The Will Of God 09 – God’s Will for His creation

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The bible, the book of books, began with a striking phrase – In the beginning, God created the heaven and the earth. His creation was both celestial and terrestrial; material and immaterial; physical and spiritual. We will later find in scriptures that the heavenly beings consist of angels, in all forms – some so tall that they could set one foot on the sea and the other on land; others so mysterious, described as beasts having six wings and full of eyes within. We also find that in the earthly realm, man, the cream and crown of God’s creation, had the great lights, stars, water, flying and land creatures at his command.

Proverbs sixteen four makes a succinct statement about the purpose of all God’s creation,  “The Lord has made all things for Himself.” He made all things, everything, with no exception. “For the world and all that is in it belong to the LORD ; the earth and all who live on it are His.”(Psalms 24:1 GNB)

God is the object of creation, and not the people or things created. He made all things for Himself. They were created by specification to suit Him. Everything created was made for His use, to show forth His glory and to give Him pleasure.

The psalmist in Psalms nineteen verse one resounds, ” The heavens declare the glory of God; and the firmament shows his handiwork.” In chapter 145 verse 10 he continues, ” All your works shall praise you, O Lord ; and your saints shall bless you.” Creation by design was made to reflect in essence, the glory and character of the Creator. The created are to exist in such a manner that only the Creator is seen and heard. His works, animate and inanimate, were made to sing His praises.

God should savor the aroma of His creation and derive pleasure. “For you are worthy, O Lord, to receive glory and honour and power: for you have created all things, and for your pleasure they are and were created.” said the twenty four elders in Revelations four eleven, as they fell before the throne of majesty and worshipped.

God alone is worthy. Not the created, whether the most beautiful of angel or the most strong of men. None is qualified to be the object of creation, other than the Creator. God alone should derive the pleasure, and the satisfaction from the existence and exploit of the creation. For He alone deserves the glory for all His works does, He alone deserves the honour for all their lives exude, and He exclusively should have the power, to do as He wills in their lives.

For the will of God for His creation is that they please Him. Simple. For by His will they were created and have their being.

gidmedico

The Will Of God 08 – Different perceptions of God’s will

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From my observational analysis of the prevailing worldviews in the Christian circle as regards God’s will, I’ve found out that there exist mainly two ideologies about the will of God: the railroad and the parking lot worldviews.

Those Believers with the railroad belief system understand God’s will to be very specific and regimented just like a railroad. They believe God’s will is very detailed to the nitty-gritty of what a believer should do, how he or she should live, and what he or she should possess. To them, God’s will should confine and constrain the believer just like the rail track does to the train. In a nutshell, God’s will spares no area of the Christian’s life.

Other Christians with the parking lot belief system understand God’s will to be generalized and loose. They believe that the will of God just draws a large boundary within which a believer is given several right options to choose from. And that just like a parking lot, in which anyone could choose in whatever place to park, as long as it was within the alloted boundaries, God’s will offers generalized views and counsels on matters of life, from which the believer could safely choose as he pleases.

The railroad worldview believes that God has in mind the specific course a believer should study in school, while the parking lot worldview believes the believer could choose to study any course he or she wants, as long as it advances the gospel of Christ. The railroad belief system maintains that God has planned out the specific person a believer should marry before hand, while the parking lot belief system opines that a believer can marry whoever he or she wants as long as that person is a christian. The parking lot disposition believes that God’s will doesn’t encompass trivial things like the clothes you wear, the food you eat, the music you listen to, and so on.

It is obvious these worldviews are opposed to one another and cannot both be right. Only one of them can be true, and the only way to find out which is, is by lining both up with God’s word. Whichever agrees with God’s word is truth.

