God's will and our desires

SERMON TOPIC: God's will and our desires

Speaker: Ken Paynter

Language: ENGLISH

Date: 5 February 2017


Sermon synopsis: What do you want to see most in your life this year?
What do you want to see most in your church this year?
What do you want to see most in your work environment this year?
What do you want to see most in your country this year?

How do you view yourself? Does God have a plan for you? How do you view your fellow believers ? Do you have a responsibility towards them? How do you view God? Does what He wants matter to you?
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God’s will and the desires of my heart.

The desires of our heart.

1. What do you want to see most in your life this year?

2. What do you want to see most in the Brakpan Assembly this year?

3. What do you want to see most in your work environment this year?

4. What do you want to see most in South Africa this year?

How do you view yourself ? Does God have a plan for you ?

How do you view your fellow believers ? Do you have a responsibility towards them ?

How do you view God ?

Does what He wants matter to you ?

Do you appreciate what you have?

In the world today, more than 6 billion people live. If this world were shrunk to the size of a village of 100 people, what would it look like? Of the 100 people in this village: 20 are undernourished 1 is dying of starvation, while 15 are overweight. Of the wealth in this village: 6 people own 59%, 74 people own 39%, and 20 people share the remaining 2%.

20 have no clean, safe water to drink. 56 have access to sanitation 15 adults are illiterate. 1 has an university degree. 7 have computers.

Do you appreciate what you have?

It is easy to fall into the trap of taking our many blessings for granted.

If you do not live in fear of death by bombardment, armed attack, landmines, or of rape or kidnapping by armed groups, then you are more fortunate than 20, who do.

If you can speak and act according to your faith and your conscience without harassment, imprisonment, torture or death, then you are more fortunate than 48, who can not.

If you have money in the bank, money in your wallet and spare change somewhere around the house, then you are among the richest 8.

Covetousness is at the root of all kinds of evil

In 1990, in Ottawa, Canada, 24-year-old Danny Simpson went to jail, and his gun went to a museum.

He was arrested for robbing a bank of $6,000 and then sent to jail for six years. He had used a .45 calibre Colt semi-automatic, which turned out to be an antique made by the Ross Rifle Company, Quebec City, in 1918. The pistol is worth up to $100,000—much more than Danny Simpson had stolen. If he had just known what he carried in his hand, he wouldn’t have robbed the bank. In other words, Danny already had what he needed.

Before you covet what someone else has, take a look at what you have in your hand.

Hope/ Desire.

The Biblical definition of faith?

Hebrews 11:1.

Now faith is confidence in what we hope for and assurance about what we do not see.

Your faith can be defined by what you hope for, with that in mind ask yourself these questions:

What am I hoping for?

Do I have a desire to be holy?

What is my vision for the future?

Is my hope in man?

Is my hope focussed on God and His ability and resources?

Do I believe that God knows what is best for me?

Is what I have put my hope in worth sharing with others?

God has a personal blueprint for the life of His children.

Ephesians 2:10.

"For we are His workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand, that we should walk in them“

John 15:14-17.

You are my friends if you do what I command. I no longer call you servants, because a servant does not know his master’s business. Instead, I have called you friends, for everything that I learned from my Father I have made known to you.

You did not choose me, but I chose you and appointed you so that you might go and bear fruit, fruit that will last, and so that whatever you ask in my name the Father will give you.

This is my command: Love each other.

God has a personal blueprint for the life of His children.

Ephesians 5:8-17.

For you were once darkness, but now you are light in the Lord. Live as children of light (for the fruit of the light consists in all goodness, righteousness and truth) and find out what pleases the Lord.

Have nothing to do with the fruitless deeds of darkness, but rather expose them. It is shameful even to mention what the disobedient do in secret. But everything exposed by the light becomes visible, and everything that is illuminated becomes a light.

This is why it is said:

“Wake up, sleeper, rise from the dead, and Christ will shine on you.”

Be very careful, then, how you live, not as unwise but as wise, making the most of every opportunity, because the days are evil.

Therefore do not be foolish, but understand what the Lord’s will is.

How important is God’s will?

Matthew 7:21

Not everyone who says to me, Lord, Lord, will enter the kingdom of heaven, but only the one who does the will of my Father who is in heaven.

God’s will is not always appealing to the flesh.


38 Then he said to them, “My soul is overwhelmed with sorrow to the point of death. Stay here and keep watch with me.”

39 Going a little farther, he fell with his face to the ground and prayed, “My Father, if it is possible, may this cup be taken from me. Yet not as I will, but as you will.”

40 Then he returned to his disciples and found them sleeping. “Couldn’t you men keep watch with me for one hour?” he asked Peter. 41 “Watch and pray so that you will not fall into temptation. The spirit is willing, but the flesh is weak.”

