Do we just wait and see how God is going to work out His will? That is, we just go about our daily activities and planning and then just wait and see how God is going to get it done?
Is there a difference between waiting on God to act sovereignly in our church, or do we seek to know how God want us to act?
Does God have a determined will for a local church, that will be and that alone will happen? No. His will is often not obeyed. His determined will cannot be thwarted or stopped by anything. And a lot of behaviors, actions and decisions that are made in the local church are not God’s reveled will for the church.
God is sovereign over all things and yet disapproves of many things? How is this? God’s Will of Decree, or Sovereign Will
John Piper points out: "The will of God: it is God’s sovereign control of all things. We will call this His "sovereign will" or His "will of decree." It cannot be broken. It always comes to pass. Daniel 4:35
There is another will of God: in the Bible is what some call His "will of command, or preceptive will" His will commands us to do His will. . We have His commandments. This is the will of God we can disobey and fail to do. I Thess 4:3, God very specificcally names what he commands us not to do. Sexual immorality. But so many do not obey. I Thess 5:18 the command is "To give thanks in all circumstances:, this is the will of God." But many do not do this will of God.
- God’s will of decree or His sovereign will shall come to pass whether we believe in it or not. His preceptive (giving instructions) of command can be broken, and is every day.
God could, if He desired to, stop any event of human beings if He willed. He is sovereign, but for reasons we don’t understand, He doesn’t.
His sovereign will is invincible, and His preceptive will of command, His giving instructions can be grievously broken.
The church leaders need then to have a discerning spirit, a mind that has been transformed by the renewal of their minds. Their minds need to be set upon the Word of God in order to know the will of God.
In order to discern the revealed will of God and then do them, requires Romans 12:2. Do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewal of your mind., that by testing you may discern what is the will of God, what is good and acceptable and perfect."
It would seem here in this verse to say sometimes we discern God’s will correctly and other times we miss it. And it’s going to test us to know God’s will. So we can miss the will of God in matters of the church. And I would say often that does happen.
A renewing reconditioning refurbishing, revitalizing replenishing of mind, to know the Word of God reveals the principles upon which to make a decision that is in the will of God.
God does not tell us who we are to marry. God does not tell us what color to paint the church building. We are not told what to call Bible Study, Sunday School or Discipleship Hour.
God doesn’t point out who is to be a deacon, or teacher, or elder, but He does give us enough principles in the Scriptures to help us discern His will. It’s not necessarily waiting to see how God will work out His will. It’s God who is letting you discern His will through the principles He has set forth in the Scriptures.
What is necessary is that we have a renewed mind, that is so shaped and so governed by the revealed will of God in the Bible, that we see and assess all relevant factors with the mind of Christ, and discern what God is calling us to do. We are just not going to hear God’s voice saying to do this or that.
God’s aim is a new mind, a new way of thinking and judging, not just new information. We do not need new information to determine God’s will, we need a new mind which is fixed on God.
If we are going to know and obey God’s revealed will, we are going to have to have a Christ like mind. We need our hearts and minds to be like Christ. Make a tree good and the fruit will be good. Matthew 12:33.
And we need the Holy Spirit to lead us into Christ-exalting truth and work in us truth-embracing humility, in order to obey God’s revealed truth.
Most of what we do and our actions are not premeditated, they just spill over from our mind. Attitudes, thoughts, actions are generally spontaneous. Thus we need to have a renewed heart and mind that what spills out will be the mind of Christ.
Would finding God’s will for a pastor of a church be more important than, let’s say, seeking a career? Are we to look for hidden clues to what God wants? Are we to try to gather all the information we can and make up a composite picture and make a decision based on a judgment as to what He appears to be saying at a particular time?
God is not asking us to discover His arrangement for the next decision we are going to make. It’s not the "horoscope mentality" Let’s see if we can find some elements in the Bible that would give us an idea of what to do.
- GO TO THE WORD
God’s will is not a "Tom and Jerry" game. We are to go to the Word of God "which is able to build you up." 2 Timothy 3:15-17 Paul tells Timothy, know the Word which is needed for growth and ministry. Finding God’s will is a matter of understanding His Word.
You just do not wait for God’s will to be accomplished for your life or the life of the church. I have often said that knowing God’s will is hard work. When you are a good student of Scripture you generally become good sound decision makers. And understanding God’s Word, from the KJV is hard work. It’s a life long process, and after nearly fifty years of reading the Bible I have yet to complete the course. But I do believe I have gained some ability to know God’s will.
Who do we consider excellent and godly people in our church? Those who have evidently lived out God’s will with all its satisfaction and fruitfulness. And we discover that they are those who have been indefatigable, hard-working, unconquerable students of Scripture-- with a passion to understand it correctly.
- Unquestionable in this pursuit of biblical understanding is the commitment to obey God’s will. Study is not simply for the purpose of appreciating doctrine in the abstract. The energetic searching for biblical truth, the daily meditation on the Word, and the striving for sound interpretation are useful only if compelled by a yearning to please the Lord, and submit to His wishes.
Drafted by Charles E. Whisnant, October 11, 2006 Checked by Charity Whisnant October 12, 2006 Posted by Charles E. Whisnant, October 13th 2006