by Dr. Charles Stanley
Monday May 2, 2005
God's Will: The Big Picture
God has a plan for the world and for His children. Some of what He has ordained is broad in scope and affects many, while other purposes are specific to individuals.
Understanding God's will begins with recognizing its two major forms. One is God's "determined intentions." For these, He does not seek our input or require our agreement. Creation, Christ's resurrection and ascension, the timing of His return, and Judgment Day fall in this category. God in His sovereignty decides, and it is done. Through Jesus, God operates the universe and holds all things together. (Colossians 1:15-20)
God's "desired intentions," which do require our cooperation, make up the other expression of His will. For example, He desires that all come to the knowledge of truth and be saved (1 Timothy 2:4), but that means people must trust Christ as Savior. God wants His children to be conformed to the image of His Son, and yet our choices determine the speed of that transformation. He also wants us to abide by His moral laws (Matthew 5), carry out the work He has planned for us (Ephesians 2:10), be in right relationship with Him (1 John 1:9), and welcome His input in our daily lives (John 16:13). But He does not force us to comply.
To have the "Big Picture" concerning God's will, we need to understand which things are pre-ordained and which are impacted by what we do. As we understand more clearly how God works, we will find it easier to discover His plans. May the cry of our hearts be to do God's will. (Psalm 40:8)
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