Sunday Sermon at Yoido Full Gospel Church – Seoul, Korea
Speaker: Senior Pastor Emeritus Rev. Yonggi CHO
Knowing God’s Will
Romans 12:1-2, NIV“Therefore, I urge you, brothers, in view of God's mercy, to offer your bodies as living sacrifices, holy and pleasing to God - this is your spiritual act of worship. Do not conform any longer 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.”IntroductionToday I would like to share the grace of God under the title, “Knowing God’s Will.”We can live according to God’s will when we know what His will is.
What God has in store for us is good. Otherwise He would have never sent His son, Jesus to shed his blood and carry his torn body on the cross instead of us. It is because you are precious and beautiful to God. He did not even spare His only Son. God purchased you by the crucifixion of Jesus. God’s will toward you is nothing but His goodness. God’s will shall guide us so that we will avoid temptations and difficulties in our daily lives.
1. The Bible is the dictionary of God’s willTo understand the will of God, we need to become intimate with the word of God. The Bible is the dictionary of God’s will. When we learn a foreign language we need a dictionary.After the Korean War, we did not have teachers or money for schooling. But I wanted to learn English so badly at that time. The only thing what I had was an English dictionary. The dictionary has been worn to tatters since I had looked up in it so many times. I could see my handprints on the pages of it.
How could I suppose to learn English without the dictionary? Recently we are using a computer to find vocabulary in English, but in my old days we could not even imagine that. As long as I could look it up in a dictionary, I could learn vocabulary by heart. To learn languages we need dictionaries. It is the same with the will of God.
If you want to know more about His will, you should look up the bible more. Without reading the bible, we would fail to understand His will. As long as we seek advice in the bible, it will reveal to each of us God’s will.
Romans 12:2 says, “Do not conform any longer 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.”There is God’s good will for me. And there is His pleasing and perfect will for a person like me.
God wants us to live a life according to his perfect will. “Can’t you live like that? Don’t worry, there is my pleasing and good will as well. And you can live a life according to it.”2 Timothy 3:16 says, “All Scripture is God-breathed and is useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting and training in righteousness,”The bible is to be read and meditated on. After reading it we should keep in it mind by meditating on it.
Joshua 1:8 says, “Do not let this Book of the Law depart from your mouth; meditate on it day and night, so that you may be careful to do everything written in it. Then you will be prosperous and successful.”This is a really wonderful promise! We can find a way to a prosperous and successful in life when we meditate on the word day and night. For the last 50 years, I have meditated and preached the word and I can honestly say that what the bible says is true. I have lived a prosperous and fulfilled life.
While I was waiting before this worship service began, I came to think about my life. “I was just a hick from Kyeung Sang Province then.” I came up to Seoul with empty hands 52 years ago. Now I’m thinking of how my God has blessed me! I was really at a loss for words. “Where should I go to sleep? Where can I get meals?” The world had nothing to do with me.Through a miracle, God led me to meet pastor Ja-Shil Choi.
Life is about meeting someone. We cannot live alone. We need to be connected with the right people to encourage us in the faith. After all, when I look back on those days there was divine connection, I cannot but thank Pastor Choi and my wife.
Because of their sacrifices I have become who I am today.Psalm 119:105 says, “Your word is a lamp to my feet and a light for my path.”To let the word become a lamp to my feet a light for my path, I should keep the bible near me, the word of God.Long time ago a man lost his way in an abandoned mine. Besides, the light he had with him went out. Deep underground in a dark mine nothing was visible. He could not find a way out. He thought it was finished with him. In despair he prayed and a bright idea came to him.“This was a mineral mine and there must be a railroad which passes through the tunnel.” He began to search out the railroad with his tiptoes. He was sure about the railroad which was used for transporting minerals. After a while he could feel something like railroad with his feet.
He could not see right ahead but he followed the railroad, groping in the dark. He could finally see the light and get out of the tunnel. Figuratively however dark a tunnel may be in which we find ourselves, if we rely on the bible which leads us to daylight, problems will be solved and we will reach the way to victory. The bible is God’s word in which His will is revealed. When we act by faith relying on the word, our lives will be filled with life to the full and our souls and bodies will enjoy the goodness of God.
God blesses people who trust in Him. We suffered for 36 years under Japanese Occupancy. And around 65 years ago we were liberated from it. At that time there were a million Christians in Korea. Our GNP (Gross National Product) was about 68 dollars. We were poor and in severe need. The years passed by and there are 12 million Christians in Korea now. And the GNP reached more than 20,000 dollars.Psalm 91:14-16 says, “‘Because he loves me,’ says the LORD, ‘I will rescue him; I will protect him, for he acknowledges my name. He will call upon me, and I will answer him; I will be with him in trouble, I will deliver him and honor him.
