We’ve started a series of posts dealing with the issue of God’s will. Last week we looked at a verse in Deuteronomy (29:29) that presented two dimensions of God’s will. The first dimension being God’s sovereign will, which is a comforting reality and yet one that raises certain questions (which we will address in the concluding post).
Now we are going to take a look at the other dimension of God’s will from our verse in Deuteronomy namely God’s moral will or His will of desire. Essentially what we looked at in God’s sovereign will is how things are and in understanding God’s moral will we are looking at how things ought to be.
Lucky for us God explicitly revealed His will of desire or His moral will to us in the Bible. For example we see in the Deuteronomy passage that “the revealed things belong to us.” And why might this be the case – “so that we can do all the things commanded of the Lord.”
Therefore, the moral will of God is a response to what He has done for us. For Israel it is was specifically their deliverance from Egypt and the covenant relationship God established with them. Similarly, for us we respond to God’s moral will because of our deliverance from sin and the relationship we now have with God. This is the gospel. And as a church we believe the gospel changes everything even our understanding of God’s will.
Thus the fulfillment of God’s moral will is a response to the gospel. God sent Jesus to take on the penalty of sin that we all deserved – no matter how good we think we are. The Bible says that Jesus died on a cross – a brutal and bloody death – in our place. This is certainly good news and this is certainly a reason to respond in obedience to God’s moral will for our lives.
But let’s take a minute and look at what God’s moral will is in a specific sense. Here are a few prime examples from the Bible.
– 1 Thessalonians 4:3 – “For this is the will of God, your sanctification: that you should abstain from sexual immorality.”
– 1 Peter 2:15 – “For this is the will of God, that by doing good you may put to silence the ignorance of foolish men.”
– Matthew 6:31-33 – “Therefore, do not be anxious, saying, ‘What shall we eat?’ or ‘What shall we drink?’ or ‘What shall we wear?’ For the Gentiles seek after all these things, and your heavenly Father knows that you need them all. But seek first the kingdom of God and his righteousness, and all these things will be added to you.”
What I find interesting from this very small selection is that God’s will for your life seems to be more focused on WHO you are and not necessarily WHERE you are. Often times we are so consumed with trying to identify God’s will for our lives in the sense of where we will work or what to do with our future. We become so consumed with these minor aspects that we miss the explicit revealed will of God – our sanctification – our becoming like Christ.
God’s will for your life is not lost. It is plainly laid out in Scripture and it is first and foremost that you live in response to the gospel each and every day.
We would love to hear from you. How have these posts encouraged or shaped your understanding of God’s will? What difficulties, questions, or concerns do you have?