When God called Jeremiah, He said to him in Jeremiah, the first chapter, the fifth verse. ” Before I formed you in the womb I knew you, before you were born I set you apart; I appointed you as a prophet to the nations.” If this verse is xrayed, God’s plan for Jeremiah looks quite specific. God affirmed that He knew everything about Jeremiah; that appears encompassing. He then specifies what occupation He wants Jeremiah to engage in – a prophet. God didn’t just express His desire, but He appointed him to that office insinuating that it was a settled matter.

When God called Abraham He said to him in Genesis twelve one, “Go from your country, your people and your father’s household to the land I will show you.” This instruction appears specific. God’s will didn’t appear to offer Abraham options as regards his location. God was saying He would show Abraham where He wants him to live. He didn’t give Abraham options of several good cities he could dwell in. Abraham was going to be led to only one place that God had chosen for him. We later found out that that place was Canaan.

In Galatians two seven, the apostle Paul made us understand that God called him to preach the gospel specifically to the Gentiles (non-Jews) while apostle Peter was called to preach mainly to the Jews. Who would have thought that God would be specific about a specific group of people He would want reached by a specific person.

Jesus, commenting on how He lived His daily life in John five nineteen said, “Very truly I tell you, the Son can do nothing by himself; he can do only what he sees his Father doing, because whatever the Father does the Son also does.” In all honesty, this sounds regimented. Christ was saying He could not just do what He chooses to do but only what He sees God the Father do. He could do only what God had specified for Him. If this was the way Christ lived, then the believer has no any other option, because Christ suffered for us, living us an example that we should follow in His steps (1 Peter 2:21)

Based on these few examples of believers that worked with God, we see that the parking lot worldview of God’s will doesn’t fit in. God’s will is very specific for all the people He has dealt with, Christ inclusive. And anyone who carefully studies the Bible as regards God’s will – doing a character study on all those who walked with God – will jettison the parking lot ideology and embrace the railroad perspective of God’s will, because it is Scripture.

If God permits, I would discuss the will of God for creation in the next study.

gidmedico

The Will Of God 07 – The nature of God’s will Part 4

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In the last three studies, I attempted expounding the one verse of scriptures that beautifully describes the nature of God’s will – Romans twelve two. I’d love to proceed by gleaning other features of His will from other portions of the Bible.

One outstanding character of God is His sovereignty. He exists in a superior class all by Himself. He created all things without He Himself been created; this makes Him God. So when it comes to God’s overall plan and design, He does whatever pleases Him.

Psalms 115 verse 3 corroborates this fact by stating, “Our God is in heaven; he does whatever pleases Him.” This is so because He is, or should be the object of existence, not us. So, He designs everything to achieve His overall intent.

Some folks may immediately say, “Wait, wait, wait. God is in heaven, so He can do whatever He wants. That’s His business. We are on earth, let’s live our lives like we want to. But His will and programmes cut accross. That’s why He is sovereign. Psalms 135 verse 6 expands the scope by stating, “The Lord does whatever pleases Him, in the heavens and on the earth, in the seas and all their depths.” So everywhere, His plan prevails.

God doesn’t just set out a plan and leave it in the hand of fate; He sees it through to the end. For He accomplishes His will. Isaiah 55 verse 11 says that God’s word that goes out from His mouth will not return to Him empty, but will accomplish that which He desires, and achieve the purpose for which He sent it. I think that strikes the nail on the head. God is committed to His will.

God’s overall plan or programme cannot be thwarted. Job affirmed this nature of God’s plan in the second verse of the forty-second chapter of the book that bears his name. “I know that you can do all things; no purpose of yours can be thwarted.”

So, God’s sovereignty is mind blowing. And any child of His who wants to understand His will must understand His sovereignty. For we live, or should live for Him, and not the other way round.

gidmedico

The Will Of God 06 – The nature of God’s will Part 3

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“Do not conform to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is – His good, pleasing and perfect will.”

Romans 12:2 NIV

The will of God is perfect. God’s plan, God’s desire, God’s agenda, cannot be anything but perfect. His will is entirely without flaws,  defects or shortcomings. In conception and
execution, His will is perfect.

