The Will of God (Part 2)
There is the general will of God revealed to us in the Word of God which He expects us to obey as His blood justified, blood redeemed children and His specific will that He has ordained for you and I to walk in and the gifts needed to complete our assigned task according to His grace given us (Romans 12:6). His call and gifting is irrevocable (Romans 11:29). Once He has the surrender of our wills He is free to use us according to His good, acceptable and perfect will. What He has for one will differ from what He has for another and His gifts will be in line with the avenue of service to which we are called (1 Corinthians 12:4-6, 11). Just as the Lord Jesus delighted to do the will of His Heavenly Father God’s law was in his heart, so we who are the Israel of God also delight in God’s will because His law has been written on our heart by the Holy Spirit (Jeremiah 31:31-34) (John 3:3) (Romans 2:28-29) (Acts 17:28).
Firstly then let’s look at what God’s general will is for a New Covenant believer in Messiah.
1. God’s will is the foundation of all ministries in the name of Jesus.
(Matthew 7:21-23) “Not everyone who says to Me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ will enter the kingdom of heaven, but he who does the will of My Father who is in heaven will enter. Many will say to Me on that day, ‘Lord, Lord, did we not prophesy in Your name, and in Your name cast out demons, and in Your name perform many miracles?’ And then I will declare to them, ‘I never knew you; depart from Me, you who practice lawlessness.’
God’s will is to save sinners and sanctify the saints. All ministries must be related to these spiritual matters. Many today are prophesying, casting out demons and performing many miracles all in the name of Jesus yet when they stand before the Lord Jesus when He judges the unsaved they also will be found among them. The Lord Jesus will not deny the miracles and that they were done in His name, however, He will ask them what was their motive in doing them? Those who do these things practice lawlessness if they are not controlled by the Holy Spirit and walking in the will of God for their lives and ministries.
We know from God’s Word that in these last days that the man of sin will be revealed preceded by the floodtide of all kinds of Satanic counterfeit miracles signs and wonders and in every kind of wickedness that deceives all those who are perishing because they have refused to love the truth and be saved (2 Thessalonians 2:9-10). At this time even the very elect saints of the Most High God will be in danger of spiritual deception perpetrated by those with a false anointing (Matthew 24:24).
Those who exercise gifts within the wider Body of Messiah must also have spiritual fruit in their lives or otherwise they are designated false prophets and practitioners of lawlessness (Matthew 7:15-19). They themselves must be seeking to practice what they preach lest after preaching to others they will be disqualified and have no future reward in the kingdom of God (Matthew 7:24-27). Those who are seeking to walk in all of God’s will for their life and ministry will always be conscious of their own sinful tendencies and how easily they can succumb to pride and the adulation of man.
They will seek to humble themselves continuously before the Lord, giving Him credit for everything they say and do in His name and are continuously aware of their constant need to draw on His spiritual power, knowing full well that in their flesh dwells no good thing and that if they are successful in ministry it is due solely to the grace of God and not in anything generated by man, or by the effort of the human will acting independently from God. As the Lord Jesus Himself said “So you also, when you have done everything commanded of you, should say, ‘We are unworthy servants; we have only done our duty’” (Luke 17:10).
2. God’s will is revealed in obedience to what He has already revealed in His Word the Bible.
(Psalm 119:105) “Your word is a lamp to my feet And a light to my path.”
(Psalm 119: 9-11) “How can a young man keep his way pure? By keeping it according to Your word. With all my heart I have sought You; Do not let me wander from Your commandments. Your word I have treasured in my heart, That I may not sin against You.”
Psalm 119 is chocked full of what the Word of God can do for us, in us and through us to others. It is our instruction manual for working and walking in all of the will of God and maintaining the spiritual maintenance we need to make us effective in the service of Messiah our Lord Jesus. God’s word covers every situation in life and every aspect of life. Did not Messiah our Lord Jesus say to Satan when tempted by him; “It is written: ‘Man shall not live on bread alone, but on every word that comes from the mouth of God’” (Matthew 4:4). When we feed upon the Word of God we are spiritually feeding on the life and blood of Messiah our Lord Jesus because He is the Word of God who became flesh and blood and tabernacled among us (John 1:14). He is that living bread sent down from heaven that gives spiritual life to those who come to Him and feed upon His divine life by faith (John 6:47-59).
