God’s Decreed Will
I am God, and there is no other; I am God, and there is none like me. I make known the end from the beginning, from ancient times, what is still to come. I say: My purpose will stand, and I will do all that I please. From the east I summon a bird of prey; from a far-off land, a man to fulfill my purpose. What I have said, that will I bring about; what I have planned, that I will do.
Over the next several weeks I will be reflecting on important aspects I have found vital to understanding God and how He works in the world. Over the next three weeks I will specifically look at the different aspects of God’s will.
First we begin with God’s decreed will. This speaks to those things that will, no matter what man does, take place (Isa. 46:8-11). This is the foundation of our trust in God’s promises and things hoped for in the Christian life. This includes things such as the certainty of the gospel spreading, the return of Christ, believers security, the future Kingdom of Messiah and believers existing eternally in a new heaven and new earth (Phil. 1:6; John 14:1-4; Eph. 1:13-15; Rev. 20:1-6; Rev. 21). These things will take place regardless of what man does. The decreed will of God speaks to the “things to which He has committed Himself, and nothing will turn Him from His purpose” (Dr. Constable, Essays in Honor of J. Dwight Pentecost).
This aspect of God’s will plays out practically in our lives as well. Although this is the area where man has no influence at all, thankfully, it is here that God changes man to accept what He has planned. This is where balance is necessary. To be certain, man is in total submission to God’s decreed will but we must also realize that God changes man to accept His will by persuading him to act accordingly. Sometimes this is drastic as with Paul on the road to Damascus or Jonah and the great fish (Acts 9; Jonah). God acted sovereign in their lives to persuade them to cooperate with His plan. But sometimes God uses more subtle means as well. The thing to note is that even when God is bringing man into submission to His decreed will it is not imposed on man in such a way that he is overtaken and without responsibility but rather God continues His original design of working with and through man as he is persuaded to obey.
Are you living under the promises of God? Knowing that God has a decreed will and nothing can thwart this will from taking place should motivate us to take great refuge in the promises of God. What God has said He is able to perform! As you read the scripture look for the stated facts and promises of God and take great courage knowing and being “convinced that He is able to guard what you have entrusted to Him until that day” (2 Tim. 2:13).
Are you responding to the leading of God in your life? We don’t have to have a Damascus road or great fish experience before we cooperate with God’s purpose. Many of us are blind and bound by our lack of response to God’s calling. Many of us are on a road for the wrong purpose or going the wrong direction. In light of His sovereign decreed we would do well to respond to God now and regain our sight, start heading in the right direction, and be used by God in a mighty way!