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Relationship With Jesus
The Key To Effective Ministry

Section 4, Chapter 14

How To Succeed In
Jesusí Will For Your Life

Page 1 of 2 Pages
Study Questions

Read: 2 Peter 1:2-15

The Apostle Peter in 2 Peter 1:5-7 has laid out for us a series of Christian qualities that if consistently pursued and lived out will guarantee a successful fulfilled fruitful life in Jesus. The qualities that he lists are diligence, moral-excellence, knowledge, self-control, perseverance, godliness, brotherly kindness and love.

What is Peterís motivation for writing this passage of Scripture? Peter is getting ready to die (vs 12-14) and so he wants to leave his children in the Lord with something that will guarantee their on-going success in their Christian walk after he is gone. In these verses he states that he writes this letter for two reasons: to remind them now of the importance of these things, and to remind them after he dies.

Peter starts off the chapter in verses 2-4 explaining to us that God has given to us what is necessary to live these qualities out. First, he tells us that God has given to us His divine power. He tells us that he has given to us this divine power for life and godliness. He then goes on to tell us what the source of this divine power is: It is through the true knowledge of God and of Jesus our Lord. There is only one source from which we get this true knowledge of God and Jesus: the Bible Godís Word. Paul tells us in 2 Timothy 3:16-17,

"All Scripture is inspired by God and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, for training in righteousness; that the man of God may be adequate, equipped for every good work."

And again in Romans 15:4 Paul tells us,

"For whatever was written in earlier times was written for our instruction, that through perseverance and the encouragement of the Scriptures we might have hope."

Whatever we do that is motivated out of the knowledge of Godís Word is backed by His power. The writer of Hebrews states,

"For the word of God is spiritually-alive and energetically-effective and sharper than any two-edged sword, and piercing as far as the division of soul and spirit, of both joints and marrow, and able to judge the thoughts and intentions of the heart." (Heb 4:12).

The first primary source of Godís
divine power is the Word of God itself

Lets talk now about how this list of qualities Peter has mentioned makes it possible for us to live a victorious Christian life. First, let us understand that Peter does not list these Christian virtues randomly. He has listed them in the exact order of their importance. The way we successfully live these qualities out is by implementing them in our lives, step by step, in the exact order that they are given.

DILIGENCE

The first quality Peter states is Diligence. Without diligence you cannot have Moral-Excellence. According to W. E. Vine the word diligence means, "With earnestness, with all zeal, or sometimes the haste to accompany this."127/311 The Random House College Dictionary states that earnestness means "to be serious in intention. . . it is to be resolute."7/415 Luke states about Jesus when he headed for the cross that "He resolutely set His face to go to Jerusalem" (Luke 9:51). A person who is resolute is very difficult to sway or turn aside from a purpose. Peter is telling us that this is the attitude we are to have toward Jesusí will and plan for our lives if it is to be established and fulfilled: an attitude of total commitment with all earnestness and zeal to do Godís will. This is the foundational attitude we must have if we are to be able to go on successfully developing the further qualities he mentions.

MORAL-EXCELLENCE

Once we have developed a resolute spirit to do Godís will with all diligence, Peter then tells us to take the next step which is to Supply Moral-Excellence. This is the first step a new Christian takes after surrendering to Jesus as Savior and Lord: repenting of any known immorality. In order for the new Christian to know what God means by moral-excellence he must start first by reading the Bible. The first step to knowing Godís will for the new Christian is to read the Bible, because whatever moral-excellence means this is where it is going to be found. According to the Apostle Paul this means repenting of covetousness, drunkenness, swindling, idolatry, reviling, fornication, adultery, perversion, homosexuality, thievery, hatred, irreconciliation, gossiping, lack of self control, brutality, hating good, treachery, recklessness, conceit, loving the world rather than God, rejecting and suppressing the power of God, unrighteousness, wickedness, greed, evil, envy, murder, strife, malice, slandering, insolence, arrogance, boastfulness, inventing evil, disobedience to parents, lack of mercy, impurity, passion, evil lust (1 Cor 6:9-10; Gal 5:19-21, 24-26; Rom 1:28-32; 2 Tim 3:1-5).

A new believer at first does not need to be concerned with understanding how to hear Godís voice in his spirit. He first needs to concern himself with what God has already revealed to him about His moral will in His written Word.

KNOWLEDGE

In our moral-excellence Peter tells us next to add Knowledge. Knowledge here first means the Word of God. But once the Christian has got his moral life together he then needs to begin seeking Jesus to reveal to him His personal individual purpose and plan for his life which comes about through a word of knowledge. The Apostle Paul states in Ephesians 5:15-17,

"Therefore be careful how you walk, not as unwise men, but as wise, making the most of your time, because the days are evil. So then do not be foolish, but understand what the will of the Lord is."

