I shared with the church this past Sunday evening what I consider a misuse of “the will of God.” The misuse comes when we actually do what WE WILL and then attribute it to God. We say things like, “I feel God is leading me to….., I feel God’s will is for me to….., or I nave peace about it. While being in the will of God is an important desire to pursue, many times it’s just an excuse to do what we want to do and blame God. It leaves no room for discussion. What argument do you have for someone who says, “I feel it is God’s will to leave the church?” It may certainly be God’s will but it may be that they are upset with someone in the church and instead of dealing with the problem and forgiving the person it suddenly involves “God’s leading” someplace else.
To begin to understand this we need to grasp that there are two different Biblical meanings for the term “will of God.” In one instance, the will of God means the Decree of God. It speaks of God’s sovereign control of all that takes place. Whatever happens is deemed to be in God’s decreed will. It must come to pass and no one can prevent it from coming to pass. This is not the will we are dealing with.
The other meaning has to do with God’s Desired Will. It is what he commands us to do. It is what is pleasing to Him. It is this will that we can fail to do and disobey. When we say that we feel God is leading me to do this or that, this is the will we are speaking of. We could very easily say “I feel that it is pleasing to God that I so this or that.” Or “I feel God wants me to go here or there.” It is very important that we understand the differences of the “will of God.”
So here is the deal. Given these two ideas of the will of God, a person can do something and be IN the will of God and be OUT of the will of God. Because everything that happens is in the Decreed Will of God it is In His Will. But because it may not be pleasing to Him or according to His command it can, at the same time, be out of the Desired Will of God.
Maybe an illustration would help here. Take a man who in the course of robbing a convince store, shoots and kills the store’s attendant. That event did not happen outside of God’s decreed will. God allowed it and ordained it to be that way. But certainly, robbery and murder is out of the desired will of God. It was not pleasing to Him. It is contrary to His commands.
So our discussion on the will of God is confined to what God desires, what he commands, and what pleases Him. And it is this will of God that is I consider so misused today.
More on this tomorrow! Lord Willing!