The other day a decision was made in a committee that I did not agree with. I found out about this decision while I was heading to the Fresno Zoo with my family. We met my Mom there and I guess I was wearing an unhappy look on my face (I don’t hide my emotions well) because she asked Christina what I was bothered with and then she said to me, “Christina told me Chad, don’t let it bother you. You can be happy. We know it’s God will right?!” I want to talk just a minute about “God’s Will.” I believe that we as Christians sometimes see God’s will as the way out for everything, and I believe this is lazy thinking and lazy Christianity. I believe everything happens by the permission of God, thus we could say everything happens by God’s will, but what I don’t believe is that everything is God’s providential will. Sometimes things happen, bad things, that are not God’s providential will. Sometimes decisions are made, bad decisions, that are not God’s providential will. In these instances the bad things and the bad decisions are God’s permissive will. We should never be happy with God’s permissive will, it means that we are out of line with what God really wanted, but He gave us our way, and since our ways are not God’s ways, this is never a good thing! Now it isn’t always immediately clear to see if it is God’s providential will versus God’s permissive will, but to simply always chalk things up to “God’s will” and say then we are okay I think can make us lazy, because then we can basically make or take any decision and say, “God’s will”, dust off our hands and walk away. But God’s permissive will which is allowing us to have our will can go terribly wrong:
4Then all the elders of Israel gathered together and came to Samuel at Ramah 5and said to him, “Behold, you are old and your sons do not walk in your ways. Now appoint for us a king to judge us like all the nations.” 6But the thing displeased Samuel when they said, “Give us a king to judge us.” And Samuel prayed to the LORD. 7And the LORD said to Samuel, “Obey the voice of the people in all that they say to you, for they have not rejected you, but they have rejected me from being king over them. 8According to all the deeds that they have done, from the day I brought them up out of Egypt even to this day, forsaking me and serving other gods, so they are also doing to you. 9Now then, obey their voice; only you shall solemnly warn them and show them the ways of the king who shall reign over them.” 1 Samuel 8:4-9
God gave the people their will, it was His permissive will. He even chose the King for them, Saul. If you read the rest of the Old Testament you will quickly see that this decision did not go as planned for the Israelites. And when they got a bad king they would blame God, I mean after all it was “GOD’s WILL”
Yes everything is God’s will, but let us be careful not to be lazy and accept His permissive will when what we need is God’s providential will!