The Church that Follows the Will of God

(Matthew 16:21-24)


Let us Follow God’s Will

After being united with Jesus Christ we have gone through multi faceted changes. The way we see the world was changed, we are able to understand ourselves more deeply from a completely different angle, and we have a whole new perspective on our own future. For us who used to think our life of flesh was everything and be obsessed with it, those changes are a very different experience, a shocking event to remember forever.

In the past, we belonged to the devil. Yet, once became united with Jesus, we have been able to see the world in the way God sees and face the world in the way God feels, and it has allowed us to hope for the future which God prepared for us. This is something so moving that we should clap for joy every day, give thanks, and glorify God.

Becoming a child of God means that we are able to share the unique privilege which only God’s only begotten Son has. So, we live our lives on the earth as members of God’s household, having the Lord as our older brother. When we take our steps forward to the future, worry and anxiety cannot block us anymore, but we see a brightly shining future in front of us. Sometimes we may have a hard time, but in God’s big picture there will not be such a thing as failure. God who has planned all this constantly encourages us from within to have hope. That is why we are able to go forward in hope.

We have shaken off and come out of our life in the past. Even if we are often influenced by what we see with the eyes of the flesh, and fascinated by the things that will soon disappear, our duty is to keep the will of God. It is equally important to remember that we should carry it out together with other members whom God called, gathered and chose for the church, rather than handle it individually.

God opened a new way for us who have been united with Jesus Christ. In the past, we used to feel dreadfully anxious for the needs of our flesh, but now we take things easy so that we do not desperately cling to temporary things.

There are many noble characters found among the people of this world. The noble attitude toward life that those people show often touches the people that notice them. Not surprisingly, the people that belong to God should display a much more impressive attitude of life. They must not have a cowardly life that deserves criticism from the world.

Let Us Depart from a Self-Centered Faith

God is putting His thoughts into our hearts. We have already replaced much of the way of life that we used to have in the past with the way of God. Such a change happened to us while we were not even expecting it. In other words, we were given this great grace when we were not prepared in any way. Yet, from now on, we ourselves must work hard to complete our salvation.

Of course, we have already been saved. Yet, on the one hand, the Bible urges us to try hard to work out our salvation. Jesus our Lord did not say that everything was over after He saved us, but He is rather emphasizing the course we have to finish. In that sense, the very present time is really important for our faith lives.

First, we should fill ourselves with the thoughts and plans of our Lord. And then specific training to keep the spiritual acknowledge should come next. Without such training, the grace that God gave us might be treated as mere knowledge and hence worthless. There are some things that we did not do in the past but we have to do today, and vice versa. Although adapting to such changes is probably inconvenient for us, we should embrace the change, knowing that all of this was prepared for us by God.

Not to mention the people of the world, even the people of faith commonly have a self-centered attitude before God. Those people have a misunderstanding that God must exist to help them. Basically, such an attitude might be necessary for people to be saved at first. However, it must be changed once they have been saved. The fact that people rarely get out of that self-centered mindset may happen perhaps because churches preach about God in such a way from the beginning. Nevertheless, someone who deeply knows Jesus must be different; they must change. He should be capable of bearing the spiritual fight that is very solitary and tiring but still be happy. In order to do this, he must first know the will of God.

The thoughts of God are different from those of people

Although the children of God are supposed to understand the will of God in depth, they are constantly influenced by their own will because they live in the flesh. So even in the church, we often hear strong voices that stem from human will. Still, we find a hope in such circumstances because we know the will of God through the Holy Spirit.

The works of the world and the works of God are different. When Jesus told the disciples about His death and resurrection, Peter rebuked Him saying, ”God forbid it, Lord! This shall never happen to You.” But He said to Peter, “Get behind Me, Satan! You are a stumbling block to Me; for you are not setting your mind on God’s interests, but man’s.” According to commonsense, what Peter said was right. Yet, Jesus treated it as the thought of Satan.

The Pharisees and the Sadducees were often cursed by Jesus. But, in the eyes of man, they were outstanding people. They tried very hard to live the life that pleased God by keeping the Law of God. Their efforts were not wrong. Yet if anything, their fault was in that they did not know God.

A poor widow put two copper coins into the treasury, and those were all she had to live on. In human perspective, someone could say, “How could you offer all you have? Just offer half,” or “shouldn’t that poor woman be helped by the priests?” However, Jesus commended her for doing what she did. Likewise, the thoughts of humans and those of the Lord are completely different.

A rich man came to Jesus and asked, “What good things shall I do that I may obtain eternal life?” Jesus said to him, “Go and sell all your possessions and give to the poor, and follow Me.” According to the thoughts of man, such a man who struggled to live in accordance with the will of God by doing good things should be encouraged to do more. But, Jesus commanded him to sell every possession he had and follow Him.

A woman who was caught in the act of adultery was brought to Jesus by people. According to the old tradition that the Jews kept, the woman had to be stoned to death. But Jesus saved her by His words, ‘he who is without sin among you, let him be the first throw a stone at her’. The thoughts of the Lord Jesus must not be stopped by the thoughts of man.

When Samuel went to Jesse to see his sons, in his eyes, the attractive looking eldest one appeared to be the one to be anointed to sit on the throne after Saul. Surprisingly, God was not interested in him, but He chose the youngest one, David, whom nobody considered.

God never told people to vote when they had decide something. When God chose Abraham and Moses, He did not ask people’s opinion, but He just did according to His own will. In the matter of appointing an overseer of the church, sometimes people argue that we should reflect the opinions of the majority. But God said that the Holy Spirit has made an overseer to shepherd the church of God which He purchased with His own blood.(Act 20:28)

When God promised Mary that she would conceive, it might appear as though some human rights were violated in man’s perspective. But, the will of God differs from the thoughts of man. We should admit this and let God use us freely.

Let Us Follow the Will of God

God will enable the souls and the church that truly follow God to fulfill greater works. Yet, the work of God will gradually disappear in the souls and the church that take advantage of God in accordance with their own will. God has protected us so far and kept us as the people who know the will of God because there is something we have to fulfill. Also there is a plan to let us govern the new kingdom of God in heaven after all that work is accomplished.

There might be some people who get tired of carrying out duties as the members of the church. But then, you must remember this first. The Lord Jesus shed His blood for such ones as us. He is not One who is in need, but instead He is King of kings. Someone who knows this, must realize the opportunity has come to him and quickly go forward to the Lord. The Lord Jesus is not One who feels pressured by us, or needs something from us, but one who is demanding holy loyalty and faith from us.

Eternal rewards are reserved for those who do the will of God. 1 John 2:17 says, “The world is passing away, and also its lusts; but the one who does the will of God lives forever.” In the process of doing certain works of the church, sometimes we might have personal greed, or have conflicts of interest with others on a certain matter. Those things will all disappear, but only who seek the will of God will remain forever.

All the members of the church must be united for what God has allowed us to do. If it is possible to bring each member of the body together as one, we will easily be able to defeat the work of the devil no matter how enormous it is. Even if there is nothing left for us in this world after we are used by God, we must be able to see ourselves in the eyes of God, not of the world.

The Lord not only saved us but is still leading us. Let us be those that respond to Him. God called each of us to the church so let us endure hardships together with the church, overcome difficulties together and be victors together at last. Let us take part in the work of God, but do as God wills. Even if what we have to bear is hardship, let us carry it out joyfully in the hope of the glory that will be prepared for us in the future.

Preached by the Overseer Sung-Hyun Kim

Translated by Sungrak Mission Center