The Will of God
“Why was I created? Why am I here on earth?” Answer: “For whom he did foreknow, he also did predestinate to be conformed to the image of his Son, that he might be the firstborn among many brethren.” (Romans 8:29). There is a process of progressive glorification in the will of God that brings us to the image of Jesus Christ, from glory to glory, even as by the Spirit of the Lord. The moral will of God is detailed in His Word in how we are to live the god life in pleasing God, denying the world and loving God with all our hearts, keeping his commandments. We do the moral will of God by obedience to His Word, not only being a hearer of the Word, but a doer of the Word.
“Why me Lord? Why are these things happening to me?” Answer: “Likewise the Spirit also helpeth our infirmities: for we know not what we should pray for as we ought: but the Spirit itself maketh intercession for us with groanings which cannot be uttered. And he that searcheth the hearts knoweth what is the mind of the Spirit, because he maketh intercession for the saints according to the will of God. And we know that all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to His purpose.” (Romans 8:26-28). The things that happen in one’s life is the Sovereign will of God for that person for the ultimate outcome of being conformed to the image of Jesus Christ, even though the person may not like what is happening. For in all things, we are to give thanks, for this is the will of God for each and every one of us. For in so doing, we are submitting our will and volition to God’s will and his working in our lives for good, knowing the end result in to conform each to the image of Jesus Christ.
Jesus Christ in the days of his flesh learned obedience through the things which he suffered. Paul gloried in his infirmities, for when he was weak, it was then that he was strong in Christ, believing God not in his flesh, but in the Spirit of God to work all things for the glory of God. God’s thoughts are not our thoughts, neither are His ways, our ways. For as high as the heavens are above the earth, so much higher are God’s thoughts than our thoughts. It is important to note here, that God is for each individual believer for good and not evil. We cannot fathom the love of God that He has for each in His body. As the sands, so much are God’s thoughts toward each one daily. That’s a lot of thoughts. How many thoughts of love do you daily make toward those you love? How does that compare to God’s thoughts to you that are counted as the sand, and that is daily. How much is the love of God that we can only begin to perceive, because He laid down His life for us, and we ought to lay down our lives for the believers.
Let’s try to imagine how many thoughts God has toward you daily. Can you count the thoughts of our Lord Jesus just to you alone? “How precious also are thy thoughts unto me, O God! How great is the sum of them! If I should count them, they are more in number than the sand: when I awake, I am still with thee….Search me, O God, and know my heart: try me, and know my thought, And see if there by any wicked ways in me, and lead me in the way everlasting.” (Psalms 139:17-24).
It is because God loves each one of His members in particular that He works in and through each one’s lives according to His will and purpose in bringing glory to Himself. It is imperative that one understands that God is for you with an everlasting love that cannot be separated from the individual believer. God is the “I AM THAT I AM”. There have great sermons on the I AM being the ever present Help in time of trouble, supplying whatever you need. God is the Provider, the Essence, the All Sufficient, the Almighty. The “THAT” is a revelation in itself. God did not say to Moses, “I AM WHO I AM”, but “I AM THAT I AM”. The “THAT” references the Who of God in the Process of Revelation being too great for a quick glance or mere observation; it is a progressive revealing of the Glory of God in Person and Work, not in Person only, but work also. “THAT” refers to honor, dignity, and glory. Glory is the “THAT” as a fire enfolding itself; “Holy, Holy, Holy”; that is, “Glory, Glory, Glory”. Ezekiel saw the “Glory” of God. “THAT” pertains to the God of all. “That God was in Christ”, “The Lord is that Spirit”. And God is love. His love is dominant, His letter to you is love sealed with His own blood. God is “Good” and his thoughts and will toward you is perpetually good forever. With that is mind, let’s proceed to the will of God in the believer.
