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God's Will?


Yvonne
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Does God have a “will” for us – as individuals, communities, whatever? I struggle with it – sometimes my answer would be “Absolutely!” and other times it would be a resounding “no”. What do you think?

 

I cannot even give a good reason why I think one way or the other, and believe me, I've pondered prodigiously!

 

(I apologize of this has been discussed, but I could find no reference to God's will.)

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That's a good question, Yvonne.

 

When I was in Bible College (many moons ago), we went around and around on this subject - God's will, his perfect will, his permissible will, his allowable will, his general will, his specific will, his sovereign will. It left my head spinning...and that's without getting into the related subject of how human will interacts with God's will.

 

Of course, I've been through a lot of changes since then. What I currently think on this subject is that, according to Jesus, it's God will or desire that we love him and love each other. That is, to me, his Divine will, what he wants from us as his human creations. How we do that, how we love him and how we love each other, is where our human will comes into play.

 

So I think it's God will that we love him and each other but I don't think he has specific plans or micromanages us as to how we live our lives. St. Augustine put it this way: "Love God and do whatever you please: for the soul trained in love to God will do nothing to offend the One who is Beloved." And I think this principle applies well to our relationships with one another and our world also.

 

Bill

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Does God have a will for us?.......

 

I think from a human standpoint, most definitely so. "What is that will for us?", then becomes the question. The answer i believe may be answered by saying God's will is that which is taking place in us at this very moment. It seems to me It is God's will that we experience life, making a myriad of evolutionary choices that have consequences until each as a result of that evolution awakens to ones true nature as consciousness and recognizes that essence in all 'others' which includes all life-forms.

 

I think in short, it can be said that God's will is to love God and one another but love to me cannot be done or understood without that awakening to our true nature in God and 'others'. It seems to me it need not be at the conscious level and resembles more of a process in our human walk than its ever-present reality. To truly love is to be as God.

 

That's my 2 cents to chew on....

Joseph

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The answer i believe may be answered by saying God's will is that which is taking place in us at this very moment. It seems to me It is God's will that we experience life...

 

I like what you say here, Joseph. Taking it in a slightly different direction (but, hopefully, not too far from wrote you wrote), being present to the moment is, perhaps, a very big part of experiencing life. Yesterday cannot be changed. A better tomorrow can be worked and hoped for, but not to the exclusion of enjoying today, making the most of what we have now. Today is all we truly have. This moment is all that we can truly experience.

 

If God is the Source of life and if Jesus somehow helps us to experience that Source more deeply, then our lives are the best gift that God could have given us. As God is Spirit, we can't love God in the same conventional ways that we love each other. But we can love God in being thankful for and making the most of the life God has given us. We love the Giver by appreciating and sharing the gift.

 

I'm not always successful at it, but I try to find a balance between enjoying *my* life for what it is, being all that *I* can be in experiencing all that life has to give, savoring the gift that my Creator has given me...and yet being there for the benefit and blessing of others also, knowing that other's lives are just as precious, encouraging them to enjoy life, and giving something back of what has been given to me as a pure gift of grace and love. That's the closest I can come to saying what God's will means to me.

Edited by Wayseeker
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I don't think God has some one particular 'will' for us in our life, as in some predetermined or pre-ordained 'destiny', but...

To do beleive that to each of us, according to our nature, traits, quailities, strengths. weaknesses, and circumstances in life, we are always being presented "options" for assuming a course toward some accomplishment or goal, both toward our own growth and evelopment, or as making some difference in the worlds around us...and that at any point, we choose to take and follow such an option, wholeheartedly and with sincere intent, that reality can begin to open a way for us toward that, opportunities to follow toward it as we may choose to take them and continue in them. I beleive i have expereinced real guidance, and real help, such as doors I never knew were there suddenly apearing and opening in remarkable ways, when I've felt an inner sense of seeking, searching, for something 'more' in my life, in my own growth and development, even when I at the start didn't quite know which direction in which I might find it.

