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Is God’s will always done in this world?
I first wrote this in 2015 with 2,585 hits or views but have made a few edits as I repost.
This question may sound almost crazy to many of you at first glance, as probably 80% of people would react with “of course God’s will is always done! He’s GOD!”
But since YHVH has all power and since He truly is the Supreme Being, does it follow then that He always enforces his will, especially in this world right now? This blog may surprise you. But everything I say will be backed with scripture.
First of all, Yeshua (Jesus) himself says in his sample prayer, that we are to pray for God’s will to be done here on earth, just like His will IS always done in heaven. “Thy will be done, on earth, as it is in heaven.” Hmm. Why would we be told to pray for something if that “something” is not an issue? Or maybe it is an issue? Is God into us praying for the obvious? Is God asking us to waste our time by asking for things that are already a given – that God’s will is always done on earth?
Or could it be that God’s perfect will for every single person on this planet -- isn’t always done and it’s His will to allow that free moral choice? Is that even possible? But then again, if you believe it is, the wording in Yeshua’s sample prayer is intriguing, with implications of Yeshua’s statement as follows: “Pray God’s will is done here on earth all the time with everyone – just like Father’s will is always done all the time with everyone in heaven.”
So when will be the time when God’s will is done here on earth? Notice the sentence in “the Lord’s Prayer” that comes before this statement about God’s will. It is: “Thy kingdom come.” That is mentioned first. For sure, when God’s kingdom is established on earth, where God’s rule is established, God’s will is going to be done. That applies in our individual lives now too. If His rule is established in our lives, his will is being done. When we are not in the will of God, it’s because we have moved out of his rule and governance.
Surely, God clearly sets boundaries on what Satan is allowed to do or not do. Surely God’s will is going to be done as far as world-shaking events go. Prophecy will happen according to His will. He declares the end from the beginning. Surely God also will, in specific instances, put thoughts and ideas into leaders and rulers - - so that His will is done.
But there’s so much more.
And back to my question: can we say everything happening in the life of every human being every minute of time – is God’s will? How about in your own life? Are you sure of your answer?
Let’s look now at some clear verses that might shed more light for us on this topic.
We know that if you are one who loves God and are one of the called-out ones, that God will work everything out for good in your life (Romans 8:28) in the end. He is so powerful and gracious that he can work even the “bad things” we get involved in to work out to be good in the end, and be according to his divine will and purpose. That should give us great peace and comfort, even when bad things seem to be happening to us.
Joseph said that very thing in Genesis 50:19-21. He admitted that his brothers meant him harm but God used those evil actions to move Joseph into position to save the family eventually. But again, God was working with that family. Could the same be said about every family everywhere else on the planet? I think not. God isn’t and wasn’t working with every human being yet. But he was working with Jacob, Joseph and their families and God’s will was being done, and became so clear at least in the end.
So let’s look now at some clear examples where Yeshua (Jesus) himself says God’s will wasn’t done in those specific cases.
Do you know what God's will for the Pharisees was when they came to hear John the Baptist? And was God’s will done? Let’s see.
Luke 7:29-30 ”And when all the people heard Him, even the tax collectors justified God, having been baptized with the baptism of John. 30 But the Pharisees and lawyers rejected the will of God for themselves, not having been baptized by him.”
I’m hoping to give a sermon real soon on this topic of God’s will. How we are to find God’s will in our lives and do it. What IS God’s will for us? So be watching for it and in that sermon I will go into far more details to show that God’s will is only being done in the lives of those He is right now calling, working with and who are responding to His call. Later, when Yeshua is ruling on earth, more will have their hearts and minds opened and the will of God will be done in their lives too.
But for now, let’s look at a few more examples to show that God does not force His will on us just yet. Not even on you – yet.
Let me be clear of my belief on this: when God decides to act and intervene, HIS will is always done. But it’s also clear, as you will see, that God allows a lot of space and room for us to make our own decisions right now.
In the broader sense, that is God’s will for now – that we have free moral agency – and in that broader sense, you could say God’s will is being done. But now let’s get specific. I hope the rest of this article will make you ponder some things you may not have before.
***Apparently there are many people who do not do the will of God, and God allows that -- as only those who do the will of God are the ones Yeshua considers to be his brother, sister or mother.
Mark 3:33-35 “But He answered them, saying, "Who is My mother, or My brothers?" And He looked around in a circle at those who sat about Him, and said, "Here are My mother and My brothers! For whoever does the will of God is My brother and My sister and mother."
Not everyone is the brother or sister of Christ, apparently. Not yet, at least.
1 John 2:17 “And the world is passing away, and the lust of it; but he who does the will of God abides forever.”
***Here’s another example. Yeshua said HIS desire would have been to gather the Jews in Jerusalem under his wing like a mother hen would gather and protect her chicks -- "but ye would not". In other words, “I wanted to protect you, but you wouldn’t submit your will to mine, so it’s not going to happen.” Jesus was allowing their will to be done in that case.
Luke 13:34 "O Jerusalem, Jerusalem, the one who kills the prophets and stones those who are sent to her! How often I wanted to gather your children together, as a hen gathers her brood under her wings, but you were not willing!”
Apparently then, God allows us a lot of latitude. There is such a thing as “free moral agency” and so God lets us make decisions in or out of his will so that we learn the consequences of going our own way. Look at Romans 10 and Isaiah 1, for example.