Every good and perfect gift comes from above, from God (James 1:17). For it comes from a flawless realm and a faultless being,  and even our flawed world cannot make it defective. His plan to save man was flawless in conception, for the Lamb was slain before the foundation of the world (Revelation 13:8), and was perfect in execution, for the Lamb died on the cross and rose after three days.

The will of God is perfect. It is complete beyond practical or theoretical improvement. No matter how hard man tries to improve on it,  he cannot. He will end up creating his own will. For it is whole in conception and should maintain that wholeness in execution.

God’s plan of making Abraham a great nation was to be executed through Isaac his son, but Abraham tried to improve or salvage the will of God when the promise of Isaac delayed by inventing Ishmael. But no matter how hard Abraham tried,  Ishmael remained Abraham’s will. For God’s will was perfect and whole in Isaac, needing no improvement.

The will of God is perfect. It exactly fits the need in every situation and in every purpose. God who in His sovereignty knows the needs, designs His plan to perfectly meet those needs. No need beats the imagination of God’s will; for His plan precedes the needs, and comes in just in time to meet the needs.

When Moses was reiterating the law to the Israelites in Deuteronomy thirty two verse four, he exclaimed concerning God’s will, “… His work is perfect,  all His ways are judgment… ” David the psalsmist sang in second Samuel twenty two verse thirty one that “as for God,  His way is perfect,  the word of the Lord is tried… ”

Whenever the will of God is put to the test, it always passes, with a perfect score. It may appear flawed when beheld with the eyes of flesh and analysed by hearts of stone, but when those eyes are anointed with eye salve (Revelation 3:18), and those hearts of stone fall on Christ and are broken (Matthew 21:44), the exact nature of God’s will is discerned as perfect. For the word of God,  which is the will of God is perfect,  converting the soul (Psalsm 19:7).

gidmedico

The Will Of God 05 – The nature of God’s will Part 2

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The will of God is good,  acceptable and perfect. It is not good at one point and acceptable at another time,  and then perfect at a later time. It always contains these three attributes. I treated God’s will as good in the last study. I would like to dwell on God’s will as acceptable.

Romans twelve two wants us to renew our minds so that we can discern God’s will as acceptable. God’s will is acceptable and pleasing. Acceptable to who? Acceptable to God. He prescribes it,  so it has to be acceptable to Him. Nothing else pleases Him except His will.

“This is my beloved Son in whom I’m well pleased” said God the Father about Jesus the Son at His baptism. Jesus is God’s will personified,  and God was pleased with Him. Jesus did the will of His father,  which was acceptable and well pleasing to God.

Any remedial way or measure we take,  short of God’s will,  cannot be pleasing to Him,  no matter how we fine-tune it. Only the will of God and a life that does His will is accepted by Him. For He created all things; for His pleasure they are and were created (Revelation 4:11).

Some well meaning christians and bible scholars have interpreted this acceptable will to mean the permissive will of God. I have also been a victim of this interpretation in the past. But with careful and holistic study over the years,  and gleaning from other believers,  I discovered that there is no such qualifier of God’s will as permissive. I found out that many believers have used the permissive will of God as a perfect coverup to indulge their own will.

One common example in the bible that these well-meaning believers use to justify their ‘permissive will’ theory,  is that about the leadership of Israel that I cited in the last study. They usually render it thus. “God’s perfect will for Israel’s leadership was that He ruled them directly through judges,  but they didn’t want it. So they pleaded with God that they needed a king like the other nations,  and he obliged them. This is His permissive will.”

I would say,  they didn’t read first Samuel eight well,  because if they did,  they would have found out that after the elders of Israel told Samuel that they wanted a King instead of judges,  Samuel was displeased,  and God too. And God told Samuel in verse nine,  “hearken unto their voice,  howbeit yet,  protest solemnly unto them and show them the manner of the king…” That doesn’t look like the permissive will of God to me,  but what is clear was God allowing them to do their will, not His.

