THE WILL OF GOD?

                                   By

                              Phil Scovell





                          Copyright (C) 1997/2003

                            By Phil Scovell

                          All Rights Reserved



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          Phil Scovell
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                          THE WILL OF GOD?


                                   By

                              Phil Scovell


                                  TABLE OF CONTENTS


          MOLDED BY THE WORLD
          THE MIND
          THE RENEWING PROCESS
          GOOD-ACCEPTABLE-PERFECT
          BLADE-EAR-FULL
          THE RENEWED MIND
          THE PRACTICE
          THE HOLY SPIRIT
          OVERVIEW
          CONCLUSION



               Most  of us,  as  Christians,  express  deep   concern  over
          knowing God's will for our lives.   Few, however, spend much time
          trying to figure it out;  nevertheless, we worry.  Why?  We   are
          fairly sure, if one  is not "In God's Will," there  won't be many
          blessings - everybody wants to be blessed.  So what can we do?

               It is easy to say; and true, of course, that the Word of God
          is God's will.  It is remarkable, however,   the distance we  are
          willing  to go to avoid obedience.   We are committed to gleaning
          from  radio and television  programs, faithful to  attend special
          meetings, willing to sign up  for the latest seminar, amenable to
          spending  our last dollar  purchasing the most  current Christian
          book, or anointed  tape; and sometimes, when desperate,   we will
          even request prayer.  The  truth is; most wouldn't do God's  will
          even  if  it  were known.    I  am convinced  we  should  be more
          concerned  with  the  "doing"  of  God's  will  rather  than  the
          "knowing."

               The Apostle Paul  often made mention of "God's  will" in his
          epistles and  perhaps the most  well known, certainly one  of the
          most exhortive, passages which concerns  the will of God is found
          in Romans 12:1-2...

          "I beseech you  therefore, brethren, by the mercies  of God, that
          you present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable unto
          God, which is  your reasonable service.  2.  And be not conformed
          to this world: but be transformed  by the renewing of your  mind,
          that you may prove what is that good, and acceptable, and perfect
          will of God."

               This  passage affords so many avenues of theological thought
          that volumes  could be written  without ever coming to  the topic
          of: "the perfect will of God." Thus, I won't spend much time with
          the first part; but some comments are in order.

               Paul is  very  distinct in  his writing  and clearly  states
          God's will  is  for  our bodies  to  be presented  as  a  "living
          sacrifice."  This is only possible, of course, if He is living in
          you.  Are you born again?  Have you confessed Jesus as your Lord?
          (Romans 10:9).   Do you have a personal  relationship with Christ
          through  His finished work upon the  cross?  When did this happen
          in  your life?   Without this foundation  and spiritual security,
          doing the will of God will be impossible.  His will is for"All to
          come  to repentance,"  (II  Peter 3:9).    So come!    If such  a
          personal relationship with your Heavenly Father exists, the first
          requirement is to "present your body."


               It's funny, but often Christians decree, "Nobody can tell me
          what to  do with  my body.   I've been set  free!"   That's nice.
          Wrong; but  nice.  Paul said he  was a bond slave  for Christ and
          that he always brought his  body under subjection, (I Cor. 9:27).
          If anyone still thinks that their own physical body is their's to
          do with as  they please, read I Corinthians 6 and  Romans 6 a few
          times and then repent.

               The Greek word for "present"  in Romans 12:1 means to (stand
          beside).   Interesting!   Stand beside  what or  whom?   We could
          safely say, without even acquiring a seminary degree, those doing
          the will of  God should present, or  stand beside, both  our Lord
          and His  Word.    This word,  however,  offers  some  interesting
          insight.

               "Present" is translated  in the King James forty  times in a
          number  of ways:   (Stand,  stand before,  stood, do,  come), and
          (presently); to name a  few.  To demonstrate the force [power] of
          the word;  consider Matthew 26:53  when Jesus was being  taken by
          force to Caiaphas.  Jesus said he could have prayed to the Father
          and  requested  that  more  than  twelve  legions  of  angels  be
          "presently"  sent to deliver Him.  Could we possibly get the idea
          that this  word "presently"  in Matthew 26:53,  or the  same word
          translated "present" in Romans 12:1, is a command word?

