Making Sense of God’s Will

“For my Father’s will is that everyone who looks to the son and believes in Him whall have eternal life, and I will raise Him up at the last day.  John 6:40.

If you want, you can stop reading at this very sentence, because all I’m gonna’ do is expand and discuss the above point in depth.  The reason I want to discuss it more is to ascertain why the above statement, clear as it is, gets muddled in the Christian rhetoric and practices.  So here goes. 

We’ve spent some time talking about the unbelief of the Jews.  We’ve looked at our own part in this, and established that human nature hasn’t changed all that much.  Now Jesus talks about supply and demand.

The world is hungry for many things, primary among them is peace, safety, hope for today and the future.  We thirst for life but most refuse Jesus as the source of life’s well spring, preferring to drink elsewhere.  Remember what He told the woman at the well?  “Everyone who drinks this water will be thristy again, but whoever drinks the water I give Him will never thirst.  Indeed, the water I give him will become a spring of water welling up to eternal life.”  Jesus’ gift to us is eternal life, then John reminds us of His message to the woman in His conversation with the Jews.  The contrast of this outcome, however, with that of the woman couldn’t be more poignant if he’d manufactured it.

Jesus told her salvation was from the Jews, but what He didn’t mention was that many of His own countrymen wouldn’t believe or accept Him for who He was.  He even tells them,  “But as I told you, you have seen me and still you do not believe.”  They saw the miracles, ate the food and still rejected Him.  I’ve heard many believers get indignant about the Jews’ unbelief as if it were the most proposterous thing they’d ever witnessed, yet I watch these same people turn and be as unlike their Master as those who denied Him.  In other words, claiming belief in God does nothing for the person unless they come to Jesus in submission and a willingness to let Him be Lord.  This means to me following not only the forms of a religious POV but having the attitude of their Master, who said in the next sentence,  “All that the Father gives me will come to me, and whoever comes to me I will never drive away.”

Do you get the significance of that statement?  Jesus isn’t in the business of losing souls or sending them to hell but saving them.  Those who end up in hell do so by default of their choice against the God and Savior of the world.  Anyone who comes to Him in faith, no matter how bad their understanding is, will never be driven away.  His goal is to save mankind not destroy it.

A lot of people believe there’s a difference, though, between Jesus and His Father, as if the two have been completely at odds in their goals for humanity; like Jesus is playing nice and only wants to save us, while God the Father is out to fry anyone who offends Him.  Jesus dispels that notion by proclaiming,  “For I have come down from heaven not to do my will but to do the will of Him who sent me.  And this is the will of Him who sent me, that I shall lose none of all that He has given me, but raise them up at the last day.”

There is no difference, They are one in purpose, motivation and attitude, so the yin-yang contention between them has been manufactured by those who either haven’t studied Scripture or those who have but who ignored this vital passage.

Now to point out what this passage teaches us:   We are to be like our Master in everything, which means if He is in the business of saving people, we should be as well.  There’s no way around it, our goals must match our Savior’s or we proclaim to all earth and heaven we don’t really believe.  Our lives must be a taste of heaven for those who come in contact with us; our hearts must tap into the well from which no one will walk away thirsty; our spirits must demonstrate the contentment of being well fed and healthy because He is in us.  If none of these are true, we live a lie and God’s word has no place in our hearts—that’s not a statement about what we deserve but pointing rather to our own rejection of God’s word in our hearts.  If God will not drive us away from Himself, then the only way we get separated from Him is by our own choice to be so.

If we have tasted the heavenly gift, seen the miracle of change in the hearts and attitudes of others and still reject Him, what is left for us is a hell of our own making.

So how do we make sense of God’s will?  Well, as far I as I can determine it from this text and others it’s surrounds reconciling God and man.  Here Jesus makes it clear that God’s primary purpose in sending Him to earth was to seek and save that which was lost.  This conclusion is supported by so many passages in the NT that it would take me several entries just to list them all.

God’s will and purpose for mankind isn’t that hard to know, really—to trust it’s true, yeah I get the hesitation there, but not the knowing part.  The OT quotes God as saying (Ezekiel 33:11), “Say to them,  ‘As surely as I live, declares the Sovereign LORD,  I take no pleasure in the death of the wicked, but rather that they turn from their ways and live.  Turn!  Turn!  Turn from your evil ways!  Why will you die, O house of Israel?’ “

The message remains the same whether you go to the law or prophets, for God pleads with humanity to turn to Him.  His mission is to save us from our own self-destructive choices and clean us up.

God’s will in a nutshell is to save humanity not destroy it.  The gospel is good news to all mankind, not a fear based belief system designed to scare us straight.  Is there a negative consequence to rejecting God?  Absolutely.  But any choice against God is a choice against living, for He designed and sustains it.  However, we are talking about God’s will, desire and purpose, which is ultimately to save us from our sin and the death that awaits us because of it.

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One Response to “Making Sense of God’s Will”

  1. tlc4women Says:

    Very well said.

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