Defining the Will of God

“The context of Deuteronomy is instructive. As the Lord prepares Joshua to lead Israel into the land of Canaan after the death of Moses, He reminds His people of the necessity of His Word to know His will. This would prove to be a message Israel needed to hear. The anticipation of the promised land would press the limits of Israel’s faith as it navigated the obstacles that often lie in the gap between promise and fulfillment. In the face of the uncertainties that attend life in a fallen world, Israel needed to be reminded that obeying God’s Word was at the center of knowing God’s will for their lives.”

(John Tweeddale – Tabletalk) Throughout the annals of time, many people have struggled to define the will of God. When we talk about God’s will today, we tend to speak about things in reference to ourselves—usually good things such as our spouses, our children, our jobs, our finances, and our hobbies….

Historically, however, when theologians have discussed the will of God, they have done so to say things primarily about God—usually about deep things such as God’s nature, God’s decree, God’s freedom, God’s sovereignty, and God’s wisdom. This wasn’t to ignore life’s big decisions but to locate them in the vast expanse of the eternal purposes of God.

Defining the will of God is important for us as Christians because it unveils who He is as the eternal, all-powerful, all-knowing God. Geerhardus Vos describes God’s will as “that perfection of God by which in a most simple act and in a rational manner He goes out toward Himself as the highest good and toward creatures outside Him for His own sake.” Stated negatively, God’s will cannot be separated from God Himself. Since God is one is essence, His will is undivided. As Richard Muller concisely states, “God is what he wills.” Viewed from our vantage point, the will of God reflects His character, reveals His design for His creation, and manifests His wisdom and power in ordering all that comes to pass for our good and His glory. View article →


Finding God’s Will Is No Deep Dark Secret