               Men are relaxing in their barracks: reading, writing letters
          home, listening to the radio,  napping.  In walks a  sergeant and
          barks...  "Tenhut!"   Everyone snaps  to attention.  Why?   To be
          presented for inspection.

          I believe this  is the true  meaning of "present your  bodies" in
          Romans  12:1.  We are  commanded to "present  our bodies a living
          sacrifice;  holy,  acceptable  unto  God."   The  word  "holy" is
          (blameless)  and  the word  for  "acceptable" is  (agree)  or (in
          agreement).  In  another words, there is a standard - the Word of
          God; and We must present  ourselves in accordance with God's Word
          if we are going to do His will.

               We  are also reminded that this is our "reasonable service."
          "Reasonable" is rendered  (rational) and "service" is  actually a
          word meaning  (worship).   How about that!   Our  presented lives
          should  be conducted  in such a  manner that  we are  a perpetual
          worship  to the  Lord.   Wow!   That sounds  like work.   If  you
          planned  to live  out your  Christian  life on  easy street,  you
          haven't received  the true Gospel.  We don't  have to work  to be
          born again, (Eph. 2:8-9), but by God's grace we must "present our
          bodies  a living sacrifice which is  our reasonable service," and
          that takes work - discipline.


          MOLDED BY THE WORLD

               Once  we have  presented  ourselves, Paul  warns  us of  the
          problem we face as Believers in the world.  I find it interesting
          that  the word for "world" in Romans 12:2 is not, as I would have
          supposed, kosmos,  which refers to the material  physical (world)
          - universe.  Rather  aion is used; meaning (age).   Repeatedly we
          are  told  in  Scripture  that  we  are  not  of  this  world  as
          Christians, for  our citizenship  is heavenly.   Thus,  we should
          not, indeed  cannot, be conformed to this world - age; because we
          are of  another (age), or world - God's.   Yet there is the world
          problem and  we must deal with it and the  way we deal with it is
          through the "renewing of the mind."

               I started  earning money at  the age of  ten. I found  a job
          working  for a plaster  shop which made  figurines: dolls, birds,
          dogs, bears, rabbits,  and such; mostly  sold to amusement  parks
          for those free give-away things you win if you knock over so many
          bottles, pick up the correct  floating duck with the right number
          on the  bottom, or  hit the  bull's eye.  We used  molds made  of
          rubber to  form the  figurines which were  held together  by hard
          shells while the plaster was hardening.  The process was in three
          stages:

               First, the  plaster was  mixed and poured  rapidly into  the
          molds  and  then quickly  dumped.    A  thin coating  of  plaster
          remained in  the mold.   We quickly jammed wadded  newspaper into
          the  bottom of  the mold  -  the molds  stood up-side-down  while
          drying - and  a thin layer of  plaster was then smeared  over the
          end and smoothed down.

               Secondly, the  molds were left  for several hours  to harden
          and  once done, we removed them from  there rubber molds.  Funny!
          The figurines  always looked exactly  like their molds.   We then
          used a tool to trim off excess plaster.

               The third,  and final,  stage was  painting.   The figurines
          were carried to the paint room  and organized on tables and  then
          spray  painted.   When  dry, they  were done  -  ready for  their
          intended purpose.

               Whenever I  read Romans 12:2,  I always am reminded  of that
          process.  Paul said we were not, as Christians, to be "conformed"
          to  this world.  The problem is,  we are, physically speaking, of
          this world.  We have to be; but the world does not  have to be of
          us.

               As I mentioned, the figurines always looked exactly like the
          molds.  in  another words, whatever we  poured into the  molds is
          what we got  out of them.   What are you pouring into  your mold,
          life, today as a  Believer of God's Word?Whom do we  look like as
          Christians?

