By Dr. T Neil
The study of the will of God was meant to be thought-provoking. The goal is to gain an understanding of the difference between the theocentric will and the egocentric will of man. This study also deals with the paradox that no man knows the mind of God, nor was His counsellor and yet finding the believer to possess the mind of Christ. Let’s investigate the following:
- The theocentric will of God (Ephesians 1:9, 11; He 2:4; 1 Co 2:10, 14, 16)
- God’s will as the mind of Christ (1 Corinthians 2:14, 16; Romans 8:27)
- The will of God restricted to divine purpose (1 Corinthians 2:7, 13; 2 Corinthians 13:1; Ephesians 3:3, 4, 5, 11)
- The sub-will containing elements of predestination (Romans 8:28-30; 1 Corinthians 7:20, 24)
- The will of God concealed (1 Corinthians 2:10, 16; Romans 11:33-34; Ephesians 1:9)
The divine will must not be confused with the will of Satan (Isaiah 14:12-15), the will of the flesh (John 1:14), or the will of man (John 1:13). The will of God is separate, distinct, and unique (John 1:13). Let us study. Read first and if you agree, then thanks, if you disagree, then pray for me.
The will of God according to divine purpose always uses the matching principle:
- In marriage, it unites couples by matching personality types that will support divine purpose in the unity of His will.
- In career planning, it guides into the stream that facilitates the divine purpose.
- In ministering, it matches the man with the mission according to divine purpose.
- In administration, it organizes sub-elements into a synergistic whole that edifys the body according to divine purpose.
- In gifts, it distributes to meet the needs in the body according to divine purpose.
- In talents, it mobilizes skills to provide auxiliary help to the body according to divine purpose.
- In wealth, it supplies the resources necessary to keep the body a going concern according to divine purpose.
- In commissioning, it strategically elects and deploys agents into meaningful functions that are commensurate with the scope.
- In planning, it gives meaning to the directives that promote divine purpose.
- In organizing, it ties together the fragmented sub-elements into one useful energetic whole that advances the divine purpose.
- In leadership, it elects men that have the mind of God, whose function is to further the cause of divine purpose.
- In laboring, it produces tangible fruits that precipitate from meaningful involvement according to the divine purpose.
- In government, it provides a caucus which develops and implements standards, establishes values, designs rules of conduct, orchestrates ethical principles for interaction according to the divine purpose established in the constitution of statutory law.
THE WILL OF GOD
Jesus specifies that we must pray that His will be done on earth as it is in Heaven. Therefore, we must conclude that in Heaven, only His will is done. We must do the same on Earth.
The will of God never violates established Biblical truths. The will of God can be obeyed ignorantly, cogitatively, and intuitively. God tempts no one with evil. His will never causes a person to sin.
The will of God is multifaceted. It covers redemptive and social purposes. It is redemptive when it has to do with eternal salvation. It is social when it has to do with the non-theological issues of life. Every person on earth has religious and social needs.
The Mount Sinai constitution provides the legitimacy of actions, transactions, interactions, and reactions. It provides a standard of conduct that is acceptable to God, and defines the proper relationship between God and man, man and his neighbour, and man toward himself Desires are specified as either legitimate or sinful. They are graded as acceptable or inappropriate based on the Decalogue and the constitution. The constitution sets parameters for behavioral objectives for the spiritual and the material man. It is within the context of the revealed constitution, the Decalogue, and other statutes, that the will of God can be found. The Will of man must be measured against these.
Without a constitution, statutes, and laws governing conduct, none can ascertain what is that good and acceptable will of God.
The will of God is not arbitrary. Men by nature, ignorantly do things according to the will of God. Man’s desire to worship is the will of God, but the object and method of worship may not be the will of God. The desire to marry, is the will of God. However, the mating of the same gender is an abomination to God, and does not represent the will of God.
Clearly the good, perfect and acceptable will of God can only be based on the revealed behavioral codes God has established.
What The Will Of God Is Not
The will of God never violates scripture. Disharmony with the Bible represents a dysfunctional lifestyle. Aberrant behavior, plans, and indulgences, are not assets to God. They are the source of His displeasure. God is not pleased when we transgress.
The will of God does not cause confusion in your life. God is not the author of confusion. His will does not lead any into temptation to commit sin. He tempts no man with evil.
No one, in obedience to God’s will, can say that Jesus is accursed. He cannot curse or deny Himself. Obedience to the leading of God will never violate legitimate responsibility in the church, the home, to the ordinances of God, or legitimate civic duties to one’s country. The Bible is the written established legitimate code for spiritual and social conduct for all nations, kindred and tongues. The Spirit will never disagree with the settled, written Word. No speaker, under the anointing and unction of God can claim to be the oracle of God, while giving contradictory instructions to the written Word of God. The instruction must fulfil the laws of God, not overwrite them or delete them.