Another commonly referenced example is that of Hezekiah,  the king of Judah. The Lord sent the prophet Isaiah to him in Second Kings twenty,  asking him to put his house in order because it was time for him to die. But Hezekiah prayed begging God,  and God obliged him and added fifteen more years to him. Many call this God’s permissive will. But I don’t see how Hezekiah living more fifteen years was God’s will at all,  because from the above Scripture,  God made His will known to Hezekiah,  he wanted him to die at that time. God obliging Hezekiah was He granting Hezekiah his own will,  which we would later find was not good,  neither was it pleasing.

In the fifteen more years that Hezekiah lived,  his life didn’t exactly please God. For when the king of Babylon sent ambassadors to him,  in a prideful gesture,  he displayed all the treasures of God’s house to them,  from which the prophesy of Judah’s exile to Babylon stemmed. It was also within this fifteen years that his son Manasseh was born,  who went on to be one of the most wicked kings in Judah,  making his sons to pass through the fire.

I could mention more and more of such misinterpreted examples from scriptures. What I consistently find is this. Once God makes His will about a matter known,  He is only pleased when it is done. The famous teacher of God’s word,  Kenneth E. Hagin described the concept of the ‘permissive will’ of God as washing your feet with your socks on. It doesn’t work,  because such concept really doesn’t exist.

Jesus is our perfect example. For when he was faced at Gathsemane with His will and that of His Father,  He did not beg to have His own will by refusing to go to the cross,  but He chose the will of God which was acceptable and pleasing to God.

The will of God is only that that satisfies Him. And for Him to be well pleased with you,  you have to accept and do His acceptable will.

gidmedico.

The Will Of God 04 – The nature of God’s will Part 1

The Will Of God 04 – The nature of God’s will Part 1

The best way to fully understand anything is by characterising it. Or put differently, if one can properly describe the components of anything, then that person has a complete grasp of it. The same applies to God’s will. The intriguing features of the nature of God’s will are littered across scriptures. I’d love to pull some together.

Among other scriptures, Romans twelve two is one portion of scriptures that compresses three superb qualities of the will of God.

“Do not conform to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is—his good, acceptable and perfect will.” 

The apostle Paul in this portion of scripture was trying to admonish the believers in Rome on how to live a victorious christian life. They were not to assume the mold of the system of this world, nor were they expected to be well adjusted to the world’s traditions. But they are to renew their minds with God’s word that they may be able to discern the will of God. Then he goes further to mention these superb qualities of God’s will which is good, acceptable and perfect.

The will of God is good. The word “good” is one word that is difficult to describe. Dictionary.com in an attempt to define the word “good” uses about fifty different descriptions for it – as an adjective, noun, interjection, adverb – all in a bid to properly capture the meaning of the word. Wow! So many definitions just for one word, I wondered. Then I found out why.

The best description of good is God. If one takes out the letters “G”, “o”, “d” from the word “good”, one is left with the letter “o”, which I believe is a good symbol of emptiness. Whatever doesn’t have God cannot be good. No matter how innocent, useful, or appealing it may appear, once it is void of God, it cannot be good.

“No one is good, except God alone…” This Jesus said, in response to the rich young ruler in Mark ten eighteen. For he had called him “good master”, without necessarily acknowledging His deity. So, Jesus had to remind him that if God was taken out of anything or any person, that thing or person could not be regarded as good. “You are good, and you do good…” proclaims the Psalmist boldly about God in Psalms 119 verse 68.

Also, James one seventeen tells us that every good gift and every perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of the heavenly lights, who does not change like shifting shadows. So, whatever is good is of God. And whatever God does, and whatever he gives, proscribes and plans is good.

The will of God is good. It is suitable for you. You do not know what you need, nor what best suits you. But you can be rest assured that God’s specific will for you is suitable for you, and has your best interest at heart.