               I can already hear someone screaming,  "Legalism, legalism."
          I spent the better part of  my Christian life living by rule  and
          regulation  and  am  always amazed  at  people,  especially those
          filled with  the Spirit, that think such  teaching is legalistic.
          If  so, Paul  was  a  legalist because  he  is the  narrow-minded
          writer; filled with the  Spirit I might add, who  was directed by
          God to write:   "Be not conformed to  this world."  It  was not a
          suggestion.

          THE MIND

               When discoursing with  many Christians today, one  could get
          the idea that living  the Christian life - walking in the Spirit,
          conforming to the  image of Christ, being led of  the Holy Ghost,
          bearing spiritual fruit, dying to  self, serving God with a whole
          heart  - is  all spiritually  performed  with no  need of  taking
          thought.  Furthermore, I used to think that being filled with the
          Holy Spirit was a  Christian who was "controlled" by  the Spirit.
          Actually  the  reverse  is  true:  we  control  the  Holy Spirit.
          Eyebrows always jump  when I make that  statement but it is  true
          nonetheless.  Look at it this way:

               When we  are born again, regenerated by the power of God and
          made anew, we receive a nature compatible with that of God's.  It
          is in this newly created  human spirit that the Holy Spirit comes
          to dwell.    (See Titus  3:5-6.)   Will  the Holy Spirit  lead  a
          Christian not  doing the will of God?   Will He, the Holy Spirit,
          manifest  Himself  in  power  to  one  not  yielded?    Will  the
          Holy Spirit minister  if we,  as Christians,  are living  in sin?
          That's right.    The answer  is,  "No!" under  no  circumstances.
          Thus, we, in a  very real sense, control the Holy Spirit.   He is
          our "helper," Romans 8:26), but He cannot help those  who are not
          obedient  to God's Word.  Can you  see now why it is so important
          that we present our bodies?

               The  most  fastidious  problem  faced  by  Christians,  when
          considering the will  of God, is  our  attempt  to do it  without
          "thinking/thought."  A preacher friend once told me he heard that
          ninety-eight percent of  all people in America  do not think.   I
          laughed and  said, "That doesn't bother  me.  What does;  is what
          the other two percent are thinking  and I think I know what  that
          is:  They are thinking of ways of keeping  the other ninety-eight
          percent from thinking."  So it is with the Devil and  Christians.
          If he can get  you to believe that the only way  you can do God's
          will  is by  performing some spiritual  hocus-pocus, supernatural
          gymnastics,  religious regulation, or  mystical magic;   you will
          never conform to God's will.

               The  word   for  "mind"   in  Romans   12:2  is   translated
          (intellect).   Imagine that!   The doing  of God's  will involves
          that thing  perched on  top of  our shoulders.   "Who  would have
          thought...?"  It  is true.   The  first step  to knowing,  doing,
          God's will is  to think - use  the mind and Paul  instructed that
          the process of doing  God's will is  called "the renewing of  the
          mind."

          THE RENEWING PROCESS

               Paul said, "And  be not conformed  to this world, but  be ye
          transformed by the renewing of  your mind."  "Transformed" is the
          Greek word (metamorphoo.)   He used this word  because of general
          familiarity with the process of metamorphosis.

               Using  my   computer,  I   recently  called   a  data   base
          encyclopedia.  I typed in  the word "metamorphosis" and up popped
          an article  on the subject  which began scrolling up  the screen.
          The metamorphosis process was described in three stages:

               First, the "larva."  This  is the time immediately following
          birth.  A  new life has been  created and the creature  begins to
          eat.   Why?  He's hungry - what an  appetite.  The thing: insect,
          animal, etc., eats like crazy because  it is young and needs  the
          nourishment.



               The second stage is called  "pupa."  This is that  stage, in
          the  development  of  the  butterfly  for  example,  when  it  is
          uuuugggly!  You've seen those dreadful looking greeny worms?  Oh,
          they look grouse, and they're  fat, and have a million legs,  and
          they eat anything green.  Well, when those ugly looking worms are
          finally done eating  everything in sight, and it's  time for them
          to become butterflies, they spin a cocoon and they don't do it by
          watching the movie.