This has nothing to do with the Roman Catholic doctrine of transubstantiation where they teach the bread and the wine on the altar become the literal body and blood of Messiah. (This is a subject in itself). In fact we see in the Bible God instructing His servants to eat the scroll with His Word on it in a vision or a dream (Jeremiah 15:16) (Ezekiel 3:3) (Revelation 10:9). So then when we read and seek to obey the Word of God we are feeding on the very spiritual nourishment of the indestructible life and power of the Lord Jesus Himself. His Word is our spiritual food and drink! (John 6:55).
If we seek to hide God’s Word in our heart with a surrendered will to its teaching then it will keep us from sin and disobedience even when the dictates of our flesh is demanding to be satiated. This will enable us to avail ourselves of the fact that those that belong to Messiah have crucified the flesh with its passions and desires (Galatians 5:24).
Walking in the will of God does not exempt us from spiritual conflict and we will find the closer we seek to walk with the lord the more intense and fierce the conflict becomes. This is why we need to put on the whole armour of God every day and take communion every morning that we might avail ourselves of the power of the Spirit, with the power of the water of God’s Word and with the power of the blood of Messiah, and these three are in perfect harmony and agreement with each other and work simultaneously together in their sanctifying work in the heart of the saint of God (1 John 5:7-8).
It has been said that “sin will keep us from the Word of God but that the Word of God will keep us from sin.” Do we treasure God’s Word above all else in life? It will be the lamp that lights the path of that narrow road which leads to heaven and reveal the pitfalls and chasms along the way that can turn us aside from the path God has ordained for us to walk in this present life. It has also been said that “those whose Bibles are falling apart are not!” It has also been said that “a well-marked Bible is the mark of a well fed soul!” Selah!
3. God’s will is the complete sanctification or our separation to God in body, soul and spirit.
(1 Thessalonians 4:3) “For this is the will of God, your sanctification”
(1 Thessalonians 5:22-24) “Abstain from every form of evil. Now may the God of peace Himself sanctify you completely, and may your entire spirit, soul, and body be kept blameless at the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ. The One who calls you is faithful, and He will do it”
To be sanctified means to be set apart to God for his exclusive use. This is His will for every child of His who has been redeemed by Messiah’s blood. It is a process which continues through life and has its culmination at the rapture and resurrection of all of the Israel of God, His chosen people. It may take a moment in time when we are saved out of the world when we are reborn by the Spirit of God, but it takes time to have the world taken out of us. However, we are also told by the apostle Paul that it is possible to be completely sanctified by having our entire spirit, soul and body kept blameless until the Second Coming of Messiah and that God who calls us to this separation to Himself will be faithful to do it in us.
Does this mean we can reach a state of sinless perfection in this life? Does it mean we no longer have the capacity to sin? No it does not, because we still have a sinful nature within. However, if we are filled with the Spirit and controlled by the Love of God shed abroad in our hearts by the Holy Spirit (Romans 5:5) then our flesh will be subdued and rendered powerless, enabling the Spirit to control our soul, our spirit and our body. As long as we walk in the love of God we will be entirely sanctified so long as we remain filled with the Spirit.
Of course we need to be refilled with the Spirit which is a command and not an option for every New Covenant believer in Messiah (Ephesians 5:18). In the Greek text it is a command and is rendered in the present continuous sense; “Be you being continuously refilled with the Spirit.” Loving God with all of our entire being and our neighbour fulfils everything written in the law and the prophets (Matthew 22:40). The apostle Paul also wrote; “love is the fulfilment of the law” (Romans 13:10). This experience is entire sanctification. The blood of Messiah has saved us from the power and penalty of sin and at the resurrection and rapture we will be saved from the very presence of sin.