 

Jenell

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I think these are all really great answers, and work well with what I had kind of worked out myself. I guess I just wanted to get some feedback to see if if my thinking was totally off the mark or at least close to others'. Believe me, I have to have these checks now again!

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Jesus says if we had the faith of a grain of mustard seed that we would say to the mountain: "Be ye removed" and it would be removed. We are what we are. We were born to be great! We were born to love! We were born to overcome and live an abundant life! THAT is who WE are and we need to have faith in who WE are. We are not inherently wicked as some believe, nor are we hopeless as a people. We are children of the most high, created to know unsurpassed greatness. We just need ample faith in order to become all we were born to be.

 

 

What is our purpose and God's will for us?

 

 

For I consider that the sufferings of this present time are not worth comparing with the glory that is to be revealed in us. For the creation waits with eager longing for the revealing of the sons of God. For the creation was subjected to futility, not willingly, but because of him who subjected it, in hope that the creation itself will be set free from its bondage to corruption and obtain the freedom of the glory of the children of God.

 

 

I think this is God's plan of salvation: We are born natural and it is through the testing of life and the things we learn in life, coupled with the Holy Spirit (love) that we ourselves are made perfect or complete 1 Corinthians 15:45-49. It takes some hard knocks in life for us to gain knowledge, and it takes love to lead us home. We are not born carnal or bad, but rather we are born ignorant, which is why we are destroyed. We learn as we grow and live. Jesus did the same.

 

 

Jesus (the son of man) represents all of us and Jesus (son of God) represents who we become after being reborn of the Holy Spirit (love). Hos 4:6 suggests that we are killed for lack of knowledge. In other words, we are destroyed because we are ignorant. It is ignorance that leads to our destruction and it is love (the Spirit) that leads us to life. God's will is for us to return back to his love as individuals and as a collective people, so we might know peace on earth and good will towards men.

 

 

Jesus lives in the hearts of those who have been born again. Those who have been born again of the Spirit are his body on earth 1 Corinthians 12:27. It is written that God is love, that Jesus embodied God's fullness, and even as the Father lived in him, so also does he live in us. So, instead of waiting for him to return in hope that he will make everything all better, maybe we should let him rule in us as love, and make the world better ourselves through that love, which is surely God's will for us all.

 

 

The crux of Jesus' ministry is simple as far as I'm concerned: Love all people (Matt 5:44) do not judge, and forgive others of their trespasses (Luke 6:37). Honor God in Spirit (love) and truth (reality) (John 4:23) and mirror Jesus' life through our own. We are to take no thought of our own lives (Matt 16:24-25) but rather live our lives for our descendants, knowing that they will reap what we have sown for them, just as we are reaping the labors of those who came before us (John 4:36-38). It's about love and self sacrifice so we might fulfill God's will for humanity. It is NOT about SELF, but about every child that will ever be born into this world from this day until the promise is fulfilled (Gen 26:3-5). We do not live for personal reward, yet we are rewarded with immeasurable love and with the knowledge of the fulfillment of the promise given to Abraham so many years ago (The blessing of all nations with peace on earth).

 

 

God's will is that we labor for that end without thought for self, yet being greatly rewarded with fruits of the Spirit (love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control).

 

 

JZM

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Does God have a “will” for us – as individuals, communities, whatever?

 

I think not.

 

I think that believing that G-d has a "will" for us is rather presumptious when one considers all the people in the world living a life of horrendous poverty, starvation and early death.

 

I think that we like to believe that G-d has a will for our lives in order to justify the incredible stroke of luck it is we were born in a prosperous nation.

 

I thank natural selection for directing my family seed to germinate in the most prosperous geography on the planet.

 

However, if one were to believe in a god of purpose, then I think it proper to merely express thanksgiving for the "gift" of life - and then live that life abundantly. The thoughts expressed in this thread confirm this.

 

NORM

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I would add that "God's will" presupposes a divine being with human-like (but superior) cognition, desires and the like. I think the more one leans toward pantheism or 'Gob' (ground of being) concepts, the less one is likely to accept this premise.