               The interesting  thing about the  pupa stage is  what occurs
          during  their  time   inside  their  cocoon.     An  actual  cell
          restructure  takes  place.    They  change  -  transform;  become
          something  else, something different,  something new.   The thing
          that   excited  me,  however;  [are  Christians  allowed  to  get
          excited], is that the pupa stage was described in this article as
          the time they "weather out the  storms of winter."  More on  this
          in a moment.

               Finally there  is the "adult"  stage.  The  creature emerges
          from the cocoon and is fully grown, matured, and is now an adult;
          able to reproduce.

               Paul used this  three-stage process to describe the  will of
          God  when  he  said "that  ye  may  know what  is  the  good, and
          acceptable, and perfect will of God."  Do you  see it?  First, he
          says, there is the "good", or the larva stage.  Remember when you
          were born again.  Oh, Man!  You gobbled up everything in sight as
          a newly birthed creation of God and it was "goooooood!"  You just
          couldn't get enough of the Bible, church, singing, and fellowship
          with 
          other Believers.

               Then, as often happens without proper  Biblical instruction,
          things begin to chill.  There  just isn't quite the thrill as  in
          the beginning and personal problems  began to look pretty big and
          difficult to handle.  Cold  winds of harsh circumstances began to
          chill your love for the Lord, His Word, and His people.

               During your dry  spell, as they often are  called, you heard
          something on the radio/TV - you heard a stirring message from the
          pastor - you  read something from God's Word;  and suddenly there
          was  revelation, illumination, by  the Holy Spirit and  there was
          newness of life all over again.  You learned something never seen
          before. The light of God's  Word shown brightly and exposed truth
          upon the circumstances being faced.  Faith came and along with it
          joy.    You  began to  praise  God,  although  the circumstances,
          perhaps,   had not  changed; and you  believed God  and His Word.
          You began to  walk in that  revelation and what happened?   There
          was victory, power, and restoration.

               Then, less God, you just couldn't keep it a secret.  You had
          to tell somebody  and you did.   Or, you bumped into  someone who
          was  facing  similar  difficulties  and  you  were able  to  thus
          encourage them because of your own experience in the Word.   What
          happened?   You reproduced yourself  according to God's  Word and
          will.  This process is called the "renewing of the mind."



          GOOD-ACCEPTABLE-PERFECT

               The  three words  translated "good,"  and "acceptable,"  and
          "perfect,"  in Romans  12:2, describe the  three stages  of God's
          will in  the life of  the Believer.   "Good" means  exactly that:
          (good).   Being born again is so  good! We begin to eat after God
          through fellowship,  Bible study, prayer  and the like and  it is
          good - fulfilling.

               "Acceptable" is  the word for  (agreement).  It is  the same
          word  used in  verse 1:   "That ye  present your bodies  a living
          sacrifice, holy, "acceptable" unto God."   The body we present to
          the  Lord  must be  in  full  agreement  both  in nature  and  in
          character, in  kind and  in person,  in image  and in  form -  in
          agreement.   This, of course, has  been made possible by our Lord
          Jesus  Christ when we  confessed Him as  Lord and Saviour  of our
          life.

               Finally there  is "the perfect will  of God."  The  word for
          "perfect" in this case is rendered (grown, mature), and sometimes
          is even translated in the New Testament as (men).  I thought that
          odd as well till I realized what was being taught.  The "perfect"
          will of God  is the stage of spiritual maturity, or full growth -
          an adult.  Thus the word "perfect" can be correctly rendered (one
          fully matured) or a (grown man).

               Remember what happens during the adult stage?  Reproduction!
          Such is not even possible during early stages of development; but
          when one  is fully  matured, made  perfect, in  the will of  God;
          reproduction is not only possible but natural.

               Return now  and read about those three stages of development
          spoken of earlier, called  the larva, pupa, and adult.   you will
          clearly see  the similarities  in relationship  to the  Christian
          life.   Then reread my  description of  the three stages  we used
          when forming the plaster figurines and notice the comparison.

