A Theology of God’s Will
Do you know God’s will, His sovereign and perfect will? Now there is an important and maybe life changing and even scary question for you. We can know God’s will. There is more than one. There is His sovereign will, His permissive and His individual or descretive will. We do know that God’s will is never frustrated, what He choses to do He accomplishes. Like God’s Word, it will never return void, but always accomplish its purpose for which it was sent (Isaiah 55:11-12). God is omnipotent, omniscient, omnipresent and immanent. He is all-powerful and can do whatever He wants. Moreover, God is also all wise and He is good He can do whatever He wants and it will be right and correct. However, be glad that He cannot do something contrary to His nature or what is evil or cruel. Remember, God is unchanging too.
God has foreknowledge of everything and He will accomplish His promises through it. We may experience what seems like contradictions such as the fact that God is sinless, but allows sin in the world. In 2 Peter 3:9 we read that “God is not willing that any should perish,” yet many are not saved. This is part of His permissive will. He allows or permits us to walk uprightly or sin. He allows us to choose life or death. God does not intercede in some evil, like Joseph’s imprisonment or ultimately Christ’s crucifixion. But He uses it for His glory and our good. We must understand that God’s will permits rather than causes sin. God allows individual responsibility or free will.
Take evangelism for example. If God foreknew who would be saved, the elect, why bother. God’s knows the end of His plan and He has a means. His plan includes us and our faithfulness to witness to His plan. In His word He tells us that faith comes by hearing and hearing by the word. So we are the ones who tell others about God’s plan of salvation, or not. God wants us to be faithful. Of course it is God the Holy Spirit who transforms our lives.
The strict Calvinist believes that God causes all events and that man’s will is not free. Man can get drunk and kill his family. God does not cause sin. It was Judas, not God who betrayed Christ. Sin is a transgression outside of God’s law. God is above the law and cannot sin. God is good, but not everything that happens is good. Mankind does not act in God’s will always; in fact his heart is deceitful as Jeremiah states. But redeemed and transformed, man can act in God’s good and perfect will. Yet, evil exists and acts outside of God’s will even though He uses it for good in the long run. The cross is the ultimate and only fully redemptive response to evil. Good glorifies God. God created all and it was “very good.” Evil entered the world in God’s creation. We as humans have the option to obey or disobey God and our relationship with Him. Seeking after God and His will as delineated in Scripture is how we put on the “full armor of God,” and His protection from evil. We reap what we sow and if we sow to the Spirit, we reap eternal life (Galatians 6:7-8).
So, be fully yielded to Him and His word, delighting in His will. Isaiah 40:29-30 tells us that “He gives strength to the weary and power to the weak, but those whose hope is in the Lord will renew their strength and they will soar on wings like eagle’s; they will run and not grow weary, they will walk and not be faint.” Psalm 40:8 says, “I desire to do your will, O my God; your law is within my heart.” David again in Psalm 143:10 prays, “Teach me to do your will, for you are my God; may your good Spirit lead me on level ground.” It is the Holy Spirit who is our Counselor and guide.
My life verse from Isaiah 30:21 was spoken audibly by God to me while in a counselor’s office saying, “This is the way; walk in it.” It is preceded by “whether you turn to the right or to the left you will hear a voice behind you saying...” In other words, God’s word, which is the dynamic and lively word is sharper than any two-edged sword and will lead or keep us on the right path. His permissive will tells us to keep within the boundaries of it and that there is not just one spot to stand or person or job that is His will for us. We can be in His will meandering left or right within His Word, the Bible. Clearly throughout Scripture we are admonished to be sanctified, pure and holy. We are to love as He first loved us. There will always be uncertainty, so we are not to worry. We are to go straight to Jesus. It is all about faith. We are to choose to trust in all things. We are as Paul said in 1 Thessalonians 5:16-18 to “Rejoice always, give thanks in all things and pray unceasingly, for it is the will of God for us in Christ Jesus.”
Remember it’s in His timing and His ways, so we need to wait on the Lord for He alone is perfect and worthy to be praised.