Proving God’s Perfect Will
Robert Wurtz II
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 12:2 NKJV)
God’s will is the perfect will simply because it cannot be improved upon. A wise old preacher once said that, “A good wit can dispute and distinguish about the will of God; while an honest, humble heart, that has spiritual senses exercised, and is delivered into the mold of the word (not the world), loves it, and practises it, and has the relish and savour of it.” This was the attitude of the Lord Jesus. His “meat” was to do the will of the Father. (John 4:34) In fact, He employed the food motif first when He stated categorically when talking to Satan, “Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word that proceeds out of the mouth of God.” (Matthew 4:4)
Deo volente or “DV” (as it is commonly expressed), is a Latin term that means “God willing.” It reflects back to biblical prohibitions against the sin of presumption. Instead you ought to say, “If the Lord wills, we shall live and do this or that.” (James 4:15 NKJV) James reminds us of the central position of God’s will in the life of a Christian. We don’t even know that tomorrow will come and we must always consciously beware that God is sovereign in all things. That is to say, we acknowledge God’s right to maintain supreme rule in our lives — including matters of life and death.
Understand that when people are bent on doing their own will nothing will change their mind. It is useless arguing with them. Human beings have made a life of rebelling against what they know to be God’s will. Moreover, many people (even Christians) will give lip-service to the importance to doing God’s will until that will conflicts with their own. However, the spiritual person not only seeks to prove (rightly discern and obey) God’s will, but will always encourage others to do likewise. This is what James did, “Instead you ought to say, ‘If the Lord wills…” A spiritual person should never (underline the word never) encourage you to disobey what you perceive to be God’s will. If what you are about to do is in compliance with God’s word, and you feel strongly that some certain thing is God’s will, you ought to obey God rather than men. (Acts 5:29)
But if you have bitter envy and self-seeking in your hearts, do not boast and lie against the truth. This wisdom does not descend from above, but is earthly, sensual, demonic. (James 3:14–15 NKJV)
The carnal man generally lives for the moment and fears the future because of that. Satan exploits these traits. As a result, decisions are often made on the basis of carnal factors that are not of God. Moreover, the first question that any Christian should ask before making any decision is, “what is God’s will in this matter?” “What does God’s word teach?” “What is His Spirit leading me to do?” Jesus is pictured with seven eyes in the book of Revelation. This is perfect perception and knowledge. He knows the problem and He knows the solution. He knows the future and he knows what is the mind of God. He understands the workings of God’s will on the earth. Nothings escapes His eyes.Nothing takes Him by surprise. This is why we lean on His understanding and guidance and not our own or others.
Carnality in Decision Making
The world makes decisions based on their emotions, lusts, pet-peeves, what’s trending, and a host of other things. No person can prove God’s perfect will making decisions on that basis. It is impossible. We cannot approve things that are holy, godly, excellent (Philippians 1:10), etc. when employing substandard criteria for decision making. Christians must be moving in an unbiased — unprejudiced judgment concerning the things of God if they are ever to prove God’s will. God often challenges conventional wisdom with His perfect will.
Where is the wise? Where is the scribe? Where is the disputer of this age? Has not God made foolish the wisdom of this world? (1 Corinthians 1:20 NKJV) Answer: yes! In fact, it is impossible to prove God’s perfect will when employing the methodology of fools. That’s what the wisdom of this world is, foolishness. When we make decisions based upon any other factor than a desire to do God’s perfect will we are moving in foolishness. And there are going to be consequences. A Craig Caster has rightly said, “Man can never improve upon God’s perfect will, only destroy it.” When man gets in the way of God’s will, leaning upon his/her own understanding, the consequence is sure to be disaster. Those who meddle in God’s business are sure to give an account to Him. If you have been guilty of this, don’t delay! Repent and go to the person(s) and confess the sin. Perchance God will forgive the sin and remedy the damage.
For the wisdom of this world is foolishness with God. For it is written, He taketh the wise in their own craftiness. (1 Corinthians 3:19 KJV emphasis added)
Sometimes it’s hard to do God’s will because of the craftiness (Gk. panourgian) of people who are bent on their own self-will. The religious leaders used craftiness (panourgian) to try to trip Jesus up. He asked them, “Why do you tempt me?” (Luke 20:23) Satan is said to have used craftiness (panourgian) to deceive Eve (2 Cor. 11:2). Paul used the word once again to describe how men use “cunning craftiness” to lie in wait to deceive vulnerable believers. (Eph. 4:13)
Satan the Scandalon
When Jesus was about to do God’s will and die on the cross for our sins, Peter took Him and rebuked him. (Matthew 16:22) But He turned and said to Peter, “Get behind Me, Satan! You are an offense to Me, for you are not mindful of the things of God, but the things of men.” (Matthew 16:23 NKJV) The Greek word for offense is skandalon. A better translation would be not “thou art an offense” but “thou art in my way!” (Vincent) Peter went from being a “rock” Jesus could use to build the church to Peter the stumbling stone. that is shocking! And it all related to doing or not doing God’s will and how we encourage or discourage folks in that area. He was setting a trap to cause him to miss God’s will. The voice of Satan was in Peter’s mouth at that moment. How can this be? Satan filled Ananias and Sapphira’s heart and he can fill a Christian’s mouth. The human heart can be very deceitful without any help from Satan. (Jer. 17:9) People can be deceitful. Christians can be deceitful. Leaders can be deceitful. Preachers can be deceitful. Believe it or not, even Prophets can be deceitful.
