Who’s Will?

Numbers 32

 As we near the end of the book of Numbers the people of Israel are getting ready to enter into the Promised Land. But three of the tribes, Reuben, Gad, and the half tribe of Manasseh, decide they would rather not cross over to the Promised Land. Instead, they wanted to stay on the east side of the Jordan River in land that Israel had already started to take when several kings tried to oppose the nation.

 Moses was concerned but after much discussion and promises made by the tribes to join in the taking of the Promised Land, Moses reluctantly gives them the area they want as their inheritance. What is missing in this chapter is what God had to say about it. That is because no one asked God; apparently they just presumed God was okay with this decision.

 There is a difference between God’s perfect will and God’s permissive will. We often plead with God for His permissive will. God knows that what we are asking is not the best thing for us but He will allow it because we have free will. Usually when we are asking God to let us have our way it is because we are feeding the desires of the flesh which indicate a weakness in faith. Often with what we are asking there are unseen consequences that we will experience when we get our own way. I have found that the more I want something the less due diligence I do. This is because I want my will so bad I turn a blind eye toward any possibility that there might be negative consequences. God sees them however, and uses them as teachable moments to encourage me to trust Him more and my blind self-will less. When I think of this, Proverbs 3:11&12 comes to mind.

 One of the deceptive games we play that really works against us, is claiming that we don’t know God’s will in the matter we are asking about. We say something like, I think I will go ahead with it and if God doesn’t want me to do it He will block it. This is really saying that I want this so badly I’m going to do it and I am going to make God responsible for how it works out. All I can say is, good luck with that. Expect some pain and Godly discipline.

 I find that quite often people really don’t know what God’s will is for them. There can be a lot of reasons for that, which I won’t go into here, but it is important that we know God's will for us so I have listed some verses for further study on God’s will.

 Matthew 12:46-50; 18:10-14: John 6:38-40; 7:17; Romans 12:1&2; 13:14; 1Corinthians 6:12; Ephesians 5:17: Colossians 1:9: 1Thessalonians 4:3; 5:17; 1 Peter 3:17.

 To paraphrase the words of Jesus, not my will Lord, but Your will be done.

 Pastor Dave