Romans 10:21 “But to Israel he says: ‘All day long I have stretched out My hands to a disobedient and contrary people."
Isaiah 1 is full of God’s heart to offer a better way to His people, but they refused to listen to him. Please read it.
***God clearly tells us that His will is for people to follow his Way and His laws. But are they? Even those of us with God’s Spirit don’t always do that, do we? Even Paul admitted, that at times, “That which I hate, I do” (Romans 7).
What follows next is a clear statement of God’s will, that we all be morally and sexually pure. Living in this world makes it difficult to always have a pure mind and heart. Ask yourself as you read it, is this stated will of God being followed around the world by everyone? Or for that matter, have YOU even always followed this? So if the answer is “no” – then it should be clear that God’s will is not always done everywhere with everyone. Yet.
1 Thessalonians 4:3-7 “For this is the will of God, your sanctification: that you should abstain from sexual immorality; that each of you should know how to possess his own vessel in sanctification and honor, 5 not in passion of lust, like the Gentiles who do not know God; 6 that no one should take advantage of and defraud his brother in this matter, because the Lord is the avenger of all such, as we also forewarned you and testified. 7 For God did not call us to uncleanness, but in holiness.”
Here’s another. As you read the verse below, ask yourself: do you always rejoice, do you always pray without ceasing, do you give thanks in everything? In the passage below, God’s will is clearly stated.
1 Thessalonians 5:16-22 “Rejoice always, pray without ceasing, in everything give thanks; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you. Do not quench the Spirit. 20 Do not despise prophecies. Test all things; hold fast what is good. Abstain from every form of evil.”
So be looking for the sermon that will come sometime in the future that explores seeking, recognizing and doing God’s will in our lives. Send me your input on this topic and I may include your notes and comments too.
I hope it is clear that our loving God allows us to make many of our own decisions – and allows us to live with the consequences of doing our own will. He wants us to learn what His will is, because He knows best what will work for us. But right now He isn’t forcing HIS will on you and me or the whole world. Certainly no one wants to believe that all the evil we see going on in the world today is God’s perfect will being done, do we? This is not yet His world, not yet His kingdom. When it is His kingdom, things will be far different, as His will is going to be done more and more until the whole world submits to the new King of kings.
Let’s end this blog with this: we are to learn and then do God's perfect will as we come to complete submission to Him as our King and God.
1 Peter 4:1-4 “Therefore, since Christ suffered for us in the flesh, arm yourselves also with the same mind, for he who has suffered in the flesh has ceased from sin, 2 that he no longer should live the rest of his time in the flesh for the lusts of men, but for the will of God. 3 For we have spent enough of our past lifetime in doing the will of the Gentiles — when we walked in lewdness, lusts, drunkenness, revelries, drinking parties, and abominable idolatries.”
So it’s clear that God allows us a lot of free moral agency. For example, God’s will was for the Pharisees to be baptized by John, but they rejected the will of God for them (John 7:29-30)! And he let them refuse to be baptized by John. Jesus wanted to protect Jerusalem as a mother hen does its chicks, “but you would not” (Luke 13:34). You and I may be surprised to find someday, how much our lives could have been so different if we would have just sought and followed the will of God for our lives more carefully.
So it’s pretty clear, that for now, God does not always force HIS will, but he loves hearing us pray “thy will be done, on earth, as it is in heaven.” And we have to pray that prayer because his will is NOT always done on earth yet, obviously.
Your blog post brought two verses to my mind….
Something to chew on. First of all, God commands us to be perfect, that is, to be without sin.
“Therefore you are to be perfect, as your heavenly Father is perfect.” (Matt. 5:48)
So God’s will is that we obtain perfection in our sanctification.
Yet later in the scriptures He says it is impossible to not sin, and if we claim we don’t sin we are not in Christ.
“If we say that we have no sin, we are deceiving ourselves and the truth is not in us.” (1 John 1:8)
(note: Jesus says He is the truth ...John 14:16. Therefore if the truth is not in us, we are not believers.)
So, there is a tension in scripture that says we are to strive for perfection, yet knowing that we can not obtain it.
So, I guess what you are saying is that it is God’s will that we don’t obtain perfection in this life. Or as you put it, He lets our flesh reign to some degree in us Spirit indwelled believers.
I can live with that explanation.
In Romans 7, Paul wages war against sin (and we are to do the same thing) How? By turning to the gospel of Jesus Christ. Fixing our eyes on Jesus. (Hebrew 12:2) because it is “the Power of God” (Romans 1:16)…..it sets us free. Not to perfection, but to “sin less and less” as we grow in Christ.
“Wretched man that I am! Who will set me free from the body of this death? Thanks be to God through Jesus Christ our Lord! ” (Romans 7:24-25)
Footnote: Since sanctification is a cooperative venture between God and the Christian, we can ignore the Spirit’s work in us or in a moment of weakness our flesh can take over, and we sin. God can also make the Spirit’s work so convicting or strong that we can’t ignore it. God always gets His way in that we will be made holy to one degree or another. God’s call.
Love your sermons and reading your blog
We should always seek God's will in our life. This is true and I recommend others to read this blog and see how.
Friginia Adhiambo-Kehancha, Kenya.
Thank you do very much for the way you have brought up this message. I love the way you have explained it. Let's try to seek God's will in our life. Br. Ondigo Ochieng-Kenya.