Here is the final step on the subject of will, “My Will.” I Chron. 12:32 – Here we see David gathering the people around him for the kingdom of HIS DAY. And of the children of Issachar which were men of understanding of the times, to know what Israel ought to do; the heads of them were two hundred and all their brethren were at their commandment. We bring this in to show that God has always had a people, not just a person, and there was a general communication to all of His will. We are all brought into conjunction with someone, for the church is a body, as Israel was a nation. Yet, our purpose is to show that the determination of all this has its final consideration in our own will. This is not to say that there is not a particular way God has for preparing each of us for that interrelated will.
The Old Testament unfolding of this matter is herein shown: Exodus 28:30 – “And thou shalt put in the breastplate of judgment the Urim and the Thummin; and they shall be upon Aaron’s heart, when he goeth in before the LORD: and Aaron shall bear the judgment of the children of Israel upon his heart before the LORD continually.” Let’s follow this up with Leviticus 8:8, “And he (Joshua) shall stand before Eleazar the priest, who shall ask counsel for him after the judgment of Urim before the LORD, at his word shall they go out, and at his word they shall come in, both he, and all the children of Israel with him, even all the congregation.” So the choosing the office of Joshua to succeed Moses, was ascertained by this mysterious Urim and Thummin; so there is a way He determines our course by His will, but our will makes it complete.
Acts 27 is indicative of the course of the church. Reading it, we see the Apostle Paul foresaw shipwreck, and their lives were affected. It was wrecked as the description of the church in its tortuous journey through this world and age. It was misled. They followed the wrong general guide. The previously discussed, “will of Satan,” enters in here. Then “my will” must find other course than that of the visible church. So it has to react to the course of others, too. That would be its seeking the will of God. Even then it was not just one person, there were faithful followers of Paul even on the ship and thereafter. So our wills must submit to the great, wise will.
John 4:34, “Jesus saith unto them, My meat is to do the will of him that sent me, and to finish his work.” Here is Christ’s example of submitting His will to the Father. It has a meat, a sustenance, a strength of life to do the will of God. We are not just right if we are not in His will, everything is out of kilter. He was just one person; so are we, and we must react within the will of God for life. The Christian life comes within a total plan that is the great will of God for others and us, and each as related to each other. Let me say that we can rest secure that Satan cannot impose his will upon us. Just as surely, God will not impose His will on us. So you see the importance of our own will.
Acts 20:17, “And from Miletus he sent to Ephesus, and called the elders of the church.” Then, verse 28, “Take heed therefore unto yourselves, and to all the flock, over the which the Holy Ghost hath made you overseers, to feed the church of God, which he hath purchased with his own blood.” The statements about the exemplary Ephesian church show that the will of God for us is to have some part in His church. In this case the Holy Ghost placed overseers over that good assembly.
The primitive church is looked down on, and the way of directly following the Holy Ghost is laughed at. Yet, the Holy Ghost is a real Person. He is the God that directs administering the will of God toward us. “My will” may prevent His acting in my direction. It is a powerful thing, actually. Paul spoke well of the Ephesians whose will was submitted to the Holy Ghost. The elders were appointed by Him, so each other member of the church should be put in proper place by Him. Preachers are effective in the function of God’s will in them and those with them. The church is a necessary part of the Divine will, with each member a part. None are more important then others. Some are more public.
Rom. 12:2, “And be not conformed to this world; but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind, that ye may prove what is that good, and acceptable, and perfect, will of God.” This shows that the will of God is progressive. We don’t understand all His will at first. Probably we each had our own ideas of what the course of our spiritual life should be; perhaps to be an evangelist, win many souls, a missionary, a prominent teacher. It might not go that way. We see here stages of His will. So we must all along submit our will and He leads us along and with others of similar will.
God does different phases of His will in different people at the same time. We are not always with everybody. God has His personal plan for each. Some stop short of the father-on will. Then He may separate us for our good. Ezekiel in the Old Testament, spoke of God’s judging between cattle and cattle. He may have to fatten in different corrals. Jesus wrote to the Ephesian church near the end of the first century of removing their candlestick to give His own will to being removed. Some might say, “No, this is my church; I have always been here; I will always be here!” So there is conflict of wills.
Ephesians 5:21, “Submitting your selves one to another in the fear of God.” In this and related passages there is the idea of submission to other saints, unto the Lord of course. It seems the core of His will is submission. Men and Satan’s ideas are domination. These mature saints had to submit sometime to someone rather than themselves. If not, the will does not submit to God, either. That is the reason of the discussion here of husbands and wives, children and parents, and servants and masters. That is all exercise in learning to submit wills so that we do the greatest one of all, that of giving in to God.
Now we see there is leeway for our wills. I Corinthians 16:12, “As touching our brother Apollos, I greatly desired him to come unto you, with the brethren: but his will was not at all to come at this time, but he will come when he shall have convenient time.” Here is shown that the great Apostle Paul was not domineering. He gave place to the will of Apollos. This may not have been fault in the matter of Apolllos. He too, sought God.
In Acts 21, we find a situation where a prophet warned Paul not to go to Jerusalem. It would mean great trouble for him. Yet, we see the outcome. Verse 14, “And when he would not be persuaded, we creased, saying, The will of the Lord be done.” So the will of God may not always be naturally advantageous. That is where the giving in of our will is difficult. We have all had something of that sort in our lives.
Revelation 22:17, “And the Spirit and the bride say, Come. And let him that heareth say, Come. And let him that is athirst come. And whosoever will, let him take the water of life freely.” This is the last call of the Bible to come to God’s full blessing. “My will” is the only limitation. God’s will is for the best, so our will determines the final blessing.
Let us end this thought about our will with a threefold summary of its great importance, to show what a powerful thing is planted in our spirit.
1. It decides our eternal destiny; heaven or hell.
2. Decides whether natural or spiritual principles are more important.
Decides how much of eternal blessing we partake of.