There are two basic thoughts concerning the will of God as mentioned above; one is the moral will of God, the other the sovereign will of God. Both are good, for God is good and in him in no evil at all. The moral will of God pertains to the Word of God as it expresses to each believer how to live a life that is pleasing to God in the Spirit. The Sovereign will of God is the predetermined plan of God that happens in heaven and in earth. To do the moral will of God is to hear and obey what is written in the Word of God. Times of prayer, fasting, seeking God in reading His Word, receiving the engrafted Word of God which is able to save us and keep us throughout eternity in God are all things that every believer must do in order to be not only a hearer of the Word, but a doer of the Word. He that loves God keeps His commandments. This is the moral will of God to every believer that must do by obedience in order to please God.
The Sovereign will of God on the other hand is God’s predetermined events in the universe. These are specific things that happen to each believer in God’s plan and purpose in bringing each one of us to full measure of maturity or perfection unto the image of Jesus Christ. In order for the believer to do this will of God as to God’s Sovereignty, we must give God thanks in all things knowing that God is working in and through us of his own good pleasure. To dispute with God over things or circumstances in our lives is to believe that God is not working for our good in all things according to his will. The bottom line is that roots of bitterness can spring up with many being defiled, not aligning our will with the will of God in every circumstance and situation.
Do you believe in luck? Another word that can be used for luck is fortunate which means the same; that is, a favorable or advantageous event happening by mere chance. God’s providence is the fortunate events brought about on the believer. Happy or happiness is the pleasure felt by the person affected by the lucky event. Solomon also stated the same: “I returned, and saw under the sun, that the race is not to the swift, nor the battle to the strong, neither yet bread to the wise, nor yet riches to men of understanding, nor yet favour to men of skill: but time and chance happeneth to all.” (Ecclesiastes 9:11). Does God control the time and chance that comes to every living creature in the earthly realm? Does man control his own destiny? Is everything predestinated for good or bad, heaven or hell, blessing and cursing? Even though everything of God’s creation is predestinated according to God’s foreknowledge, what roll does man’s will play in the overall picture in the events that take place in the earth?
God is God and must be obeyed in all things, for we are his workmanship created in Christ Jesus unto good works, which God had before ordained that we should walk in them. God gave us His law, not the law of commandments written in stone which was a ministration of death, but the law of the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus, the perfect law of liberty written in the fleshly tables of each believer’s heart or spirit.
Believers are not without law, for we are now under the law of liberty or the law of the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus. Jesus fulfilled the law as was given to Moses; civil, ceremonial, and judicial. He raised this law of commandments to a spiritual realm; thus, the law is not written upon stone but upon the heart of every believer. God wrote all his will and purpose for your life in your heart according to all the will of God; moral and sovereign, in the divine providence of God for you. For if God be for you, who can be against you? Or who will bring charge against the elect of God, for it God that justified us in Christ Jesus. Therefore, we have a flow of the Spirit of God that leads each believer in the spiritual realm which flows from the spirit of the believer according to the will and purpose of God. There is no place in the Word of God that tells me where to live and specifically the detailed will of God. But there is a voice from the Lord Jesus that speaks saying “Here is the way, walk ye in it”. For we are not to say “today we will do this or do that”, but we should say “if the Lord will, we will do this or we will do that”; realizing that God is working in us both to do and to will of His own good pleasure.
Paul exhorted the church at Philippi to do these good works in the will of God.
We as believers do not understand the reasons why some things happen to us which seem to be bad instead of good. Or why one seems to have favor with God while the other seems to harvest only trouble, infirmities, persecution, and tribulation. The Sovereignty of God dictates all things to the believer in every situation of our lives for good even though it may not be to our liking in the present distress.
It is not God’s will for a believer to be sick? Then why does a believer get sick? The outward man is perishing due to Adam; that is, all members of the body of Christ at present still possess a body of flesh, though the inward man is renewed daily. “Epaphroditus” whose name means “lovely, devoted” was a fellow soldier of Paul who was sent to the church at Philippi sick unto death, but God had mercy on him and delivered him from death. Job lost all seven sons and three daughters at once, along with all his possessions, but did not charge God foolishly or become disgruntled. Job knew the Sovereignty of God by stating, “The Lord giveth, and the Lord taketh away, Blessed be the name of the Lord.” No matter what life deals you, know that the hand of God is in it.