“It is not good for the man to be alone,” God said to Adam in the beginning. “I will make a helper suitable for him.” And God brought Eve to Adam, and indeed she was well suited for him. Still speaking about marriage, Proverbs eighteen twenty-two says that the man who finds a wife finds what is good and receives favour from the Lord. Chapter nineteen verse fourteen of the same Proverbs reiterates that a prudent wife is from the Lord. So, that which God gives is always good.

Are you at the junction of making any decision? Of where to live? What course to study? What job to do? Which business to delve into? Which person to marry? What school to enrol your kids in? One thing is certain, if you seek God’s specific will at this junction, what He gives you will be well suited for you. Even if it is not what you had envisaged, and even if it is not your preference, if it is God’s will, you can trust that it is well customised for you. And in the long run, you will enjoy it, every bit. “For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord , “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future (Jeremiah 29:11 NIV).

His plans for a people or nation is always good. God’s plan for Israel as a nation, as regards how they were to be led as a people, was good. He wanted to rule them through His elect – judges, handpicked by Him. But they wanted to be ruled by a monarch – a king, like the other nations, which was not good. God even told Samuel to solemnly protest to them about their choice, by making them know what terrible things they would suffer at the hand of their king. But they would not bulge. They thought God’s judges were not suitable for them. How myopic! So, He allowed them to have their will. And they ended up suffering the consequences (1 Samuel 8).

The will of God is always good – satisfactory in quality, quantity and degree, and well suited for us, because it emanates from God.

Hopefully if Jesus tarries, I’d elucidate the next quality of God’s will as acceptable in the next study.

gidmedico.

The Will Of God 03 – The different wills that exist

The Will Of God 03 – The different wills that exist

The ideal picture is that there be only one will prevailing – the will of God. But sadly, that is not the case. 

Everything originated from God (Genesis 1:1; John 1:3). Before everything was God, and after everything passes away, God will remain. In the beginning, there existed only one will, the will of God. And that remained so, until two events occurred, the rebellions. The rebellion of the Devil, and the rebellion of man.

The rebellion of Lucifer was first. God created the angels and other heavenly beings to have a freewill, and they all submitted this to the sovereign will of God. But a time came when Lucifer, the angel that covers, decided to carry out his own will contrary to that of God. We find Isaiah report that Lucifer had said in his heart, “I will ascend into heaven, I will exalt my throne above the stars of God. I will sit also upon the mount. . . I will be like the Most High.” (Isaiah 14:13-14)

Here we see Lucifer’s will different from God’s. His plans were contrary to what God wanted. And when he tried to outsted God, he was cast down with the angels that rebelled. And thereafter, we had the will of Satan.

And the Bible summarises his will in John ten ten. He has come to steal, kill and destroy. First Peter five eight reminds us that he moves about as a roaring lion seeking whom to devour.

Way after the rebellion of Lucifer, came the rebellion of man. God also created man a freewill being and placed him over every other thing that he created (Genesis 1:27-28). God’s desire was that man will submit his will to God’s perfect will, and obey Him to the later. He was not going to coerce man, but desired willful submission. And so he laid out the Genesis two test, by commanding them to choose between the tree of life, and that of the knowledge of good and evil, instructing that they chose the former. Their failure of this test in chapter three of Genesis, led to their rebellion.

The rebellion of man led to the introduction of another will contrary to the will of God – the will of man. After the fall of man, the natural man began to live for himself. He served his flesh, the worldly system and the devil’s will. So, we find in existence, the will of God, the will of the Devil and the will of man.

God’s desire is that His will prevails in the affairs of men. “Thy will be done on earth as it is in heaven.” The Lord Jesus taught us to pray in His model prayer (Matthew 6:10). And that just as there was only one will in the beginning – the will of God, that there will be only one will in the end – the will of God.

If God wills, we will consider the nature of God’s will in the next exposition.

gidmedico.