Featured Post

Tyler Morning Telegraph - Galdámez brings church planting, education experience to Grace Español

Here are two articles written by Emily Guevara ( Twitter: @TMTEmily)  on our background and on  Grace Español .   Tyler Morning Telegraph...

Internet Archive bookmarks for: despond

Wednesday, July 08, 2009

Muddling God’s Will

I recently read an article by iMonk on the issue of God’s will. It says what I have come to believe for some time now. This topic is so misunderstood and has caused many problems for Christians, both theologically and philosophically.
Deists believe that God created the world and left to run its course. I guess in this situation, there isn’t any God’s will, or at least it is not evident. We create our own will without direct intervention from God. This would be the extreme view for not believing in God’s will. Others have argued that there are several types of wills. There is God’s perfect will and God’s permissive will. God’s perfect will, is like, plan A. Then plan B, is God’s permissive will, everything God allows you to do.

Early on in my Christian walk I was taught that I had to find God’s will for my life (Plan A) otherwise I would follow my own plan (Plan B). I went to seminars that gave me steps to find will. It sounded like a treasure map. Find the clues from God and you will find God’s will. I wasn’t quite satisfied. When I had intentions on getting married many in the church wondered whether the person I chose was God’s will for me. Many didn’t think so. How they concluded beats me. Some went even further. Some said God had to choose for me. Somehow or someway I would know God’s will. They often used the example of Isaac finding a wife as if this was normative. A particular pastor even said publicly that the woman he married was not God’s will for him. God’s will was plan A. He chose plan B and God had no choice but to go with it. I wondered why God would be so involved in matchmaking.

I believe that in the issue of God’s will, Christians have become mystics. We say we believe objective truth found in the Bible but guide our lives subjectively following clues that will prove that what we do is God’s will. This creates so many problems. First, we misunderstand who God is and become prone to judging everything based on God’s will. Many Christians make God the Evil Genius Capricious Puppeteer that manipulates everyone and everything with strings. Everything must be part of his plan. If a death or an unfortunate event happens we either say that it is God’s will or we blame it on the Devil. Everything is either black or white. We cannot feel good if we say that some things just happen as a result of our own actions or of nature. To say that God is not involved in everything is anathema. After all, we are not Deists. Second, we presume to know God’s sovereignty. God’s sovereignty means that there are things that I don’t understand but that ultimately God knows how it fits in his ultimate purpose. I don’t have the right to explain everything that happens because I don’t understand God’s sovereignty. Third, we become arbiters of God’s will. So many Christians have been hurt by others saying that it was God’s will for them to experience a tragedy or that everything will turn out for good. What a tragedy! Who are we to say that!

I have come to believe that I really don’t know what God’s will is for everything in my life. Honestly, I don’t think I have to explain them in such terms. God’s will for humanity is revealed in his objective truth, the Bible. It is not person-specific. They are general principles that we must apply and live by. The application varies from person to person. That’s all I have to worry about. Besides this, I cannot be certain what God’s will is. Furthermore, I don’t think that we should categorize everything in what is God’s will and what is not because we simply do not have enough information from God to do this. We are foolish if we think that we can know with certainty God’s will in every circumstance. We don’t have to say anything theological when bad things happen. We just say they happened. How is God involved? We don’t know. We are part of a play, we are the actors but we don’t know how everything will play out. The Master will reveal someday, maybe, He doesn’t have to (i.e. read the book of Job). All we need to know is that someday what happens to us won’t matter because we will be in His presence.

Note: Here are two books I recommend on this topic:
1. Decision Making and the Will of God: A Biblical Alternative to the Traditional View (a lengthy but comprehensive book) by Gary Friesen
2. Decision Making and Just Do Something: How to Make a Decision Without Dreams, Visions, Fleeces, Open Doors, Random Bible Verses, Casting Lots, Liver Shivers, Writing in the Sky, etc. (a short new book) by Kevin DeYoung
Post a Comment