As I was seeking the Lord on what to minister on this week, I just felt so impressed to minister on the subject of “Finding God’s plan for our lives,” or you could even call it “Finding God’s will for my life.”
I’ve seen that there are a lot of people who wonder what God wants them to do in life. Many feel that if they’re not in the 5 fold ministry, they’re not doing enough for the Lord. Some of the things that I’m going to minister on today and in the next few weeks will help you tremendously. I’m not going to tell you exactly what God wants you to do, you have to find that out from the Lord, but I can share with you what the Word of God says. I believe that you will see things in a new light.
I. HEB 12:1
A. You have a particular race that God has set before you to run. It is a spiritual race that has to do with the divine plan that God has set before you to fulfill.
1. (HEB 12:1) Says that we have a “race to run.”
a. (Keep your finger there) Turn to 2 TIM 4:7
i. We have a race to run, but we also see by example that not only are we to run the race, we are to finish the race or course.
b. You are to fulfill God’s plan for your own individual life.
i. You can’t run someone else’s race or finish someone else’s course.
ii. God has a different course for each of us.
2. No one’s call or plan that God has for them is the same.
a. God has as many callings as there are believers.
i. Even if a pastor leaves a church and a new pastor comes in, the callings may be similar but they will differ in some areas.
B. Let’s go back to HEB 12:1
1. This V says that we are not running our race unobserved.
a. While we are running this spiritual race, the Bible says we are “Compassed about” by a “Great cloud of witnesses.”
? i. Who is included in this great cloud of witnesses?
2. If you remember the writers of the Bible did not write in chapters and verses.
a. They wrote 1 letter.
3. (HEB 11) Talks about those who we call the “Heroes of faith.”
a. Paul talks about Abel, Enoch, Abraham, Sarah, Isaac, Jacob, Joseph, Moses, and so on.
i. (Hebrews 11:39) Says, “And these all, having obtained a good report through faith.” (KJV)
b. I believe that this V is talking about all men and women of faith are that have died are this great cloud of witnesses that the very next V is talking about.
4. What does Paul mean when he says we are “Compassed about” by this cloud of witnesses. (HEB 12:1)
a. The Living Bible says it this way, “Since we have such a huge crowd of men [and women] of faith watching us from the grandstands ... let us run with patience the particular race that God has set before us.”
b. Paul uses the illustration of running a race in this V.
i. This is in reference to the old Grecian Games, which is similar to our modern day Olympic Games.
ii. In the Grecian Games, those who ran in the races were compasses about or surrounded by people watching them from the grandstands, cheering them on.
c. What Paul is saying is that those “Heroes of faith” and all the believers that have ever died are watching us from the grandstands in heaven as we run our spiritual race.
C. That great cloud of witnesses in Heaven, as well as ever believer on earth, are all part on the family of God.
1. Paul said in (Ephesians 3:14-15) “For this cause I bow my knees unto the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, (15) Of whom the whole family in heaven and earth is named.” (KJV)
a. We are all part of the Family of God and those that are in Heaven are cheering you on as you run your race.
i. They’re not interested in our natural lives as in natural things; like if you buy a car or what color suit you where.
ii. They are interested in your spiritual life, whether you are following God’s plan for your life or not.
2. Kenneth Hagin talks about a vision that He had 20 or 30 years ago.
a. He was caught up to Heaven the same day His only sister died.
i. In Heaven he saw Jesus talking to his sister. When he approached them his sister started talking to him.
ii. The sister said that she saw her Grandmother and her Grandfather. She also said that she saw her daughter (Ann) that was killed in a car accident at the age of 25.
iii. The daughter asked how her husband (Bill) and her 2 children were doing.
b. Ken’s sister didn’t tell her that Bill, her husband, remarried.
i. Ken’s sister said, “You see, people up here are not interested in the natural side of life of those living on the earth.”
a. “They’re not concerned about whether you buy a new dress or a new suit, or how much money your have in the bank.”
c. “But they are concerned about spiritual things.”
i. “They don’t know what happens in the natural, but they know everything that you are doing spiritually.”
ii. “They know when you make a decision for Christ. They know if you’re walking with God or not.”
D. We have a great cloud of witnesses watching us from Heaven’s grandstands.
1. The Apostles and all the Heroes of Faith are part of this great cloud of witnesses, and they are watching us run our spiritual race.
2. If you have any loved ones that have gone on to be with the Lord, you can rest assured that they are watching you as you run your race.
a. They’re cheering you on as you follow God’s plan for your life, because they want you to finish your course.
3. It helps us to know that there are those that are rooting for us.
a. When I was in baseball and in gymnastics, I always wanted to do my best when someone was there cheering me on and rooting for me.
b. Heaven’s grandstands cheer us on to finish the course that God has set before each of us.
