work, I trust Him more and decide to join Him. Over time, my personal, experiential knowledge of Him grows as I obey Him.
- Experiencing God will involve making adjustments so that we can join God in what He is doing and obeying Him by surrendering our will to His will and depending on Him in all things. What does it looks like in your daily life to adjust your life/thinking/actions to God?
- What are ways God leads us to adjust to Him in how we think. About people? About issues? About biblical principles that we struggle with?
- What about big adjustments? Has God ever led you to make a major life adjustment, such as ending an unhealthy relationship, changing jobs, moving, stepping into a ministry role, letting go of something you really wanted?
- Why does God lead us to adjust to him? Why is this important? What is God doing when He asks us to adjust to Him? Why is His way best, and do we really believe this?
- Is there a way that God is calling you to adjust to Him right now? Are there fears, hesitations you have about taking this step?
- In many ways, obedience is your moment of truth. What you do will: 1. reveal what you believe about Him. 2. determine whether you will experience His mighty work in and through you. 3. determine whether you will come to know Him more intimately. Agree or disagree and why?
- If obedience is costly, then disobedience is more costly. Discuss this statement.
- Read 1 John 2:3-6: What is one clear indication that a person knows Him?
- How are faith, obedience, and God’s promises all dependent on each other?
- What did you think or find interesting about today’s message? Did anything that was said in the message particularly speak to you or surprise you? What is your biggest take away from the message?
- What will you do? How will you or your group put into practice what you’ve learned this week?
Take one thing home with you:
Have you ever thought about the link between faith and obedience? When you trust someone, you do what they say. If you don’t do what someone tells you to do, it means you don’t trust them. In the Bible, God links faith and obedience over and over again. The promises of God are conditioned on you following the directions He gives you. God has made some incredible, specific promises in His Word about obedience. God gives you His promises by grace. Obedience is the key that unlocks His promises.