From the outset I need to state that I consider myself to be an opinion writer and especially regarding this subject, my opinions are only intended to assist others in formulating their own understanding of such a complicated topic. Before I dig deep into this subject I would like to simply state my understanding of what it means to me. Even though I am not an expert on any subject, I do try to live by faith. Since my faith guides my steps, God’s will has to be the most important steering force. In the end, it dictates how my life unfolds. Even if I desire things to go another way or my way, the final conclusion will always and inevitably end up going by the will of God. That in short is what I perceive to be God’s will.
For those that believe in the supremacy of God, you would have to also realize that He has omnipotent power, which means that He is not restricted by time, neither future nor past. God created time for our purposes but He can step in or out of time at will. The only restrictions that could have any influence upon God would be the ones that He imposes upon Himself. Because of this, all things operate in a manner as only He chooses to allow. Although we have free will to choose against what God commands, ultimately He already knows what choices you will make as you are going through time. Even if you desire to separate yourself from God He would ultimately have to allow it. With this in mind now would be a good time to look up the term God’s will. A good concordance would also be most helpful or you can Google it for yourself.
Leslie Weatherhead, a past highly controversial English Christian theologian in the liberal Protestant tradition says that the will of God falls into three distinct categories; intentional, circumstantial, and ultimate. God intends for people to follow his guidelines and do the right thing; God set the laws of physics and chemistry into play, and those circumstances will sometimes cause difficulties. That does not mean we should not struggle against circumstances to create God's ultimate will, a peaceful world dominated by love and compassion. -Wikipedia- This gentleman also wrote a book entitled, The Will of God.
Even though many of Weatherhead’s teachings and practices raised concerns about our faith, I find his three distinct categories very interesting. I also believe that God set the stage for mankind to do what is right and decent and that because of all the laws of the universe in place, doing what is right and decent could under certain circumstances be almost impossible to achieve. However, I also agree that God wants us to try as best we can to always do what is right, by His standards.
Another interpretation of God’s will means to do whatever His hand or His plan has predestined to take place. Yet another definition is to command something to be done. When God commands anything… it IS done according to what He commands. A good example of both scenarios is regarding the crucifixion of Jesus. According to our scriptures, we believe that Christ was the Word and became flesh in the person of Jesus. We also believe that Jesus was predestined to be crucified and suffer a horrific death on the cross to pay for the sin debts of mankind. Scripture tells us that as Christ was nearing the appointed time of the crucifixion He pleaded to the Father to spare what He was about to go through if possible, but none-the-less He was willing to do according to the Will of God. In Matthew 26:39 Christ said: “My Father, if it be possible, let this cup pass from me; nevertheless, not as I will, but as you will.”
In this sense, it appears that Christ was predestined to die on the cross and it was also God’s will for this to happen at the appointed time. Was this also a command? If so Christ did not have a choice to deny God’s will. His statement implies that He was also completely willing to obey His Father knowing His death had been predestined since the beginning of time. So God’s will was unavoidable and Christ had to die as He did, according to our scriptures. But was this also a command of God?
An example of a command of God is very obvious at creation when God issued the various commands as in when He said… Let there be… When God said let there be light it happened. When He commanded the waters to separate from the filament it happened. When He commanded the various animal and plant life to come into being it happened. Whatever God commands to happen it happens because it is the will of God and the very distinct command of God. When God commands anything it shall happen as He commands. The problem our minds have is in understanding how His instructions coincide with His wishes, His requirements of us, and what has already been predestined. How do our desires, acts, and deeds come into play that could possibly have an influence upon the will of God? Certainly, since God already knows the ending even though for us it has to play out in our real-time. Perhaps as Christ stated, we may not like what we see before us but ultimately it is best to align our will with the will of God.
Regarding our birth and ultimate death, God has already predestined both events in time. He knew when we would be born and the exact time and nature of our deaths. We are born by the will of God and will die by the will of God. This does not mean that God commanded us to die at a certain time but that it was predestined to happen as God knew it would happen.
Using these descriptions of God’s will it appears to be in everyone’s best interest to lean upon God’s will. He already knows where, when, and how our lives will unfold therefore if we place all things about our lives under God’s supervision and care, following the example of Christ would most definitely be in our best interest. Accepting God’s will aligns us with God in obedience rather than in defiance. That does not mean we will like how things unfold or agree with how they unfold. It means that we place our trust in our Father and that He knows what is best for us according to His divine plan. Just as our births were destined so too will our deaths be predestined. Not knowing when or how our best measure would be to accept God’s will just as did Christ knowing what He had to go through. Aligning our will with God’s divine will places us in God’s court and it will ultimately lead us into His Kingdom. Christ suggested that we pray, “thy will be done on earth as it is in heaven.” I see no possible reason not to follow the One that came here from heaven to lead us back home to be with the Father… Selah!