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  • Ericca Dunn

The Book of Acts - Chapter 21



The Book of Acts

Chapter 21

God's Will

Making Decisions that are in God’s Will.

Are you allowing God to help you evaluate

His will in your life?

Is God the “Potter” and you the “Clay”, or visa versa?

“You, Lord, are our Father. We are the clay, you are the potter;

we are all the work of your hand.”

-Isaiah 64:8

After … we put out to sea and sailed…10 After we had been there a number of days, a prophet named Agabus came down from Judea. 11 Coming over to us, he took Paul’s belt, tied his own hands and feet with it and said, “The Holy Spirit says, ‘In this way the Jewish leaders in Jerusalem will bind the owner of this belt and will hand him over to the Gentiles.’” 12 When we heard this, we and the people there pleaded with Paul not to go up to Jerusalem. 13 Then Paul answered, “Why are you weeping and breaking my heart? I am ready not only to be bound, but also to die in Jerusalem for the name of the Lord Jesus.” 14 When he would not be dissuaded, we gave up and said, The Lord’s will be done.”


The key to living in God’s will is in

how we respond to the truth that:

God = Our Father, Potter!

We = clay, the work of his hand?

(That is up to us.)

Paul goes to Jerusalem:

Gets arrested, Spends two years in Caesarea, Has several trials, Appeals to Caesar, Goes on a prison ship to Rome, Spends two years under house-arrest in Rome, Gets briefly released, is re-arrested and then beheaded.

What would it be like to be on Paul’s team?

Fellow believers said don’t go to Jerusalem.

Pastor Agabus predicted arrest. (21:10)

His traveling companions [Luke] said don’t go, yet “When he would not be dissuaded, we gave up and said, ‘The Lord’s will be done.’”

“I am the true vine… 4 No branch can bear fruit by itself; it must remain in the vine. Neither can you bear fruit unless you remain in me.”

-John 15:1,4

Basic Guidelines for Evaluating what

“God’s Will” might be in your life

(Seeing the whole picture)

What, When, Where, Why, Who, How,

Need or Want?

“You, Lord, are our Father. We are the clay, you are the potter;

we are all the work of your hand.”

-Isaiah 64:8

1. What: Is it biblical? [Biblically moral?]

Yes/No/Depends

Does a decision “diminish” glory to God?

“Whether you eat or drink or whatever you do, do it all for the glory of God. … For I am not seeking my own good but the good of many, so that they may be saved.”

-1 Corinthians 10:31,33


“All things are lawful for me, but all things are not expedient: all things are lawful for me, but all things edify not.”

-1 Corinthians 10:23

Could a decision appear evil and hinder the ability to minister to others?

“Abstain from all appearance of evil.”

-1 Thessalonians 5:22


2. When: Is it the right time?

There is a time for everything, and a season for every activity under the heavens: 2 a time to be born and a time to die, a time to plant and a time to uproot, 3 a time to kill and a time to heal, a time to tear down and a time to build, 4 a time to weep and a time to laugh, a time to mourn and a time to dance, 5 a time to scatter stones and a time to gather them, a time to embrace and a time to refrain from embracing, 6 a time to search and a time to give up, a time to keep and a time to throw away, 7 a time to tear and a time to mend, a time to be silent and a time to speak, 8 a time to love and a time to hate, a time for war and a time for peace.”

-Ecclesiastes 3:1-8

3. Where: Is it the right place?

When a change happens in life, the question is WHERE.

4. Why: Is it for the right reason(s)?

Are you allowing God to help you

evaluate motive issues in your life?


5. Who: How does it affect others?

What do they think?

“It is better not to eat meat or drink wine or to do anything else that will cause your brother or sister to fall.”

-Romans 14:21

Example: Will it cause someone to stumble in ANY kind of way?


“Whether you eat or drink or whatever you do, do it all for the glory of God. 32 Do not cause anyone to stumble… For I am not seeking my own good but the good of many, so that they may be saved.”

-1 Corinthians 10:31-33

Seeking the advice of other people

Ways of Looking to others:

* Talking to others who can “Bring something to the table”.

* Observing them.

Listen to advice and accept discipline, and at the end you will be counted among the wise.”

-Proverbs 19:20


“Plans go wrong for lack of advice; many advisers bring success. Plans fail for lack of counsel, but with many advisers they succeed

-Proverbs 15:22


“Whether you turn to the right or to the left, your ears will hear a voice behind you, saying, “This is the way; walk in it.”

-Proverbs 30:21

6. How: How can it be accomplished?

Is it possible?

“For God is working in you, giving you the desire and the power to do what pleases him.”

-Philippians 2:13

“With man this is impossible, but with God ALL things are possible.”

–Matthew 19:26


7. Needs: Is it a need?

8. Want: Is it a desire only?

While each of the issues we’ve just looked at may carry different degrees of importance in a circumstance, do not ignore evaluating ALL of the questions above.

Fight the urge to “See what you want to see” while evaluating.

If the Basic Guidelines above were Ducks,

are all of your “Ducks in a row”?

If “Yes”, then you are free to go for it.

If “No”, then don’t act on it until further evaluation.

Note: Keep in mind that rarely do all things perfectly line up.

Note: Sometimes God-directed Conviction clearly says

“Go for it”.

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