With long life will I satisfy him and show him my salvation.’ ”It shall come to pass as it is written in the bible. No person or country does lose anything by believing in Jesus. A country or a people should come back to God in order to live an abundant life. God promised to the one who believes in Him, “I will make you the head, not the tail. You will always be at the top, never at the bottom. You will lend to many nations but will borrow from none.”Satan desperately tries to stop us from believing in Jesus. As we believe in Jesus there is going to be salvation not only of our souls but also of our lives. We are not just looking forward to the life to come. While we are living in this world we should experience God’s salvation in our material and circumstantial lives. His salvation activates beyond our souls into life itself.
In our daily lives, in our circumstances and health we need salvation. The salvation is not shallow, but profound enough. It is an abundant salvation. More than enough God’s wonderful salvation is granted to us by his grace. Therefore in order to know the will of God we should not only meditate on the bible but also get advice from pastors and leaders. Pastors, elders, deacons and church leaders are the people who speak faith into you with the word of God. When we become Christians we can find help from our cell group leaders.
They are advanced in the faith, having asked for God’s will.Romans 10:17 says, “Consequently, faith comes from hearing the message, and the message is heard through the word of Christ.”If we could get a message from seniors of faith we could enlarge our faith in advance.1 Thessalonians 2:13 says, “And we also thank God continually because, when you received the word of God, which you heard from us, you accepted it not as the word of men, but as it actually is, the word of God, which is at work in you who believe.”Before pastors preach the gospel they study and meditate on the word of God to become His messengers. That is why we can accept them as God’s messengers.2. The guidance of the Holy SpiritSecond, we should be led by the Holy Spirit constantly in our daily lives.The air cannot be seen. But there is air to breath. The Holy Spirit is invisible because he is Spirit.
But He is there for us all the time. Our Holy Spirit guides us through our everyday life. At the same time there must be crucial times of need of seeking God’s will. We can divide the guidance of the Holy Spirit into two categories. One is overall guidance through daily life and the other one is special guidance when I confront a crucial problem. The Lord guides us through the Holy Spirit in all the processes of our life.Ephesians 1:11 says, “In him we were also chosen, having been predestined according to the plan of him who works out everything in conformity with the purpose of his will,”Before the creation of the world, God has already chosen us to become his children.
We could become God’s children according to His will.John 16:13 says, “But when he, the Spirit of truth, comes, he will guide you into all truth. He will not speak on his own; he will speak only what he hears, and he will tell you what is yet to come.”There is the Holy Spirit who guides us in all circumstances.Pastor George Mueller was a father to orphans in England. He is famous for receiving answers more than 50,000 times to his prayers. “I’m asking the Holy Spirit looking for God’s will on the basis of the word of God. The Holy Spirit and God’s word must be connected. If we look for the Holy Spirit without the word of God, we would have fallen into temptation. The Holy Spirit guides us through the word of God.
Therefore what is contrary to the word of God cannot be the guidance of the Holy Spirit.”Through all the aspects of life, the Holy Spirit guides us. All the time His guidance will be done in accordance with the word of God. What is against God’s word must be not the guidance of the Holy Spirit. We rely on the word of God and we ask for the guidance of the Holy Spirit by prayer. Where there is God’s Spirit we cannot be negative, destructive or hopeless but always find righteousness, hope, love and goodness. Under the guidance of the Holy Spirit we can find the way.In life there is time to know God’s will concretely. Sometimes the Holy Spirit talks to us as if we are talking to each other face to face.
His voice can be heard deep inside of our hearts. Often he talks to us in a calm and soft voice.Acts 9:3-6 says, “As he neared Damascus on his journey, suddenly a light from heaven flashed around him. He fell to the ground and heard a voice say to him, ‘Saul, Saul, why do you persecute me?’ ‘Who are you, Lord?’ Saul asked. ‘I am Jesus, whom you are persecuting,’ he replied. ‘Now get up and go into the city, and you will be told what you must do.’ ”Saul, who later became the apostle Paul, heard the voice of the Lord when he was on the way to Damascus in order to persecute the people who believed in Jesus.When Joseph got to know his fianc?e Mary was pregnant, he had in mind to divorce her quietly.Matthew 1:20-21 says, “But after he had considered this, an angel of the Lord appeared to him in a dream and said, ‘Joseph son of David, do not be afraid to take Mary home as your wife, because what is conceived in her is from the Holy Spirit.
She will give birth to a son, and you are to give him the name Jesus, because he will save his people from their sins.’”God reveals to us what to do through dreams and visions.Matthew 2:12 says, “And having been warned in a dream not to go back to Herod, they returned to their country by another route.”The Magi from the east became having been warned not to go back to Herod, so they returned to their country by another route.Acts 10:3-6 says, “One day at about three in the afternoon he had a vision. He distinctly saw an angel of God, who came to him and said, ‘Cornelius!’ Cornelius stared at him in fear. ‘What is it, Lord?’ he asked.