 

George

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If one accepts God's omnipotence, omnicience, omnipresence,and infallability, if inevitably and neccesarily follows that whatever God Wills, WILL be done. It cannotbe otherwise.

 

In the bible, those supposedly called by God to carry out something God will for them didn't go around telling others that God told the it was His will for them to do, they simply set about actually doing whatever it was.

 

I think that's a valid expectation and criteria for us today, regarding anyone else's such claim, oreven our own thought or beleif about ourselves if we start thinking like that. I have known a few people that had really dedicated themselves to something they do, that if asked why they have done so, would answer they feel, believe, it God's Will for them to do so. But those people would rarely if ever even say that unless asked something like that. Rarely if ever did they go about telling others this God has revealed something as God's will, whether to try convince others to believe that, and definitely not in context of telling others what THEY should be doing.

 

Conversely, I have also known others, always ones quite religiously involved, that did go about telling others that God had revealed to them, as His Will for them, before that had much set about actually doing it. And, with few if any exceptions, whatever it was usually never got off the ground, or fizzled out pretty quickly. Now, with most of these I've known personally, I really think they actually believed it themselves, had deceived themselves about it. In some also, I think they had been at least somewhat encouraged in it, possibly even got the idea to begin with, from other people around them. And it was often really quite sad. They ended up embarrased, maybe feeling foolish.

 

One of the saddest ones, that really made me quite angry at the time at those that did it to her, was a woman suddenly and unexpectedly widowed in her mid-50's. She and her husband had been very deeply involved in their very fundamentalist, sllghtly charismatic small church forover 30 years. By deeply involved, I mean that sleep eat and breathe church, to the point of exclusion of pretty much any personal relationships with anyone outside their church or neighboing similar ones. Her husbsnd had been active in several official capacities, music director, SS and and bible study teacher, deacon, etc. She had involved herself with things like ladies kitchen committees, the nursery,etc. I do not mean to demean her in any way by saying she was neither well educated, or very intellectual, and has a rather unplesant and difficult personality. She marginally literate. Had been a good wife and mother, but had never hold an outside job, nor was it likely she could have, and in fact in the several decades since that, she never has even now, other than the church paying her a little to help out in the nursery. Shortly after her husband died, I guess to help her in accepting her new widowhood, someone in the church paid her way on some church group "tourist trips", one to the Holy Land, and several to some foriegn missions the church sponsored and helped with donations. And somewhere out of all that came the idea that God had called her, revealed to her, as well as to her church friends, that it was God's will for her to become,and devote the rest of her life to being, a foreign missionary. And any common sense would have to have dictated God was going to have to work some serious miracles in her personal abilities and qualifications for that to be even remotely likely. And, it didn't happen. Sheand Ihad never been personally close, conected in life only by one of those family things, so there was not even any possiblity of my being able to say anything to all that, only to try to smile and nod and say something like how nice. It was horribly cruel, in my opinion, of those that actually encouraged her in that. But sometimes, say with at least some of those that actually get off the ground, have some success, say,as a preacher or evangelist, there are enough of those around them supporting them to keep them really believing it.

 

It is clearly set forth several times in the OT that the people's "test" of anyone claiming to be speaking for God or revelation of it being God's Will that anyone should do this or that, in determining the true prophet of God verses the false prophets and deceivers was in whether or not anything they so declared actually came to pass, or not. There was no leeway, no room for ANY mistakes or failures....any thing and every thing any person claimed as being revealed to be God's revelation, God's Will, Must actually come to pass, or that is a false prophet, a deceiver. Now those references do not claim or require of the person, that prophet, as a person, ever said had to be,or even would be, 100% accurate and correct. It was made clear, that except as at such times God DID reveal to them something of His Word or Will, they are still mere humans, subject to human weakness and error, like anyone else. It was only ofthose things they claimed revealed to them BY God AS God's word, subject to that test.

 

So where does that leave such ones as Michelle Bachman and Rick Perry, that publicallydeclared God had revealed to them His Will that they become president? Its easy to dismiss them as only deliberately trying to deceive, for personal gain, but might there not also be some of that misguided encouragement from others involved, as well? People that are so desperately wanting a prophet, a leader, that they undertake to try to create one themselves, even if they, too, are sincere, but decieved by self and others?

