CHURCH MYTH: GOD’S PERMISSIVE WILL

Posted: January 27, 2015 in HOT TOPICS
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gods will

There are two paths a believer can go down, God’s path (his perfect will) or the believer’s own path (their will), each path brings with it its own set of consequences, either blessing or curse, but not both. To follow the path of God’s perfect will is to submit to his plan for one’s life, by doing such it will assure God’s blessing, God’s promise, God’s favor. However, following not the path of God’s perfect will automatically brings God’s judgment, God’s wrath and ultimately God’s rejection. Again, let it be understood that there are two paths one can walk in this life, God’s path or the path of self.

There is taught by some that there is a division of God when it comes to his will, it’s segregated into two thoughts, they are called God’s perfect will and God’s permissive will. Those who teach this suggest that God is double-minded, in that he desires the believer to follow his perfect will but will permit a more permissive will, thereby the believer, who finds him or herself not choosing to follow the perfect plan (or will) of God, may seek God’s permissive will without consequence. This unfortunately, although a popular teaching, is a false teaching.

In John 4:34, Jesus said, as it regards to God’s will, “My food is to do the will of him who sent me and to accomplish his work.” Here Jesus made the case that there was no other will other than God’s will, and Christ desired to fulfill his Father’s will (Matthew 6:10). When the believer comes to Christ, they are crucified with Christ, it is no longer they that live, but Christ who lives in them (Galatians 2:20). When the believer is crucified to Christ, they are dead to not only their past (2 Cor. 5:17) but to their will. This is why Paul said for the believer to renew themselves daily – renewing their mind in Christ. When the believer renews their mind daily in the Lord, their main (or central) prayer is “Your will, not mine”.

So, is there such a thing as God’s permissive will? The answer is no, there is not. The apostle Paul, in Romans 12:2 makes the case against anything other than God’s perfect will that is to be done in the believer’s life, “Do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewal of your mind, that by testing you may discern what is the will of God, what is good and acceptable and perfect.” Notice Paul’s wording? ‘That by testing, (1 Thessalonians 5:21) you may discern what is the will of God’. Paul tells us clearly that when we test (prove) what God’s will is, then we will discern his plan, this is part of seeking God in every order of our life.

In the universe there are three (3) distinct will’s, God’s will, Satan’s will, and man’s will. It is God’s will that all men might be saved (1 Timothy 2:4), it is God’s will that men might serve him, to submit to his divine plan which comes through the cross, yet we know that not all men will in fact be saved, nor will all of man come to God’s perfect plan. Yet God’s divine mercy and grace allows both Satan and man to operate within this world until all prophecy is fulfilled, to operate as they would according to their own desire until the ultimate end of this age – then things will drastically change. For in the far distant future, both Satan’s will as well as man’s will shall come to an end, then sin and rebellion will be put down forever, and there then shall be once again be only one will – God’s.

The concept of a permissive will is based on freewill, but freewill is not really God’s permissive will, freewill simply says “You have a choice to obey or disobey, and receive the consequences which come from those choices outside my perfect will.” To be clear, anything which is not God’s will is sin (James 4:17), so this includes when we subject our will over God’s will. Psalm 40:8 says “I desire to do your will, my God; your law is within my heart.” When the believer fails to seek God’s perfect will in ALL areas of their life, what they are doing is saying no to some of God’s will and saying yes to their own desires, their own lusts, their own way. This, unfortunately is sin. Again, to be clear, there is no such thing as a permissive will of God, meaning, God does not say “You have a choice to follow my will or not without consequence” that is against God’s own nature. Yes, there is a freewill of God whereby God allows man (and even the believer) to follow their own path, but not without their own consequences. In other words, if one does not seek his will, don’t expect God’s blessing, for God cannot bless that which is not his original plan nor desire for one’s life. Jesus referred to such in Luke 12:47 pertaining to the will of God, “The servant who knows the master’s will and does not get ready or does not do what the master wants will be beaten with many blows.” Jesus is speaking of a parable in this context, but the underlying truth remains the same, those who refuse to follow God’s will for their lives will suffer God’s judgment in one form or another. The solution? The cross.

Some have claimed (and wrongly so) that the cross ends the judgment of God upon the believer once and forever, that there is no more judgment by the Lord to those who walk in Christ because of their faith in the finished work of the cross. Yet this is not true, the cross does not remove God’s judgment (whatever that might be) against one (a believer) who disobeys the Lord, the cross is a reminder that the sin debt has been paid, but only to those who believe. However, while the cross stands as a testament of the finished work of God and man being reconciled, the fact remains that believers still sin (1 John 1:8-9) and because of sin there must come repentance. If we fail to seek God’s forgiveness in an area where we have failed to seek his perfect will, then, at some point in their life, God will allow things to occur through the enemy of our soul (Satan) who will bring turmoil in such a way that will eventually bring the believer back to the cross, back to repentance, back to restoration, and while the sinful choices that were not God’s perfect will can be and will be, forgiven, the consequences of those choices remain in full affect.

Many years ago when I was 5 years old, I put my right arm against a hot iron that my Mother had set aside after ironing some clothes. The pain was tremendous, even days after, I still had to put salve upon my right arm, but over time the pain left and today, 42 years later, only a scar remains. Yet I still have that scar. God never took away the scar, he only took away the pain. It’s the same principle. Jonah disobeyed God by subjecting his will instead of God’s will, God allowed him to be cast to the sea to be swallowed by a fish, for three days Jonah laid within the belly of this great fish, but God had a plan, Jonah repented and God had the fish vomit him out. Yet Jonah still suffered the traumatic event of his ordeal. Abraham listened to his wife, slept with Hagar and produced a seed which grew to become the Arab people, God’s perfect will was negated to a man’s will and the result has been disastrous since.

Again, it must be understood that there is no such thing as a permissive will of God for the believer – only his perfect will. Jesus echoes this clearly in Matthew 6:33 “But seek first the kingdom of God and his righteousness, and all these things will be added to you.” Notice Jesus never gives us a way out of doing God’s will? Jesus did not give us a  option, he gave us a command – seek you first the kingdom of God. The idea is, we are to seek God’s will and then do it. This is the result of us crucifying ourselves daily by keeping our faith in the finished work of the cross in our life and then seeking how we can fulfill that perfect will of God. For the believer there is no other choice, no other permissive will other than God’s will, his desires, his plan and his way, anything else other than God’s perfect will should be foreign to the believer for anything other than his will is sin, and sin shall not have dominion over the believer.

Christopher

christopher152@gmail.com

Comments
  1. Sharron says:

    Amen. Great writing piece. I know you write based on what is placed in your spirit by the Holy Spirit. What Biblical suggestions do you give Christians when interacting with homosexuals in the Christian community?

    • Stick to what God says about sin, what the word says about a lifestyle that is not based on the cross but on sin and rebellion. If one sticks to the word, then they can rightly contend with anyone or anything as it relates to our changing society.

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