Discipleship Series #5 – A disciple responds positively to testing.

Discipleship Series #5A disciple responds positively to testing.(The ‘self-will’ test. This speaks right to the core of our spiritual lives) There’s only one effectively redemptive sacrifice – the sacrifice of self-will to make room for the knowledge of God. By Pastor George Lehman The fuller I am of self, the emptier I’ll be of God.Self-will is defined as pleasing oneself especially in opposition to the commands and instructions of God’s word. (Doing it my way) Psalm 78:6(NIV) – So the next generation would know them, even the children yet to be born, and they in turn would tell their children. Psalm 78:7-9 (Amp) – That they might set their hope in God and not forget the works of God, but might keep His commandments  And might not be as their fathers–a stubborn and rebellious generation, a generation that set not their hearts aright nor prepared their hearts to know God, and whose spirits were not steadfast and faithful to God. The children of Ephraim were armed and carrying bows, yet they turned back in the day of battle. 2 Peter 1:3 (Amp) – For His divine power has bestowed upon us all things that [are requisite and suited] to life and godliness, through the [full, personal] knowledge of Him Who called us by and to His own glory and excellence (virtue). (We are really without excuse) He who wishes to fulfil his mission in the world must be a man of one idea, that is of one great overmastering purpose, overshadowing all his aims, and guiding and controlling his entire life.  “Bate”. Will power:  The WILL to act to change. Lord’s Prayer “Thy will be done” The most useless are those who never change through the years and keep going back to their old ways! One would wonder if they really surrendered their life to Jesus This Covid Lockdown has done one thing; it has revealed the true dedicated disciples and those who are just Sunday Christians. Definition:  When a disciple realizes God is asking him to do something that goes against his own plans or desires, the ‘self-will test’ has begun. God has to break our self-will and personal ambitions to enable Him to use us to trust us to do whatever He requires for us to accomplish in His Kingdom work. It’s easier to do it God’s way because you may not like the way that God chooses to break your obstinate WILL! At times God will ask a disciple to sacrifice even good and appropriate things. He will sometimes even request a disciple to do something for Him and give no logical reason for it. I just want to say it will never go against His word or get you to sin!By not explaining His request, God is developing child-like faith and obedience in his heart. This kind of simple faith is ALWAYS pleasing to God.  A good example is Abraham.Genesis 22:1-2 (Amp) – After these events, God tested and proved Abraham and said to him, Abraham! And he said, Here I am.  [God] said, Take now your son, your only son Isaac, whom you love, and go to the region of Moriah; and offer him there as a burnt offering upon one of the mountains of which I will tell you.Tested – critical examination or trial of a person’s qualitiesProve – establish validity of (will) In all of this a disciple’s desires, thoughts, feelings, plans are put into subjection to God’s will. Our constant submissions to the Lord’s will is what true discipleship is all about. The danger of self-will brings destruction into the life of an individual. Proverbs 1:32 (Msg) – Sin and self-satisfaction brings destruction and death to stupid fools.  Don’t be a stupid fool Self-will stems from pride and produces pride’s limitations. Proverbs 16:18 (GW) – Pride precedes a disaster and an arrogant attitude precedes a fall. The pride of self-will:Blinds us to our weakness.Keeps us from seeking help.Causes us to blame others for problems. Self-will is exhibited in:A refusal to listen to God.A refusal to submit to authority.A refusal to be teachable.A refusal to receive correction.Purpose:To reveal our selfishnessTo reveal our own personal ambitions, plans, wants that are contrary to the purposes of God.To break our self-will. People stuck on themselves are stuck with themselves.- A self-willed person is inconsiderate. You listen to no logic reason- A self-willed person is in constant conflict. You always in arguments- Most problems in relationships are due to self-will. Un-surrendered  self-will always causes conflict with other Most issues in churches are as a result of self-will. Be good to remember this if you think you are not vulnerable to failing.(Even an angel became a devil because of self-will.) 2 Corinthians 12:20 (NIV) – For I am afraid that when I come I may not find you as I want you to be and you may not find me as you want me to be.  I fear that there may be quarrelling, jealousy, outbursts of anger, factions, slander, gossip, arrogance and disorder. Factions – Small group with special aims within a large one.Slander – malicious talk about someone.Gossip – Idle talk about a person. Self-will screens our leaders.  If you cannot submit to others, you cannot LEAD others.  If you cannot submit to authority, no one will submit to your authority. When it comes to surrendering your self-will, it’s not that some people have will power and some don’t.  It’s that some people are ready to change and others are not. Here is the character of (self will) people (Christians) being exposed……. Jude 1:16-19 (Msg) – These are the “grumpers”, the bellyachers, grabbing for the biggest piece of the pie, talking big, saying anything they think will get them ahead. But remember, dear friends, that the apostles of our Master, Jesus Christ, told us this would happen:  “In the last days there will be people who don’t take these things seriously anymore.  They’ll treat them like a joke, and make a religion of their own whims and lusts.” These are the ones who split churches, thinking only of themselves. There’s nothing to them, no sign of the Spirit! Please don’t be a part of the problem – be part of the solution. The self-will test – every one of us will encounter it in order to see if we are willing to be submissive to serve God’s will, especially when it is not comfortable, convenient or self serving. Where the will is ready, the feet are light. In a disciple’s warfare to conquer your 4 great enemies.The world.The Devil.The flesh … and above allThe obstinate [hardnekkig] and perverse[dwarstrekkerig] SELF-WILL. When the self-will is surrendered and submitted, the other three would be comparatively powerless. There’s only one effectively redemptive sacrifice – the sacrifice of self-will to make room for the knowledge of God.How surrendered is your Will?AMEN -o0o-