A Study on the Will of God Part 3: God’s Personal Individual Will
God’s Personal Individual Will
We now come to the third aspect of God’s will, His personal individual will. As I continue to study this aspect of God’s will, my understanding of it grows, but I also see more deeply the complexity of its interaction with the moral and sovereign aspects of God’s will. There is alot I do not understand, and perhaps never will concerning this aspect of God’s will. This section most certainly will not be the “final word” in any study of the will of God, but I believe that these thoughts will help motivate many to think more deeply and Biblically about God’s personal individual will and understand it better.
There are four questions I plan to answer in this section. Does God Have a personal individual will for each person? What is the nature of His personal individual will? Is His personal individual will dependent upon God, man, or both? How does He accomplish His personal individual will in believer’s lives?
Does God have a personal individual will for each person?
I want to answer this question by observing several passages of scripture. Acts 13:36 says that “David…served his own generation by the will of God,” meaning that God had a unique personal desire for David as king of Israel. Romans 1:10 says that Paul was, “Making request, if by any means now at length I might have a prosperous journey by the will of God to come unto you.” Paul desired to go to Rome, however he realized that his safety and success was fully dependent upon the will of God in that unique situation to make his travel successful. Romans 8:27 says that “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.” Paul is saying that there are times that a believer does not know the will of God and he cannot, because God has not revealed it. In these times, the Holy Spirit intercedes on our behalf according to God’s will in that situation. Romans 15:32 says that Paul desired “That I may come unto you with joy by the will of God…” Again, Paul desired to go to Rome to encourage and be encouraged, yet he recognized that this was dependent upon the will of God in this unique situation. II Corinthians 8:5 says that the churches in Macedonia “did, not as we hoped, but first gave their own selves to the Lord, and unto us by the will of God.” These churches sacrificed greatly by the will of God to give of themselves and their money to churches in great need. Lastly, I Peter 3:17 says that “it is better, if the will of God be so, that ye suffer for well doing, than for evil doing.” In this passage Peter calls their suffering for the cause of Christ the will of God. I have to conclude from looking at these passages and many others, that there were specific things that God desired to accomplish in the lives of each of these people. You can see that there is an aspect to God’s will that is unique, personal, and not revealed specifically in Scripture. God actively and uniquely involved Himself in the lives of these saints in both the Old and New Testament to accomplish His unique desires for their lives. From man’s perspective, God’s personal, individual will is His unique and personal desires that He accomplishes throughout each season of that person’s life. In other words, there are specific things that God desires to accomplish through specific individuals that are not explicitly stated in His Word.
What is the nature of God’s personal, individual will?
Since we can see that there are clear examples of God’s unique personal will in the lives of believers, what is the nature of this unique personal will? Can it be resisted or missed? Is it exhaustive and meticulous involving every decision both great and small? Is it totally dependent upon God, or is it totally dependent upon men? What is its nature? I want to try to answer a few of these questions through comments on the following Biblical examples.