God’s perfect will shall be fulfilled in my life
Text: Jer. 29: 11 For I know the thoughts that I think toward you, says the LORD, thoughts of peace and not of evil, to give you a future and a hope. NKJV
God has His perfect will for every life. He also helps every individual to fulfil this perfect will for their life. Everyone however will need to commune with God to be acquainted with the perfect will of God for their life and seek God’s help and grace to fulfil the same.
The following are few dispositions of men as touching God’s perfect will for their lives:
- Ignorant of it and/or not seeking to know – Esau (Heb. 12: 16-17). What is it to me?
- Aware of it, but chose to disobey or follow one’s desire – Jonah (Jonah 1: 1-2).
- Knew it, but willfully chose to do part of it – King Saul (I Sam. 15: 2-3, 7-9).
- Knew it, but succumbed to settle for less due to either impatience or pressure – Abram (Gen. 16: 1-4).
- Knew it and see to it that it is done – Jesus (Mk. 14: 36) Samuel (I Sam. 3: 19-21). 19 And Samuel grew, and the Lord was with him, and did let none of his words fall to the ground. 20 And all Israel from Dan even to Beersheba knew that Samuel was established to be a prophet of the Lord. – He did not copy the bad examples before him.
There is a difference in what one might perceive to be good in their own sight; and what is good/perfect in the sight of God – King Saul. He may have thought:
I’m also a king, how will it look like if another king captured me alive?
Since animals are used as a sacrifice unto God, will it not be better to use fat ones for this purpose instead?
1 Sam. 15: 20-23 20 “But I did obey the Lord,” Saul said. “I went on the mission the Lord assigned me. I completely destroyed the Amalekites and brought back Agag their king. 21 The soldiers took sheep and cattle from the plunder, the best of what was devoted to God, in order to sacrifice them to the Lord your God at Gilgal.” 22 But Samuel replied: “Does the Lord delight in burnt offerings and sacrifices as much as in obeying the Lord? To obey is better than sacrifice, and to heed is better than the fat of rams. 23 For rebellion is like the sin of divination, and arrogance like the evil of idolatry. Because you have rejected the word of the Lord, he has rejected you as king.”
Sometimes God may allow/permit what a child of God termed as ‘good’ to happen, even though they have not followed His perfect will; so as to glorify His name; but whenever such happens, something will be lost by such an individual, which may never be restored – Moses at the Waters of Meribah
By the grace of God, when we make it to haven, it will be a surprise to us if Jesus should show us what our lives could have been here on earth if we had followed the perfect will of God through and throughout.
Such that it is possible that one might be on a permissible will of God now; and God is seeking to promote that person to His perfect will.
The perfect will of God for the Children of Israel when He rescued them from bondage in Egypt was to bring them to Canaan and enjoy things they had never worked for (Ex. 3: 15-17). 15 And God said moreover unto Moses, Thus shalt thou say unto the children of Israel, the Lord God of your fathers, the God of Abraham, the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob, hath sent me unto you: this is my name for ever, and this is my memorial unto all generations. 16 Go, and gather the elders of Israel together, and say unto them, The Lord God of your fathers, the God of Abraham, of Isaac, and of Jacob, appeared unto me, saying, I have surely visited you, and seen that which is done to you in Egypt: 17 And I have said, I will bring you up out of the affliction of Egypt unto the land of the Canaanites, and the Hittites, and the Amorites, and the Perizzites, and the Hivites, and the Jebusites, unto a land flowing with milk and honey.
Along the way, however, due to hardships on the way and their impatience; many of them experienced the permissible will from God.
Num. 14: 1-2 That night all the members of the community raised their voices and wept aloud. 2 All the Israelites grumbled against Moses and Aaron, and the whole assembly said to them, “If only we had died in Egypt! Or in this wilderness!
Num. 14: 26-29 26 The Lord said to Moses and Aaron: 27 “How long will this wicked community grumble against me? I have heard the complaints of these grumbling Israelites. 28 So tell them, ‘As surely as I live, declares the Lord, I will do to you the very thing I heard you say: 29 In this wilderness your bodies will fall—every one of you twenty years old or more who was counted in the census and who has grumbled against me.
while others experienced the initial perfect will from God.
Num. 14: 30-31 30 Not one of you will enter the land I swore with uplifted hand to make your home, except Caleb son of Jephunneh and Joshua son of Nun. 31 As for your children that you said would be taken as plunder, I will bring them in to enjoy the land you have rejected.