Lifestyle, instruction, or counselling that is opposed to the written Word is not the true will of God. No vision, exegesis, dream, or gift in operation can contradict the behavioral objectives of the Bible and claim it represents the perfect will of God.
The will of God cannot disannul the original faith once delivered to the saints. If it violates holiness, separation, modesty, morality, or sanctification, then it is dysfunctional, aberrant, and fallacious. Anything that displeases God is not the will of God. The true will of God does not rupture or lessen an established relationship or obligation to God. Whatever weakens the relationship between man and God cannot be accepted as the will of God. Anything that destroys Biblical obligations to the family and one’s neighbor, and leaves a poor testimony, cannot be the will of God.
The Ten Commandments is the perfect will of God and defines relationship to God and one’s neighbor. Expansion of the Decalogue is found in the testimonies, law, prophets, gospels, and the epistles. The moral code for conduct is binding on man as the perfect will of God.
Definition Of The Will Of God
The will of God means, that which God desires (Philippians 2:13). It is the thing that God requires or would have done. The will of God will always be what God expects of you. This is not based on fatalism or determinism. It is obedience to truth revealed by compliance to divine order and expectation.
God does not expect anything from man that is not based on truth already revealed. The will of God is righteousness, that which is right in His sight. Nature teaches the ungenerated man.
The Holy Spirit and the fivefold ministry give revelation of His will by feeding his people with the knowledge of what is right (Jeremiah 3:15).
In Heaven, the will of God is done for all eternity. None will do the will of God conscientiously until they assume the role of a servant and view Him as Master and Lord. The Word servant is used extensively in Revelation. The master-servant relationship removes the need to ask why? True servants always wait for orders, instructions, direction, and only asks one category of question: What will thou have me to do?
The will of God is doing what He wants done according to His divine purpose. Jesus said that He came not to do mine, His own will, but that of the Father. Meaning, that it was not for Him to ask why, but to obey. It is not enough to know what is required, but we must do it. It means always doing what He desires. It means meeting His expectations, carrying out His wishes and commands, and following in obedience to His divine leading. Human service to Him are sublets of His divine purpose.
The will of God is carrying out the plan, design, program, or assignment in accord with the scope revealed. Each ministry is a progressive unfolding of His divine purpose, but never the sum aggregate of His total purpose ordained before the foundation of the world. It must be done as the Lord commanded, as He guides, and as He reveals direction. There must be absolutely no deviation, alteration, omission, addition to the scope given. Total compliance to the specification or pattern shown is the will of God.
The true will of God is compliance by obedience from the heart to God’s directives. Upon inspection by God, it should receive recognition as being His will completed in harmony with expectation.
The components in the revelation of the will of God consist of interrogations such as:
- What He desires me to do – Cognitive
- Where He desires me to go – Directive
- When He desires me to go – Contemplative
- How He desires me to go – Definitive
- Whom He desires to go – Authoritative
Therefore, God’s will is cognitive, directive, contemplative, definitive, and authoritative. It is impossible to perform the good, perfect, and acceptable will of God without first satisfying the interrogative components first. To God, His directives are good because it comes from Him. It is perfect because it is according to His design and pattern. It is acceptable because God only endorses what pleases Him. The completion of the Tabernacle and it pertinences is a case in point (Exodus 40). The seal of approval and the mark of acceptance were represented at the end of the divine audit of what was built for God by the glory cloud that descended upon the finished work.
The sub-elements in His divine purpose, called the (aggregate) will of God are made know to specific individuals elected for duty, service, or ministries. The mystery of His divine purpose is revealed, and the servant is illuminated by the plan shown and the directives given. This is followed by divine inspiration that motivates the servant to fulfil the desires and expectations of His master. Jesus put it this way: it is finished. This statement is analogous to that of Moses, Solomon, and Elijah at Mt. Carmel when they all followed the sublime pattern given to them in execution of divine purpose. In contrast, Cain knew he was not in the will of God by the response he received from God, for his failure to comply with truth revealed. Rejection was not what Cain expected, neither was Cain’s behaviour what God expected. God admonished him to do what He (God) desires, and he (Cain) would receive respect and acceptance from God.
Cain’s gift and behavior failed the test of being the good, perfect, and acceptable will of God. It did not meet God’s expectations. Cain’s desire to sacrifice was the will of God, but his method was inappropriate and failed to measure up to the specification already made known to him. He was in default. The will of God, therefore, is the very mind of God for His divine purpose.
Finding The Will Of God
The phrase, finding the will of God presupposes that the will of God is lost. It is not lost or hidden. It is veiled or concealed to the carnal mind as a mystery. Discovering the will of God involves having the mind of God for the situation at hand. His desires, directives and timing are to be investigated and followed despite personal biases. What will God have me to do? What does He desire? Who, where, and how? Never why, because God is sovereign. His purpose will unfold as a rose in its time. The carnal mind will never cry, eureka, to the will of God. The will of God is made known through spiritual inquiry.