The sovereign will of God is in the earth. Shall there be evil in the city, and the Lord thy God hath not done it? God has his way in the wind and in the whirlwind. The Babylonian king Nebuchadnezzar learned that God reigns in the earth. For God puts kings over nations and pulls down rulers in His wrath. In all these things, God is Sovereign. God hardened Pharaoh’s heart that the will of God would be manifested in Egypt on behalf of Israel. God’s sovereign will happens in the universe from each minute atom to the great expanse of galaxies, from the lowest amoebas to highest order of primates, to everyone and everything in His creation. From the roll of the dice in casting lots to the completed and manifested kingdom of God in the whole work of God, God has his sovereign will and way accomplished in His entire creation; for there is a time and season for everything under the sun. God is Omniscient, Omnipotent, and Omnipresent. He is not subject to time because He is God who is Self-Existent and Eternal. He does not possess eternity, He is Eternity. He is the Almighty God who is everywhere at all times. Therefore, in the beginning God’s Word in thought, plan, purpose, and will was forever settled in heaven. Then the process of manifestation of the Word was done and set in motion into the physical creation. Creature and creation only manifests what God has already willed from Eternity in His foreknowledge as He is God. God knows the beginning from the end and rules in His creation.
Therefore, God knew you from the foundation of the world, when he created you, your members being “unperfect”; “unperfect” not “imperfect” meaning that your members were not yet formed, before you came into existence in the physical realm and realized in the natural creation that you were in God’s foreknowledge and plan. God knew you before you were formed in the physical and created you for His purpose and plan in the earth in being conformed to the image of Jesus Christ, having your particular role to do and bring about in the body of Christ. The effectual working that was mentioned above in the individual members is according to God’s will and purpose compel the members to do the will of God, obeying the moral will of God which is His Word, and submitting to the sovereign will of God which is all things that work together for good in the individual believer’s life.
As members in particular, each member has a duty to do in God that he/she only can do in the revealing of Jesus Christ in the earth. For if any that are lost are to see Jesus; it will be due to the Jesus that is in us as believers that witnesses to them of salvation that is available to them from the Lord Jesus. For the ministry of reconciliation has been given to the believers, the church. It is our duty as ambassadors in the kingdom of God to reveal Jesus. The growth of the church in revealing Jesus is directly in accordance with each member fulfilling each individual’s call in the body of Christ. The eye cannot be the toe; neither can the foot be the hand. Each member in particular must fulfill each one’s particular and unique function in the body of Christ in order for Jesus to be preached to all nations and the kingdom of God set up in the earth. This is so important in each believer to know what the call of God is on their life, for all are called. Then each must be chosen, and then found faithful in their calling, doing the will of God in each one’s life.
In order to do the will of God by obedience, one must hear the voice of God. For how can one obey if they do not know what to do in order to obey? The law of the Spirit of life in God leads each individual believer in doing God’s will and purpose for his/her life. How does one find out the specific will of God for one’s life?
There is a specific will of God for each believer. Acts 2:38 gets the believer into the race, now they must run in order to win the prize. The prize is the high calling of God in Christ Jesus. Paul mentioned that if he preached the Gospel, he had nothing to glory in, but “Woe” be unto him if he preached not the Gospel. Did you see that? Woe meaning “woe” in not obeying the will of God. Learning the voice of God can be upsetting for some, but God knows those that are His, and He is able to lead his sheep in accomplishing His will.
“But now hath God set the members every one of them in the body, as it hath pleased him. And if they were all one member, where were the body? But now are they many members, yet but one body. And the eye cannot say unto the hand, I have no need of thee: nor again the head to the feet, I have no need of you. Nay, much more those members of the body, which seem to be more feeble, are necessary; And those members of the body, which we think to be less honourable, upon these we bestow more abundant honour; and our uncomely parts have more abundant comeliness. For our comely parts have no need: But God hath tempered the body together, having given more abundant honour to that part which lacked: That there should be no schism in the body: but that the members should have the same care one for another.” (1 Corinthians 12:18-25).
