Knowing the will of God…
DECEMBER 6, 2023
Knowing the will of God… Let’s talk about it on this edition, of Key Life.
Key Life is a radio program for struggling believers, sick of phony religion and pious clichés. Our host and teacher is seminary professor, Steve Brown. He teaches that radical freedom leads to infectious joy and surprising faithfulness.
Thank you Matthew. If you were listening the last two days, we were talking about how important it is to make sure that mercy and truth reside comfortably in your heart. It’s from Proverbs 3:3 through 4.
Let not mercy and truth forsake you, bind them around your neck, write them on the tablet of your heart and so find favor in high esteem in the sight of God and man.
You know, that subject haunts me because I want both of those things. I want to be seen as a merciful person. And the only way you can get there is to be in great need of mercy from your brothers and sisters in Christ, but more than that, from God himself. I have a thousand stories, and I’ve got to keep moving, there’s more to Proverbs than this subject. But I was just thinking of a man in this city where we are. We’re in Orlando, Florida. And there was a man here who did some really bad things. And he was a well known Christian. In fact, a radio and television evangelist and he did something really bad and they arrested him and he was going to go to prison and he wanted me to come and be a character witness at his trial. He said, Steve, I didn’t do it. And I said, Sam, not his name. Sam, yeah, you did. You did it in spades and you know it and I know it and everybody else does it. But, I love you, and I’m going to show up for your trial, cause you got some good things in you, and I don’t mind saying so. So I went, and he was in a church, a fairly large church, that was charismatic. And practically, that whole church showed up for his trial. And I was probably the only Presbyterian in that courtroom. And he eventually went to prison, and I wrote him regularly for those years he was in prison, and got with him when he got out. But that’s another story altogether. Maybe I’ll save it for another time. But I’ll never forget standing in the parking lot of the courthouse amidst all of these charismatics. And by the way, Presbyterians don’t dance, we don’t speak in tongues, and we do everything decently and in order. And they knew who I was. But, and they were asking questions like, Steve, what are you doing here? Why are you going, why are you doing, how are you standing with Sam? And I said, listen, I’m a Presbyterian, and we believe in a doctrine called total and radical depravity. But if we find any in you, we’ll kick you out of our church. And they laughed, and I laughed and cried when I thought about how often that is true with all of us. The writer of Proverbs is profound in saying make sure you don’t compromise the truth, but make sure that mercy and grace and love is a part of that. Okay, enough on that subject. Let me show you something else. Let’s talk about the will of God. Proverbs 3:5 through 6.
Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding. In all your ways acknowledge him and he shall direct your paths.
That’s how you know the will of God. You don’t. What? You don’t. The Scripture says.
My thoughts are not your thoughts, nor are my ways your ways. For as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways, and my thoughts than your thoughts.
So, the key to that verse in Proverbs is really clear.
Trust in the Lord with all your heart.
That’s not easy, is it? I mean, I’ve got things, I sometimes, and this is sort of a confession, in my own prayer life, correct God. I tell him, you know, you don’t love that man. If you did, you wouldn’t put him through all that stuff. In fact, sometimes I don’t think you love me. I have no idea why I had to deal with that particular subject or that particular thing. I have no idea why you let me make a fool out of myself, when I’m your servant, that’s no way to treat your kids, and you’d have more friends if you treated them a little bit better. And you say, well, did you get struck with a lightning bolt? No. God said, you through? And I said, yeah. And then he hugged me. Because the will of God isn’t the things that I do, it’s him. I Thessalonians 4:3. For this is the will of God that you marry a particular person. This is the will of God that you take that job. This is the will of God that you move to that city. This is the will of God that you join that particular church. No! I Thessalonians 4:3, which is referencing Proverbs 3:5 through 6 says.
This is the will of God, your sanctification.
Now, what does it mean to be sanctified? Does it mean to be pure and good and sweet and nice and obedient all the time? No, being sanctified means being set apart and close to God himself, that’s what sanctification is. And from that, his ways become your ways. And his thoughts, your thoughts, even if you don’t understand his ways and don’t understand his thoughts. We’ll talk more about it tomorrow, but that’s enough. And you ought to probably think about that. Amen.