The will of God comes in two major forms. One is by judicial inquiry, and the other is involuntary or without the due process of the solicitation of His will. Man by nature doing the will of God is not precipitated by spiritual inquiry. Pharaoh and Cyrus inadvertently did God’s will. Conversely, David sought the will of God many times, yet there were times when he sought not for it, but God volunteered directives by prophets. The prophets came without being solicited. David initiated the building of a temple for God. God later revealed the design, but failed to give him the authority to build it. David’s history of bloodletting did not fit the divine purpose, only his idea for a temple did. God revealed to him through a prophet that he was not the man for the construction of it.
Those that sought the will of God in Bible times had several avenues open to them. The revelation of His will could come through dreams, visions, gifts of the Spirit, prophetic ministries, lots, etc. Revelations of His will could not violate truth already revealed. Contradiction of the constitution, Decalogue, and statues were not allowed. All revelations must be within the context of the written Word (ie, a constitution). The constitution set codes for the religious and social order of the royal nation. No prophet, priest, king, or subject could go against it without violating God’s law. The New Testament era is no different. The written Word is the sure Word of prophecy and cannot be broken.
Some never find the will of God. When one lives in continual unrepentant violation of the constitution, God refuses to reveal His will to such a one (ie, King Saul). Hidden sins, rebellion against divine authority, and the institution of sacred rites were reasons for God not unfolding His will to some. The secret of the Lord is with them that fear Him. Men such as Job, Abraham, Moses, Elijah, Micah, and others shared in God’s secret. The will of God is a secret or mystery until He reveals it. Notwithstanding, secrets are withheld from angels and good men who do not have a part to play in a specific context of His will for that time, era, or dispensation.
Sincerity, patience, and living the faith are prerequisites for a proper response from God. God sometimes reveals His will to ungodly men, which are undeserving of His secrets (ie, Pharaoh, Ahab, Hazel, and the city of Nineveh). His sovereignty allows Him to do so after the counsel of His own will. The ungodly world that dishonors God is aware of His will, because He is unwilling that any should perish. He has made known that Christ will come a second time and what is required to escape the wrath of God. This is God revealing His will without solicitation. For instance, the Godhead is clearly seen.
The Keys To Finding The Will Of God
The child of God seeking the will of God sometimes seems mystified, however, it is not that God is teasing or playing games. The formula has been revealed long ago. Ask, seek, and knock represents the triad keys to finding the will of God. Ask represents interrogation; seek involves intercession, and knock involves exploration or importunity at the door of opportunity. Asking produces directives from God. Seeking leads to cognitive illumination about what He would have you to do. Knocking is definitive.
Testing The Will Of God
Testing the will of God found or trying the Spirit is not unbelief, but safety. It is not fleecing, for that is unbelief. Paul did this test in Acts 13. The will of God found must be in total harmony with scripture. It is doctrinally sound. Also, it will meet biblical codes governing morality, ethics, holiness, sanctification, separation, evangelism-commission edict, and righteousness. It edifies the seeker and accompanies peace of mind with God.
What is revealed must please God and have full support from God’s Word. He assists in its execution by opening doors of opportunity; He guides and provides in the direction to take. In addition, He provides sound cogent confirmation by two or three witnesses. If it is a dream it must be biblical, and doubled if it is established. If it is a vision, then it must be supported by scripture. If it is through the gift ministries, then it also must be within the context or scope of biblical truths and let others judge (ie, the elders).
Behavior precipitated from obedience to the will of God should not diminish your relationship with God, and the body of Christ. God separated Paul and Barnabas from the Antioch church, without causing a division within the local body. They found favor with good men and God.
The Will Of God Produces Fruit
The true and acceptable will of God is edifying. The church may have disagreed as they sought to stop Paul from going to Jerusalem. Was he wrong in not heeding? I trust that he was not. He was in the will of God. They allowed their emotions to blind their spiritual vision, but they relented, and submitted to the will of God. Although it cost Paul his life, it produced fruit for he appeared before Kings and councils and wrote the rest of the Bible while in prison. The fruit is the evidence of God’s testimony of the acts.
Phillip left the revival at Jerusalem to go into the desert in obedience to the will of God. He produced fruit: an Ethiopian was converted. The will of God also produces fruit called suffering (this is biological in opposition to theological fruit, such as a new convert born again). The outer man suffers according to the will of God (physiological fruit), but the inward man is renewed by day (theo-psychological fruit of the Spirit). This explain: fruit-power of Apostle Paul’s life. Paul’s life produced holistic fruits. Physiological by his marks of suffering, psychological his renewed mind in Christ, and pneumatological by the fruit the Spirit in His church. The bitter cup in Christ’s hands the will of God, and look at the fruit it produced: multitudes that no man can number in Heaven. Trials are used to commitment; they do not destroy the will of God. The fruit in other instances can be quite peaceable. The perfect will of will edify the individual. His will shall not return to Him it shall accomplish what He purposed.
