The Will Of God - His Purpose††††††††††
Isaiah 14:24, 26, 27
††††††††††† We are assured in the Word of God that all things obey the secret will of Godís eternal purpose. Godís purpose, in its details and method, is among those secret things which belong to the Lord, into which believing hearts must never attempt to pry (Deut. 29:29). However, that does not mean we cannot know anything about Godís secret decrees of predestination, election, and grace, or that the Lord does not want us to study those glorious wonders of Revelation.
††††††††††† It is a clearly revealed fact of Holy Scripture that the Lord our God has purposed, decreed, and predestinated all things that have ever come to pass and all things that ever shall come to pass, without exception (Psa. 115:3; 135:6; Isa. 46:10; Dan. 4:35; Acts 2:23; 4:27-28; 13:48; Rom. 8:28-30; 9:15-18; I Cor. 5:18; Eph. 1:11).
Here are three facts that simply cannot be refuted, or even questioned by anyone with even the slightest notion of who God is. (1.) God wills whatever he does in providence (Job 23:13; Eph. 1:11). He acts voluntarily in all that he does. He is never compelled, forced, or tricked into doing anything! (2.) God does in providence whatever he willed to do from eternity (Acts 15:18). If God could will, desire, or purpose to do anything that he failed to accomplish, he would not be omnipotent. (3.) Godís will of purpose includes all things (Psa. 76:10; Prov. 16:4). To suggest that something exists or comes to pass that God does not want to exist and come to pass is to deny that God is.
The will of God, his eternal purpose of predestination, is in every way consistent with the character of his Being. His will is, and must of necessity be, eternal, immutable, sovereign, unconditional, wise, holy, irresistible, and effectual.
††††††††††† Godís will, his purpose, is the cause of our salvation (John 1:11-13; Rom. 8:28-30; James 1:18).
††††††††††† Because men are ever bent upon perverting the things of God, I must give a word of caution regarding the will of Godís purpose. The sovereignty of Godís purpose does not destroy manís responsibility, or even his will. Manís sin has put his will in bondage to sin, not Godís purpose. The universality of Godís purpose does not make God the author of sin. God is not the author of sin. Yet he is the author of the good which he accomplishes by overruling sin. The immutability of Godís purpose does not imply that God made some just to damn them. We recognize the sovereignty of Godís purpose in reprobation as well as in grace, and gladly bow to it. Yet, we must never fail to see that damnation is always presented to us in the Word of God as that which comes as the just reward of iniquity, transgression, sin, and rebellion on the part of man; and it comes as a matter of justice.
Is it possible for a believer to miss or be out of the will of God? Without question, insofar as Godís revealed will, his precept, and his pleasure is concerned, a believer can miss, disobey, and be out of the will of God. Any act of sin, unbelief, and disobedience, any act, movement, or decision contrary to the direction of the Holy Spirit and his Word is a violation of Godís will in that sense. Ask David about it (2 Sam 11 and 12; I Chron. 13). However, let it be understood and emphatically clear that no one, and no action performed by anyone, is ever out of the will of Godís purpose! ďHe worketh all things after the counsel of his own will.Ē Elimelech was out of Godís will of pleasure and precept in going down to Obed-Edom; but his disobedience was overruled by God to accomplish his will of purpose and predestination for the salvation of his elect. Davidís actions in the matter of Uriah the Hittite, we are told, ďdispleased the Lord.Ē Yet, Godís will of purpose was accomplished. The Lord Jesus Christ came into this world as a direct descendent of Ruth and Bathsheba as a direct result of those two terrible acts of wickedness.
I want you to see that Godís purpose is always accomplished, even when we are disobedient to his revealed will. That fact does not lessen our responsibility to any degree; but it does give us reason to adore and worship our God, whose purpose is ever wise and good. Even when it is contrary to my will, my choice, and my actions, ďI delight to do thy will, O God.Ē When we hear God say regarding all things, ďI will do all my pleasure,Ē we rejoice to bow before him and say, ďThy will be done,Ē ďI delight to do thy will, O God.Ē
How can I know the will of God? This question deserves more attention than I can give it in this article. However, three statements with which it may be answered accurately. (1.) No one can determine what Godís will for you is, except you. (2.) God reveals his will by his Word, by his Spirit, and by his providence. (3.) The Lord will reveal his will to all who truly seek his will in faith (Prov. 3:5-6). Let this be our prayer - ďThy will be done!Ē Let this be our determination - ďI delight to do thy will, O God.Ē Let this be our attitude - ďIt is the Lord, let him do what seemeth him good.Ē