“And he said, “I cannot return with you nor go in with you; neither can I eat bread nor drink water with you in this place. For I have been told by the word of the LORD, “You shall not eat bread nor drink water there, nor return by going the way you came.’ “He said to him, “I too am a prophet as you are, and an angel spoke to me by the word of the LORD, saying, ‘Bring him back with you to your house, that he may eat bread and drink water.’ ” (He was lying to him.)”
(1 Kings 13:16–18 NKJV)
An old prophet used his influence to lie to the man of God. We are not told why. The result was the man of God obeyed the voice of the prophet rather than obeying what he knew was God’s word to him. He had direct orders from God and should have obeyed them. He believed the lie instead and was killed as a result. “The conduct of the old prophet at Bethel appears so strange, that Josephus and the Chaldeans, and most of the Rabbis and the earlier commentators both Catholic and Protestant, have regarded him as a false prophet, who tried to lay a trap for the prophet from Judah, in order to counteract the effect of his prophecy upon the king and the people. But this assumption cannot be reconciled with either the divine revelation which came to him at the table, announcing to the Judaean prophet the punishment of his transgression of the commandment of God, and was so speedily fulfilled (1 Kings 13:20-24); or with the honour which he paid to the dead man after this punishment had fallen upon him, by burying him in his own grave; and still less with his confirmation of his declaration concerning the altar at Bethel (1 Kings 13:29-32).” (Keil and Delitzsch)
The story is written for our example and is a solemn warning. We are to obey God rather than men — no matter who that man may be. The prophet tried to use his influence just as many deceivers do in our time. Our responsibility is to obey what God has said to us or be prepared to suffer the consequences. It may not always be death by a wild beast, but we can rest assured that there will be some consequence.
It’s not uncommon for people to withhold their true thoughts and feelings about things when they try to influence you to disobey God. Moreover, they will generally “beguile you” by craftiness — undermining what God has said to you. “Hath God really said?” You will recall that I mentioned earlier that this is what Satan did to Eve. Nor is it uncommon for men to try and manipulate situations to achieve their own will. This is what the lying prophet did. God does not tell us “why” the prophet lied because the “why” is not important. The fact is, the man of God’s first responsibility is to obey God. End of discussion.
Some deceivers may even sound “spiritual” when they are talking to you. “I too am a prophet…” Some of these charlatans are self-deceived legends in their own minds. They have confused their deluded counsel for the counsel of God. In fact, Paul tells us that God will someday reveal the hidden counsels of the hearts. This means that God will reveal why the prophet lied to his comrade and got him killed. We never know what peoples’ real motivations are. One thing is certain, when people seek to trump God’s will with their own wisdom He will take them in their own craftiness. The sobering thing is, if you obey them rather than God you will suffer with them. And if perchance God’s will has been thwarted by the actions of men, and it seem they have avoided judgment on earth, we have this promise; For nothing is secret that will not be revealed, nor anything hidden that will not be known and come to light. Therefore take heed how you hear. (Luke 8:17–18 NKJV) God is going to deal with everyone and everything that sought to frustrate His will on the earth — regardless of their motives. The fact remains that they put their will in place of God’s, and are to be held accountable for it by Him.
If someone is challenging God’s will in your life, you are probably in a spiritual battle with the Devil who is trying to challenge God’s plans. That doesnt require special discernment; it’s common sense based on James 3:14-15. A person who is “self-seeking” will utilize earthly strategies and possibly demonic influence to thwart God’s perfect will. In an age where carnality is as rife as it is today among people who purport to be spiritual and even “prophetic”; it behooves us to have a settled attitude that we are going to obey God no matter who challenges it.
Cut the people out of your life if necessary and wipe the dust off of your feet if they are bent on thwarting God’s will. Don’t miss God to please people. They are not your friend they are your enemy. I don’t care how many “earthly, sensual, and demonic” arguments they volley into your life — cut them off and obey God. The time would fail to list examples from the Bible of people who were rejected of God because they caved to the pressure of people. No person is worthy of your time who seeks to steer you away from God’s will. Deceivers will not advocate for you on the day of judgment — nor will their treacherous ways pass muster in the court of heaven. Fear the Lord — not men. That is the reasonable thing to do knowing that we are all (at best) just years from the great judgment.