God's Will (Part Two)

We're all curious about the future. It's a natural thing for man. Most of our future will not be made known to us until it becomes the present. However, there are two things about the future we can know for sure, our spiritual position and our eternal destiny. If we're in Christ now, we know for certain we'll be in Christ forever. Our eternal destination is heaven. If we're outside Christ, our eternal destiny is hell. God doesn't mince words about this.

The remainder of our future is hidden until it happens. Your career, your marriage partner, where you'll live, your schooling, sicknesses, accidents, income, retirement are all part of Godís will that isn't revealed ahead of time. No one can predicted those with any certainty.

Five years ago, did you know that youíd be doing what youíre doing right now? Five years ago I was firmly convinced that I didn't want a computer in my house. I didn't even know how to turn one on. "Booting up" was something I would have liked to have done to all computers at that time. Through circumstances too long to detail, I now use a computer to prepare Bible messages and, through the service of the Internet they do as scripture says in Mark 16:15: "Go ye into all the world, and preach the gospel to every creature."

You have no idea what the next five years will bring. Neither do the fortune tellers nor do I. Whatever the future brings is also in complete harmony with Godís plan.
Psalm 115:3. "But our God is in the heavens: he has done whatsoever he has pleased."
Psalm 31:15: "My times are in thy hand:"

Even the death of our Savior was part of the determined will of God:
Acts 2:22-23. "Ye men of Israel, hear these words; Jesus of Nazareth, a man approved of God among you by miracles and wonders and signs, which God did by him in the midst of you, as ye yourselves also know:
23: Him, being delivered by the determinate counsel and foreknowledge of God, ye have taken, and by wicked hands have crucified and slain:"

Christ was seized and crucified at exactly the time and place God had determined. It seemed cruel and unjust, but God said, "This is what My Son came to accomplish." Thatís why Jesus said, ďIt is finishedĒ (John 19:30) when He died on the cross for our sins. Godís plan of redemption was completed through this travesty of justice by man-Jesus had paid for our sins when he died on the cross.

Now, there are some things God can't and won't do because they don't conform to His nature. God can't and won't lie.
Numbers 23:19. "God is not a man, that he should lie;
neither the son of man, that he should repent: hath he said, and shall he not do it? or hath he spoken, and shall he not make it good?"

Another thing that God can't and doesn't do is tempt anyone to sin.
James 1:13-15. " Let no man say when he is tempted, I am tempted of God: for God cannot be tempted with evil, neither tempts he any man:
14: But every man is tempted, when he is drawn away of his own lust, and enticed.
15: Then when lust has conceived, it brings forth sin: and sin, when it is finished, brings forth death."
These things are against God's nature and against His will.

To say we were tempted by God is a familiar angle, isnít it? Adam said; ďThe woman You gave me, she's what caused me to sin.Ē Indirectly, that's saying, ďLord, Youíre the one who made me sin. If you hadn't given me that woman, I wouldn't have sinned.Ē And weíve been doing that ever since.

In Genesis 5 we read that God created Adam in His own image, sinless. Then Adam sinned. Then we read that Adamís son Seth was born in the image of Adam, a sinner. Everyone born since is born a sinner. If you were born after Adam was created, and we all were, you were born a sinner and need redemption by God.

The second part of God's will is His permissive will, what God will allow. For example, God allowed Job to go through suffering. God didnít cause the suffering but He permitted it.

Satan came to God and accused Him of protecting Job from all evil, so God allowed Satan to persecute Job.

I donít know why God did that. How could He call that fair or merciful? But itís part of His will. When we read the whole story, we learn a lot about the holiness of God through Job's ordeal.

Another example of the permissive will of God is found in:
2 Peter 3:9: "The Lord is not slack concerning his promise, as some men count slackness; but is long-suffering to us-ward, not willing that any should perish, but that all should come to repentance."

I love this verse because I'm in it. God wants everybody to come to Him and repent-so nobody would perish. Some never will repent. He could send the unsaved to hell anytime He chooses but He waits patiently for their answer. He waited 21 years for my answer. He doesn't always wait that long. I might have died and I would have gone to hell for eternity. He created hell for the Devil and his angels, but anyone who refuses God's offer of salvation will go there.

You know, God can even use man's sinful acts to accomplish His purpose. An example is Acts 4.
Acts 4:27-28. "For of a truth against thy holy child Jesus, whom thou hast anointed, both Herod, and Pontius Pilate, with the Gentiles, and the people of Israel, were gathered together,
28: For to do whatsoever thy hand and thy counsel determined before to be done.
This shows God's permissive will as well as His determined will.

God used godless men like Pontius Pilate and Herod In His permissive will to carry out His determined will. He permitted men to treat His Son in that manner because it carried out His determined will, established in eternity past, to make atonement for our sins.

No matter who we are, saved or unsaved, we're all subject, one way or another, to the Lord of the universe. He can acomplish His will using any one of us.

Godís Word clearly states that certain things are not the will of God for the Believer and never will be. It also teaches that certain things are the will of God for the believer. Read the Scriptures for direction. This is the will of God for the child of God. The unsaved can't understand the Bible, and they can't live up to God's standard until they get saved.

Now letís look at something Scripture explicitly tells us is the will of God for our lives.
1 Thessalonians. 5:16-18. "Rejoice evermore; Pray without ceasing; In everything give thanks; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus concerning you."

Philippians 4:8. ďFinally, brethren, whatsoever things are true, whatsoever things are honest, whatsoever things are just, whatsoever things are pure, whatsoever things are lovely, whatsoever things are of good report; if there be any virtue, and if there be any praise, think on these things.Ē

God says it here loud and clear in the Scriptures: Think of these good things. Rejoice. Pray without ceasing. Give thanks in everything. Give thanks when you are being tested, suffering, or forced to wait. Give thanks that you're learning patience. Give thanks for the way God is working in your life through this trial. Remember, He knows how it will turn out.

Peter mentions some things that are always the will of God and help determine the vertical walk in a horizontal world.
1 Peter 2:13-15 " Submit yourselves to every ordinance of man for the Lord's sake: whether it be to the king, as supreme;
14: Or unto governors, as unto them that are sent by him for the punishment of evildoers, and for the praise of them that do well.
15: For so is the will of God, that with well doing ye may put to silence the ignorance of foolish men:"

This is the will of God for the child of God, no matter who you are or where you live. Nothing mysterious. The better you know the Word of God, the less confusing His will. Godís Word and Godís will are inseparable.

In God's permissive will, He will let you do almost anything that isn't right but that doesn't mean that He condones that behavior and that you won't suffer the consequences. His end result won't be changed because He is all powerful and ingenious and will overcome it. It doesn't mean that we can do whatever we want and it will still turn out for our own good.

When we put our total faith in God, we can leave the horizontal life and enjoy the spiritual life God wants for us, the one I've been calling the vertical life. When our understanding for God's will in our lives comes from the written Word of God, we won't be led astray. And we'll continue to stand on the solid rock of Godís Word of truth. All other ground is sinking sand.