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Tuesday, June 2, 2009

Is the Will of God Different from the Desire of God?

People often get the desire of God confused with the will of God. For example, God desires that all people come to know Him through Jesus Christ. People often cite 2 Peter 3:9 as the will of God. Obviously, millions of people do not receive Christ as Savior. Does this mean that the will of God has been thwarted? If so, how can we trust our future with God if God's will can be defeated?

It is God's desire that all are saved. It is God's will that some are saved. This is not bringing an irresistible grace into the picture. I know that I have resisted God's desire for my life. I know that there will be some who will resist God's grace. Stephen, when speaking in Acts, told his hearers that they were resisting the Holy Spirit. They stoned him for his message. They were certainly resisting God's grace.

It is God's will that people make the decision of faith. He gives that freedom to each of us. Our misunderstanding is determining when we are elected to this salvation. 1 Peter 1:1-2 says that we are elected according to God's foreknowledge. God sends His Spirit to those whom He already knows will receive Him. We do so based upon our own will and His foreknowledge of what we will do. God still gives His grace to those who will never receive Him but He knows they will never receive Him from the beginning. His will is not thwarted. He does not lose control. Essentially, we are elected to salvation when God knows what we will do with His grace. That comes before the beginning of time.

God's will is that we make our own decisions. He responds to our prayers before the beginning of time for they follow this pattern of foreknowledge. He responds to our telling of others about Christ for He knew this before the beginning of time and weaved it into His will.

This gives us full freedom and full responsibility for our actions. We make the decisions to sin. God still makes those things come to good. He desires that we do not sin. His will is that He can make good come from the sin. It doesn't make sin good. It makes grace amazing!

God desires that you will walk with Him daily. He will not make you do so. He allowed Adam to go his own direction even though he could have walked with God daily. It was not His will for sin to enter the world. It was His will that Jesus would come to save us.

I am always amazed in God's workings. He takes that which is unusable and makes it the best tool. His desire for us is the fullness of life. Jesus came for that reason. Discovering God's will and walking in it is where the fullness is.

God has great desires for each of us. Walk in them and be the will of God.

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