Saturday, June 12, 2010

What do you mean by "God's will?" Part 2

I've received some great feedback and I thank you for it.  From a pure semantics stand point I'm apparently trying to figure out what He willed as opposed to what would please Him.  Said another way, I want to know what He has said "will happen" versus what He has said "pleases" Him.  There are plenty of other vocabulary words out there that will help to split hairs; ordained, willed, purposed.  Let's assume for a minute that I "figure out" which is which.  What good will that do me?  Don't get me wrong, I'm certainly not advocating intellectual laziness, a throwing in of the mental towel or just saying "have faith."  Bottom line I think I'm struggling with the search for meaning in my decisions and actions.  What part is me and what part is Him?

I have this bad habit of spending more time and energy trying to figure Him out than in executing what I already know about His will.  His commands are, I believe, very specific revelations of His will for me.  For instance I am to love Him with my whole self and my neighbor as myself (Luke 10:27).  It is His will that I be sanctified (1 Thes 4:3).  He doesn't want me to conform myself to the pattern of this world but to discern His will for my life by the renewing of my mind (Rom 12:2).  He created me specifically to accomplish good works that He has laid out for me (Eph 2:10).  When I get a "yes" to a prayer request I am assured of that answer coming directly out of His will (1 John 5:14).  Finally, and here's the kicker, I know that anything I do that is in accordance with His will is done only because He worked within me to accomplish His will (Phl 2:13)!

It would seem that a better use of my time and energy would be in the discernment of His will for my life with a mere peripheral intellectual pursuit of understanding the interaction between our wills.  It's funny (not ha ha funny, but interesting) that I get more wrapped up in "how could that be His will" and standing in judgment of what He either allowed or did as opposed to "am I personally pursuing His will?"  I get more wrapped up in how He justifies His actions, His will, in comparison with His supposed character (again, insert your "How could He let this happen" event).  I will even look to His will for someone else, usually someone who has something I want but which the Lord has seen fit to not give me, and ask the Father, "Well, what about them?"  Fortunately I'm not the only one to have done this (John 21:20-22).

So what do I mean by His will?  I'm coming to the conclusion that the personal answer to that is "What do You want me to do today?"  He's given me enough direction to be in the middle of His will for 18 hours or so that I'll be awake today.  I will give Him praise when I accomplish His will because He has worked in me to accomplish His will.

Father, please forgive me if I've misrepresented You or Your will this morning.  I do want to understand how it all works, however please work within me to will and do Your will as its already been revealed.  Thank you for loving me.  I love you, Father.  In Jesus' name, amen.


  1. Maturity seems to come when we are older, wiser, and dumb enough to simply walk with know, like a child. When everybody is telling us to grow up and figure things out, we naturally apply that to God. Not going to happen, so I appreciate your prioritizing time spent on that which is knowable and that which is interesting to discuss/think about. Great job1

  2. I've been thinking through this chunk of the Westminster Confession, which has all manner o'nuggets within it that bear on your discussion:

    Although, in relation to the foreknowledge and decree of God, the first Cause, all things come to pass immutably, and infallibly; yet, by the same providence, He orders them to fall out, according to the nature of second causes, either necessarily, freely, or contingently.

    God, in His ordinary providence, makes use of means, yet is free to work without, above, and against them, at His pleasure.

    \The almighty power, unsearchable wisdom, and infinite goodness of God so far manifest themselves in His providence, that it extends itself even to the first fall, and all other sins of angels and men; and that not by a bare permission, but such as has joined with it a most wise and powerful bounding, and otherwise ordering, and governing of them, in a manifold dispensation, to His own holy ends; yet so, as the sinfulness thereof proceeds only from the creature, and not from God, who, being most holy and righteous, neither is nor can be the author or approver of sin.