The three types of God’s will
“Not everyone who says to me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ will enter the kingdom of heaven, but only the one who does the will of my Father who is in heaven. Matthew 7:21 NIV
Every child of God must be conscious of the will of God. For effective work and service to God and humanity, understanding His will is one of the most profound things for us. God does have expectations of us, and one of the things He expects from us is submission to His perfect will concerning our lives. You cannot call yourself of God while constantly walking in rebellion and disobedience. God doesn’t call people to do their own things or to live the way they want, He calls us to submit and to follow Him wherever He leads us. Your true calling as a believer must be in divine alignment to God’s will which means that you must be ready to submit and walk in obedience to His word.
From now on, then, you must live the rest of your earthly lives controlled by God’s will and not by human desires. You have spent enough time in the past doing what the heathen like to do. Your lives were spent in indecency, lust, drunkenness, orgies, drinking parties, and the disgusting worship of idols. 1 Peter 4:2-3 GNT
Do not conform to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is—his good, pleasing and perfect will. Romans 12:2 NIV
The Good will:
God created man with a freewill, which means that we have the power to make choices without His interference. He has given us instructions in His word, and we choose whether or not to obey. God does not force Himself on people, neither does He come in between a man and His decisions. When we decide, based on our own judgment, knowledge, wisdom and understanding to do something without involving Him, we practice good will. In most cases it’s based on deception, erratic messages and lust of the flesh. It happened in the Garden of Eden. Eve acted out of good will and we all know the consequences. This means that good will always has consequences.
Jesus replied, “You are in error because you do not know the Scriptures or the power of God. Matthew 22:29 NIV
Ignorance of the word of God is also the key to practicing good will. Eve knew too well what God had said, she even knew the consequences– death awaited her and her husband if they disobeyed God’s instructions, but she foolishly chose to ignore it altogether. In most cases the path of ignorance is chosen due to familiarity. When we become familiar with God, His things and word, it’s very easy for us to ignore Him and act like He doesn’t exist and this, for us, is very dangerous.
No matter how good a deal is or how much we desire something, we must be careful to involve God first because the moment we choose to deviate, God always steps aside. We must also learn to guard our hearts against every kind of distraction. You should also opt to read the word of God yourself, meditate on it, learn to hear God for yourself and know the truth for it will set you free. The opposite of truth is false beliefs and half truths which are a good fuel to deception.
Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways submit to him, and he will make your paths straight. Proverbs 3:5-6 NIV
The Acceptable will:
The acceptable, permissive or pleasing will happens when we ‘force’ God to do something for us. It happens when we press God so much that He has no choice but to let us have our way. The acceptable will is borne out of a rebellious and disobedient heart.
So all the elders of Israel gathered together and came to Samuel at Ramah. They said to him, “You are old, and your sons do not follow your ways; now appoint a king to lead us, such as all the other nations have.” But when they said, “Give us a king to lead us,” this displeased Samuel; so he prayed to the Lord. And the Lord told him: “Listen to all that the people are saying to you; it is not you they have rejected, but they have rejected me as their king. 1 Samuel 8:4-7 NIV
It was not the will of God for the nation of Israel to have a human king, God was their King, but they rebelled against Him and rejected Him. They not only rejected Him, but also demanded for a king to rule over them so that they may be as other nations. God allowed them to have what they wanted. This was the acceptable will of God. The acceptable will is equally dangerous and it leads to destruction.
