A Study on the Will of God: Introduction
We just finished a study on the proper foundation for any form of Christian service from Romans 12:1-2. At the end of verse two Paul uses the phrase: “what is that good, and acceptable, and perfect will of God.” The next issue that I would like to address is the will of God. Having grown up in a Christian home and environment, I have heard a lot of teaching, preaching, and discussion about the will of God. Questions abound revolving around this issue of Christian living. I have observed that an unbiblical view of this issue causes those whose hearts are sensitive to spiritual things unnecessary heartburn as they consider vocation, marriage, education, and ministry. They hear statements like: “I do not have peace about it; God told me to do it; success is finding the will of God and doing it; God has a good will, an acceptable, will, and a perfect will for your life; and discover your destiny.” These statements tend to be very confusing to a young person, leaving them with the impression that God is up in heaven with a perfect will for their life. This “will” can be hit or missed. Their joy as a believer is fully dependent upon whether or not they do this will. God will progressively in a somewhat mystical way reveal this perfect will to them giving them confidence and peace in each decision they make. They need to put out fleeces and recognize the signs that God is giving if they are to determine which decision is correct. I do not believe that God intended this confusion to exist. My concern is that rather than looking at the Bible to be the basis for our understanding of decision making and the will of God, we have allowed sloppy Bible interpretation, some popular teachers, unchecked emotions, mysticism, and personal experience to cause us to have an unbalanced view of this very important issue. I want to begin by studying three aspects of the will of God that we observe in the Bible. Next, I will observe how we are responsible to relate to these three aspects of the will of God, and lastly, I will take what we have learned and narrow it down to principles for godly decision making consistent with the will of God as revealed in the Bible. It is critically important that we observe what God has said and how godly Biblical characters made decisions as we consider this issue. It is also very important that we balance these truths properly. One extreme makes decision making purely mystical with no controls, while the other makes decision make purely intellectual leaving out the Spirit of God’s personal work in the life of the believer. I hope to strike a balance by observing and applying the Biblical data, and in turn help all, since we are all making decisions on a daily basis.