Does God’s Will = Detailed Plan?
And a crowd was sitting around him, and they said to him, “Your mother and your brothers are outside, seeking you.” And he answered them, “Who are my mother and my brothers?” And looking about at those who sat around him, he said, “Here are my mother and my brothers! For whoever does the will of God, he is my brother and sister and mother.” —Mark 3:32-35
Here’s one of the crucial questions that doesn’t get asked enough: Does God have a will for each individual? Think before you answer. Does He have an individualized, highly detailed, inviolable (unbreakable) will for you? Could you defend biblically the concept that God has such a specific will? By that I mean does God have a specific college for you to go to? Does God have a specific church for you to attend, a specific person for you to marry, and a specific house for you to buy? Many of us are familiar with the struggle: you have a realtor and a price range. You find five possible houses but two of them you don’t like and three of them are in the ballpark, and you’re like, “God, which one is it?” Does He already not only know which one you will chose (His foreknowledge isn’t bound by time), but also have a definite will about which one you should choose? We make hundreds of choices every day—are we running the risk of “detouring” from God’s will at any and every moment? And what would happen if you make any decision not in perfect agreement with His plans? Does God even have an individual, micro-specific will like that? Because if He doesn’t, we’re putting ourselves through a lot of torture trying to find it and worrying about something that doesn’t exist.
As we’ll see elsewhere, I’m not in any way saying that God doesn’t have a will. He most certainly does! And I’m not saying that God ever hands over veto power on any decision we make—just think about all the people who have failed in committing suicide and then been transformed by the Gospel. Whatever the freedom and limits of our wills (our decision-making), it isn’t in the same category with God’s. But there’s a difference between thinking that God has a very specific will about every little nit-picky decision we make and realizing that God’s will includes letting us make real choices and experience the results of those choices. Notice that Jesus’ words in the verse above include the idea that some do and some don’t do “the will of God.” We need to have a clear understanding of God’s will so we can go after it! —James MacDonald
· What kinds of things am I thinking about (or should I be thinking about) when I pray the Lord’s Prayer, “Your kingdom come, Your will be done on earth as it is in heaven?”
Prayer - Thank You for reminding me today, Father, that You do have a will and really are in control of Your creation. Thank You that Your power, knowledge, grace, and love put limits on just how far wrong I can be. Thank You for extending to me the gift of eternal life, a gift I could have never earned, deserved, or figured out on my own. In Jesus’ name, Amen.