Each individual member makes increase of the body of Christ unto the edifying of itself in love by coming together. Notice that in the scripture below that it is at the joint or coming together of the members of the body of Christ that makes increase in charity in the body of Christ. No single member alone can edify the body of Christ, seeking out their own agenda, but must submit to each part of the body of Christ, becoming a servant to all other members. One example is a toe: as a toe works on the foot which is one of two feet whereby the body is benefited by mobility. The same is true of a finger being part of the hand being one of two hands that ministers to the complete body of Christ, etc., etc. Each member of the body has a specific function to do in carrying out the will of God. By the individual members doing their responsibility and reasonable service to each other, the body grows up into the full maturity or measure of Jesus Christ.
The word “compacted” in the above scripture is from the Greek “sumbibazo” meaning “the cause to come together in unity realizing in agreement on the end result or conclusion”. It is important to notice that this positive effect in the body of Christ in love is solely due to its individual members coming together; for it is “every joint” that supplies and a joint is the union of two individual bones or members of the body working in a common cause. The effectual working is the grace that is upon each part according to the faith that God has supplied to each of the individual believers that make up the whole body. Each part of God’s body as a particular and important member of the church has been given the measure of faith. God has dealt to every single member the measure of faith in order to accomplish His particular will and purpose. No particular member has all the faith of God, but each member in particular has been dealt a measure or “metron” of faith which when the body of Christ is come together has received all things and full measure to bring the kingdom of God in the earth into physical manifestation; the kingdoms of this world becoming the kingdoms of our Lord and of His Christ.
This is not done by its members having vainglory, strife, emulations, ego, jealousy, envy, or any such thing as a motive, since love can be the only motive for growth unto a perfect man. In other words, no one can do the ministry that God has called you for; neither can any other member take your place in the body of Christ. If each member in the body of Christ accepted his/her unique and gifted calling of God realizing that no one else can do what God has called him/her to do, then there would be no reason for jealousy, strife, envying, backbiting, and the like. God has tempered the body together as it has pleased Him, not any individual member’s own personal will or desire. God did this so that there would be no schism in the body; that is, no rent, dissension, or division in the body of Christ. Just as a human body does not fight amongst itself and stay healthy, neither should the body of Christ strive amongst its members. Therefore, there should be no competition among the members of the body of Christ, as they that strive one against another are not wise but are carnally minded, not understanding the ministration of the Spirit for the sole purpose of bringing all members into one full man, the perfect man, unto the measure of the stature of the fullness of Jesus Christ. Jonah was called to Nineveh and jumped a ship, running from the will of God. God did not call another to do what He had called Jonah to do in prophesying to Nineveh. The Word of the Lord came again to Jonah. God did not simply go and get someone else to do what Jonah was trying to avoid.
You as a particular member in the body of Christ have a work in ministration to do in supplying the body of Christ with love unto full maturity, which no one else can do but you in your own particular part. The Sovereign will of God does not negate the dominion that He gave to mankind in Adam and his progeny. We wage warfare according to the will of God working the will of God in the earth as the body of Christ. We are fellow laborers with God, God doing nothing save he shows it to His servants the prophets. The believers pray, “Thy will be done in earth as it is in heaven”. God cannot deny Himself, what He has spoken in His Word, He is bound to. The Word is forever settled in heaven. We as believers must do the moral will of God in obeying His Word. We also must be submissive to the Sovereign will of God in all things that happen to us, whether good or bad, knowing full assuredly that all things work together for good, to them that love God, to them that are called according to His purpose. Knowing this truth, we are to give God thanks in all things that happen to each of us, for this is the will of God. There is an intertwining of God with mankind by faith in accomplishing the will of God in the earth in the manifestation of the kingdom of God. Faith is the key to pleasing God, for in all things we must believe that God is for each individual believer; that He is God and a rewarder to each that diligently seek him. We must listen to the voice of God that speaks to each of us in doing God’s will, both moral and sovereign. The moral will of God we do by obedience; the sovereign will of God we do by submission to God in all things, knowing that God is working in each individual for good, even though it may not look beneficial to us in all circumstances. We are not to look at things that are seen, for these things that are seen are temporal; but we are to look at things that are not seen, for the things that are not seen are eternal, even the faith by which we live.
May God grant you grace to do His will,
Dennis A. Beard