Christian Fellowship 1996-07-23 - The Will of God

Matt 6:10 "Thy will be done, On earth as it is in heaven"

Recently a large ecclesiastical group issued a statement asserting that the crash of Flight 800 was not the will of God. There are many ways of responding to a disaster and it seems in our culture an earthquake, flood, or plane crash have now become "bigger than God". God is love, God is kind, and God would never cause hardship. The is the God that man has created.

We would not want to say that God caused any plane to crash or that he did not. We simply have no way of knowing. God's ways are past finding out. But to say that this was not God's will is to say that God was unable to prevent the crash. It happened in spite of all God could do. We do not want to say this. This limits God and we serve a limitless God. Rather than say that it was not God's will that the plane crash, it is more truthful to say that God in His will did not prevent the crash. And He could have prevented it.

The Church has historically viewed the will of God under two aspects.

  1. The preceptive will of God. This is laws or requisitions that God has made know to His people. These are the standards for our obedience and duty. It is the will of God that moral and intelligent creatures behave a certain way. These are both positive commands, such as, "Love the Lord your God", and negative commands, like, "Do not murder". This might be summed up as God's will for us.

  2. The providential will of God. By this is meant Gods government of the universe, according to His own purpose and pleasure. This means God disposing of all events and all creatures, throughout His domain, as He wishes. It is here, under the providence of God, that we have to place events such as earthquakes, plane crashes, a beautiful sunset, or a pay raise. These things might occur because God intervenes or does not intervene. But they are all under the sovereign providence of God. This is God's will unto us.

This petition in the Lords' prayer, "Thy will be done", should lead us to rejoice in the sovereignty, authority, and glory of God. It should teach us to be content and satisfied with His dealings with us and with our stations in life, without envy, rejoicing to see others honored, prospered, and happy. We are under the care and providence of the creator and Lord of the universe and His will for us should be our delight and our joy.

Soli Deo Gloria,

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