          BLADE-EAR-FULL CORN

               I will not quote  Mark 4:26-28 but I  encourage you to  take
          the time to  read it in connection  with this topic.   Jesus made
          reference to this  same process, "renewing of the  mind," in this
          passage  and said  there is first  the blade,  then the  ear, and
          finally the full corn.  

               The  blade is  that  larva  stage, or  the  "good" stage  of
          spiritual growth.  It is when the blade, soon to be ripened corn,
          is soaking up all the  sunshine, moisture, and nutrients from the
          soil it can.

               The  ear  is the  pupa,  or  "acceptable" stages  of  growth
          whereby we walk  in agreement.  It looks like  corn and certainly
          has the appearance of corn,  and in fact is going to be corn; but
          is not fully developed.

               Finally, Jesus says, "There it  is...the full corn..."  What
          can you  do with  that full corn?   Eat  it, enjoy it,  and what?
          Reproduce it because  it has fully matured, become  perfect,  and
          is able to be planted again for more corn.


          THE RENEWED MIND

               As I mentioned already, the word for "mind" in this passage,
          Romans 12:1-2,  is translated  (intellect).  If you plan to  live
          your Christian  life without engaging  the brain, forget it.   It
          isn't  possible.   To  renew  the mind,  you  must think,  study,
          meditate upon  God's Word.  There just isn't  any other way - I'm
          sorry!

               Now someone  is saying already,  "But I do think!"   Sure we
          do!  We think:

               "Oh, isn't God ever going to help me?  Why did He allow this
          to happen?   Aren't all  things possible  with God?   Why is  God
          punishing me?   Doesn't He love me any more?  Isn't anything ever
          going to  go right for me?  When is God ever going to release me?
          Doesn't He know what's going on in my life?"

          Did you  see all of those question marks?   No wonder God doesn't
          answer your prayers  - your too busy  talking.  Besides, God  has
          already answered  all of those  questions in His  word...so renew
          your mind...think...with His Word, promises, and truth.

               The word "renewing" actually means to (renovate), that is to
          refresh, sharpen, reform, or to reshape.  So do it.   Reform your
          incorrect  thinking,  reshape  it to  look  like  God's thinking,
          sharpen your thought life with the Sword of the Spirit  "which is
          the Word of God,"    refresh your dryness of soul with  the water
          of  life in God's Word and live.  If you will renew your thinking
          with God's Word, you will be doing  God's will.  Hey!  Isn't that
          what we've  been talking about all along -  Doing God's will - or
          more correctly, knowing God's will.

          THE PRACTICE

               It  is funny  how  things  roll  around  in  your  thinking,
          sometimes for  weeks and months,  before they are  illuminated by
          the Holy Spirit. For  example, I began  teaching recently on  the
          subject of "dying To Self."  I spoke for two weeks on the subject
          and then before  leaving the topic, I knew the Lord was revealing
          something to  me concerning  knowing And doing  the will  of God.
          This  very  subject  of the  renewing  of  the  mind  came to  my
          attention by the  Spirit.  The problem was,  however, those three
          weeks were emotionally and spiritually a bear.  Nothing was going
          right, my  attitude was poor, and God seemed to be forgetting me.
          I knew  most of  my problems were  from whatever  it was  God was
          trying to reveal to me but that did not help me deal with it.

               Finally, in one of our  informal home group Bible studies, I
          requested  prayer.   I had  not been sleeping  well, my  body was
          beginning to suffer,  and frankly, I felt whipped and effete.  My
          brothers  and  sisters  in  the  Lord  prayed accordingly  and  I
          immediately began to recover.

               As the Lord began to reveal His will to me, I began to renew
          my mind.  I listened to good Christian music, focused my thoughts
          on God's Word,  and meditated on  spiritual things.  In  short, I
          renewed  my mind, thus to think more like God as revealed through
          Scripture.  

