Drinking Deeply

Tuesday, December 06, 2005 at 8:51 PM

Response (1)

Dear younger Mickey,

You said:

This brings me into my question: Where is it God's will for us to do nothing? Clearly if I believe that everything is in accordance to God's will, why would I go out of my way to stop something like slavery? Wouldn't it be in accordance to God's will for me to be frozen in indecision? What if I saw someone being beaten by their parents? Do I continue walking and say its God's will? Clearly if I feel drawn by God to do something, I will, but oftentimes like Audrey said in the senior blog, she discovers she cares only because she feels called to care. Do I force myself to care because that's what I think I'm being called to do? Do I not care because it's God's will? I really had a tough time wrapping my mind about this issue, and I wish I had the courage to ask this in the fellowship, or even during the chill time after, but I felt frozen. That was God's will ... right?

1) To begin with, one must make a distinction in what is commanded by God and what God has decreed. While these two terms sound alike, the difference lies in what we know about them. God's commands are clear in Scripture. We have the 10 commandments, we have Christ's command to love one another (which is a fulfillment of the Law), we have the command to refrain from course joking, and so on. These are all termed (theologically), the "revealed" Will. This is what we know and are commanded to follow.

Another thing that God's Will refers to is what actually happens. The times at which the sun rises and sets, the rising and falling of the tides, the traffic on the roads, tsunamis, and everything that ever has and ever will happen is governed by God's Will. They happen because God declares that they will happen. This is why we say, "Nothing happens apart from God's Will." God actually has to will something in order for it to happen. This is known as God's "hidden" Will, because we as humans (without explicit revelation by God) will probably never know what is going to happen.

Thus the Scriptures say in Deut. 29:29)

29"The secret things belong to the LORD our God, but the things that are revealed belong to us and to our children forever, that we may do all the words of this law.

The secret things we will never know, but those that are revealed are given to the Israelites, and now by extension, us as Christians.

So with your questions about slavery, someone being beaten, and the loving people there is a way by which we say "yes" and "no" in different senses. In one sense, slavery, since it happened, was part of God's hidden will. In another sense, slavery, since Scripture is against it, is part of God's revealed will. Because of that (it's commanded against), we as Christians are morally bound to reject slavery and oppose it. The same application can be said for your other questions.

Explicitly that means we are commanded to love one another, to love our neighbors, and to love God. This means that we will be judged for every action and every inaction that we do in conformity and out of conformity with the Law that is set down in the Bible.

"But wait, if that's going to happen, then I'm lost! I can't possibly obey everything in there!" you may say. That's the beauty of the Gospel, my fine-feathered friend. The truth is, we can't obey everything, and the things we can obey, we can't obey with a pure heart. That's why we need God to give us a new heart to replace our heart of stone. We need to trust completely in Christ because only His perfect righteousness given to us by God combined with our unholy and unrighteous acts placed upon Christ (for which He died) can count us righteous in God's eyes.

Christ's death sets us free from the bondage of sin, and sets us free to obey Christ. God is moving in your heart (and I know *laughs*) and will be, in accordance to His faithful promises, gradually transform you more and more into Christ's likeness.


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Anonymous Hannah said...

The distinction between God's hidden will and revealed will is so helpful, isn't it?  


Anonymous Anonymous said...

my fine feathered friend? haha.

"why, how finely feathered you are." - old mickey
"all the better to fly away with!" - younger mickey

it doesn't make sense. that's why this comment is anonymous.  


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