In this passage Paul tells us that we live in an evil age. For this reason he tells us that we are not to be foolish but seek God and find out what His will for our lives are and make wise use of the time and days God has given us on this earth.

There are two conditions required to know Godís will for our lives according to Jesus. They are first an unconditional surrender and commitment to do Godís will, and second an aggressive pursuit of attaining a pure heart. Jesus said in John 7:17, "If any man is willing to do His will, he shall know of the teaching whether it is of God, or whether I speak from Myself." God speaking through Jeremiah said, "And you will seek Me and find Me, when you search for Me with all your heart" (Jer 29:13). Jesus said in Matthew 5:8, "Blessed are the pure in heart, for they shall see God." Here again we see the first two qualities that Peter mentions of Diligence and Moral-Excellence. Jesus tells us that when we seek Him with a diligent and pure heart we will find and see Him. We will see Him in the world and we will see clearly what His will for our lives are individually in the world.

The way we come to know Godís will for our lives according to the Apostle Paul is through the Holy Spirit in union with our human spirit. He tells us in 1 Corinthians 2:9-10,

"But just as it is written, "Things which eye has not seen and ear has not heard, and which have not entered the heart of man, all that God has prepared for those who love Him." For to us God revealed them through the Spirit; for the Spirit searches all things, even the depths of God."

The way we open ourselves up to hear what the Holy Spirit has to say about our lives is through worship and praise with up-lifted hands and through the use of our spirtual language with interpretation (Ps 100:4, 1 Tim 1:8, John 4:23-24, 1 Cor 14:13-15). That means that you need to be Baptized in the Holy Spirit.

Since this is beyond the issue of moral repentance it is referring to larger issues like our vocation and calling in life, where we live, where we worship, our personal ministries, educational pursuits, life-partner, etcetera. No where in the Bible did I find, "Dale, I want you to go to Oral Roberts University and get a degree in theology and write books on Evangelism, Discipleship, and Counseling interrelating the Conservative-Evangelical-Charismatic concepts." Or, "I have called you to motivate my people to preach the Gospel." With the exception of my completed education, this is Jesusí revealed will and plan for my life. This kind of knowledge can only come about through a word of knowledge. Of course there are many principles in the Word of God concerning discernment to help us determine if what we believe is Godís voice to us is really Godís voice to us. This Textbook was primarily written to teach these principles of discernment.

SELF-CONTROL

When we have come to know clearly what Godís will in our lives are, Peter tells us that the next step is to then exercise the amount of Self-Control necessary to see that will accomplished.

Years ago as a young Christian I became frustrated in my Christian walk because I was doing all the good little things Christians are supposed to do like going to church, daily reading my Bible, and witnessing to everyone whether they wanted to hear the Gospel or not. But I was failing in the things God was calling me to do with my life. So I prayed, "Jesus, what is wrong with my life? Iím not succeeding in your will." He answered back to me, "Dale, plan out your time during the week, then Satan will not be able to distract you in it." My problem was I was living by my feelings. If I felt like doing it I did it. If I did not or something more exciting came along I became easily distracted. Many times those distractions were spiritual activities. But God was telling me that if I was to succeed in His will then I was going to have to make a decision to take control of the reins of my life, plan out my time during the week, commit myself to it, and then determine that I would not allow anything to distract me from the use of that time whether it felt spiritual or good or not. The Apostle Paul tells us in Philippians 2:12-13,

"So then, my beloved, just as you have always obeyed, not as in my presence only, but now much more in my absence, work out your salvation with fear and trembling; for it is God who is at work in you, both to will and to work for His good pleasure."

We live in a feeling generation. The Younger generation is on the road to destruction because they are being taught in secular education to base their lives on their feelings. But to exercise self-control to do Godís will often requires going against our feelings. Doing Godís will is not dependent on feelings, but on a freedom of choice to decide to do Godís will whether it feels good or not. God will not make you do His will. He will reveal to you what it is, but then it is your responsibility to take the reins of your life and exercise the self-control over your time in a week necessary to see Godís will accomplished. As you take the reins of your life and begin to walk in that call God has given you, you will find that in time your feelings will catch up with you and compliment you once again. But do not base doing Godís will on them. Chapter 5 of Section 1 in this book explains how to develop a successful weekly schedule to accomplish Jesusí will and calling in your life through relationship with Jesus.

Study Questions
Continued on page 2
Bibliography & Notes
Section 4 Chapters
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