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Building up believers and the New Testament church

The Will of God

God's Purpose in Christ, the Will Of God

One of the first things that will help us in the question before us is to see how God looks at His overall purpose. Often we are looking from a lower level. We are considering the immediate decision such as which job to take. If we will allow our vision to be lifted to a higher point of view, the matter may become clear immediately. To use a phrase of the world, sometimes we cannot see the forest because of all the trees.

What is the will of God? By this we mean, what is God's overall purpose? Consider these scriptures: "And all Mine are Yours, and Yours are Mine, and I am glorified in them. Now I am no longer in the world, but these are in the world, and I come to You. Holy Father, keep through Your name those whom You have given Me, that they may be one as We are" (John 17:10,11). "Having made known to us the mystery of His will, according to His good pleasure which He purposed in Himself, that in the dispensation of the fullness of the times He might gather together in one all things in Christ, both which are in heaven and which are on earth..." (Ephesians 1:9,10). "Now when all things are made subject to Him, then the Son Himself will also be subject to Him who put all things under Him, that God may be all in all" (I Corinthians 15:28). In these scriptures we find statements of the will of God, or God's ultimate purpose. Before we can answer the immediate question or the choice that is before us, we must first ask whether we are committed to the will of God. Does God's purpose possess us? If it does, then the choices we make will be guided by that purpose. Let us not pass over this question lightly, for in this truth lies the answer to many of our questions.

God is moving with a purpose that encompasses all of eternity. He is not moving in a haphazard manner, making decisions according to the circumstances of the moment. Christ was "the Lamb slain from the foundation of the world." Nothing takes God by surprise. He saw the end from the beginning before time began, and every movement of God is based on and guided by the goal that is in His mind. Consider Christ as He came to earth. He was born into mankind to manifest the life of God in human form and die on the cross to pay the price of sin and redeem us back to God. Every action, every word, every choice He made was with this in view. The crowds did not move Him; men in their ignorance did not deter Him; Satan could not tempt Him in any way. He was fixed in His purpose. He said of Himself that He came to do the will of God. "Then I said, 'Behold, I have do Your will, O God'" (Hebrews 10:7).

Now if God Himself moves in this manner, should this not also be the underlying foundation of our movement? We have been baptized into the body of Christ by the Holy Spirit, and it is for one purpose: that we may do the will of God. God has a body on this earth in just as much reality as when Christ was here in physical form. Our calling is the same as His calling, namely, to do God's will. This is the purpose of every one who names the name of God. It is not just for a chosen few, but for every Christian. When we came into Christ we accepted this calling whether we understood much about it or not. As the implications begin to dawn upon us, we may feel that it is too restrictive, but God is moving according to His purposes, not ours. We were saved not for ourselves, but for Him.

Many times, here is where the conflict lies. We want heaven, we want blessings, and we don't want any bad thing to happen to us. But we don't necessarily want to live His life; we want to live our own lives. We want to be the ones to make the decisions, according to our desires and goals. We have not fully accepted God's goals and purposes as ours. Thus, when we come to a choice in life, we find ourselves torn. Why? Because there is a conflict of authority. Is God in control of our lives? Have we laid down our will? We should have settled this question at the beginning, but many times either we did not let God deal in the first place, or we have allowed coldness to creep in, and have gone back on the choice we once made. Clouding of our vision comes in at every turn because the foundation is faulty. The only way to remedy the situation is go back to God and deal with the foundation. Have I hated my life? (Luke 14:26) If not, I cannot be a disciple, and I will always be wondering what the will of God is, in situations in my life.

Note that the scriptures above which state the will of God do not directly answer questions like which job I should take. Instead they concentrate on our relationship with God. This is because that is what God is building--relationships. First comes our relationship with God; then that relationship controls all other relationships. All reality is found in right relationships. When man sinned, his relationship with God was broken. When Christ came, He made the way for right relationships to be restored. It should be obvious to us, then, that any leading of God will be in line with this purpose: namely, that every person will be rightly related to God and thus rightly related to others. When relationships are right, then God will be glorified and His purpose realized in our lives. Could we ask for more?