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1 Corinthians 9:11
"If we sowed spiritual things in you, is it
too much if we should reap material things from you?"
To Effective Ministry
Section 4, Chapter 14
How To Succeed In
Will For Your Life
|Page 1 of
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
"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).
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.
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.
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.
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
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
"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.
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.
Continued on page 2
Bibliography & Notes
Section 4 Chapters