Thursday, March 14, 2013

God's Perfect and Permissive Will

Ronnie and I were talking last night about this and it's still stirring in my head and heart.

Has there ever been a time in your life when you knew, beyond the shadow of a doubt, what God's will was for your life at that moment? It may have been a job, a relationship, where you should live...but you KNEW that was God's will. God's PERFECT will is why we seek His face.

We desire the best that He has for us, but sometimes 'free will' gets in the way. Free will - you know that thing that God allows us to have so we're not just His puppets? And sometimes, God's Perfect will for our life is thwarted by the 'free will' of other humans (looking at you Joseph - with your nasty mean brothers). We then enter into the territory of God's PERMISSIVE will.

Now, it's one thing when WE make the choices that move us from His Perfect to Permissive will, but it's something totally different when someone else does it for you. As I was reading through a few things this morning trying to wrap my head around this topic, I found the story of "Jack and Jill".

The short version: Jack and Jill knew it was God's Perfect will for them to spend their lives together. Jack proposed. Jill said, "Yes." The day of the wedding comes and Jill becomes a run-a-way bride. Jack is instantly thrown from God's Perfect will into His Permissive will because of Jill's decision ('free will'). What does this mean for Jack? Does he now spend the rest of his life in God's Permissive will? Does he miss out on the blessings that come from walking in God's Perfect will? I suggest not. Mostly because Scripture tells me that 'all things work together for good to those who love God and are called according to His purpose.'

There comes a point when it's simply too late to 'go back', though - the moment has passed. Even if Jill had returned 6 or 7 months later, so much would've changed that God's Perfect will would no longer be God's Perfect will.  It's just sad and disappointing to know that God's Perfect will could have come to pass in a situation and then didn't because of someone exercising their 'free will'. (Selfish) It's frustrating to be the one who feels like you were cheated out of the best God had for you. However, because He works all things for good, you can know that He will redeem the situation.

Jill walked away from her faith and eventually ends up in a not-so-happy marriage. Jack? He's happily married and feels like through it all, God has blessed him and worked all things for good in His life.


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