Genesis #29: The Blessing: How to know what's best?

Genesis: The Blessing  •  Sermon  •  Submitted   •  Presented   •  38:34
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How to know the best thing to do.

Mac... the clumsiest retriever.
Wanting to, but missing when it comes to timing
Makes him look silly
Timing is crucially important. Doing what you should do exactly when you should do it.
It’s a question that has challenged people across time; but in a much more serious way as it relates to knowing the will of God.
How do you know whether God would have you take one way or another… or not at all? It’s a frequent question, and one which scripture surely must provide some guidance.
I don’t mean to say that we have to find a passage of scripture that speaks to the exact situation which we find ourselves, but rather we need some passages of scripture which provide us some clearly defined principles which are suited to meet our situation. This is what we find in Genesis 31.
Jacob facing a decision, but what to do. What we do know it what the decisions Jacob makes today will determine the stories that are told in the future.
What stories would be told about Jacob? would he be one who almost did what God had promised he would? Or would he be known as one who fulfilled the promises of God?
What about you and I? What will the stories about us tell?
Before we get caught up thinking about our own story, let’s see what we can learn from Jacob.
We find Jacob in Chapter 31 at his breaking point.
We are tempted to ask… what took so long?
Deceived about wife
Livestock was hidden from him
10 times pay changed
Why is he still there?

The problem wasn't Laban, but the question

Jacob knew he was to go back to homeland,
Question is when is the right time to take his family away from the only life they knew
In chapter 31 he gets his answer.
It's one thing to know what... it's another to know when.

How did Jacob know?

He was convinced of God's plan.

Knew God's promise. His family had told him. He had experienced God’s favor
Genesis 28:15 NIV
15 I am with you and will watch over you wherever you go, and I will bring you back to this land. I will not leave you until I have done what I have promised you.”
Those 3 weeks traveling may have been 20 years ago, but time walking with the Lord isn’t quickly forgotten.
Spent time in prayer.
First he was convinced of God’s plan and he had a definite desire to return to his homeland.
But desire isn’t enough on it’s own to know the will of God.

He was aware of his circumstances.

and his circumstances made it so that leaving now was a wise thing to do.
Experienced God's provision in Chapter 30
Wise to be aware of our situation.
Not so heavenly minded we aren't earthly good.
Genesis 31:1–2 NIV
1 Jacob heard that Laban’s sons were saying, “Jacob has taken everything our father owned and has gained all this wealth from what belonged to our father.” 2 And Jacob noticed that Laban’s attitude toward him was not what it had been.
Laban's Sons
Gen 31:4-16
His wives had seen it too.
People were turning against Jacob… but God would use this as well.
Romans 8:28 NIV
28 And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose.
But Jacob needed more before he knew this was the time to leave.
That’s the last thing… God confirmed it.

God confirmed it was time

Genesis 31:3 NIV
3 Then the Lord said to Jacob, “Go back to the land of your fathers and to your relatives, and I will be with you.”
All three made it crystal clear that it was time to leave.
Wouldn’t it be nice if we had God speak to us in such a clear way whenever we faced decisions?
I’ll grant you that we seldom have a perfect set up like this. We seldom get all three in such clarity as Jacob.
But I would say that wants to direct our lives as well.

How do we know what's best?

Philippians 1:9–10 NIV
9 And this is my prayer: that your love may abound more and more in knowledge and depth of insight, 10 so that you may be able to discern what is best and may be pure and blameless for the day of Christ,
It starts with our knowing the Love of God. That our love for God will give us a hunger to do what God wants, and not what we want.
That’s what Paul is talking about when he refers to knowledge and insight.

Knowing God is key to knowing what's best.