The Danger Of Not Seeking The Will Of God
Joshua was deceived by the Gideonites because he sought no Lord. He made a covenant with the Gideonites and they lied to him. Consequently, he had to live with the fruit of his mist Four hundred years later, King Saul broke the covenant killed the Gideonites thinking that he was doing the will of ( God was not pleased and seven of Saul’s sons were hung. will of God never destroys principles, integrity, or righteous;
The Will Of God In The New Testament References
Analysis of the text below will reveal the importance of knov obeying, and performing the will of God to His satisfaction
- David served his generation according to the will of (Acts 13:36)
- Paul prayed for the will of God in his journeying (Rom 1:10)
- The Holy Spirit mediates for the believer according to the will of God (Roman 8:27)
- Saints must prove what is that good, perfect, and acceptable will of God (Romans 12:2)
- Fellowship in joy, in the will of God (Romans 15:32)
- Ordained to the gift ministry by the will of God (Ephesians 1:1; 1 Co 1:1)
- Divine selection for service ministry by the will of God (2 Corinthians 1:1)
- Sacrificial service to the Lord and His work according to the will of God (2 Corinthians 8:5)
- Substituting sacrifice for our deliverance according to the will of God (Galatians 8:5)
- Called to the ministry of apostleship by the will of God (Ephesians 1:1)
- Servants doing the will of God (Ephesians 6:6)
- Yoke-fellows according to the will of God (Colossians 1:1)
- Saints standing perfect and complete in the will of God (Colossians 4:12)
- Your sanctification is the will of God (1 Thessalonians 5:18)
- Life experiences that glorify Christ are the will of God (1 Thessalonians 4:3)
- We are expected to do the will of God (Hebrews 10:7)
- It is the will of God that we exercise patience while waiting on God (Hebrews 10:36)
- In the will of God, you put to silence the enemy (1 Peter 3:17)
- Suffering for Christ is at times the will of God (1 Peter 2:15)
- Abstention from lust, is the will of God for our lives (1 Peter 4:2)
- He that doeth the will of God, liveth forever (1 John 2:17)
Acceptance Of The Will Of God
This involves resignation to God’s purpose regardless of the cost and it involves full surrender to the plan of God.
- Resignation to His will (Esther 4:16)
- Commitment to His purpose (Psalms 31:5)
- Commitment of one’s way to the Lord (Psalms 31:5)
- Handing control over to God (Luke 23:46)
- Submission to His will regardless of price (Acts 21:13)
- Fully persuaded to comply to His desires (2 Timothy 1:12)
- Suffering at times is will of God (1 Peter 2:15)
A Genesis Of His Will In Revelation
God in sundry times and in diverse manner spoke to mankind. In the last days He speaks to us by His Son and His gift ministries. In the old economy God used lots, dreams, urim, prophets, and visions to men inquiring for direction. Today, all but lots and urim are still in use as agencies for finding the will of God (I Samuel 28:6, 15). Beware of false dreams and visions (Jeremiah 23:27-32). In the New Testament God dispatched angelic beings to minister to saints (Hebrews 13:2). The point is, His will can be revealed through any of the agencies listed. None of the agencies can violate established truths and remain credible. The written Word takes precedence over all other mediums or agencies (2 Peter 1:19). Paradoxes are found throughout the Bible, especially when dealing with the will of God. However, divine purpose divided up within dispensational periods equal the sum aggregate of the various wills of God. Each is an integral part of the total divine purpose of God throughout the ages.
Divine Purpose for a Dispensation
The will of God consists of plan, purpose, agent, time, direction and fruit.
The will of God is always: directional, recognizable, verifiable, purposeful, time dependent, edifying, specific, objective, and viable.
