The Unreasonable Will of God
Charles F. Stanley
Scripture: Luke 5:1-11
I. Introduction: Does God have a specific will for your life? Yes. The Father wants His children to submit to Him in small and big issues. The Lord’s commands often make sense to us. But how should we react when they seem illogical? We must obey Him no matter what. God does not require us to understand His will, just obey it, even when it seems unreasonable (Life Principle #5).
II. Peter’s Example
A. Jesus told the fisherman to move into deep water and cast his nets in broad daylight (Luke 5:1-11). The common practice on the Sea of Galilee was to fish in the middle of the night and only in shallow water. As a result of his faithfulness, Peter’s catch was so large that he needed help to haul it in.
B. The miracle proved that Jesus was not simply an itinerant preacher. Peter, Andrew, James, and John left their nets and followed Him from that point on.
III. How does the will of God work?
A. The Father has a specific plan for your life.
B. You may consider yourself unimportant, but no one is insignificant in God’s eyes.
C. The Father has equipped you to fulfill your calling. He will never call you to something and then not enable you to do it.
D. The Lord reveals His will in small areas and larger ones. When you submit to God’s will in daily choices, it’s easy to obey Him when faced with bigger decisions.
IV. Biblical Illustrations
A. God told Noah to build a huge boat. Noah may have wondered how he would pay for the building materials—or feared looking foolish to his friends and neighbors. Yet when the rain came pouring down and continued day after day, the naysayers were the ones who looked like fools (Gen. 6:13-7:24).
B. Jesus delayed traveling to the home of Mary and Martha when Lazarus was sick. Our Savior could easily have traveled to His friend’s home in time to save his life. Or He could have simply said the word and the man would have been healed. But by waiting, Jesus had the opportunity to raise Lazarus from the dead. The Son was able to glorify the Father and reveal His own power over the grave (John 11:1-46).
V. Personal Examples
A. After my third year of seminary, I spent the summer at a family lake house. I had originally decided to work with home missions but sensed that wasn’t God’s will. While I was at the vacation spot, a local church called me as pastor.
B. The congregation also wanted me to teach three courses at their Bible institute: sermon preparation, preaching, and evangelism. God led me to accept their offer despite my inexperience.
C. One time, someone wanted to build me an island house. Just before construction started, the Lord revealed to me that it wasn’t His will. I had to turn down the offer for no apparent reason. Only later did He reveal why.
VI. How can you discover the will of God?
A. Open His Word and start reading. The Spirit will lead you by bringing a passage of Scripture to your attention.
B. Ask God to speak to your heart. You may hear an answer quickly, or it might take time before you are ready to hear His voice.
C. Watch how the Lord works through circumstances. He can speak to us through opportunities as well as obstacles.
D. Listen to godly counsel. Wise people will advise you with wisdom from God’s Word.
E. Be patient. If the Father doesn’t answer you immediately, take it as a sign that you don’t need to know yet. He may be setting the stage for a future blessing.
VI. Conclusion: Has God asked you to do something that seems unreasonable? Don’t argue with Him, worry about what people will think, or rationalize that your way is better. His plans for you are the best. They often lead to tangible rewards. But more importantly, you will get a glimpse of who Jesus is—loving, merciful, and faithful. Nothing can compare to discovering and following the Father’s plan for your life.