The angel answered, ‘Your prayers and gifts to the poor have come up as a memorial offering before God. Now send men to Joppa to bring back a man named Simon who is called Peter. He is staying with Simon the tanner, whose house is by the sea.’ ”Many times in the Bible we can find that God speaks to a person through a vision and/or a dream.Even today God is talking to us. The Holy Spirit reveals to us God’s will through dreams and visions. Because God is with us, He lets us know His will when we need special guidance. He illuminates our hearts and gives us wisdom and knowledge, talents and abilities. Then our hearts could acknowledge with whom we are. We could get those gifts from God when we believe in Jesus. The Holy Spirit works through us. By the Holy Spirit we can be wiser and more talented, more intelligent and empowered than other people.1 Corinthians 2:10-11 says, “but God has revealed it to us by his Spirit.
The Spirit searches all things, even the deep things of God. For who among men knows the thoughts of a man except the man's spirit within him? In the same way no one knows the thoughts of God except the Spirit of God.”God’s Spirit lets us understand the work of God.Philippians 2:13 says, “for it is God who works in you to will and to act according to his good purpose.”In our hearts, hopes will be stirred up by the Holy Spirit in order to make us take action. People who believe in Jesus and who have the Holy Spirit do not to live a lonely life. Remember, the Holy Spirit is there for us.
We should acknowledge Him, welcome Him, rely on Him and pray to Him. When we do that, He will lead us granting us wisdom, intelligence, talents and knowledge. Whether through an audible voice, through a vision or through a revelation, He will show us the way we should go.One day the founder of the China Inland Mission (CIM), Missionary James Hudson Taylor was looking for a book in his library. A book on the shelves caught his eye. He picked out the book and started to read its title. “Christ has accomplished!” As soon as he read the title of the book suddenly he felt clear-headed. “Yes, Jesus said on the cross, ‘It is accomplished!’ I don’t need to do again what the Lord has done already.
All I need to do is to deliver to people what he has done for them.” The Holy Spirit enlightened him in that way and afterward he became a missionary to China. He became one of the great evangelists in the history of Chinese Missions.In an amazing way the Holy Spirit guides us granting us wisdom and power, talents and ideas beyond our imagination.And the Holy Spirit guides us through changes of our environment. My environment can lead me into an unexpected way.God works through our environment, teaching us lessons. We should follow the way God opens before us by prayer. Please, do not linger on where you are. Now God is blessing Korea greatly through circumstances. When you see his guiding hand, don’t look back but proceed proclaiming Hallelujah! I hope that in one or two years, Korea enters the line of developed nations. Our children will be mighty in the land.
3. After knowing God’s willThird, after we know God’s will we should accept His will with thanksgiving.Philippians 4:6-7 says, “Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.”Now we present our request to God and get to know what His will is then we need to return to the place of thanksgiving.Isaiah 25:1 says, “O LORD, you are my God; I will exalt you and praise your name, for in perfect faithfulness you have done marvelous things, things planned long ago.”It is God who taught us His word. It is time to accept God’s will by giving thanks and praise. We should not calculate His will, but accept it by forsaking our will. “Not as I will, but as you will.” When we accept God’s will as Jesus did, the result is always good.Psalm 37:5-6 says, “Commit your way to the LORD; trust in him and he will do this: He will make your righteousness shine like the dawn, the justice of your cause like the noonday sun.”When we make our prayer request to God, He will accomplish it and make us righteous in public. We are to practice boldly God’s will.
Joshua 1:9 says, “Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous. Do not be terrified; do not be discouraged, for the LORD your God will be with you wherever you go.”When we do God’s will no matter where we are God will be with us. And God’s presence drives out fear. We should be strong and courageous.When we know God’s will, we will realize how much He wants us to live a life enjoying good health and well being of our souls. He wants us to have life, and have it to the full.Not only your soul experiences the salvation of the Lord, but also all the days of your life you will see God’s goodness. God wants you to be healthy. I have learned for 50 years about it. Our God is real. Do not worry.
Our God is a good God. He is the fountain of blessing. Whoever relies on God will see His blessing. When we trust in Him and march forward we will have victory.ConclusionThe prayer of a true Christian is like this, “Your will be done on earth as it is in heaven”. In everything we hope to get agreement with God’s will not with our own will. We want to walk with the Lord holding His hand. This is our fulfilled life.
Let us pray!
Father God who is full of love!We Christians pray that your will be done as it is in heaven.Please be with us and hear our prayer. By the precious blood of Jesus on the cross let us live a life which will reveal Your goodness and mercy in both our body and soul.Help us to see miracles in our lives all the time.In Jesus’ name we pray.Amen.