               Looking back, I now see the process in play.  God was giving
          me  revelation,  insight  and understanding,  concerning  certain
          aspects of truth in  His Word.   I was beginning  to walk in  it,
          agree with  His truth, and the  storms; cold and  harsh, began to
          war  against  me.   A  metamorphosis  was  taking place,  a  cell
          structure  change spiritually speaking, and through the Word, the
          storm was weathered.

               What happened next?  Maturity  and reproduction.  I was able
          to show  this Biblical  truth to my  brothers and sisters  in the
          fellowship in a way I had never known or been able to see before.
          The process was three-fold and  is maintained by "the renewing of
          the mind."

          THE HOLY SPIRIT

               The Lord never expected us to try this Christian life on for
          size nor  did He  intend for  us to  do it  alone.   Most of  our
          problems as  Christians arise  from trying to  do exactly  that -
          live the  Christian life  singularly; by  rule and  regulation or
          simply  by feelings  and experience.   Won't  work!  We  need the
          Holy Spirit.   Romans  8:26-27 confirms  His, the  Holy Spirit's,
          willingness  to help  us both  in prayer  and ministry.   Without
          being filled  with  the  Holy Spirit, you  will  indeed  find  it
          difficult to renew the mind.

          OVERVIEW

               I Do not  believe Paul was referring  to the will of  God as
          something generic.  For example:

          "The  will of God  is for you  to be  in church every  Sunday and
          never  miss.  God's will is for you  to tithe.  God's will is for
          you to read your Bible,"  or, "God's will is for you to be a good
          witness."

          You may choose  to say that all  of those things are  God's will;
          but I think  it obvious that such  was not Paul's concern  in his
          letter to the Roman Christians.  God's will for every Believer is
          for them to  be "Doers of the  Word and not hearers  only" (James
          1:21).  Thus we should not be so concerned with determining God's
          will as  doing His  will.   As we  thus  live, we  will find,  of
          necessity,   the  need; even  the  desire, to  renew  our mind  -
          thinking.  To conform; not to the world, but to God and His Word.
          In the process,  we will be walking  through the three stages  of
          spiritual growth  - good, and  acceptable, and perfect -  will of
          God.


                                      CONCLUSION

               I caution  you not  to consider this  process as  steps one,
          two, and three -  thus at life's end,   looking back, concluding:
          "I made it...Spiritual maturity!" I believe this renewing process
          works both for individual situations and circumstances as well as
          for life.
               First we learn something new from the Lord through the Word.
          Then we are required  to walk in it and sometimes  that test walk
          is  long and  arduous.   Finally,  however, we  mature, grow  up,
          (become a man/woman), as a result of such a walk in the  Lord and
          then we are  able to reproduce, spiritually with ebullition, that
          which we have learned through doing the will of  God.  If we will
          thus live, we  will mature in  the Lord and most  importantly, be
          able to reproduce that which God has done for us.
               Be warned, however,  that the recognition of  such knowledge
          will  afford  opportunity   for  proving.    Storms   will  come,
          difficulties will attempt to shake your foundation, uncertainties
          will bring  freezing doubt; so  be prepared.   You might  even be
          facing such  right now  as you  read.   If so,  renew your  mind.
          Rejoice in the knowledge of God's Word.  Praise Him because Satan
          has  already been  defeated -  neutralized -  for the  Christian.
          Walk by  faith and  if you  find any  of this  difficult, request
          others to  stand in prayer with you.  If  you are not filled with
          the Spirit, be filled!

               It  is very  likely that  such times  of testing  are really
          stages  of  spiritual  development  brought  about by  revelation
          already  obtain through  God's Word;  so  walk in  what you  have
          learned and weather the storm.  Do not request mercy from God but
          victory.  If you find  yourself feeling spiritually worthless and
          see no fruit in your  life, call the Devil's bluff...walk  in the
          Spirit...confess   Jesus   as  Lord   over  everything   in  your
          life...keep walking in  His Word until you are  standing in God's
          perfect  will  - the  winner's  circle.    Thus armed  with  such
          knowledge, God's  will shall  never again be  a question  mark in
          your life.

                            End Of Document
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