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Divine Interruption: Part One: The Will of Man

May 25, 2014 | Pastor Bruce Plummer | From the series: Divine Interruptions

Does God interrupt our lives on a regular basis? He sure does! And one of the ways He interrupts is by revealing His will to us. There’s a radical statement in this sermon…listen carefully for it! This is Part One of a two-part message on “Divine Interruptions.”

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Sermon Notes

Let’s start out with a bit of Scripture…
John 1.12-13
But as many as received Him, to them He gave the right to become children of God, to those who believe in His name: who were born, not of blood, nor of the will of the flesh, nor of the will of man, but of God.

Parenting is not for cowards.
We discover, and we don’t have to wait long to find this out, that children have a mind of their own. They want certain things and they learn to scream, cry or otherwise, to make their wants known. Then we take years of interactions to achieve just one goal: bending their will to conform to others. Yours, teachers, police and government officials and most of all, God.

There are misses, many of them, along the way. One warm day, my poor Robin, who only grew up with sisters, took our four boys to Springdale farm. She loaded them up in the car and took them to the farm for the afternoon. All was well at first. They looked at some cows and the pigs, they reviewed what each animal sound was like. Then they headed into the barn. There were chickens in an indoor pen, there was a wall with an opening in it, chicken sized, which led to an outdoor pen. One of our boys was fascinated with the chickens, and somehow, got over a fence and into the pen. Robin, noticing her boy among the chickens, said “Get out of there!” Obliging, he squeezed through the chicken sized opening and went out into the other outdoor pen. And he was in his glory, dancing around, chickens flapping, feathers flying. Robin was mortified. She eventually called him out of there and got him out of the pen and gave him a good talking to. It was probably years until those chickens laid eggs again, if ever.

People do what they want to do. Kids try to do what they want to do. Today, that chicken boy is a mature man with his own family. He wouldn’t ever try something like that again. I don’t have to worry. Maybe his son, but not him.
When a child is fully trained, they choose to do what’s right because they see a better outcome. Not maturely, necessarily, but they think it’s the best/right thing to do.
Older kids and adults choose to do what they do, hopefully because it’s right and good, but many times obey other forces.

John 1.12-13
But as many as received Him, to them He gave the right to become children of God, to those who believe in His name: who were born, not of blood, nor of the will of the flesh, nor of the will of man, but of God.

Your will is your “want to.” It comes from a Greek word Thelema – will, choice, inclination, desire, pleasure. It comes from a root word that means to pick up off the ground. You choose what you pick up off the ground.

In John 1 there are four “wills” identified. Others (blood), flesh (animal or earthly desires, fallen), man’s (matured or trained), and God’s.

I’m going to make a statement that you may not agree with at first. It’s this: You always do what you want to do in every situation. That doesn’t mean that you have all choices possible at every moment. Sometimes your choices are limited by what’s external to you. You may have had people impose their choices on you to your benefit or detriment. But, your attitude and your actions in the face of your situation are what you want to do. I am so challenged by that.

One day Robin and I were travelling by car to the Binghamton area for a wedding. And I hadn’t figured the distance correctly, so we were late getting started. I chose to speed. But my choice was modified by another consideration: I didn’t want to get a ticket. So I went as fast as I could without getting the attention of the New York State Police. You may say that the choice was made for me by the great State of New York. But I actually modified my original choice by making a choice for myself with another thought in mind.

You always choose what you want to do in every situation. It’s always in accordance with a. others b. your flesh c. your judgment d. God. It never varies.

You can adjust which “will” you’ll adhere to, which one you’re inclined to, when those four forces come to bear on a situation, but you will choose what you want. Every time.

So here’s January 1st. And you look at the year ahead and say to yourself, “I’m going to go to the gym and lose some weight, get in shape.” So you join the fitness club near your house, start eating differently and you’re pretty proud of yourself. But two weeks into the new routine you’ve gotten little sleep one night and you don’t go to the gym before work. And there’s a birthday party at work for the boss and you eat half a cake because you’ve missed sweets. And then you feel guilty and can’t show your face at the gym. And for whatever reason, you end up losing the entire new routine. But you made every choice. Your “will of man” got you to start out this new way of life, but the will of the flesh determined the sleeping in and cake eating.

It’s what you choose to align yourself with, what will you live according to, that determines your path.

Jesus was the perfect man. And He made an amazing choice, really a series of choices.

John 6.37-38
All that the Father gives Me will come to Me, and the one who comes to Me I will by no means cast out. For I have come down from heaven, not to do My own will, but the will of Him who sent Me.

John 5.30
I can of Myself do nothing. As I hear, I judge; and My judgment is righteous, because I do not seek My own will but the will of the Father who sent Me.

John 4.31-34
In the meantime His disciples urged Him, saying, “Rabbi, eat.”
But He said to them, “I have food to eat of which you do not know.”
Therefore the disciples said to one another, “Has anyone brought Him anything to eat?
Jesus said to them, “My food is to do the will of Him who sent Me, and to finish His work.

Jesus made a quality choice that we can choose every day as well. The Son of God could have chosen to do anything. But He knew the best and highest way of all was found in the will of God. So He bent His will to conform to His Heavenly Father’s will. Even when it was hard. Because it was far and away the best.

Do you remember the struggle Jesus had in the Garden of Gethsemane? Aren’t you glad that He said, “Not my will, but Yours be done”?

So here’s what I want you to walk away with today.

1. There are four “wills” in life: the will of others, the will of the flesh, the will of Man and the will of God.

2. You conform yourself to one of those wills every day. As a matter of fact, you choose the life you live because you always do what you want to do, every day, every choice.

3. The highest and best will is the will of God. And conforming your will to His Will is the very highest and best for you.

So why don’t we do this:
Learn the will of God and determine to do just that.
For the most part, you already know what God’s will is for you.
How about recommitting your way to God?
The first and best Divine Interruption is the one where He reveals His will to you.