God’s Will vs. Free Will

“God’s will be done” is a phrase that many Christians use, but not all Christians understand what it means for God’s will to be done, and how it reconciles with the free will God gave each of us. So, what exactly is “God’s will”?

Simply put, God’s will is what God desires for us in our lives. It is His perfect plan for our lives. As we previously discussed in God with a Capital G, God knows what is best for us because not only is He omniscient, but He is also omnipresent. What this means in regard to His will is that since He – and only He – knows everything about you, your past, your present and your future, He – and only He – knows what was best in the past, present, and future.

God knows what our talents and passions are, and knows where and how those talents and passions will best be utilized. He has the right people, places, situations, and time lined up for His perfect plan to unfold in your life.

But here’s where things get a little tricky. Although God has the perfect, unique, custom-made plan for each of us, and has the power (remember, He is omnipotent) to enact His plan in our lives, He doesn’t like to force His will upon us. There are exceptions in which He will, but we’ll get to that later. For now, we’re going to discuss the general idea that God gave us free will to accept or reject His plan.

How exactly do we accept or reject His plan if we don’t know what it is? I’m glad you asked. We start by accepting Jesus Christ as Lord and Savior and repenting, which, as you probably know by now, will be discussed in detail in another blog post. Details about salvation are so important that they require sole dedication. If you only read one more post on my blog, the one about Salvation would be the most important. But if you’d like to know more about God’s will, stick around or come back to this part about His plan for you later.

Accepting Christ tells the Lord that you love Him and trust in Him. You trust Him with your life and the plans He has made for you, even though you don’t know what His plan consists of. But how do we figure out what His plan is? Well, the truth is, we will never know ahead of time exactly what His plan is, but we can still ensure that we allow His plan to unfold in our lives.

The three essential ingredients to unlocking this “mystery” are trust, prayer, and patience. And we’ve already put our trust in Him when we were saved. Devote time to God daily to praise Him. Thank Him for everything we have and everything He’s done for us. Repent of any sins and ask for guidance and help with things like patience. Of course, we should also be reading the Bible – don’t worry, if you don’t understand Scripture, just ask Him to clarify and He will help you clear your mind. A heartfelt prayer for spiritual clarification is one that God will ALWAYS answer with a resounding “YES” (more on that in the “Prayer” section). Worshipping with others by attending church is also a great idea. But we absolutely cannot get to know Christ and know where the Holy Spirit is trying to lead us without trust and prayer. The reason we also need to develop patience when it comes to God is simple; too many times, when we are impatient, we tend to make hasty decisions that interfere with what God is already trying to do in our lives.

The more time we spend in prayer, the more conversations we have with God, the more He supernaturally leads us down the right path so that we can be certain that the choices we make are what God wants rather than what we want. Remember, just because we want something doesn’t mean it’s for the best. In fact, we can be assured that any plan for which we don’t consult with God is not going to be the best plan.

Reading God’s word and “talking” to Him daily through prayer helps us to get to know Him better and to understand God’s character. From here we can begin to understand what it means to be at peace with a decision, knowing that God’s lead was followed. One who does not know God can simply never understand His ways.

Speaking of “His ways”, as mentioned previously, God does make exceptions where He will intervene and “force” His will upon us. But this is not a bad thing. Quite the opposite. Sometimes we humans can be very stubborn and refuse to acknowledge that gut feeling that something’s not right about a situation. If we’re lucky, God WILL intervene by removing a situation or person from our lives that we did not know would have been bad for us. However, it’s not a good idea to make it a habit of tempting fate, for God may just decide we have to learn our lessons the hard way.

Sometimes God will put us into situations that we can interpret as punishment because we don’t like where we’re at. Or we might use it as justification to continuing to not believe God exists, or even to believe He is not a loving God. However, many times we are put into these situations because God is keeping us from something far worse. As humans, we can’t see the future so we may never understand or even begin to imagine what could be worse than the situation we’re in, but God knows why He does what He does.

Other times, other people are required to follow God’s will in order for God’s will for YOU to unfold. This takes time and patience. Other people can be very stubborn! Personally, I spent many years praying for someone close to me to have a change of heart about Jesus – we’re talking over a decade. I even got to the point where I began specifically praying that if necessary, God would rescue her from a potentially harmful situation in a manner that she would, for once and for all, recognize and accept Jesus. And that is exactly what unfolded a few months later when she walked away from totaling her vehicle without so much as a scratch on her pretty little face or anywhere else. That was the moment she accepted Christ. I trusted God enough to put her life in HIS hands. Yet another reason we should constantly seek God’s will not only in our own lives, but in others’ as well…and to have patience. Lots of patience.

No matter how close we are to God, as humans it is only natural to want what we want. But the more we continue to strive daily for God’s will to work in our lives, the more our wants and desires line up with God’s perfect will.

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