For some reason, these four words scare us. But should they? If we believe God created everything, then when we hear a bird singing or see a flower push up through the soil, this is the will of God.
Jesus said, about the birds, “Your heavenly Father feeds them.” Of the flowers, he says, “God makes their clothes.” These may be forgotten by us, but God does not forget them. If you find a place where no one goes, you see wildflowers growing there. The will of God is beauty. The will of God is singing. If you cut your finger, what happens? It soon begins to heal. You can clean the cut, but healing begins. The will of God is healing.
Another thing that is the will of God is love. When Moses got some commandments from the Lord, the first thing on his mind was love. In fact, Jesus said, “You only really need two commandments, Love God, love others.” John later writes, “God is Love.” Jesus said, “I’ve got a new commandment for you.” Wow, here it comes. Another commandment. I knew it. “Love each other like I have loved you.” Oh. He couldn’t give it until he demonstrated over and over how much he loved them. This is the will of God: love. And Jesus says, “Not just any love will do: Love like I love.
We focus on Jesus in the garden. Not my will but yours. But what about the rest of the time? When Jesus was healing, and teaching and demonstrating the love of God? Did he strain at this? No, he did the will of God with joy. He compared it to eating food. It was satisfying to him.
What is the alternative of doing the will of God? I say “doing” because the will of God can only be done. People say, “How can I know the will of God?” You can’t. If you want to know the will of God and then make a choice about doing it, you are asking for trouble. You already know some of the will of God. Are you doing that? If not, why ask for more knowing?
Let’s look at some real examples. “What college should I go to, God?” God doesn’t care. He cares what you do at whatever college you go to but what college? What college did Jesus go to? Go to that one. Jesus could have found a rabbi and learned stuff. Paul said he studied under the best one.
Second one. “God, who should I marry?” Well, let’s see. Do you want the perfect mate? Are you perfect? So, you want someone perfect who wants someone not perfect. Why do marriages fail? Neither person knows how imperfect they are. Their expectations are unreasonable. The will of God in marriage is how you treat your mate. I know a couple that broke up. They were both great people. She knew the will of God for her husband. He should cherish me. She was right, I suppose. But what was the will of God for her? She didn’t say.
Our mistake is that we have a method of evaluating based on the knowledge of good and evil. How did we get this knowledge? We stole it. We took something that wasn’t for us. It was never intended for humans. And what good has it done us? We could listen to our conscience. It would help keep us from splitting ourselves in two. If you go against your conscience, you become two people that get further apart. There is the you that knows it’s wrong and there’s the you that does the wrong. The psychiatrist is waiting for you.
To live under the knowledge of good and evil is to progress towards death. Dying, you will die. When is conscience celebration day? I don’t think there is one. What did Adam say? “Yea, I got a conscience now! Eve chimed in, “Me, too!” It didn’t happen. Adam says, “I am naked.” He means, all I have is me. Everything else is “Other”. God, wife, animals, plants, everything is not me. I am alone and I am naked.
Does God want you to live like this, alone. He never did and he doesn’t now. He wants you to live in relationships of love. He has done everything to allow you and me to return to a good relationship with him. Sin, guilt? He dealt with it. Conscience? Always evaluating which is better? Throw it away. It will never lead you to goodness. Eternal life is live, in the moment, in contact with the Spirit of God, proving the will of God is good by doing it.
They would bring either/or questions to Jesus. He never chose A or B. Do we pay taxes to Caesar? Yes or no, Jesus? Let’s look at a coin. It came from Ceasar. His name is on it. Give it back to him. But what did God give you? Give that back to him.
Or: Who is my neighbor? Ooh, it sounds so wise. It was more like, how big is my neighborhood? Jesus tells a nearly ridiculous story of kindness to one in need. The hero is a Samaritan! The question Jesus answers is a different one. How does a really good neighbor behave?
Why doesn’t Jesus answer like they want? He goes by life and death not good and evil. He was The Life. He lived in the moment with God. He never went by conscience. He never talked of bad, worse, better, best. He never said, go by your conscience, choose good over evil. No, he said, “Follow me.” Do what I do. He loved to do the will of the Father. The will of God is only one thing at any moment. The world of possible actions is swept away. I came to do the will of God. Did he look sorry or solemn? No, I think he looked joyful.
He created excitement around him. He attracted people. He was a magnet. Sometimes people lost track of the time. His disciples said, “It’s getting late, send the people on their way to find their dinner.” Jesus is caught up in the moment and says, “No, you feed them!” His faith is exuberant. They try to show him practicality. He won’t have it. It’s like water from a rock. Food from heaven time. Tell them to sit down. I ask you this: where is the ‘work by the sweat of your brow’? No, it’s manna time to Jesus. The next thing you know, food is being passed around. Plenty of it. This is Jesus doing the will of God.
The will of God is live in the moment. It is not a thing apart from God. That’s why you can’t separate the will of God from God. You can’t know the will of God as a possibility among possibilities. The will of God is connected to God at all times. It does not live somewhere that we can contain it as knowledge. It is quite different.
Rather than process possibilities, we live by inspiration. Why is Jesus always running afoul of ‘the rules’? Because they were added on later. Do you think God wanted to write some rules on a stone and give it to his people? That was what they wanted. Give us some rules and back off, God. We’ll take it from here.
When Jesus comes, they throw the rules in his face. The Sabbath was made for man not the other way round. Do good to others on the Sabbath. “Your disciples are harvesting, that’s working on the Sabbath.” Here was a day of rest used as a bludgeon. The will of God is not a means to condemn others and justify yourself. Jesus makes the astounding statement, “I judge no man.” Or woman. “Neither do I condemn you. Go and sin no more.”
The will of God comes forth from him for you in real time. You have the Spirit of God. If you don’t, you can. He will not have his will as a possibility among other possibilities for you to evaluate. You can be moved by his Spirit to act. Or you can decide for yourself what to do. Those are our choices.
One thought on “The Will of God”
Hi Lee, I like these color blocks of your thoughts! Well done.