Language experts say that one of the hardest languages to learn is the English language.
The English language can be confusing because of its grammar structure. It’s spelling, word definitions, and rules often contradict existing rules. It can be difficult to master it all.
One example of this is the word “Will”. Will can be used as both a verb and a noun. In addition, these two types of "will" has multiple meanings in themselves.
Ironically, there is also confusion when discussing the will of God.
They ask if God is God, and He is so good, why do bad things happen when it is not His will?
Let's start by discussing the definition of will.
Definition of Will
modal verb: will
1. expressing the future tense.
2. expressing inevitable events.
3. expressing a request.
4. expressing facts about ability or capacity.
5.expressing habitual behavior.
6. expressing probability or expectation about something in the present.
"they will be miles away by now"
noun: will; plural noun: wills
1. the faculty by which a person decides on and initiates action.
2. a legal document containing instructions as to what should be done with one's money and property after one's death.
Types of Will
The confusion may start in the fact that God has more than one type of will.
1. Sovereign will
God's sovereign will, will come to pass regardless of anything.
2. Permissive will
God's permissive will is based on the actions (or inaction) of the individuals involved. There are certain actions that must be done in order for His will to come to pass. God made man, giving man their own will and the freedom to choose.
Mans choice affects God's permissive will.
An example of the permissive will of God is one we are all familiar with. Adam and Eve.
God wanted Adam and Eve to live in peace and harmony in the garden of Eden forever. His Sovereign will was continue to have a direct relationship with man. Still, He gave man the choice of whether or not to eat from the tree of good and evil.
His Sovereign Will was demonstrated in the fact that after they ate the fruit, He sent Jesus to redeem and reconcille mankind back to him. This reconciliation led to mankind, once again, having direct relationship with God.
However, despite this direct access to relationship with God being re-established, man still has a choice. Here, we can see the interaction of God's sovereign will and man's will.
Although Jesus died for mankind, and has given man the opportunity to experience direct relationship with God, every man has to choose between God's sovereign will and permissive will.
It was never God's will for evil to enter into the world, but the choice of man allowed it to happen.
All of this is fine; the permissive will, the sovereign will, but you may be asking:
"What is God's personal will for my life?"
"And how does that affect me?"
Understanding & Experiencing the Will
As a young Christian, I struggled to know the will of God for my personal life.
As it related to school, job, spouse…etc.
Looking back, I see that I lived out Romans 12:1-2
Therefore, I urge you, brothers and sisters, in view of God’s mercy, to offer your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and pleasing to God—this is your true and proper worship.
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 12:1-2 NIV)
The more I sought God, and renewed my mind in Him, the clearer He laid out His will for me.
An example of this would be while courting my (now) wife.
In the beginning of our courtship, I knew it was a possibility she would be my wife. I could not say for certain whether or not she was to be my wife or like past courtships, end up in failure.
The more I knew God and got to know her, God revealed and confirmed she was indeed my wife. Looking back and now experiencing the beauty of our union, I can say, "Boy God Loves Me!"
However, God did not say exactly when we should get married. I thought the timing of our marriage was left up to me. Being the man I am, I was making plans to marry her on my own timeline.
Again, as I continued to walk with God, He revealed that I had a particular window to marry her, which was exactly 6 months before the timeline I had set.
In retrospect, I can see that God's timeline and Will saved us and opened doors that waiting those 6 months would have cost us.
As I conclude, it is God's will (strong desire) that we are a part of His will (His plan) so that we can have access to His will (Inheritance or Blessings). This is activated by obedience to His will (His word).
Which ensures that His Will (an inevitable event) blesses us.