42 He went away a second time and prayed, “My Father, if it is not possible for this cup to be taken away unless I drink it, may your will be done.”

43 When he came back, he again found them sleeping, because their eyes were heavy. 44 So he left them and went away once more and prayed the third time, saying the same thing.

God’s will for Jesus.

Isaiah 53:10. Yet it was the LORD’s will to crush him and cause him to suffer, and though the LORD makes his life an offering for sin, he will see his offspring and prolong his days, and the will of the LORD will prosper in his hand.

God’s will for Paul.

Acts 9:15-16.

But the Lord said to Ananias, Go! This man is my chosen instrument to proclaim my name to the Gentiles and their kings and to the people of Israel. I will show him how much he must suffer for my name.

Acts 20:22-24.

And now, compelled by the Spirit, I am going to Jerusalem, not knowing what will happen to me there. I only know that in every city the Holy Spirit warns me that prison and hardships are facing me. However, I consider my life worth nothing to me; my only aim is to finish the race and complete the task the Lord Jesus has given me, the task of testifying to the good news of God’s grace.

God’s general will and His specific will.

God's general will, among other things, includes:

For us to be saved John 6:40; Ephesians 2:8-10; 2 Peter 3:9; Galatians 1:4; 2 Timothy 1:8-9.

For us to be sanctified i.e. separated and set apart for pure and holy living . 1 Thessalonians 4:3.

For us to reveal or glorify God Ephesians 1:9-14; 1 Corinthians 10:31; Isaiah 43:7.

For us to obey God 1 Samuel 15:22-23; John 14:15-24; 1 John 5:2-3.

For us to do right 1 Peter 2:12-20.

For us to please God by walking worthy of the Lord and his calling in Christ Colossians 1:9-14 and Ephesians 4:1-3.

For us to pray and give thanks 1 Thessalonians 5:16-18.

For us to do good works 1 Peter 2:15; Ephesians 2:10 for which he is equipped by God's Spirit 1 Corinthians 12:11.

God’s general will and His specific will.

How, where, when, and with whom His general will is carried out is God's specific will for us.

However before revealing His plans to each person, God asks that certain "prerequisites" be met.

A total surrender is needed to know God’s perfect will.

You have to separate yourself from the world.

You have to want to do God’s will before knowing it.

You have to know God to know His will.

1. A total surrender is needed to know God’s perfect will.


Therefore, I urge you, brothers and sisters, in view of God’s mercy, to offer your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and pleasing to God, this is your true and proper worship.Do not conform to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is, his good, pleasing and perfect will.

2. You have to separate yourself from the world.

Romans 12:2. (Phillips)

Don't let the world around you squeeze you into its own mould, but let God remould your minds from within, so that you may prove in practice that the plan of God for you is good, meets all His demands and moves towards the goal of true maturity.

3. You have to want to do God’s will before knowing it.

It is not a case of “Well tell me what you want Lord and I will decide whether or not I will do it”

John 7:16-17.

Jesus answered, My teaching is not my own. It comes from the one who sent me. Anyone who chooses to do the will of God will find out whether my teaching comes from God or whether I speak on my own.

4. You have to know God to know His will.

If it's so hard to persuade people to commit themselves unreservedly to Christ, why bother?

Why not settle for church attendance, or membership, or at least periodic service?

As ministers, we all have to come to terms with the quality of fruit we're producing. We have to decide what level of commitment we expect from the people we're leading.

Church history has taught us that a leader can do more through a handful of totally devoted believers than through a church full of half-hearted ones.

So we're left with a tension: How can we teach in such a way that we produce fully devoted followers of Jesus Christ, when we know that most people don't want to hear about radical discipleship?

Ministry on Radical Christianity

Hunger for God attracts His attention.

Are the Church meetings and the singing and the ministry an end in themselves to you, are they satisfying a need you have to do something good or worthwhile, or are they part of you pursuit of God.

Jeremiah 29:11-14.

For I know the thoughts and plans that I have for you, says the Lord, thoughts and plans for welfare and peace and not for evil, to give you hope in your final outcome. Then you will call upon Me, and you will come and pray to Me, and I will hear and heed you. Then you will seek Me, inquire for, and require Me [as a vital necessity] and find Me when you search for Me with all your heart. I will be found by you, says the Lord, and I will release you from captivity and gather you from all the nations and all the places to which I have driven you, says the Lord, and I will bring you back to the place from which I caused you to be carried away captive.

4. You have to know God to know His will.

1 John 4:3-6.

We know that we have come to know him if we keep his commands. Whoever says, “I know him,” but does not do what he commands is a liar, and the truth is not in that person. But if anyone obeys his word, love for God is truly made complete in them. This is how we know we are in him:Whoever claims to live in him must live as Jesus did.

