The Will of God

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God bless you! I can’t begin to tell you how sincerely that’s said, because we do pray so earnestly for you, and I say again, God bless you indeed.

From these letters that we have received, there are some very pathetic cries that come in from radioland: one from a sufferer who lives in a wheelchair, terribly crippled with arthritis. She tells of the long years of bondage and then she sums it all up in these words, “Is this God’s will for me?”

I’ll tell you, there’s pathos in that, and our hearts are burdened for her. But there is also a real question there: Is that God’s will for her?

You know, so many people handle this phrase “the will of God” so lightly and mistakenly that great confusion is the result sometimes. Sometimes a godly consecrated soul who wants above all else to be submissive to God’s will, will say, “It’s the will of God and I have to bow to it, though I can’t understand why God’s will is always so hard.”

I can’t help but wonder why we think of God’s will as something so hard to bear, as if God were some inexorable tyrant whose inscrutable will is always forcing us into hard places! I can think of so many things this minute that are the result of, I would say, universal sin, or colossal ignorance, or the breaking of God’s law somewhere back down the line, or even man’s own selfish carelessness, or the carelessness of others.

But it’s all blamed on “God’s will!” “This is God’s will.” And Job’s comforters are always there to say, no matter how severe the [state of the] sufferer or the brokenhearted, “Well, God wills it; you’ll just have to accept it.” In many cases I do not believe that’s God’s intention.

I think that God always intends good towards His children, though circumstances of man’s making or man’s own will can temporarily defeat God’s intention. I want to make it very plain that I believe in utter submission to the will of God. I believe that submission is the very basis of victory in prayer, in getting answers to prayer—an utter submission, submissiveness to the will of God. But I also know that many people submit to suffering and bondage and hardships that are not the will of God at all. God’s will for them is really victory over these things. I’ve seen it come to pass that when certain ones that have felt that way have built up their faith by living in the Word of God and have met God’s conditions, they have been utterly delivered.

There are many who, through some mistaken teaching even, live under bondage because they just take it that God’s will is so hard, and that’s “the will of God.”

I think about the little poem that has this thought in it by Annie Johnson Flint:

“His will be done,” we say with sighs and trembling,
Expecting trial, bitter loss and tears.
And then how doth He answer us?
With blessings, and sweet rebuking of our faithless fears.
God’s will is peace and plenty, and the power
To be and have the best that He can give:
A mind to serve Him, a heart to love,
And faith to die with and the strength to live.

It means for us all good, all grace, all glory,
His kingdom coming and on earth begun.
Why should we fear to say, “His will—His righteous,
His tender, loving, joyous will—be done”?

Adapted from “His Will Be Done,” by Annie Johnson Flint

I would say “Amen to that!” You know, it is important to know just what is meant by “the will of God.” The will of God was the very framework for all of Christ’s ministry. He said, “I do always the will of My Father.” (John 5:30) And He made it plain that to do the will of God was a sure way to the heights of spiritual power and understanding.

But always the Father’s will was a joy. He never once intimated that we were to take all the tragedies of life, the oppressions of the Devil, the unhappy circumstances, and pile them all up in one place and say, “Well, this is the will of God.”

Perhaps I feel deeply on this subject because, as I have often told you, I was a hopeless invalid for years and my case was given up by the finest specialists as an incurable case. Every minister that came to my bedside talked to me earnestly just about submitting: submitting to my plight, that it was the will of God for me; that, as this was God’s will for me, that I must accept it sweetly and bear it patiently. “God’s will for me” was all they told me.

I feel, perhaps I do believe, that this was the easy way out for those men, because they didn’t have the faith to pray for my deliverance, and this is the easy way out for many who will not take the rugged path of the fight of faith and resisting the Devil and putting forth a determined effort of a believing will.

You know, it is easier just to sigh and say, “Well, this is God’s will” and not fight the good fight of faith. But thank God, one day there came to my bedside a minister who rightly divided the word of truth. (2 Timothy 2:15) And he said as he held the New Testament out before me, “A will, you know, is the last testament of a man who has died. Now this New Testament here is the last will and testament of one who died for you. And this is His will for you.”

Then he read me of His will. He read to me over and over about my inheritance and the joyous promises that were God’s will for me. I began to see clearly into the divine purpose, until all the torment and confusion left my mind and faith took hold of some of those wonderful things that were God’s will for me. Yes, the Lord healed me completely, restored, and sent me out to minister to others.

I found that the New Testament did not give me the right to associate everything that was just dark and hard and unhappy with the will of God. God’s Word says in Lamentations, “He doth not afflict willingly nor grieve the children of men”. (Lamentations 3:33) His will was not to rob me of all I prized and loved most. But rather God has spoken His will through His Word.

Here are some of the wonderful promises that were willed to me that this man of God read to me. And you know, some of you do, that that man, that minister of the Gospel, was my own husband.

It says in John 10:10, “He came that we might have life, and have it more abundantly.” And in Psalms 84:11, “No good thing will he withhold from them that walk uprightly.” This is the will of God! And in Matthew 7:7 and 11, “Ask and it shall be given you … for if ye, being evil, know how to give good gifts unto your children, how much more shall your Father which is in heaven give good things to them that ask him?”

In John 16:24, “Ask and ye shall receive, that your joy may be full.” “And whatsoever ye shall ask in my name, that will I do, that the Father may be gloried in the Son. And if ye shall ask anything in my name, I will do it” (John 14:13,14).

We could read on and on, for He has promised so much, and offered such an abundance as His revealed will for us that we can’t help but see that He longs to give us the best. As He says, “Delight thyself in the Lord and he will give thee the desires of thy heart.” (Psalm 37:4) Oh, my friend, here’s a wonderful verse we give you as an admonition: “Taste and see that the Lord is good: blessed is the man that trusteth in him. The young lions do lack, and suffer hunger: but they that seek the Lord shall not want any good thing. Many are the afflictions of the righteous: but the Lord delivereth him out of them all” (Psalm 34:8, 10, 19).

Wonderful precious promises, and they are for you, and this is God’s will for you—the wonderful will of a loving heavenly Father.

This is His Plan for Me

When I stand at the judgment seat of Christ
And He shows me His plan for me:
The plan of my life as it might have been
Had He had His way, and I see
How I blocked Him here and I checked Him there
And I would not yield my will—
Will there be any grief in my Savior’s eyes?
Grief, though He loves me still?

Oh Lord, of the years that are left to me
I give them to Thy hand.
Take me, break me, mold me
For Thy will, and the pattern Thou hast planned.

When I stand at the judgment seat of Christ
And He shows me His plan for me:
The plan of my life as it might have been
Had He had His way, and I see,
Then my desolate heart will well-nigh break
With the tears that I cannot shed.
I shall cover my face with my empty hands
I shall bow my uncrowned head.

For He would have me rich, and I stand there poor,
Stripped of all but His grace
While my memory runs like a haunted thing
Down the paths that I cannot retrace.

Adapted from “When I Stand at the Judgment Seat,” attributed to Martha Snell Nicholson

God bless you. He still lives and answers prayer, and He will answer prayer for you, my friend! Put your hand in His. Let Him take you and make you all that He planned in His precious will. He wills the best for you. Believe it and reach out and touch Him by the finger of faith today. Amen.