Transcript: Welcome to “5 Minutes with Pastor Lutzer.” I’m so glad that you joined us again. If you were with us last time you know that I have begun a short series on the will of God. I remember as a student especially we would have long discussions regarding God’s will. Where should we go to school? What should we do? What should our vocation be? Well, my contention is that if we do the will of God as it is revealed in the Bible, many of these matters will take care of themselves.
I want to read a passage of scripture that perhaps seems to be shocking to us but I’m going to explain it and I’m going to emphasize that today you can do God’s will and know that you’re doing His will. The scripture says in the 6th chapter of the book of Ephesians, “Slaves, obey your earthly masters with fear and trembling, with a sincere heart, as you would Christ. Not by way of eye service as people pleasers but as servants of Christ doing the will of God from the heart (that’s the phrase I want to zero in on). Rendering service with a good will as to the Lord and not to men, knowing that whatever good anyone does, this he will receive back from the Lord, whether he is a slave or free. Masters do the same to them and stop your threatening, knowing that He who is both their master and yours is in heaven and that there is no partiality with Him.” A word about slavery. Oftentimes people say, “Well, why does the Bible talk about slavery in this way? Why didn’t Paul just abolish slavery?” We have to understand that slavery was a part of the entire economic system. You couldn’t function without slaves and there was no place that they could go. Freeing the slaves back in that time was not an option. So, the apostle Paul talks to both slaves and masters and says,”Both of you are accountable to God. Masters, just know that your master in heaven is also their master.” So, Paul did as much as he could to help the situation.
What I want to zero in on is the will of God from the heart. I looked this up and discovered that in many instances the New Testament talks about “pleasing the Lord.” As a matter of fact, I’m thinking of Colossians chapter one now where it says that we should pray that we should fully please the Lord. “Do the will of God from the heart.” A couple of comments that I think will help us: Let’s think for example of Jesus. The Bible says that He “pleased not Himself.” Now, in one sense, of course, He did what He wanted to do but His focus was always on the Father. He says,”The Father has not left me alone for I do always those things that please Him.” Today your responsibility and mine is simply this are we pleasing the Lord or are we not?
Of course, even slaves, the Bible says, can please the Lord. Whatever God has given you to do and where you find yourself today, the focus must always be on this question: what pleases the Lord? You talk about the will of God? The will of God is actually something internal. Over nine-hundred times in the Bible we have the word “heart” appear. God wants our hearts. Pleasing Him is doing His will.
Well, it’s a sermon illustration you’ve probably heard before but it certainly fits here. There was a pianist that was doing a concert. And at the end everyone stood and applauded but the pianist did not look at the crowd. The pianist looked beyond the crowd to the balcony where his teacher was, where his mentor was to see whether or not he was clapping. You know, in the midst of the tumult of what we are experiencing today, you may find that there are people who are applauding you. There may be people who are booing you, but look to the balcony. More accurately look beyond the balcony to heaven and ask this question before you go to bed tonight. Have I pleased the Lord? Ultimately that’s the only thing that matters and that, my friend, is God’s will for you today.
Thanks so much for joining us and I certainly hope that you join us again next time as we continue this brief study on the will of God. But as for today you just go with God.