Thursday, August 4, 2011

The Will of God (Part One)

What is one of the most frequently asked questions about God?
It is, "How can I know the will of God?" As a new teenage Christian, my greatest concern was to know and do the will of God. Forty years later, I have the same concern.
One of the most popular books in contemporary Christendom is, The Purpose Driven Life by Rick Warren. Its popularity points to the importance of discovering the purpose that God has for us. Pastor Warren says that we were: 1) planned for God’s pleasure, 2) formed for God’s family, 3) Created to become like Christ, 4) Shaped for serving God and 5) Made for a mission.
If it’s true that we naturally delight in pleasing the one we love; then, one who loves God, delights in pleasing Him. In short, he wants to do what God wants. Doing what God wants first requires knowing what He wants; it requires that we accurately discern the will of God.
What do we mean when we speak of God’s will?
There are several aspects or dimensions of God’s will revealed in Holy Scripture:
• God’s Sovereign Will: (Prov. 16:33; 21:1; Dan. 4:35; Rom. 11:33-36; Eph. 1:11) God’s Word teaches that He has a sovereign plan for the every thing that happens in the universe. This plan is secret in the sense that no one understands it completely but God himself and it is also certain in that no one can ultimately resist His sovereign will. (Romans 9:19)
• God’s Universal Will: God’s universal will is the same for everybody. It consists of clear and universal positive commands and prohibitions contained in Scripture that apply to all across the board. This is revealed, not secret, and we are expected to understand, accept and obey it. To sin means that, in some way, we miss the mark—the mark of God’s wise and loving will.
• God’s General Will: It applies to every one, but instead of specific commands it consists of general principles such as: peace, love, truth, justice, holiness. The way we apply these principles to our lives may differ, but it is God’s will we consistently incorporate them into our lifestyle.
• God’s Particular Will: The specific aspects of God’s will for the individual are not revealed in the Bible, but consist of God’s unique plan for each individual and are revealed to each believer. God leaves many decisions to us that have no moral import, but he has both a desirous and permissive will for each of us.

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