There is this poem written by an unknown author, it says:
When I stand at the judgement seat of Christ,
and He shows me His plan for me’”
The plan of my life as it might have been
had He had His way’”and I see
How I blocked Him here, and checked Him there
and would not yield my will,
Shall I see grief in my Saviours’ eyes;
grief, though He loves me still?
He would have me rich, but I stand there poor,
stripped of all but His grace’”
While my memory runs like a hunted thing,
down the paths I can’t retrace.
Then my desolate heart will well nigh break
with tears that I cannot shed.
I’ll cover my face with my empty hands
and bow my uncrowned head.
Now, Lord of the life that’s left to me,
I yield it to Thy hand.
Take me, make me, mould me,
to the pattern Thou hast planned.
An example of a child of God that attested that he lived for the perfect will of God for his life was: Dr. David Livingstone, the great pioneering missionary in central Africa said, “I had rather be in the heart of Africa in the will of God than on the throne of England out of the will of God.”
There is also the story of a man called: Andrew Murray. He was a Christian author, in 1895, while suffering from a terribly painful back in England, as a result of an injury he had incurred years before. One morning as he was eating breakfast in his room, his hostess told him of a woman downstairs who was in great trouble and wanted to know if he had any [spiritual] advice for her.
Andrew Murray handed his hostess a paper he had been writing on and said, “Give her this advice I’m writing down for myself” In time of trouble, say:
- “First, [God] brought me here. It is by his will I am in this [hard] place; in that I will rest.”
- Next, “He will keep me here in his love, and give me grace in this trial to behave as his [precious] child.”
- Then say, “He will make the trial a blessing, teaching me lessons he intends me to learn, and working in me the grace he means to bestow.”
- At last, say, “In his good time he can bring me out again. How and when, he knows.”
- Therefore, say “I am here (1) by God’s appointment, (2) in his keeping, (3) under his training, (4) for his time.”
The perfect will of God is usually different from our own will (Isaiah 55: 7-11). 7 Let the wicked forsake his way, and the unrighteous man his thoughts: and let him return unto the Lord, and he will have mercy upon him; and to our God, for he will abundantly pardon. 8 For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways, saith the Lord. 9 For as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways, and my thoughts than your thoughts. 10 For as the rain cometh down, and the snow from heaven, and returneth not thither, but watereth the earth, and maketh it bring forth and bud, that it may give seed to the sower, and bread to the eater: 11 So shall my word be that goeth forth out of my mouth: it shall not return unto me void, but it shall accomplish that which I please, and it shall prosper in the thing whereto I sent it.
Many atimes God’s perfect will may see difficult and even longer; while an alternative will of ours may seem easier and shorter. Having gone through the easier and shorter route; and then looking back, one would wished to have waited for God’s perfect will in the end (Abram would have regretted not waiting entirely regarding Isaac/Ishmael; seeing what later transpired between Sarah/Haggai).
Gen. 16: 5-6 When she knew she was pregnant, she began to despise her mistress. 5 Then Sarai said to Abram, “You are responsible for the wrong I am suffering. I put my slave in your arms, and now that she knows she is pregnant, she despises me. May the Lord judge between you and me.” 6 “Your slave is in your hands,” Abram said. “Do with her whatever you think best.” Then Sarai mistreated Hagar; so she fled from her.
Gen. 21: 8-14 8 The child grew and was weaned, and on the day Isaac was weaned Abraham held a great feast. 9 But Sarah saw that the son whom Hagar the Egyptian had borne to Abraham was mocking, 10 and she said to Abraham, “Get rid of that slave woman and her son, for that woman’s son will never share in the inheritance with my son Isaac.” 11 The matter distressed Abraham greatly because it concerned his son. 12 But God said to him, “Do not be so distressed about the boy and your slave woman. Listen to whatever Sarah tells you, because it is through Isaac that your offspring[b] will be reckoned. 13 I will make the son of the slave into a nation also, because he is your offspring.” 14 Early the next morning Abraham took some food and a skin of water and gave them to Hagar. He set them on her shoulders and then sent her off with the boy. She went on her way and wandered in the Desert of Beersheba.
The perfect will of God is the best for us and not what we consider good for ourselves, because God knows everything. He is omniscient. He knows our past and background; what we are going through now; what our capabilities are; what our future challenges and opportunities will be like; etc. (Ps. 18: 30).
