I will lift up my soul to you, Lord. I trust in you, my God .... Cause me to understand your ways, Lord; teach me your paths .... All the paths of the Lord lead to gracious love and truth for those who keep his covenant and his decrees .... Who is the one who fears the Lord? God will teach him the path he should choose .... The intimate counsel of the Lord is for those who fear him so they may know his covenant. My eyes look to the Lord continuously. Psalm 25:1-2A, 4, 10, 12, 14-15A (ISV)
Pray like this: Our Father in heaven, may your name be kept holy. May your Kingdom come soon. May your will be done on earth, as it is in heaven. Matthew 6:9-10
Earlier in the week we talked about the importance of guarding ourselves from viewing beforehand the discovering of God's will as finding the one right door. We also put forward the understanding that the door we choose becomes the one right door afterwards. In order to get a better handle on these understandings and the role of God's guidance in decision making, it will be helpful to consider God's will in three different ways. We will consider God's "prescriptive will," his "sovereign will," and his "intervening will." To do this adequately we will need more than just today's Devotional. It looks like these considerations will fit in well with next week's emphasis, so we can look forward to delving into all this more fully throughout the coming week.
So to wrap up our week we will introduce you to the three forms of God's will we just mentioned and touch on some thoughts from today's Scriptures. (1) God's prescriptive will: when a doctor gives you a prescription, he is making medicine available to you, but it is up to you to make use of what he has prescribed for you. Similarly, God prescribes things for us in his Word, the Bible. That which God prescribes for us in Scripture are his desires for us, but it is up to us to respond just like it is up to us to take the medicine the doctor has prescribed. The Bible says that God is not willing (does not desire) for any to perish, but for all to come to repentance (his will or desire).
(2) God's sovereign will: not all that God desires for us as people actually happens. In the end there will be those who have repented (God's desire) and those who perish (not God's desire). When we get to the end of time, all that actually happens is God's sovereign will. This one is complex and we will try to unravel it a bit next week.
(3) God's intervening will: God is always at work in our world and in our lives. He is always at work as he seeks to draw people toward himself and toward a positive response to what he desires (prescriptive will) for them. Down through the ages, of all those who repent and of all those who do not, there will not be one that God did not seek to draw to himself and the response of believing in him for eternal salvation. This is God's intervening will and it is the kind of thing he is constantly doing as he seeks to help us find and go through the open doors he has for us. God is so amazingly interventive in the outworking of his will, that he is able to incorporate every single choice we make into the grand scheme of his sovereign plan.
We can look forward to going further with all this next week. It is truly amazing to begin to grasp the extent that God has gone to bring about the absolute best outcome for our lives. The Psalmist's understandings of experiencing God and the unfolding of his will in one's life are expressed beautifully in today's Psalm: "All the paths of the Lord lead to gracious love and truth for those who keep his covenant and his decrees .... Who is the one who fears the Lord? God will teach him the path he should choose .... The intimate counsel of the Lord is for those who fear him so they may know his covenant."
Lord, I pray the Psalmist's words as a part of my prayer to you today: "I lift up my soul to you, Lord. I trust in you, my God .... Cause me to understand your ways, Lord; teach me your paths .... My eyes look to the you continuously." And now I pray these word s from the Lord's prayer: "Father in heaven, may your name be kept holy. May your Kingdom come soon. May your will be done on earth (and in my life), as it is in heaven." Amen!
Posted on Sat, August 15, 2015
by Alan Porter