Teachings of Jesus 4: What Is His Will for You? How To Stay In His Will?

Get the book or e-book to go along with the study. We will be covering 18 teachings this summer by video.  The book, however, has nearly all Jesus's teachings in Mark and into Matthew.  Get the book or e-book at Amazon by clicking HERE.

For a list of all free video teachings and transcripts in this series, go HERE.

HERE is the full video for Teaching 4 titled What Is His Will For You? (Hint: It's Not Following Traditions or Rules).  A written transcript is right below the video again, if you prefer reading through it.  Enjoy...and I would love to hear any feedback/discussion you have by commenting here, on facebook, or by sending me a message on facebook.

--------------Transcript -------------------------

Welcome back to the Teachings of Jesus series that we are going through this summer. And yes, look who is here? Willa the mascot is here, and are you ready for this? Someone else is here too. (Removes pillow to reveal another dog under it). I guess this will be our other mascot. This is Romeo. He's my dachshund. He's a dachshund terrier mix. He will just stay back there, buried behind the pillow. My dogs, they act like cats, they bury themselves in pillows (on the back of the sofa.)

Anyway – today we are going to continue with the last video in which we left off. It is immediately after. In fact, let's go back and remember what was happening in our last teaching. The people came over and were criticizing Jesus because he and his disciples were not fasting. They were not maintaining this tradition that the Pharisees were maintaining and that John's disciples were maintaining. And they were saying, “Why aren't you fasting?” But it was in a critical way.

Immediately after Jesus responded with the wedding metaphor – the wedding analogy; he then continued, and this is what he continued to say. I am in Mark 2:21. In the book it is Day 9, in the ebook Day 9 and in the paper book on page 62. Here is what he said:

“No one sews a piece of unshrunk cloth on an old garment. If he does, the patch tears away from it, the new from the old, and a worse tear is made. And no one puts new wine into old wineskins. If he does, the wine will burst the skins. But new wine is for fresh wineskins.”

The traditions, the issue with traditions is we use – we rely on those – to replace our closeness with God. From the very first video, and if you haven't watched it, go back and watch it or read the transcript. After studying the teachings of Jesus – studying them for two years, deeply researching them - we keep going back to the first thing that Jesus taught – that God is near, that His kingdom is near. And we remember the last thing that Jesus taught – he said, “I will be near, always, to the end of the age.”

Then we see all these examples, like in our last lesson when he told the Pharisees that it is important that we enjoy our nearness together, me and my disciples with each other. We know the story of Mary and Martha where he teaches the same thing again. God is near – and he wants us to keep that awareness. And in our busy, busy lives – I call them micro-distractions. Our texts are chirping, our TVs are running in the background – or livestreams or whatever, it's not even really TV anymore. We have this on our schedule or that on our schedule, and we just let the busyness – and so it is easy then, it is easy to just fit in a little tradition or a little routine and then to say – “Ok, I have done my time with God.”

But Jesus said, “No, what I am teaching – you can't just take my teaching and stick it into your old ways of thinking. It will burst. If you try to take what I am teaching you and stick it into your old ways of being, it is going to ruin your old ways and it is going to ruin the new teachings. It doesn't work. And the same thing with the cloth. If what I am teaching you, if you just take it and try to stick it on (what you are already doing) – no – it won't attach.”

And likewise, if we just try to "tack on a little prayer time," or  a "little worship time," or one even a weekly routine of volunteering -- if we just try to "tack on" some religious routines into our busy and distracted schedules -- it does not work that way. The spiritual truths don't just attach by tacking them on. It is necessary to change all of what you are doing, to keep focused on Him.

Ask yourself – What are some traditions that you are holding on to. Traditions or routines or activities that you are holding on to? But you are actually letting those traditions take more precedent in your life than your actual relationship with God, your actual relationship through Christ?

If you are a church-goer, how many hours do you spend at church, and then how many hours do you actually spend one on one with God? Or just even being aware that He is near? Now this is one for me. I spend a whole lot of time reading other Christian writers' books and reading commentaries. And that's good; but I have found that reading Christian genre books – whether it is Christian fiction or non-fiction – even that does not replace time in the word. There is just something about reading the word, the raw word, that inspires and instructs and reveals more to me – than even reading a great theologian or their take on a passage.

So I say this to you! If you are watching these videos for 20 minutes a week, I hope you are spending at least 40 minutes a week – at least twice as much time directly with God on your own. And in this new wineskin, in this new container, let's fill this one up with relationship building with God, with Jesus. Ask yourself, is my relationship with God, through Jesus – is it really the number one focus in my life? And then ask yourself – what would my daily routines look like if the relationship really was number one?

So think about that. How would my day look? What would I need to do to make the relationship truly first?

Not too long ago I was reading some things from Billy Graham, some of his life reflections. He was asked by the interviewer, “Do you have any regrets? Anything you would change about your life?”
And do you know what he said? He said that if he could go back and change things, or do things over, then he wishes that he had actually spent more one on one time with the Lord.

I hear a lot of people that are trying to grow spiritually with Christ and they are often like, “I just wish I knew what the will of God was. I just wish I knew what the will of God was. What does he want me to do? What door is he going to open or close? Should I go this direction or should I go that direction? What is His will?

The will of God is that you be in relationship with Him. Everything starts there. That you remember that He is near. That is His will. And why in our world is that so HARD to do? Again, go back to the first video and watch it, and get some practical ideas on how to keep Him at the forefront of your mind. Not just in the morning or at night, but all throughout the day. Because if you can keep him there – at the forefront of your mind throughout the day. If you are able to multi-task and keep Him there, while you are going throughout your day – you will be in His will. That is when the promise from Psalms comes, when he says, “I will guide you, I will show you the way to go.” (from Psalms 32:8)

And that, my friend, that is the new wineskin. That is the new cloth. Traditions – you can't do anything to be in His will outside of remembering that He is there, seeking what He wants, going with Him.

So one more time – if you are not someone that keeps God in mind all day long – like I wasn't. I was not! That first video has some practical strategies. Or if you have some other ideas or strategies – please share them! If you have some other practical strategies to help us fight the enemy of distractions and micro-distractions, I would love to hear them.

Until next week, thank you, bye for now.

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Get the book or e-book to go along with the study. We will be covering 18 teachings this summer by video. The book, however, has nearly all Jesus's teachings in Mark and into Matthew. Get the book or e-book at Amazon by clicking HERE.

For a list of all free video teachings and transcripts in this series, go HERE.