As for God, his way is perfect: the word of the Lord is tried: he is a buckler to all those that trust in him.
The perfect will of God can be missed.
The bible makes to know that the perfect will of God for the Tribe of Ephraim was for them to be promoted in Israel. Ephraim was the younger son of Joseph; he was not only promoted to the senior, but became a tribe by himself; as well as Manasseh, while the tribe of Levi was accorded special recognition by God.
Gen. 48: 5-6 5 “Now then, your two sons born to you in Egypt before I came to you here will be reckoned as mine; Ephraim and Manasseh will be mine, just as Reuben and Simeon are mine. 6 Any children born to you after them will be yours; in the territory they inherit they will be reckoned under the names of their brothers.
Gen. 48: 17-20 17 When Joseph saw his father placing his right hand on Ephraim’s head he was displeased; so he took hold of his father’s hand to move it from Ephraim’s head to Manasseh’s head. 18 Joseph said to him, “No, my father, this one is the firstborn; put your right hand on his head.” 19 But his father refused and said, “I know, my son, I know. He too will become a people, and he too will become great. Nevertheless, his younger brother will be greater than he, and his descendants will become a group of nations.” 20 He blessed them that day and said, “In your[c] name will Israel pronounce this blessing:
‘May God make you like Ephraim and Manasseh.’” So he put Ephraim ahead of Manasseh.
Ephraim however misbehaved and fell into permissive will of God, which eventually cost him a revered place in the eternal will of God for him. He was replaced by another son of Joseph.
Hosea 4: 17 Ephraim is joined to idols: let him alone.
Rev. 7: 4-8 4 And I heard the number of them which were sealed: and there were sealed an hundred and forty and four thousand of all the tribes of the children of Israel. 5 Of the tribe of Juda were sealed twelve thousand. Of the tribe of Reuben were sealed twelve thousand. Of the tribe of Gad were sealed twelve thousand. 6 Of the tribe of Aser were sealed twelve thousand. Of the tribe of Nephthalim were sealed twelve thousand. Of the tribe of Manasses were sealed twelve thousand. 7 Of the tribe of Simeon were sealed twelve thousand. Of the tribe of Levi were sealed twelve thousand. Of the tribe of Issachar were sealed twelve thousand. 8 Of the tribe of Zabulon were sealed twelve thousand. Of the tribe of Joseph were sealed twelve thousand. Of the tribe of Benjamin were sealed twelve thousand.
The same was the experience of Balaam the prophet.
The perfect will of God for Balaam was not to follow King Balak in his plot to curse the Children of Israel. But due to lust and pride, Balaam chose to go against God’s will, his going was allowed by God eventually. He, however, experienced shame, dishonour, and humiliation for doing so. We never heard of him again.
Num. 24: 10-14 10 King Balak flew into a rage against Balaam. He angrily clapped his hands and shouted, “I called you to curse my enemies! Instead, you have blessed them three times. 11 Now get out of here! Go back home! I promised to reward you richly, but the Lord has kept you from your reward.” 12 Balaam told Balak, “Don’t you remember what I told your messengers? I said, 13 ‘Even if Balak were to give me his palace filled with silver and gold, I would be powerless to do anything against the will of the Lord.’ I told you that I could say only what the Lord says! 14 Now I am returning to my own people. But first let me tell you what the Israelites will do to your people in the future.”
There are Four Areas where a child of God should have full confidence in God:
- Confidence in God’s Word (Heb 4:12). It’s quick, powerful and shaper…
- Confidence in God’s Will – that it is the best, all things will work together for good (Rom. 8: 28). For we know that all things work together for good for those who love God..
- Confidence in God’s Timing (Eccl 3:10). To everything there is a season; and a time for every purpose under heaven.
- Confidence in God’s Strength/Grace (2 Cor 12: 7-9). 7 And lest I should be exalted above measure through the abundance of the revelations, there was given to me a thorn in the flesh, the messenger of Satan to buffet me, lest I should be exalted above measure. 8 For this thing I besought the Lord thrice, that it might depart from me. 9 And he said unto me, My grace is sufficient for thee: for my strength is made perfect in weakness. Most gladly therefore will I rather glory in my infirmities, that the power of Christ may rest upon me.
Sermon delivered on November 1, 2020.