August 24 • God’s Will
When he was come down from the mountain, great multitudes followed him. And, behold, there came a leper and worshipped him, saying, Lord, if thou wilt, thou canst make me clean. And Jesus put forth [his] hand, and touched him, saying, I will; be thou clean. And immediately his leprosy was cleansed. And Jesus saith unto him, See thou tell no man; but go thy way, shew thyself to the priest, and offer the gift that Moses commanded, for a testimony unto them.Matthew 8:1-4
The will of man is the primary concern of most in the world today. And most Christian denominations follow the same line of thinking. They have elevated the will of man to the highest point of meaning and purpose in life. However, this small lesson shows us that God’s will is far more important than ours.
The leper had the will and desire to be healed of his illness. However, he did not have the ability to heal himself or make anyone else heal him. Therefore, he understood that his will was not all that important. In order for him to be healed, the One who was able to heal must be willing!
The leper understood this principle but many religious scholars do not, and their congregations have the same issue. To will something to be does not guarantee that it will come to pass. There must be the ability to fulfill that will.
Many times when I drive though Atlanta, I wish I could sprout wings and fly past all the horrible traffic. I have the will to do this but I have absolutely no ability to make this happen.
And so it is with our will in salvation. Even if all men had the desire to be saved (which we know that fallen, depraved man does not), he does not have the ability to move toward Christ. Salvation begins and ends in the will and power of God.
God’s will was first expressed toward His children in the covenant of election (Ephesians 1). The children of God had no say in this process. It was solely by the sovereign choice of God. Further, the new birth is not by the act of will in choosing Christ, for none have this ability or desire in their natural state (Romans 3). All those that come to Christ has drawn by the Father (John 6:44).
Some might object and say, “Well, what if I have the will to love and serve God, but He has not chosen me?”
The fact that a person has the desire to love and serve God is evidence that the person is already born again (1st John 4:10). This also means that they were chosen by God by His loving will in election before the world began whether they believe it or not!