Thank you Steve. That was Steve Brown continuing to lead us through the Book of Proverbs, today pivoting to the subject of God’s will. Our text was Proverbs 3:5 through 6. And at no extra charge, we also touched on I Thessalonians 4:3. More to come tomorrow, don’t miss it. Well, if you’re familiar with our talk radio show, Steve Brown Etc. you might know that every year we have a special Christmas episode with just us, no guests. It’s one of our favorite shows each year. Take a listen to part of last year’s episode, and then I’ll be back to tell you about a special free offer.
It’s been really interesting this year at the church that I attend. During Advent season, Christmas season, we have a very contemporary worship, and all of the Christmas music didn’t sound like Christmas music to me. But being kind and quiet and civil, I didn’t say anything. My wife was cussing and spitting. And I think they heard her do that. And so, this year it’s been Christmas carols and Christmas music. And you know, all kidding aside, that does play a big part in what we feel at Christmas and even the memories that we have of Christmas, Cathy?
Seven years ago, I got to sing at Carnegie Hall with Keith and Kristen Getty and a couple 100 other people as well as all their musicians and everything for their sing an Irish Christmas tour that they do every year. And that was a pretty remarkable thing. I did it a couple of times, a couple of times when they were here, when the tour came through in Orlando and participated in it and it was wonderful. You know, the Bob Carr Theater and Carnegie Hall, there is a bit of a difference.
Jinx: How do you get to Carnegie Hall? Know somebody.
By the way, I played the piano at Carnegie. Well, actually, I didn’t, but I started to, I was a speaker for American thing they did for the firemen and the policemen. And when I walked out to speak, there was a big piano there. There’d been a number of Christian musicians and I thought I’m going to reach over and just hit a note. And tell everybody I played at Carnegie Hall, but it was such a somber, serious moment. It was an encourage America thing. I decided not to do it. And now that I look back, that was a very wise move.
George Bingham: Well, and you didn’t mention that that was following 9/11. It was honoring
It was right after 9/11.
George Bingham: the first responders.
It was a moving, moving time. It really was.
Speaking of Carnegie Hall. If you want to watch something really, really fun sometime when you’re sitting around, go to YouTube, the Gaither home videos are there and just type in Buddy Greene at Carnegie Hall. Our good friend Buddy Greene, who is just a master musician on of all things, many things, but especially the harmonica and he played the William Tell Overture on the harmonica at Carnegie Hall, and it was really amazing.
I love it when he does that.
When you say Buddy Greene, every time Mary, Did You Know, comes on, I straight up name drop Buddy Greene. Hey, you know, I’ve met the guy who wrote the melody. And the kids are approaching the age of like… Yeah, daddy, I got it. I remember you said the same thing last year.
Jinx: And I’ll say it again. Try harder. Cause I am man.
You know, there’s some songs, like Mary, Did You Know, that there’s a supernatural thing.
There is. Absolutely.
It gets legs. And then people all over start, Amazing Grace is one of those songs, but Mary, Did You Know, is probably one of the most sung Christmas songs every Christmas.
And, you know, Mark Lowry, when he wrote the words to that, he gave those words that poem to a number of people before he gave it to Buddy. And it wasn’t until Buddy that it was like, boom, it just happened.
I didn’t know that. I didn’t know that Mark had done that. Beautiful song and a beautiful thought. I’m working on a sermon for next Sunday at a church here in Florida. And I’ve been thinking about that particular song. What kind of Spirit did Mary have? And did she know?
And guys, that was just four minutes of that episode. Listen, if you’re hitting the road this month, you’re just running around town. I think you’d enjoy hearing this full show. So, get it on CD for free by calling us right now at 1-800-KEY-LIFE that’s 1-800-539-5433. You can also e-mail [email protected] to ask for that CD and if you’d like to mail your request, go to keylife.org/contact to find our mailing addresses. Again, just ask for your free copy of the Christmas episode of Steve Brown Etc. Finally, if you value the work of Key Life, would you support that work through your giving? You could charge a gift on your credit card or include a gift in your envelope. Or simply pick up your phone and text Key Life to 28950 that’s Key Life, one word, two words. It doesn’t matter, just text that to 28950, then follow the instructions. Key Life is a member of ECFA in the States and CCCC in Canada and we are a listener supported production of Key Life Network.