How desperately do you want to know the Lord?


Psalm 42:1-2.

As the deer pants for streams of water,

so my soul pants for you, my God.

My soul thirsts for God, for the living God. When can I go and meet with God?

Animals risk death from predators when they go to drink water, but their desperation for water drives them to risk their lives.

4. You have to know God to know His will.

Paul desperation to know the Lord (Philippians 3:7-11)

But whatever were gains to me I now consider loss for the sake of Christ. What is more, I consider everything a loss because of the surpassing worth of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord, for whose sake I have lost all things. I consider them garbage, that I may gain Christ and be found in him, not having a righteousness of my own that comes from the law, but that which is through faith in Christ, the righteousness that comes from God on the basis of faith. I want to know Christ, yes, to know the power of his resurrection and participation in his sufferings, becoming like him in his death, and so, somehow, attaining to the resurrection from the dead.

Hunger for God.

In a world hot in pursuit of quenching its thirst with everything but God, Tozer wrote:

In the midst of this great coldness toward God there are some, I rejoice to acknowledge, who will not be content with shallow logic. They will admit the force of the argument, and then turn away with tears to hunt some lonely place and pray, “O God, show me thy glory.” They want to taste, to touch with their hearts, to see with their inner eyes the wonder that is God.

I want deliberately to encourage this mighty longing after God. The lack of it has brought us to our present low estate. The stiff and wooden quality about our religious lives is a result of our lack of holy desire. Complacency is a deadly foe of all spiritual growth. Acute desire must be present or there will be no manifestation of Christ to His people. He waits to be wanted.

God’s will must affects the desires of my heart.

Colossians 3:1-10.

Since, then, you have been raised with Christ, set your hearts on things above, where Christ is, seated at the right hand of God. Set your minds on things above, not on earthly things.

For you died, and your life is now hidden with Christ in God. When Christ, who is your life, appears, then you also will appear with him in glory.

Put to death, therefore, whatever belongs to your earthly nature: sexual immorality, impurity, lust, evil desires and greed, which is idolatry. Because of these, the wrath of God is coming. You used to walk in these ways, in the life you once lived. But now you must also rid yourselves of all such things as these: anger, rage, malice, slander, and filthy language from your lips.

Do not lie to each other, since you have taken off your old self with its practices and have put on the new self, which is being renewed in knowledge in the image of its Creator.

Repentance affects the desires of my heart.

In fact if you don’t have a change in appetite when you are converted, then you need to question your conversion.

2 Corinthians 7:8-11.

Even if I caused you sorrow by my letter, I do not regret it. Though I did regret it, I see that my letter hurt you, but only for a little while—yet now I am happy, not because you were made sorry, but because your sorrow led you to repentance.

For you became sorrowful as God intended and so were not harmed in any way by us. Godly sorrow brings repentance that leads to salvation and leaves no regret, but worldly sorrow brings death.

See what this godly sorrow has produced in you: what earnestness, what eagerness to clear yourselves, what indignation, what alarm, what longing, what concern, what readiness to see justice done.

God’s will must affect the desires of my heart.

Philippians 2:12-13.

Therefore, my dear friends, as you have always obeyed, not only in my presence, but now much more in my absence, continue to work out your salvation with fear and trembling,for it is God who works in you to will and to act in order to fulfil his good purpose.

Hebrews 11:6-7. And without faith it is impossible to please God, because anyone who comes to him must believe that he exists and that he rewards those who earnestly seek him. By faith Noah, when warned about things not yet seen, in holy fear built an ark to save his family.

Once we have allowed the Holy Spirit to change our appetites then God can satisfy us.

Psalms 37:3-4.

Take delight in the LORD, and he will give you the desires of your heart. Commit your way to the LORD; trust in him and he will do this:

God’s will and the desires of my heart.

Ask yourself…

Am I totally available to God? Are all my rights His?

Am I separate, different from the world and allowing God to transform my mind and life?

Do I have an honest desire to know God's will?

Am I living up to what I already know?

Am I willing to wait for God's will to be revealed?


Unless otherwise stated, Scripture quotations are taken from the NIV:

THE HOLY BIBLE, NEW INTERNATIONAL VERSION®, NIV® Copyright © 1973, 1978, 1984, 2011 by Biblica, Inc.™ Used by permission. All rights reserved worldwide.

Scripture quotations taken from the NASB:

New American Standard Bible®, Copyright © 1960, 1962, 1963, 1968, 1971, 1972, 1973, 1975, 1977, 1995 by The Lockman Foundation Used by permission. (http://www.lockman.org)

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