These principles of knowing God work in our lives still today as they guided Jacob.
So we aren’t called to go to Paddam Arran… but what about to Rock Hall? What about to our neighborhood? What about to our church

Know God's plan

Ephesians 1:3–5 NLT
3 All praise to God, the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has blessed us with every spiritual blessing in the heavenly realms because we are united with Christ. 4 Even before he made the world, God loved us and chose us in Christ to be holy and without fault in his eyes. 5 God decided in advance to adopt us into his own family by bringing us to himself through Jesus Christ. This is what he wanted to do, and it gave him great pleasure.
God’s plan starts with Jesus.
God planned for Jesus to come and save the world
God planned for the church to be the hands and feet of Christ in the world
God planned for our salvation, but God also planned for you to live a particular way, which is why we have the scriptures to teach us.
God has a plan for your life. It includes Jesus as your Lord; it includes you living a holy life; and yes, it includes making disciples of Jesus.
That’s the general will of God, but specifically,
to discern something to be the will of God, let me ask you is it a definite conviction in your heart that God desires us to take a certain course or do a certain thing?
It could be a passing interest or desire… I’m the worst. I could be doing something vitally important and out of no where… squirrel! I see something shiny and that must be the Lord! I’m tempted to follow it. I’ve learned though that my tendency is to be drawn away, so now I practice waiting upon the Lord for the other two confirmations of God’s will.

Know what’s possible

The second one comes from understanding what’s right in the moment. What are our circumstances telling us we should do.
Because not ever desire of our heart is of God. In fact, I’d bet that most of them aren’t. As we mature in the faith, we desire the things of God more and more, but for sure as we start following Jesus, we continue to have this battle at work in us.
James the brother of Jesus gave this counsel:
James 3:13 NIV
13 Who is wise and understanding among you? Let them show it by their good life, by deeds done in the humility that comes from wisdom.
James 3:17–18 NIV
17 But the wisdom that comes from heaven is first of all pure; then peace-loving, considerate, submissive, full of mercy and good fruit, impartial and sincere. 18 Peacemakers who sow in peace reap a harvest of righteousness.
Circumstances may be telling you to do one thing… but if you can’t do that with Godly wisdom. Then it’s probably not God. Rather than out of humility it’s probably pride.
You are wronged: offended, robbed, taken advantage of - and you don’t know what to do.
You feel a strong desire to act in one way… seems that God is leading you to do this but does it take us through being peace-loving, considerate, submissive, full of mercy and good fruit, impartial and sincere.
Is it taking us in the ways of God?

Know how God speaks

What we need is confirmation that our desires and our opportunities are leading us the way God would have us go.
Can come from the word
2 Timothy 3:16–17 NIV
16 All Scripture is God-breathed and is useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting and training in righteousness, 17 so that the servant of God may be thoroughly equipped for every good work.
Reading plans in today’s worship program
Can come from the spirit
John 14:26 NIV
26 But the Advocate, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in my name, will teach you all things and will remind you of everything I have said to you.
Someone else
Romans 12:6–8 NIV
6 We have different gifts, according to the grace given to each of us. If your gift is prophesying, then prophesy in accordance with your faith; 7 if it is serving, then serve; if it is teaching, then teach; 8 if it is to encourage, then give encouragement; if it is giving, then give generously; if it is to lead, do it diligently; if it is to show mercy, do it cheerfully.
Psalm 119:67–68 NIV
67 Before I was afflicted I went astray, but now I obey your word. 68 You are good, and what you do is good; teach me your decrees.
Through Creation
Psalm 19:1–2 NIV
1 The heavens declare the glory of God; the skies proclaim the work of his hands. 2 Day after day they pour forth speech; night after night they reveal knowledge.
Internal desire to do God’s will in a particular way, external conditions guiding us toward that action, and then confirmation from God. You have all those in place it’s time to act, just like Jacob. You don't have them all?
It’s OK to ask God for it.
Ultimately you will have to make a decision… take the action or move on


It’s OK to wait upon the Lord… just make sure are waiting on the lord - not procrastinating doing what God is leading you to do.
Are we going to make mistake? Yes, but remaining correctable, teachable, God can guide our following.
My grace is sufficient for you
Philippians 1:9–10 NIV
9 And this is my prayer: that your love may abound more and more in knowledge and depth of insight, 10 so that you may be able to discern what is best and may be pure and blameless for the day of Christ,

Knowing God is key to knowing what's best.

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