To begin, there are 3 types of will and no- we are not referring to the will that is left for the young supermodel girlfriend after the rich old man dies in those movies that lack moral. Deny it all you want, you know as well as I do, it happens. The wills that will be addressed in this read are more for spiritual guidance in times when many of us have so many unanswered questions about the direction of our lives and the choices that we are to make.
The first will is the providential will of God: these are things that God is just going to do because he wants to. It doesn’t matter how much we pray or how obedient we are, he’ll do them just because he feels like it; often times, he may even use people to make sure that this will is accomplished and while this particular will does not hinge on our obedience, we are used and chosen based on our obedience and level of holiness. Look around in the world and examine what God is up to and that should point you in the direction of his providential will.
Galatians 4: 5 An example of this will is when God sent Jesus into the world and used Mary to do it. With or without her, he was going to do it anyways, but he decided to use her because she was obedient.
The 2nd is the moral will of God: this will is covered entirely in scripture; these are things that God has given us as commands, the dos and the don’t. It isn’t rocket science either, just things that have been written as proof that we are told to do and not to do. There’s no need to pray on it either, for example: should I move in with him/ her before marriage lord? or should we have sex before marriage or should I lie on my taxes? The answer is given in the moral book, the bible. It’s not something that you pray about, it’s just something that you do because it’s been commanded and written in case you forget. Gods will is for us to obey, simply put.
1 Peter 2:15 Part of Gods moral will is for us to obey the government, for example, so come April 15 when taxes come out, you better not ask God in prayer on how much you have to give or whether or not you should even pay your taxes, for the bible instructs us to obey the government. Now some would argue how it’s possible to obey a government that chooses to pass the gay law or one that is corrupt and filled with greed, but they fail to see that even in the bible this was prevalent and even there we were asked to obey the government, but not to become like the world. In shorter terms, just because the government is passing laws that go against your belief doesn’t mean that you should embody the law passed for your own life. We don’t need to pray that prayer, the bible tells us that we must give to the government what belongs to them and obey the law of the land.
The 3rd will is the personal will of God: should I marry her or should I not? Should I take that job or should I not take that job? The more we become well versed in the moral will of God, the easier it becomes to discern the personal will of God and believe it or not, God is more interested in these personal questions that we have about our lives- in fact he cares about them more than we do.
1 Corinthian 1:1 Paul felt that it was the personal will of God for him to be an apostle. This wasn’t something that everyone needed to be, but something that he felt God wanted for him.
1 Peter 4:19 For a personal group of Christians, it is Gods personal will that they should suffer according to the will of God.
Bottom line is, as you study Gods word, the more familiar you become with the providential will of God (the things that God’s going to do anyways, that he might want to involve you in) and the more obedient you become and surrender to the moral will of God (the things that we already know that we’re suppose to do), the easier it will become for you to discover the personal will of God. The providential will and the moral will of God are the standards for determining factors and foundations for all our unanswered personal questions. The problem is not Gods unwillingness to communicate but in our unwillingness to follow through. God does not give us directions to consider, but for participation- let this sink in. He wants us to obey and commit to him before we even know what is being asked of us and that is why he often waits until we are at a point in our life when the only answer that we’ll give him is YES! Sadly for many, this comes when they have no where else to turn to and saying yes to God is the only option left.
Trust in the lord with ALL of your heart (not some) and lean not on your own understanding (your own ability to figure things out), in all your ways (not just in the situations that you’re praying for) acknowledge him (be focused on him) and then he will make your path straight.
Act before you see. It is through surrendering to the known will of God (the things we know about God) that sets us up to discern from the things that we don’t know (the path that we can’t see, though has been promised to be a smooth and clear path). God wants to bring us to a place that is so humbling and neutral that only answer we give God is yes, before he even asks the question or tells us what he wants us to do. Ever wondered why broken people (people who have hit rock bottom because of circumstances and decisions made or have been through things) have an easier time discerning Gods will because they are humbled and afraid to rely on themselves. It is easier for them to say ‘let your will be done God’ because their own will is always a disaster. I mean, God can just tell you what to do, but he’d rather you discover him before you discover his will. It’s like a child who comes to their parents for allowance money, reaches out their hands, takes the money and leaves. If you were that parent, like myself, you would not be pleased or willing to want to give that child money again because they have not humbled themselves, acknowledged you as the parent, nor were they truly grateful for what you had done, so in this way God uses the process of discovery as a way to keep us in check and to humble us that he is the hand that deals and unless you know him, obey him and come to him in thanksgiving, it will be harder for him to deal his hand of favor. It is through knowing his will in a process, that our faith grows, and that we fall to our knees in awe of him. We do not get to know God and then do his will, but it is through doing his will that we know God.
God, the creator of communication will never have a hard time communicating. The problem lies with us, because honestly when God is ready to let you in on what he wants to do, there’s no way you can possibly miss it, for it will be communicated one way or another.
Recently in my time of trying to repair past relationships, I found myself reaching out to someone I dated years ago to make amends, only to find out that they were now in a relationship and don’t get me wrong, I wasn’t thinking about getting back together with this person, but it was through them revealing to me that they were seeing someone new, that I could hear God communicating clearly at that moment and telling me that whether or not this person was even an option in the back of my head, this chapter was officially closed and it was time I left this person, friendship and all, alone for good. This is just one of the many ways that God can speak to us as we ground and familiarize ourselves with what he’s doing in the world (his providential will) and what he has written (his moral will); it is through this familiarity that those questions that pop into our heads, for example: should I still be friends with him/her, is this the right job, the right partner, the right time, etc, will ultimately be answered.