“In Him also we have obtained an inheritance, being predestined according to the purpose of him who works all things according to the counsel of his will that we who first trusted in Christ should be to the praise of his glory.” (Eph. 1:11-12 NKJV)
In our previous devotion we looked at some of the wrong methods used by people to determine the will of God. Where are we to go to find answers to life’s tough questions? What resources should we use? How do we determine the will of God?
It might come as a shock to discover that God doesn’t encourage us to ask that question. I have asked that question of God many times during my lifetime and have not as yet received a direct answer. Do you know what I’ve found out? I was actually asking the wrong question. I should have been asking, “How do I go about making good decisions? Changing the question also changes the direction of the answer. It shifts the responsibility of the decision-making from God to us.
If the Bible is our guide book, and it is, then what do I want it to teach me? I want the Bible to help me develop skills necessary to make wise and prudent choices. Before I can learn what these principles or guidelines are, I must first understand God’s three wills and what part they play in my decision making process. Let’s take a brief look at God’s three wills:
First, God’s Sovereign Will is his purpose from eternity past to eternity future whereby he determines all that should take place (Eph. 1:11). The Bible teaches us that God has a plan and is working out his will. He is sovereign in the affairs of men and nations, and he works out all things according to his purposes. The problem we have with God’s sovereign will is that we don’t always see his hand in things. We do have the advantage of hindsight, but lack the ability of foresight.
God did not leave us clueless when it came to his Son’s entrance and mission in the world. The ancient prophets foretold his birth, mission, death, and resurrection. (Ps. 22-24; Isa. 7:14; 9:6; 53:1-12; Dan. 9:26; Isa. 7:14;9:6;53:1-12; Micah 5:2; Mt. 1:18-23; Lk. 2:11 and many others.)
Second, God’s Moral Will as described in the Bible tells us what God wants us to believe and how he wants us to behave. He gives us specific commands as well as general principles to guide us through life’s difficult decisions. One such principle is described in 1 Peter 4:8-11;
“Above all, keep fervent in your love for one another, because love covers a multitude of sins. Be hospitable to one another without complaint. As each one has received a special gift, employ it in serving one another as good stewards of the manifold grace of God. Whoever speaks is to do so as one who is speaking the utterances of God; whoever serves is to do so as one who is serving by the strength which God supplies; so that in all things God may be glorified through Jesus Christ, to whom belongs the glory and dominion forever and ever. Amen.”
God’s sovereign and moral wills give us clear directions. We are to act in love and kindness. We are not to be self-serving. We are to operate with integrity. We are to be faithful and generous. Most of all we are to exercise proper motives. If we put into practice these principles we will be on our way to following God’s will and making wise decisions.
Third, God’s Individual Will is determined in a large part by our willingness to submit to God’s sovereign and moral will. This attitude of submission must permeate everything we do.
It is important that we make the study and implementation of God’s word a lifetime commitment. By so doing we will have laid the foundation for making wise, prudent, and godly choices.