Qualities of the Agent (Male or Female)
- Discernment (Ezekiel 1:20)
- Perception (2 Samuel 5:12)
- Cognition (Ephesians 5:17; Je 9:24)
- Sensitivity (2 Chronicles 34:27; Ezekiel 36:26)
- Auditory (1 Kings 19:12)
- Receptive (Jeremiah 6:16)
- Probing (Acts 9:6)
Frustration Observed in Seeking the Will of God Amongst Kings, Priest and Prophets in the Old Testament
Men see things with their own perception and struggle with their belief of what the will of God is. Sometimes confused by quasi-wills, the true will of God never materializes. Below are examples of paradoxes observed in the Old Testament intrigues with the rise and fall of men:
- Appointed by man, but lacks anointing by God (impotent)
- Anointed by God but not appointed by man (illusionary)
- Installed by man but not called of God (functionary)
- Call of God but not installed by man (frustrated)
- Prosperous in the ministry but not blessed of God (paranoid)
- Successful in works but not anointed of God (mechanical)
- Elected by man but not selected by God (political)
- Promoted by man but not devoted to God (religious)
- Devoted to God but not promoted by man (meek)
Historically God has used unsaved people to fulfil His will. These were at times anointed but not blessed. In other settings they prospered but were not blessed. Remember, a person can be appointed but not anointed or anointed but not blessed. Others went but were not sent, some sent did not go. They were ignorant of the fact that they were being used. God uses heathens to speak words of wisdom or to meet the needs of his people in spite of their being adversaries of the Word, the church, or the people of God. Examples abound in the Bible:
- Joseph’s brethren (Genesis 50:19-23, Genesis 37:28)
- Cyrus the King (2 Chronicles 36:22-23, Isaiah 45:4)
- Soldiers that abused Christ (John 19:28-30, Psalms 69:21)
- The raven to feed the prophet (1 Kings 17:4)
- The widow to sustain Elijah (1 Kings 17:9)
- The rock that followed Israel (1 Corinthians 10:4; Exodus 17:6)
- The archer that shot Ahab (I Kings 22:34)
How The Will Of God On Earth Matches That In Heaven
The church should be a microcosm of Heaven where His will according to His divine purpose is done daily. Everything the church believes, does, and practices should reflect the life in Heaven with Christ as the Head. We must reflect Heaven as follows:
- In being called into the ministries of the kingdom (1 Corinthians 1:1)
- In the length of service to your generation (Acts 13:36)
- In citizenship (Mark 3:35)
- In charitable duties (Matthew 21:28-32)
- In a new birth into a divine nature (John 1:13)
- In apprehension of the doctrine by comprehension (John 7:17)
- In worship based on specifications (John 9:31)
- In cognition of His will (Ac 22:14)
- In pilgrimage (Romans 1:10)
- In intercession (Romans 8:27)
- In successful perfection and transformation of the mind (Romans 12:1-2)
- In subjection of self into servitude (2 Corinthians 8:5)
- In deliverance by emancipation (Genesis 1:4)
- In perfect completion in stance and position (Genesis 4:12)
- In subjection of flesh by sanctification (1 Thessalonians 4:3)
- In gratitude to Christ (1 Thessalonians 5:18)
- In readiness and high availability for service (Hebrews 10:7)
- In harmonious patience to divine purpose (Hebrews 10:36)
- In behavioral enterprise that silences the opposition (1 Peter 2:15)
- In sacrificial duties to God and the cause (1 Peter 3:17)
- In entrance to the suffering ministry of the incarnated one (1 Peter 4:19)
- In eternal longevity through Him that abideth forever (1 John 2:17)
The multifaceted life of Christ is synergistically crystallized into one homogeneous substance called the will of God. The will of God brings us into brotherhood with Christ, seeing that He only does those things that please His Father. Then we copy Christ’s obedience to the Father’s will.
The dynamics of His will refute fallacious living. It is a life of sacrificial fertility, not futility. Birth, citizenship, ministry, and pilgrimage all are enveloped within the celestial realm of the Heavenly constitution. Satan tried to establish a second constitution or form of government which would develop in two wills in Heaven. God abrogated Satan’s will when he threw him out of Heaven (Isaiah 14:7-20, Ezekiel 28:12-20). Thy will be done is the constitution in Heaven. Every activity in Heaven is based on the counsel of His will (Ephesians 1:11; Isaiah 40:13-14; Isaiah 46:10-11; Jeremiah 23:18-19; Acts 20:27).
Man could not go to Him, therefore, He came down to us and gave us an understanding of His will (Romans 10:7-8; 1 John 5:20-21). To live where He is requires that we be equal with the angels and partake of his divine nature. As He is so must we be. As the angelic host is in obedience to His will so must we all conform. Conformity to His will must begin in the church. The final perfection comes in the rapture where mortality is swallowed up by immortality. The church is the training ground for conformity to all that is in Heaven.
The epistles are to us what Leviticus was to Israel: the agency of sanctification, justification and glorification. In Heaven there is a government, an organization, a span of control, a chain of command, ministries, and degrees of nearness to God. Rewards will not be equal to all. They will be contingent on quality of service while living on earth. Therefore, the church is a model of life in Heaven, where His will and ministries are done. They minister to Him, and do it His way.
Jesus, as the only begotten son, demonstrates how God’s will in Heaven is given top priority over that of self. Observe His submission at Gethsemane (Luke 22:42). He surrendered to the will of His Father.
In the New Testament, the Greek word, thelema, is used in the context of God’s will (Acts 5:38). It expresses the desires of the Father for His sons. They must act in accordance to His expectation (Ephesians 2:3, 2 Peter 1:21). The will of God and the will of man are separate. The Greek word krina as used in 1 Corinthians 5:3 has reference to human decision; but thelema has reference to divine commission as in Matthew 28:19-20. Action is required, and must be obeyed as divinely stipulated. The decision is already made for us. The injunction must be obeyed without conjunction of human input.