 

Jenell

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It's always a challenge to talk about what God's will is when no one really knows, despite what's revealed in scripture. It presents me with a whirlwind of a mystery that I cannot and dare not ponder too much on.

 

Ultimately God, though my own ideas of God are somewhere between the theistic and Paul Tillich's "ground of all being", is sovereign over everything. I don't know if God can change the past, since the Bible says that the ultimate goal for God is to reconcile everything with himself, because I don't know or will not know if the past will have bee changed. All things though evil might work out for good, so I don't know really how of a problem evil really is. I mean, in the Book of Isaiah, it says that God creates good an evil. I don't buy into the dualism of the God/Devil struggle. It's all God for me, good and evil as it appears to be. I believe that God wants to conform us to another image that we think is the right image. That to me is where sin lies deep in us. We do resist though to some extent, but at the same time God all ready knows that. Like I said, I try not to think too much when all that comes into play. I try to believe God (as is revealed in the Bible) and be humble and seek justice for that God.

 

As far as Rick Perry and Michelle Bachman we won't know if that's what God wants until the day after Election Day.

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I try to believe God (as is revealed in the Bible) and be humble and seek justice for that God.

 

Which god as revealed in the Bible? As one might expect in an anthology comprised over 1000+ years, there are a number of characteristics revealed.

 

In any event, to be humble and seek justice is certainly a worthwhile endeavor.

 

George

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A characteristic is a distinguishing trait or quality. We all have characteristics, but we can hardly different people at different times. God is a spirit and doesn't have a physical body, as is clear in scripture (John 4:24) and ultimately reveals itself as love (1 John 4:8). Now, all the other characteristics that are revealed as God - wrath, merciful, anger, compassion, sorrow, etc.) don't suggest an anthropomorphic quality to God, just a way for us to understand God with the failings of language. I don't see any of these as being apart from love. Don't we all feel these towards people we love to some extent?

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A characteristic is a distinguishing trait or quality. We all have characteristics, but we can hardly different people at different times. God is a spirit and doesn't have a physical body, as is clear in scripture (John 4:24) and ultimately reveals itself as love (1 John 4:8). Now, all the other characteristics that are revealed as God - wrath, merciful, anger, compassion, sorrow, etc.) don't suggest an anthropomorphic quality to God, just a way for us to understand God with the failings of language. I don't see any of these as being apart from love. Don't we all feel these towards people we love to some extent?

 

Was it pure love that ordered the annihilation of innocent Canaanite women and children? How about those Egyptian children?

 

George

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Matt67 wrote: As far as Rick Perry and Michelle Bachman we won't know if that's what God wants until the day after Election Day.

 

I suppose you are technically correct, but I'm assuming you do know both have withdrawn their candidacies. A miracle of write-in votes for Perry-Bachmann or Bachmann-Perry?

 

Jenell

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George, I don't know why God does most of anything. Most of it I vehemently disagree with and boy do I let him know. But, does my child know what I pay my mortgage every month?

 

Jenell I guess God doesn't want them to be president. Thank Him for that!

 

Frankly I think God's been telling me to become a Republican so I got against Newt Gingrich. Unfortunately I will not be voting in this election because I am very disappointed in President Obama or maybe I'll vote Green. I haven't decided what God wants from me.

Edited by matt67
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George, I don't know why God does most of anything. Most of it I vehemently disagree with and boy do I let him know. But, does my child know what I pay my mortgage every month?

 

Matt,

 

With all due respect, you wrote, "as is clear in scripture (John 4:24) and ultimately reveals itself as love (1 John 4:8)." I was simply pointing out other passages of the scriptures in which God is clearly depicted in a non-loving fashion. Some portions depict God as loving, some as vengeful, some as downright hateful. How do we determine which is correct?