II. So how do we run our race in such a way that God’s plan will be fulfilled in our lives and Heaven will rejoice?
A. Let’s go back to HEB 12:1 (Hebrews 12:1) “Wherefore seeing we also are compassed about with so great a cloud of witnesses, let us lay aside every weight, and the sin which doth so easily beset [us], and let us run with patience the race that is set before us.” (KJV)
1. Again the Living Bible says it like this, “Since we have such a huge crowd of men of faith watching us from the grandstands, let us strip off anything that slows us down or holds us back, and especially those sins that wrap themselves so tightly aronud our feet and trip us up; and let us run with patience the particular race that God has set before us.”
a. If you think about it, an Olympic athlete doesn’t run a race with his overcoat on or his street clothes on. Why?
i. They would slow him down and could trip him up.
2. In the natural realm, wearing an overcoat would slow down a runner and keep him from winning the race.
a. It’s the same in the spiritual realm.
i. Sin will slow you down, it will keep tripping you up, and it can prevent you from running your spiritual race.
b. Sin in a person’s life will hinder your fellowship with God, it will also dull your spirit and cause you to be less responsive to the leadings of the HS.
B. It’s also easy to become too entangled with legitimate affairs of life, things that may be good in themselves, but are not what God has called you to do.
1. To give you an example, God has not called us to start a Christian school.
a. Even though a Christian school is good, if it’s not God’s plan for this church, it can really hurt the church, to where we lose track of God’s plan.
b. Things that pull you away from God’s plan can trip you up and slow you down spiritually.
i. That’s why (Hebrews 12:1) Says, “Let us lay aside every weight, and the sin which doth so easily beset us.” (KJV)
ii. Those weights or sins can weigh us down so much that we run the risk of never finishing the course of fulfilling God’s plan.
2. You have to lay aside those weights and sin. God is not going to do it for you. You have to do it.
III. Another reason people sometimes have trouble running their spiritual race is that they are not running the race that God told them to run.
A. They’re not following His plan and His purpose for their lives.
1. What happens is that the race becomes hard and burdensome to run.
2. MATT 11:28-30
a. Jesus said, “My yoke [is] easy, and my burden is light.”
i. He’s not talking about the flesh. Sometimes we really have to crucify the flesh. But there is no greater rest than when we have done the will of God.
ii. (Hebrews 4:11) Says, “Let us labour therefore to enter into that rest.” (KJV)
B. We need to strip off every wrong motive, every self exalting desire, every carnal way, and every desire of the flesh that would hinder you in your race.
1. Lay aside weights and sins like pride, double-mindedness, spiritual slothfulness, and fear that would keep us from God’s plan for our lives.
2. Do your best to run your spiritual race and finish the course with joy.
IV. The last part of (Hebrews 12:1) Says, “Let us run with patience the race that is set before us.” (KJV)
A. We can also make our way difficult and hinder our spiritual growth if we do not run the race that is set before us with patience.
1. It’s so easy to become impatient to fulfill God’s plan and purpose in our lives.
a. Sometimes we here from the Lord regarding His plan for us.
b. When we here that we do everything we can to bring it to pass immediately.
i. God is not caught up with time like we are.
ii. (2 Peter 3:8) Says, “One day [is] with the Lord as a thousand years, and a thousand years as one day.” (KJV)
2. When God gives us His plan, it might be His long term plan.
a. Often we try to do everything in our own effort to make it come to pass.
i. When we do that it just causes problems. And sometimes you're just plain out of God’s will.
b. When the time is right, God will open the doors.
i. You need to do what you can in the natural, but you can’t force it. It has to be God’s timing and when it is God will open the doors.
B. Sometimes when we reach the place that God wants us, we say, “All right God, what’s next?”
1. Again we get impatient. (What’s next)
a. And then when they don’t here anything from God they start getting frustrated and start saying maybe God wants me to do this or that. (doesn’t work)
2. When God gives you something to do, you keep doing it until he tells you to stop.
a. Of course, you always keep seeking Him to find out how He wants you to do it or how to do it better.
b. But you keep doing it until He tells you to change.
i. My example with Pastoring at 2 churches. (Associate, then pastor, and now as pastor)
c. HEB 10:36
i. The promises are not just for our time on the earth, but also for us in heaven.
ii. Above all else, I want to do the will of God, so that He can say to me, “Well done, good and faithful servant; thou hast been faithful over a few things, I will make thee ruler over many things: enter thou into the joy of thy lord.”
C. Let me just say this in closing, Don’t feel that you have to be in the 5 fold ministry to fulfill God’s call in your life, not unless that is where He has called you.
1. We are all called to do certain things, like, serving the Lord, prayer, worship, going to church, but it might be more than that.
a. I remember 1 time a young mother came to Bobbie Jean Merck and said before I had children I could do so much for the Lord, but now so much of my time is taken up in raising the children.
b. Bobbie Jean said, “After your relationship with the Lord, your # 1 calling is to raise those children in the nurture and admonition of the Lord.”
2. Your calling might be to be a mom or dad, it also might be to be a business man or woman, it might be to be a prayer worrier, (to the ministry of intercession) it might be in worship.
a. All of us have a calling from God. Just take your time to find out what it is, and do what He’s given you. He’ll open the doors, but don’t force it.
SUN AM 2/5/95 WOLCC