God is immutable and does not vacillate, therefore, it is incumbent on Him that His counsels be not arbitrary. God is a God of order as seen in creation and He does not subscribe to the doctrine of fatalism. His will is purposeful, progressive, and cumulative. God’s sovereign will is perceptive as well as decretive. He chose to reveal to Paul the Gentiles’ ingrafting into the commonwealth of Israel, a thing hidden from ages past.
The doctrine of the predestination of His bride, the church, offers a distinction of His will that is antecedent. It reveals that all must come to God through Jesus’ incarnation. This will not be accomplished probabilistically but by intentional progressive revelation.
His plan is according to His eudokia, or His good pleasure, the counsel of His own will. Its efficacy is dependant upon His omnipotence to perform what He forecasted.
In the redemption plan for man’s ransom, sin is viewed as an affront to God’s holy nature and will. It is not the will of God that any should perish. Since sin is abhorrent to God and the very antithesis of His divine, holy nature, He had to find a way to bridge the chasm between Himself and the sinner. His will provides a panacea that bridges the chasm called, reconciliation.
The Will Of God Is Not Negotiable
God’s will is neither arbitrary, capricious, vacillating or negotiable. It is always absolute, specific, purposeful, timely, and directional. Men who are ignorant of the ways of God tend to miss His will and fall through the cracks of self-indulgence. God’s will is never optional in purpose or in commissioning His ambassadors. Examples abound in scripture delineating the specifics and purpose of the will of God. God’s will for these men was not optional or negotiable:
- Abraham tried to negotiate Ishmael’s acceptance in place of Isaac. It was rejected.
- Moses negotiated to have someone else go to Egypt in his place. It was rejected.
- Joseph negotiated to have Manasseh be the head in place of Ephraim. It was rejected.
- David desired to build the temple, it was denied. (Solomon was God’s man for the job).
- Jonah declined as a servant, and he was denied.
- John the Baptist in humility declined to baptize Jesus. His desire was rejected.
- Jesus sought to have the cup passed. His request was denied.
- Paul was denied by the Spirit to venture into certain Gentiles mission fields by the will of God. He conceded.
- Paul understood that His commissioning to preach the gospel was not negotiable.
- Peter’s commission to go to the Gentiles was not negotiable. He conceded.
Basic examples in scripture illustrate to us the sternness of God’s will. Cain discovered that God’s will can never be negotiated. His will must be obeyed. Three cogent tenable examples are listed below:
- In the building of the tabernacle (Exodus 40) … as the Lord commanded Moses.
- In the times of the prophets (Ezekiel 37:7,10) … and I prophesied as I was commanded
- Paul reminiscing the edict given to Moses (Hebrews 8:5) … make all things according to the pattern shown thee in the mount.
Why The Will Of God Is Not Negotiable
God acts according to the counsel of His own Will. Any other will that overrides His is in contempt. Satan imagined that his will could to overwrite that of the Creator (Ezekiel 28; Is 14). God’s will must be viewed as an injunction. To disobey is to be in violation or contempt. Rebellion is sin. Sin is transgression of the law of God. The law is inviolate.
In God’s kingdom, all His subjects are servants first, then this relationship is expanded into sonship. We are servant by purchase and sons by adoption. Only Christ was a son before
He became a servant. His servitude was not based on redemptive purchase. He chose to be a servant, but we are servants due to transgression and subsequent purchase. We changed masters. He is His own Master.
God’s thoughts are unsearchable. They come to us by revelation, illumination, or inspiration. Consequently, to default the revealed will of God is to lightly esteem the exalted position of dignity He placed His servant in. Adam, though a created son, was ordered as a servant to keep or maintain what God entrusted him with. He violated the will of God and reaped curses. How so? He sought to negotiate the will of God with his wife. The will of God is not argumentative but declarative, not subjective but definitive, not negotiable, but an injunction. The serpent made the will of God seem arbitrary, capricious, optional, and negotiable Adam found out differently.
A son as an heir of a legacy is required to function under the rule and regulation of his father as long as he is under guardianship. If the son’s life is controlled by the father, then he is functioning as a servant. Jesus said, I came not to do my own will, but His that sent me. ‘The son must be subjected to the father’s will.
The son and the servant await the revelation of the counsel of His own will. Jesus, as a servant, does not know the time of His own coming, but as a son, He knows that He will be coming. Secrets are not revealed to servants, but to friends. Christ is not presented as a friend of God. Shall God hide from his friend what He is about to do? This was the question asked in Genesis 18:17. Friendship is outside the family tree or the genetic blood stream.