 

George

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How can we say that in those instances that God wasn't acting out of love? For us to believe God, not believe in Him, but BELIEVE and TRUST Him, do we have to understand what He does and why he does it? We are kept in the dark about a lot of things but are asked to trust him. I don't believe that the Bible reveals all. We will never really know what the rivals to Israel thought of them. We won't know how bad the Israelites were nor how good their rivals were. I know that. What should I believe then? I don't like the idea of genocide in the Bible. I don't like God destroying the world during Noah's time, if we choose to believe it? But, do we really know how bad things were? Even if these are myths, stories, made up, they still have meaning by what they are not saying as much as by what they do say. That things were really, really screwed up. That the Nephilim whoever the heck they were really screwed up the natural order. Ultimately, God admits he made a mistake - he regrets creating us, but stops himself and say, okay, wait, there is still some good in them. Something redeemable. So, we know the rest of the story. Is that love? He promises not to do it again. That's not love being conveyed? He took Abraham to the edge of the unthinkable - kill your kid. Unthinkable, right? We don't even have a name for a parent whose child is killed. No name. Orphan. Widow. Widower. And a parent who loses a child? Unnamable. But later in the story, the creator of the universe to save us from ourselves allows his own son to be killed by us. Give me a name for that. Love. Yeah, he brought him back to life because he could. That sounds like love to me. Doesn't love include anger too? Have you never been angry with someone you loved? Yes, he destroyed whole groups of people? Do we know how bad they were? No. Do I think God doesn't love them? No. Do I think they are with him? Yes. The only time I think that the word "hate" is associated with God, is when it says that God "hates" sin. Or as PCs do we think that sin doesn't exist? What God chooses to do about sin is his choice. How he decided to deal with it - how He sees it on his level - and NOT how we see it from our obscured perspective - is His business. Don't presume that we have all the answers. None of us can. He tells us we have a choice, His way or our way. We chose our way and well, this is where's it's gotten us - to the point where He is wrong. He is at fault for everything. He should have known better. Better yet, He really doesn't exist after all, so the whole mess is well, no one's fault I guess. All of it is a mess we're trying to make sense of. We ask who spilled the milk when we hold the bottle upside down over the spill? We seem to have a sense that we don't really want to do it like this, but there is something in us that compels us to do it. If God doesn't exist, we have no one to blame but ourselves - not our enemies and not those who disagree with. Ourselves. If he does exist, we can blame God - accuse him of not being "good" enough or accuse him of being a hypocrite. But, if we do that, do we have the guts to still look at ourselves in the mirror and see what part we had in this mess. I believe in my heart that the relationship humans have with the Divine in whatever form is a marriage of sorts. A real marriage which is not always fun to be in, nice to be in, or that is always loving. But it's a marriage that we have to be committed to or there's really no point in it. Do we want that? And if there is no God, no Jesus, no Buddha, nothing else but this cold, heartless dark place called the universe, then where is the love? For one another as we claw at each other grasping for a light that's not there?

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And if there is no God, no Jesus, no Buddha, nothing else but this cold, heartless dark place called the universe, then where is the love?

 

That's easy: in each and every one of us. I've seen immensely impressive acts of love committed by died-in-the-wool atheists and theists alike. Thankfully, belief in a deity is not a requirement for love.

 

BE the miracle!

 

NORM

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That's easy: in each and every one of us. I've seen immensely impressive acts of love committed by died-in-the-wool atheists and theists alike. Thankfully, belief in a deity is not a requirement for love.

 

BE the miracle!

 

NORM

 

I'll say amen to that!

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  • 3 weeks later...

I found this link posted elsewhere and thought it might make interesting reading for some in this forum. It is called the Pandeist Theorem and it basically states that if there is a god, then god is identical to the universe. See what you think:

 

http://www.phy.duke....orem/node6.html

 

The proposition allows for quite a lot movement in interpetation of older doctrine, but seems to reconcile a lot of those old issues between science and a definition of god. The will of god then becomes the will of nature as it were.

 

We could say that we are all children of the stars (god) and will head back there in time, as we wing our way toward maximum entropy and heat death.

 

Any thoughts?

Edited by Inthedark
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