Saturday, October 14, 2023

How Can I Do God’s Will?

 “Anyone who chooses to do the will of God will find out whether my teaching comes from God or whether I speak on my own.” – John 7:17

Over the past few years, several studies have confirmed what many of us have suspected: Christianity is not growing in the United States. It’s actually on the decline. As the years go by, fewer families go to church. Fewer adults and teenagers claim to be Christians. And the percentage of Americans who don’t believe in the existence of God is growing at an alarming rate.

In 2021, Arizona Christian University’s Cultural Research Center published the results from their latest survey about Americans’ belief in God. It showed a sharp decline in belief with each new generation. 83% of Americans born before 1945 say they believe in God. 79% of Baby Boomers (born 1946-1964) say they believe in God. 70% of Gen Xers (born 1965-1983) and 57% of Millennials (born 1984-2002) identify as Christians. Meanwhile, 43% of Millennials say they “don’t know, care, or believe that God exists.”

We would like to think that with each passing year, the number of people who are getting saved is outpacing the number of people who are choosing not to get saved. But it’s simply not true. And sadly, what is true in 2023 was also true in Jesus’ day.

In John 6:66 (notice the verse number), we read: “From this time many of [Jesus’] disciples turned back and no longer followed Him.” That verse marks a heartbreaking turning point in Jesus’ ministry. For over two years, Jesus had shared the good news of salvation, explained the Scriptures and healed the sick. He offered the people of Israel faith, hope and unconditional love. But many of them responded by grumbling and walking away—unappreciative, unchanged and filled with unbelief. As Jesus entered his final year of ministry, the crowds that gathered by the thousands to hear Him preach became few and far between.

By the beginning of John 7, Jesus had begun to avoid Judea because He knew the religious leaders there “were waiting to take his life” (v. 1). But after His brothers left for the Feast of Tabernacles, Jesus went there on His own in secret (v. 10). He knew the religious leaders would be looking for Him—and evidently, the crowds were on the lookout for Him too. There was a lot of secret chatter among them. Some whispered, “He is a good man,” while others whispered, “No, He deceives the people” (vs. 12 & 13). But regardless of their opinions, they tried to keep a lid on it, because the religious leaders were acting weird when the subject of Jesus came up. The people didn’t know the extent of the leaders’ hatred for Jesus, but they knew they didn’t want to get caught in the crossfire.

On the fourth day of the feast, Jesus began teaching in the temple courts. Even his foes were blown away. The religious leaders exclaimed, “How did this man get such learning without having studied?” (v. 15). They were astounded that Jesus was teaching circles around many of their highly-educated rabbis. Jesus explained that His teaching came from “Him who sent Me” (v. 16). Then He added, “If anyone chooses to do God’s will, he will find out whether My teaching comes from God or whether I speak on My own” (v. 17). In other words: We learn by doing. So, if you don’t understand everything you need to know to live a life that pleases God, put the little bit you DO know into practice. As you walk in obedience to the parts of God’s will that you already know, He will unlock your understanding to the truths that you don’t know … yet.

Here are two Life Lessons we can draw from the previous passage:

Life Lesson #1: People will always hold many different opinions about Jesus. But believe and live your life by this truth: Jesus is the Christ and the Son of the living God. Believing that Jesus was JUST a good man, a good teacher or a prophet are not logical options, because He claimed to be the Son of God. So, there are only three logical options: He is a liar, a lunatic or He is Lord. So, choose one.

Life Lesson #2: If you want to UNDERSTAND God’s will, begin by DOING God’s will. You will learn God’s Word by living God’s Word. It’s often been said: “It’s easier to steer a moving car.” So, get moving, and God’s will for your life will become much, much clearer.

Dane Davis is the pastor of Impact Christian Church. Join us for worship on Sunday at 8:30 a.m. or 10 a.m. at 16209 Kamana Road in Apple Valley, or livestream us on Facebook or YouTube. For more information, visit

No comments:

Post a Comment