He took upon Himself the form of a servant, but we were in bondage or enslaved as true servants. He went from a son to a servant. We are promoted from being servants to becoming a sons by divine adoption. We are purchased with the ransom of His own priceless blood. Christ, as a son, was begotten, but we as servant-slaves were adopted, crying Abba. His will was of His own counsel, but to us that same will is an injunction or command from Him who did not allow us to participate in the designing His will. His thoughts or logos are not a secret to Him for they emanate from within Him. The Son, in the bosom of the Father, is shown all things for He is the Wisdom of God. The Son is shown all things but cognitively does not know all things as a Son. He knows what the Father shows Him.
When we as slaves are elevated to sonship by adoption, then we are in a position to also become his friend. First we are friends, then we become sons. Eleazar discovered the thought that Abram had for his son when he revealed the mission of the servant. Eleazar was a servant and by the process of trust and loyal servitude he gained the position of as a son even though he never became one. Seeing a son differeth not from a servant while in training, we are all sons of God and servants of God. To us His secret thoughts are revealed as his will. Having the mind of Christ makes us privy to His will Auxiliary help comes through intercession of the Holy Spirit which searches His thoughts and makes intercession for us according to the hidden will of God, seeing that He knows what the mind of the Spirit is for us.
The will of God, therefore, is not negotiable. Paul said, Woe is me if I preach not the gospel. When a servant violates or defaults in obedience to God, He will turn to the next available candidate, to the demise of the first. One prophet told a man to smite him; he refused and was slain. The second man obeyed and lived. It was the will of God. In the New Testament, He took the vineyard from the unprofitable servant and gave it to another. The divine purpose of the counsel of His will did not change, only the agent through which He hoped to conduct His business. Jesus was not a disappointment, for the Father was well pleased in Him. As a servant He did all things well. He finished the work. So must we. We may do mighty works on earth, but if it was not according to His divine will and fulfils established purpose, then we have labored in vain. That is, we did a fine job in producing what He did not order in the Great Commission.
The finishing of His will lets us know that a specific will is not perennial but time-bound and process confined. To be out of the will of God is to be beyond the periphery of His expectations (like Jonah). If Christ had continued to live on earth beyond the post resurrection appearance, it would have been outside the will of God for His ministry. His fleshly ministry stopped in the grave. His ministry is no longer in the flesh but in the spirit. Not Christ with us, but in us. The will of God is bound by role, responsibility, span, and time. There are only three ministries in the Bible that have not retirement age: those of king, prophet, and priest. Every labour come to an end, but a ministry never ends Moses, Elijah, and the prophets labour ended but not their ministries. When that which is perfect is come, then that which is in part will be done away. The conduit must finish his course, but the course is not yet finished. Paul finished the will of God which he called his course. The man, Christ Jesus, finished His time in the flesh. John the Baptist’s ministry decreased as His successor increased. One ministry died; another was born.
Every ministry experiences transitions. For a brief moment John the Baptist’s and Christ’s ministries overlapped without duplication of effort. One was finishing, the other starting. One was dying, the other being born. One decreasing, the other increasing. The same is true between Moses and Joshua, Joshua and the judges, the judges and the kings, the kings and the priesthood, the priesthood and the incarnation. Each was the will of God for their time. Christ in Revelation is seen as the Day Star controlling the seven night-star ministries in His right hand of power while touching the lives of saints represented in the seven candlesticks.
When the original human agent failed to do God’s will, God threatened that the rocks would cry out or that He would raise up children from stones to Abraham. This explains the burning bush, Balaam’s donkey, the female judge, the raven who fed the prophet, and much more.
To say that you do not want to be a pastor, teacher, etc., is to reveal your ignorance. A servant does not have a choice. Being made another vessel is not an act of honour but dishonour. While being made an afterthought, designed of his workmanship, He has also replaced you. For the first choice is His will. The second workmanship is His anger towards you. The second temple was inferior to the first after the exile of 70 years. King Saul was made another vessel, and David stepped into his position to become a king after God’s heart. Gehazi was made another vessel, but John the Baptist merged into the ministry of Elijah and Elisha by operating in that continuum. Just as Moses’ ministry passed onto Jesus and from Him to the original twelve apostles, and finally out into the vast ecclesia by delegation via the five-fold ministry.
Questions We Must Answer About His Will
Is it possible that we have missed the will of God by negotiating with our modern beliefs? That is, a number of good men are latent, inactive, and not being developed while waiting on the proverbial, ecclesiastical call of God to the ministry? Unchurched cities testify to the need for men to rise to obey Matthew 28:19-20. God has already given a command to go into all the world, to teach, and to preach. He did not give names as to who must go. He gave the credentials necessary for going and an invitation to all to study to show thyself approved unto God, to covet to be a prophet, to desire the office of a bishop (of the five-fold ministry) and that of a deacon, and to do the work of an evangelist. Paul did not say to Timothy or Titus to find out who has the call of God upon their lives, then ordain them elders. No, He said, Commit to faithful men…; If any be blameless… for when ye ought to be teachers… and ordain elders in every city…
In the Old Testament a specific family was called to the priesthood. That office was a call and none could take the honour to himself. The five-fold ministry is not the same. It is not based on biological lineage or a succession plan by biological heritage. They are offices to be desired by faithful men and to become qualified for those offices based on the credentials given in the pastoral epistles. Elders must train these men for greater service. Paul, at Ephesus, opened a school, developed newly converted Gentile men who became resources and conduits fitted for the Master’s use. The body-ministry uses all the gifts, talents, and skills where needed (ie, in witnessing, home Bible studies, in mass evangelism, etc.)