You should be very careful not to allow God to let you have your own way; it is going to be regrettable. God will always oppose those who oppose Him. Many of us are stuck here; we are busy trying to fight God because we think we know what is best for us. The children of God are nursing frustrations in their lives because they’ve insisted so much on having things their own way until God has no choice but to let them be. Once again, we must guard our hearts above everything else and not allow them to reject or depart from God because this is what will happen;
When that day comes, you will cry out for relief from the king you have chosen, but the Lord will not answer you in that day.” 1 Samuel 8:18 NIV
But since you refuse to listen when I call and no one pays attention when I stretch out my hand, since you disregard all my advice and do not accept my rebuke, I in turn will laugh when disaster strikes you; I will mock when calamity overtakes you— when calamity overtakes you like a storm, when disaster sweeps over you like a whirlwind, when distress and trouble overwhelm you. “Then they will call to me but I will not answer; they will look for me but will not find me, since they hated knowledge and did not choose to fear the Lord. Since they would not accept my advice and spurned my rebuke, they will eat the fruit of their ways and be filled with the fruit of their schemes. Proverbs 1:24-31 NIV
The moment your heart rejects God, you dethrone Him and give His rightful position to someone or something else. When this happens, you invite trouble to take over.
Now, this is the warning; Whatever it is you rejected God for, and allowed it to take His place in your life, will bring you hell on earth. God is able to prove you wrong and show you that you were never after Him; your heart was really very far from Him; you rejected Him, His ways, teachings and chose to follow your own path.
There is a way that appears to be right, but in the end it leads to death. Proverbs 14:12 NIV
The Perfect will:
This is the decreed, unchangeable, foreordained will that God has for us. It cannot be changed or altered. This is the will we are called to submit to. We must allow it to control our lives if we truly want to serve God effectively. The perfect will of God is not a walk in the park. More often than not, it demands sacrifice and unwavering commitment. Yet it’s the best for us because in the end, God is glorified and it brings us joy, victory, fulfillment and satisfaction.
As a believer in Christ Jesus, you must seek to know God’s perfect will for your life and live to fulfill it. Your calling and your entire life must be controlled by His perfect will which means that you know what God wants from you and what He wants you to do. Since it’s the decreed will, which cannot be challenged or altered, submission and obedience is the only way out.
King David, for example, sinned against the Lord when he slept with Bathsheba and let her husband Uriah killed in battle. God became angry and He sent Nathan to the king to deliver a message. This is what happened;
Then David said to Nathan, “I have sinned against the Lord.” Nathan replied, “The Lord has taken away your sin. You are not going to die. But because by doing this you have shown utter contempt for the Lord, the son born to you will die.” 2 Samuel 12:13-14 NIV
The child that Uriah’s wife had borne to David became sick and David decided to fast and pray about it but the child ended up dying. This was God’s perfect will. No matter how much we may negotiate with the Lord or even pray, fast and give towards changing the mind of God, His perfect will must prevail. No one can avert it. Sometimes it may be really hard for us, but we can only ask for the grace to go through it safely.
If we would position ourselves and realise that it’s not about us, we would totally surrender and submit ourselves to God’s perfect will for our lives. Jesus, for example, understood that it was God’s perfect will for Him to suffer and die on the cross in order to save the world. That’s why He submitted to it even though it was really hard for Him.
“Now my soul is troubled, and what shall I say? ‘Father, save me from this hour’? No, it was for this very reason I came to this hour. John 12:27 NIV
“Father, if you are willing, take this cup from me; yet not my will, but yours be done.” Luke 22:42 NIV
His entire life was all about fulfilling God’s perfect will and He was satisfied by just that. Watch this;
But he said to them, “I have food to eat that you know nothing about.” Then his disciples said to each other, “Could someone have brought him food?” “My food,” said Jesus, “is to do the will of him who sent me and to finish his work.
John 4:32-34 NIV
God’s perfect will requires total submission and surrender, no matter how hard the situation may become. Understanding what God wants us to do will help us to embrace what He is doing in our lives knowing that He will do whatever He wants but it is always for the best. We may suffer, and we are bound to suffer as long as we are in the world, but when we know that God wants to teach us and bring the best out of us, we will embrace it and make the best use of the opportunity we have.
Be very careful, then, how you live—not as unwise but as wise, making the most of every opportunity, because the days are evil. Therefore do not be foolish, but understand what the Lord’s will is. Ephesians 5:15-17 NIV
And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose. Romans 8:28 NIV