Friday, May 6, 2011

Will or Will Not?

What is the "will of God"? I constantly hear about how we just need to, "seek the will of God," and wait for Him to give us direction. I know that I have said things like this in the past as well. In fact, I would say that even now I probably would use the terminology as I try to discern what is the correct course of action. But all that being said, the question still is this: What is the will of God?

Now obviously there is something to be said for the Great Commission. It's pretty obvious that Christ wanted us to go out and share the truth of His gospel. That is to say, He wants us to share about the salvation He is offering to all humankind. I would say that following this command would be within the will of God, and many would, at the very least, agree if not take it further by saying it is the will of God. In the Old Testament God spent time teaching His people, the Hebrews, what His will was by giving them the law. The very same law that many of them adhere to today when they can. This law encouraged actions that were beneficial to others, and despised the actions that caused harm. And this too, is within God's will. Suppose now that these two examples could fit under one category, which is to love God with all our hearts, souls, minds, and strength.

Jesus himself said that this was the greatest commandment, and then added that the second greatest is to love others. Jesus also stated that, "If you love me, you will obey my commands." Because Jesus claimed to be God, it is easy to say then that God wills us to obey the commands He has given us, and to do so out of a love for Him. I suppose this is why free will appealed to Him so much. I believe it is safe to say then that the will of God is that we freely choose to love Him and thus obey his standard given to us through His commands found within Scripture.

If this is the will of God, then perhaps we are seeking the wrong answer when we say that we are seeking the will of God. Perhaps, what we really are looking for is God's advice. Now, I don't mean advice in the sense that I would ask my friend for their opinion in which way I should do this or that, but rather in the way I would ask the for the advice of my parents in how to do something. I think what we are really asking God when we are seeking his will is closer to the question, "How do I follow the will of God." To which I respond: is what you are about to do showing love to God and is in accordance with the standard? Then you are following the will of God.

However, there is a fine line in our perceptions of this. Even the best intentions can end up making situations worse. So then we get to the real question that is behind all this seeking, "Is this or that what I am supposed to do?" And this is where I am stuck. What I truly seek is God's voice telling me, "this is what you should do for this situation." But, the truth is, God rarely gives me such a direct answer. I think often times He wants us to actually use the minds He has gifted us with. I think He wants us to make a decision based upon logic and reasoning, but also discernment must be involved. He is quick to gently guide us back to the point where we went wrong as long as we are open to His instruction, but I think most times the decision still remains with us.

This isn't to say that God just abandons us to make decisions on our own, but I also do not think that He will "spoon feed" us the answers either. Maybe He likes to see what we'll do and How we'll do it.

But all this is just the ramblings and opinions of one individual. I would like to hear the thoughts of others on the subject. I apologize if anything I said seems contrary or confusing. I have been slightly distracted when writing this by my nephews. Overall, it is just some thoughts.


Dan Sanders said...

I think God tends to leave a lot of room for creativity, because that's who He is and He likes when we go create more. We are the artists of our lives, and God is telling us how to make it beautiful. Hence, free will.

It is interesting how you reflect on the decisions you are presented. You should write more often sir.

Austin said...

not sure if I fully understand what you mean by "reflect on the decisions" but I do like to write, and hope to write more.