No one says I am now wearing the cap of a prophet, pastor, teacher, evangelist, etc. The need determines how the Spirit will operate. Was Balaam’s donkey prophesying, pastoring, teaching, or counselling? What about Isaiah 9:6, which identifies Christ’s ministry as one of counselling also? He was concerned about the mental health of others. Luke said that there were lunatics healed of Christ.
The need determines how the Holy Spirit will operate. If the Holy Spirit will show us all things to come are we all prophets? Do all have discernments? When we try the spirits, which ministry are we operating under? I believe saints can do the work of the five-fold ministry without holding the office or credentials while operating under the supervision of their pastor as a para-ministry to unchurched villages, towns, and cities. Remember the apostles did so long before Pentecost in Acts 2. The Sunday School teacher is operating in a vital ministry that is not at all inferior to that of the adult class conducted by the pastor.
It is the unnegotiable will of God that we develop men for the ministry. We must prepare them for the work and send them as ambassadors of the kingdom to unchurched cities to start new works for God. Let’s stop making vain excuses that we are waiting for them to feel the call of God. It is time to conscript faithful men for higher service. God was afraid that the animals would outgrow the chose people in the land of Palestine. A new fear exists today: that false religions are outgrowing us. They send couples while we wait to feel a call. Just read 1 Thessalonians 1 to see what I mean.
In the priesthood, God called Aaron while the helpers were commissioned by reason of birth and pedigree into the ministry. The same is true in the New Testament ministry of the new High Priest, Jesus Christ. He alone was called of God to that position. Believers, by virtue of the New Birth, are priests unto God. The entire body of the church is a kingdom of priests and kings which gives us the status of a royal generation.
We are commissioned into His ministry. Are we negotiating away our responsibility in training our spiritual potential leaders in the way they should go? So when they are sent, then will not depart or abort a birth in the embryonic stage. Don’t close church down, open up more. Deacons and bishops are listed in the same job description column in the Bible, Paul did not say they had to be called. They were required to be equipped for use or service. He said that they had to desire the office and become qualified and proved, then be allowed to enter the office. What about John Mark, was he called, or handpicked by discerning men? Paul said to send John Mark for He is profitable for the ministry enlist him. What about the runaway slave? Was Onesimus called?
Why Do We Have So Few Churches In Our Fellowship?
Do we fail to raise up more churches in unchurched cities because we negotiate away the Great Commission, saying that we cannot call men to unchurched cities, God has to? Who called Titus to Crete? Who called Timothy to Corinth, Thessalonica, and Ephesus? Where is it written that these men were called to go to Galatia by a special call of God? Men of discerning eyes saw a need and raised up men to meet those needs. What do we observe? Wherever there was a need, men were sent. ‘They were trained and dispatched. Strategy was in operation. If God thought differently, then it was made known by the gift ministries within the body and/or the elders (a New Testament, book of Acts pattern). Paul and other men sent delegates across the unchurched cities of the known world to start churches, ordain newly saved men with leadership qualities, trained them, oversee them, and keep in touch by following up using the means available during their era. Thus, all of Asia heard and so did Europe.
Ambassadors are not called, they are sent (but first they are trained). Some are junior and others are senior ambassadors. Without gainsaying it is my opinion that:
- The will of God is not negotiable
- The will of God is not arbitrary
- The will of God is not confusing
- The will of God is time dependent
- The will of God is directional
- The will of God is biblically supported
- The will of God is always good to Him
- The will of God is always acceptable to Him
- The will of God is perfect to Him
- The will of God can be confirmed biblically
- The will of God is not clandestine
- The will of God is specific
- The will of God is not spurious
- The will of God is viable
- The will of God must be divinely confirmed by two or three authentic credible witnesses. (ie, agents of the spirit as per chart). Thank God for church government.
- The will of God is an open door which no man can shut. However, this must not be misconstrued to mean that access will be trouble free. There may be invisible obstacles to overcome.
- The will of God will usually find you in a handicapped position where time, situation, or circumstances heap odds against you which defy divine purpose. This is hope commitment being tested.
The above article, “The Will of God” was written by Dr. T Neil. The article was excerpted from Neil’s book, Mentoring For Future Leadership.
The material is copyrighted and should not be reprinted under any other name or author. However, this material may be freely used for personal study or research purposes.