God’s Will

Believers often speak of getting to know God’s will. How can you know? All believers operate in God’s will. However there are four aspects of God’s will. The issue is in which aspect a person is operating. The four aspects are more clearly illustrated than defined. To distinguish them consider a father who is a doctor and his son whom he desires to follow him into the field of medicine. This is the father’s intentional will. The son is committed to doing so. His expressed will is the same as the father.

There comes a war and the son is drafted into the military. Under the circumstances the father wants his son to comply with the law. Induction into the military results in the young man’s doing the circumstantial will of the father.

At this point the son is fully committed to doing the father’s will after being discharged from the military.

While in the military he meets an influential friend. They devise what they feel will be a very lucrative business. The young man writes to his father and explains he no longer intends to go to medical school. His new ambition involves getting rich quickly. Again the father is understanding and explains his ambition for the son, but consents for him to explore his scheme. Now the son is doing the father’s permissive will.

After a short time, it becomes evident that the business venture is not going to work. The young man writes to his father to explain and says he wants to change his plan to now go into medical school. His father is thrilled. Now the young man is doing the father’s ultimate will.

Every person is engaged in God’s will. God’s intentional and/or ultimate will is always best.

Any one of these can characterize a life overall or aspects of a life.

Likewise they apply to the decisions of a day in general.

The object in both should be to live and act enacting the Father’s intentional and/or ultimate will.

The Father often considers it necessary to discipline His children if they are living in His circumstantial and/or permissive will to get us back in His ultimate will. It should be remembered what discipline is. It is not mere punishment. The word discipline comes from the same root word as disciple. A disciple was a learner. He disciplines us so that we might learn the good from the bad and return to His intentional and/or ultimate will. He is teaching us because He knows there is where we are most fulfilled, contented, and productive.

In praying “Thy will be done” be sure you know to which aspect of His will you are referring: His intentional, circumstantial, permissive, or ultimate.