Quotes about God-Will_of-Defined
We do have a responsibility to make wise decisions or to discover the will of God, whichever term we may prefer to use. But God’s plan for us is not contingent upon our decisions. God’s plan is not contingent at all. God’s plan is sovereign. It includes our foolish decisions as well as our wise ones.
Now that is the will of God which Christ both did and taught. Humility in conversation; steadfastness in faith; modesty in words; justice in deeds; mercifulness in works; discipline in morals; to be unable to do a wrong, and to be able to bear a wrong when done; to keep peace with the brethren; to love God with all one’s heart; to love Him in that He is a Father; to fear Him in that He is God…this is to fulfill the will of the Father.
There is no inconsistency or contrariety between the decretive and preceptive will of God. It is very consistent to suppose that God may hate the thing itself, and yet will that it should come to pass. Yea, I do not fear to assert that the thing itself may be contrary to God’s will, and yet that it may be agreeable to His will that it should come to pass, because His will, in the one case, has not the same object with His will in the other case. To suppose God to have contrary wills towards the same object, is a contradiction; but it is not so, to suppose Him to have contrary wills about different objects. The thing itself, and that the thing should come to pass, are different, as is evident; because it is possible that the one may be good and the other may be evil. The thing itself may be evil, and yet it may be a good thing that it should come to pass. It may be a good thing that an evil thing should come to pass; and oftentimes it most certainly and undeniably is so, and proves so.
We must distinguish between two different senses of God’s will, which we will refer to as God’s "wish" (will-1) and God’s "will" (will-2). The former is God’s general intention, the values with which He is pleased. The latter is God’s specific intention in a given situation, what He decides will actually occur.
This revealed will of God is either manifested to us in His Word, or in His works. The former is His commanding will, the latter His affecting or permitting will.
God decrees one state of affairs while also willing and teaching that a different state of affairs should come to pass. This distinction in the way God wills has been expressed in various ways throughout the centuries… For example, theologians have spoken of sovereign will and moral will, efficient will and permissive will, secret will and revealed will, will of decree and will of command, decretive will and preceptive will, voluntas signi (will of sign) and voluntas beneplaciti (will of good pleasure), etc.
So we go to Him. We spend time with Him. We sincerely listen to His Word as we walk in obedience to it. As we do these things, God leads and guides us according to His will, and suddenly we realize that the will of God is not a road map just waiting to be unearthed somewhere. Instead, it’s a relationship that God wants us to experience every day.
God’s decretive will [also called His hidden, sovereign or efficacious will] refers to the secret, all-encompassing divine purpose according to which He foreordains whatsoever comes to pass. His preceptive will refers to the commands and prohibitions in Scripture. One must reckon with the fact that God may decree what He has forbidden. That is to say, His decretive will may have ordained that event x shall occur, whereas Scripture, God’s preceptive will [also called His revealed or moral will], orders that event x should not occur.
Perhaps the best example [of God’s two wills] is found in Acts 2:22-23 and 4:27-28. Here we see that in some sense God “willed” the delivering up of his Son while in another sense “did not will” it because it was a sinful thing for his executioners to do.