“I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that you present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable to God, which is your reasonable service. And do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, that you may prove what is that good and acceptable and perfect will of God.” Romans 12:1,2 NKJV
I have often read the above passage like this: “…that you may prove what is the good will of God, the acceptable will of God, and the perfect will of God.”
Kind of like there are three or more degrees of God’s will.
But that can’t be, can it? I mean, I am either doing the will of God, or I’m not.
“But God allows things to happen. Therefore it must be His will. Right?”
For instance, Israel wanted a king. They told Samuel the prophet, “Give us a king, just like the other nations.”
Samuel told them God wanted to be their King. But they insisted; demanding Samuel find a king for the nation of Israel.
Finally God told Samuel, “Heed the voice of the people in all that they say to you; for they have not rejected you, but they have rejected Me, that I should not reign over them.” 1 Samuel 8:7
God allowed them to have a king. But His will was not done.
Remember when Jesus was asked the question about divorce? He answered, “What God has joined together, let no one separate.” So the people gasped and said, “Then why did Moses tell us to write a certificate of divorce…” (Matthew 19).
Jesus responded, “Because of the hardness of your hearts, Moses was permitted (allowed) to do so.”
Did you catch that?
Sometimes things are ALLOWED because God knows we’re going to keep asking, and asking, until we finally get our way.
But just because He “allows” it, doesn’t make it His will. No way.
God’s glory is revealed ONLY when His will is accomplished. Period.
The will of God is good, acceptable, and perfect. I don’t mean what He allows, but what He decrees.
The will of God comes from above, the same place every good and perfect gift is from (James 1:17).
We are NOT to pursue His PERMISSIVE will. We are NOT told to live by everything God ALLOWS.
Jesus told us to live “…by every word that proceeds from the mouth of God.” In other words, we are to live according to THE will of God. Period.
Why don’t we? Why do we settle for less than God’s will?
Maybe it’s because we don’t want to go to the trouble of finding out what He really wants. Possibly, we’ve believed the lie that God’s will is old fashioned, not fun, and leads only to a life of misery and loneliness.
God’s will is good, because He is good; ONLY good. His will is acceptable, if we understand Who it is that calls to us, “Come to Me…” His will is perfect, because nothing else can satisfy or be so intricately designed for our lives.
Only God knows us through and through.
Only God knows the end from the beginning.
Only God’s will can bring about the changes this world needs to experience.
So, let’s not be content with what we can “con” God into letting us do. Forget it; it’s not worth it.
Instead, let’s pursue THE will of God for our lives. Let’s arm ourselves with the same mind as Christ, living our lives for the will of God. 1 Peter 4:1,2