The will of God.
What exactly is meant by the term.
What God wants of us.
The term, at least, is shared by Judaism,
Christianity and Islam.
This commonly used term leads to quite a bit of confusion. Simply put, the ‘will of God’ refers to his view of what is best for us individually, and collectively as the human race.
The subtle effect of God’s will, i.e. through his guiding power, can be recognised by looking back through our individual lives and humanity’s past history.
And of course he continues to guide us individually, and as a whole, towards what he knows is best for each of us.
Please note that image to the left has been borrowed due to its deeply meaningful message. That message, from Pastor Warren Wiersbe, offers a very positive extension of the term, “Will of God”.
So, thank you Warren.
At times, Christians, Jews and Muslims do read more into the “will of God” than their individual holy books require of them. When things go wrong, a Christian might say, “It was meant to be!” A Muslim might say of a sad event, “It is the will of Allah”. Sometimes these people tend to think that God preordains one’s life. That is if you do become seriously ill it happens because it is God’s will. For them, this logic even applies to natural disasters such as the effects of devastating tsunamis, or earthquakes, on countless human beings? (For more information on this topic please see the article, “Suffering and evil”.)
But, moderate Christians, like me, think such a view (i.e. everything being ‘preordaned’) presents a world where our destiny is locked in place even before birth. In effect it offers us a situation where freedom of choice and free will are only imaginary. Theologically, this would mean that an atheist is ‘destined’ or set-up to be an atheist before birth. In such a case, free will would play no part supposedly. And in turn that could mean that the person is doomed to Hell before drawing his or her first breath? (That is, if we are to take the point of view that God’s punishment for being an atheist is ‘damnation’.)
3. AN UNDERSTANDING BASED ON GOD’S LOVE
As far as I am concerned, more acceptable theology incorporates the impact of human ‘free will’ on our lives. God attempts to guide us in our decision making with loving care in that more acceptable model. He takes into account how our actions might affect ourselves and, importantly, how they may affect other people involved. God’s guidance and assistance does in fact provide strong proof of his presence in our lives. Like a loving parent he wants what is best for each of us, so that we can have purposeful and contented lives.
For advice on how to successfully follow God’s methods of guidance in our lives, and reap the benefits, please begin with the article, “God guiding hand”.
So God loves us and tries to guide us away from poor choices, bad habits and deeds, because they will negatively impact our relationship with others and indeed himself. Simple examples would include stealing, cheating, destructive greed and betraying loved ones. Within this context, God’s will is only that we become as good a person as is reasonably possible. And in effect this all relates to our own long term contentment and purpose in life. For more on this subject, please read the article, “What does faith offer us?“
As for natural disasters, God generally allows the laws of nature, e.g. cause and effect, to run their course. To do otherwise would produce a world that looks unreal, and would prevent life as we now know it. (Again, for more information on this topic please see the article, “Suffering and evil”.)
The will of God should then only be understood in the context of goodness, and not pain and suffering!
Please note that this website also contains guidance on how to establish for yourself whether God exists. Maybe you can begin reading the article, “Can I really believe in God?”. It is all about how to identify evidence of God’s presence and genuinely evaluate it – thereby building up a body of evidence that will stand the test of time. The ‘stumbling block’ for most of us, when beginner Christians, is knowing how and where to look for this potential evidence.
The final section of the website, gives a simple explanation of Christianity. This article is obviously in that section.
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