Friday, May 8, 2015

Finding, Discovering, or Discerning God's Will Part 2

In the second part of finding God's will, we will analyze four recent books on knowing God's Will: God's Will: Finding Guidance for Everyday Decisions by J. I. Packer and Carolyn Nystrom, Here I Am: Now What on Earth Should I Be Doing by Quentin Schultze, Decision Making by the Book: How to Choose Wisely in an Age of Options by Haddon W. Robinson, Just Do Something: A Liberating Approach to Finding God's Will by Kevin DeYoung.

Decision Making by the Book by Haddon Robinson emphasizes making wise decisions guided by the Bible. The author distinguishes between three wills of God: Sovereign will, moral will, and individual will. Robinson defines God's sovereign will as "God's purpose from eternity past to eternity future whereby He determines all that shall take place" (21). Some refer to this as God's secret will. The Bible teaches us that the secret things belong to God, but His revealed will is to be obeyed. The author thinks that God might reveal parts of it to us.

God's moral will is what is given to us in the Bible. Robinson writes, "The Scriptures tell us what God wants us to believe and how God wants us to behave. This is the moral will of God, and it is clear" (22). I think it was Mark Twain who said it is not God's secret will that bothers him, but His revealed will. In other words, what bothers Him is that he knows what God wants him to believe and do, but he would prefer not knowing these things. It seems God is more interested in our character than where we live or work.

The third level of God's will is His individual will. This is what people are referring to when they say, "How can I know God's will"? The author states his view on God's individual will: God works out His sovereign will through all men and women. He has revealed to us His moral will. But He doesn't necessarily reveal His specific, individual will to us. It's possible that He does this at special times for some Christians, but we have no solid biblical testimony on that point" (23). The author believes God's guidance is through the Bible. That the Bible will equip us to do every good work as 2Timothy 3:16 says. The author thinks "How do I know God's will" is an inappropriate question. He states, "In God's sovereignty, according to His moral will, we have the freedom and responsibility to choose" (50). The key question is "How do I make good decisions"?

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