If you haven’t prayed about it, you probably don’t care about it.
AUGUST 25, 2022
If you haven’t prayed about it, you probably don’t care about it. Let’s talk about it, on Key Life.
The deepest message of Jesus and the Bible is the radical grace of God to sinners and sufferers. That’s what Key Life is all about. So, if you’re hungry for the hopeful truth, that God isn’t mad at you, keep listening. Steve Brown is a professor and our teacher on Key Life.
Thank you Matthew. What we’re doing is we’re kind of leaving the text and we’re studying the book of Acts because in the book of Acts, the 16th chapter, and I read that to you a day or two ago. In Acts 16:6 through 10, there’s an amazing illustration of God’s leading the apostle Paul in a particular direction. Now, we’re going to get specifically in that text, when I finish something else and the something else is taking the time to deal with the question, how do you know God’s will? And I’m not, I’m not, I know this is pedantic. I, you know it, I’m not telling you anything you don’t already know, but it’s good to be reminded, that when you’re looking to do God’s will, the first place you check is the Scripture. Scripture is, and we looked at II Timothy 3:16 through 17 is the place where God reveals his will and he does it clearly. And I gave you a principle and it’s a good principle. There’s a list of things in the Bible you should always do in every place and every time when you can. And also there’s a list of things you should never do if you’re a Christian, no matter how much you’re attracted to them. And if God’s will, is not listed in one of those two lists, you’re pretty much free, but you start in Scripture, if you want to know God’s will. And then secondly, and obviously, and this is new, you pray about it. Thy will be done on earth as it is in heaven. And begin with me. You’d be surprised how often, people tell me, they want to know God’s will. And I ask them if they’ve prayed about it? And they say, well, not really. And then I think, look, if you don’t care about it, God doesn’t care about it. If you’re not gonna mention it in prayer, then forget it. I had a mother that said one time about her teenage daughter, I don’t tell her what to do anymore, I know she won’t do it. Well, she also won’t ask her mother what it is that her mother wants her to do because she’s got other ideas other than her mother’s ideas. And sometimes we have ideas that are not God’s ideas. And so, you’ve got to spend some time on your knees saying, God, do you want me to do this? If you’ll show me, I’ll do it. Or I won’t, if you don’t want me to do it. It means being serious about, I’m your servant. And I don’t always do it well, but whatever you tell me to do, I’m going to do. There was a farmer who, and it’s an old sermon illustration, he went out to plow one morning and he was with his little dog and he remembered he had left his dinner, his lunch back on the kitchen table. And so, he told the dog to stay right there and he’d be right back. So, he went back to the farmhouse, got his lunch, and meanwhile, a fire started and the dog was killed in that fire. And the farmer in his tears said this. I had to be careful when I told that dog to do something cause I knew he would do it. Does God say that about you? He says about me, something like that. I have to be careful what I tell Steve to do, I know he’ll try to do it, but he’ll probably mess it up too. And then he’ll give it up if it weren’t for my Spirit, but I do care. Let me tell you something and I’ve told you this a lot of times. You’ve never met a man who wants to do the will of God more than I do. You really don’t. And if you could listen to my private prayers, you would be impressed at how much I tell God, tell me what to do and I’ll do it. And I’m specific about it. So, if you haven’t prayed about it, you’ll never know God’s will. And then thirdly, and you know this too, God leads through circumstances. We looked at the circumstances of Timothy when we recently talked about the gifts of God that were given to Timothy and those circumstances, aren’t just what is happening right now in your life. It’s what has happened in your life as God prepares you to do certain things and to be a certain kind of man or woman. And so, look at your circumstances, look at the doors that God opens when you didn’t have to kick them in. Look at the things that come your way, that you didn’t ordain, that obviously required that you do something, that is God’s will. I’ve just been talking to a young man who has left the ministry. Every circumstance spoke against his going, but he was discouraged and he was down and he said, I’m leaving. I fully expect that when he gets out in the dark, away from the place where God has called you, he will come back. Okay. Another area where God leads is through other Christians. Acts 15, Jerusalem conference set the tone of God’s will for the church, for the rest of eternity because when Christians get together corporately, God moves and God leads. Autobiography of Spurgeon is, I have in my library, it’s two volumes and it’s amazing. This is what he said.
I decided to be a member of the church for I felt that I could not be happy without fellowship with the people of God. I wanted to be wherever they were. And if anybody ridiculed them, I wish to be ridiculed with them. And if people had an ugly name for them, I wanted to be called by that ugly name.
Why did Spurgeon say something like that? He said something like that because he knew that he wanted to do God’s will, and that God’s will was manifest often through other Christians. We need each other and we need each other for a lot of reasons. Increasingly in our culture, we are not, we’re called ugly names as Spurgeon said, we are rejected as Spurgeon said, and we need each other, but we need each other in another way too. Often, God communicates his will to me, to use an example, through Jeremy, who is the producer of this broadcast. We sit around and we talk and I hear God speaking through Jeremy, God ordained it that way. And he did exactly the same thing with me, when I speak to Jeremy. We need each other because if we don’t listen to each other, we’re going to miss God’s will. And so, God leads through circumstances and through people, other Christians, and through Scripture, and through prayer. And then coming back to the text we’re studying in Acts, sometimes, and mostly this is rare, God speaks and he leads directly. There are some who say that God spoke in the Scripture, he doesn’t need to speak anymore. They’re wrong. He still speaks to individual Christians to do certain things. I remember early in my ministry, I was driving to this little church on Cape Cod that I was serving, and I drove by this elderly lady’s house. And I felt this strong push to stop my car, to go in and visit her. But I was busy, so I just kept driving down the road, I got to the top of the road and I can close my eyes and picture it, got to the top of the road and turned around and said, okay, I’ll go. And I drove back down the road and drove into her driveway, went in, knocked on the door. And she said, oh pastor, come in. And we sat out and we talked and the subject of death came up. And I told her about what the promises of God said about death and that she shouldn’t be afraid of it. And we spent a good time talking about that. When I left, I thought to myself, what in the world was that all about? And you know what happened, that night, she had a stroke and she couldn’t talk after that. And a week later, she died. God doesn’t do it all the time, but he does it sometimes directly. So listen. You think about that. Amen.
Thank you Steve. And wow, here we are already at the end of another great week of teaching from the book of Acts. Remember if you missed any episodes this week or in this series, you could find and stream them all for free at Keylife.org. And be sure to join us tomorrow for Friday Q&A. Of course, that’s when Steve and our good friend Pete Alwinson tackle the challenging questions that listeners just like you have sent in. Always a good time. So, we’ve been talking about gifts all this week and we have a gift for you. It’s the latest edition of our digital only magazine. We bring you a new edition every summer. And this year’s version is, you know, pretty amazing. It features an article from Kendra Fletcher called Maybe Our Freedoms Aren’t Quite What We Think They Are. It also has pieces from Alex Early, Barry Smith, and of course, Steve. Check it out right now at Keylife.org/magazines. And speaking of magazines, we do still have copies of our annual print magazine available. In fact, you can claim yours right now by calling us at 1-800-KEY-LIFE. That’s 1-800-539-5433. You can also e-mail [email protected] to ask for the magazine. If you’d like the mail your request, send it to
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