Misusing The Will of God Acts 22:14 CLICK TITLE FOR AUDIO
We place a lot of emphasis on knowing the will of God and doing his will. But we need to be careful about misusing the will of God. When people believe that they know the will of God, they are anxious to get on with it. The will of God for them becomes his “stamp of approval” on what they are doing. They say, “I know it’s the will of God.” That statement is supposed to trump any doubt or answer any question that may be raised about it. But we need to be careful with saying or believing that something we’re doing is the will of God. We may be misusing the will of God.
Just because a thing is the will of God:
Doesn’t mean that it’s God’s time – Jn 2:4. Jesus revealed to his disciples that he was going to die. But he didn’t die until he completed 3½ years of his ministry. David was anointed when he was a teenager but he didn’t ascend to the throne until he was 30. Just because you know a thing is the will of God doesn’t mean that it is time for you to be doing it. You need Ps 46:10, “Be still, and know that I am God.” It’s The will of God; not yours. And he knows when he wants you to do it. You’re misusing the will of God when you do something he’s not ready for you to do. Concerning salvation, the will of God is for you to be saved and his time is now [2 Cor 6:2].
Doesn’t mean that God has enabled you – 1 Tim 1:12; Gal 1:15-23. God separated Paul from his mother’s womb. He saved him much later in life [Acts 9]. But he didn’t enable him in the ministry for several more years. Saul and Barnabas weren’t sent by the Holy Spirit until Acts 13. A young man or an older man might be called to preach but he is not ready to begin until God enables him. There’s a lot of maturing, growing, refining, preparing and so forth that needs to go on first. He must be prepared. You’re misusing the will of God when you start something before he’s enabled you to do it.
Doesn’t mean that it’s going to work out – Acts 16:9-10, 23-24. Paul and Silas ended up in prison after going to Macedonia [Philippi] in direct obedience to God’s leadership. That wasn’t what they expected at all. Now Rom 8:28 was fulfilled before the next morning. But that may not be the case for you. Often, it may be years before you can see how God is going to work a thing out. And in the meantime, your busted expectations might ruin you before you ever see the “good” that God intended. You’re misusing the will of God when you expect God to make it work out the way you expect it should.
Doesn’t mean that you can handle it – 1 Sam 15:35. Saul couldn’t handle being king over Israel, yet he was God’s choice [1 Sam 9:27-10:1]. He was disobedient to the word of the Lord [1 Sam 13:13], he tarried when he should have fought [1 Sam 14:2], he got crossed up on his answers from God [1 Sam 14:38-42], he integrated his army with foreigners [1 Sam 14:52, he ended up with Doeg], he disobeyed the Lord’s commands against the Amalekites [1 Sam 15] and so forth. You and I are the weak links in this thing called the will of God. We may be the sole reason that what God intended doesn’t work out. We may quit on the job because of the hardships that go with it. We may impose our own will on the job and change what God called us to do. You’re misusing the will of God when you quit on something he’s not ready for you to stop or when you change something he didn’t tell you to change.
Doesn’t mean you are going to do it – Acts 21:4. Paul knew that the Spirit was telling him not to go up to Jerusalem. He went anyway. If a man like Paul can go against the Holy Spirit, then you know we can. And look at the good spiritual reasons that Paul gave for going [Acts 20:23-24]. We find that when men are determined to do something, even if it’s not the will of God, they can give you some good “spiritual” reasons why it’s the thing they are supposed to do. You’re misusing the will of God when you do something anyway, even though he’s shown you not to do it.
Conclusion: So, don’t jump into something just because you are convinced that it’s the will of God. Whether it’s marriage, or preaching or going to the mission field, you should consider these things we’ve discussed very carefully. They all influence the outcome of your decision.