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The Good, The Acceptable and The Perfect Will of God? – by Benny Shobo

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God classifies our response to His will for our lives in different ways, and before I differentiate amongst the three manners in which God relates to how we carry out His will for and in our lives, I want us to understand that God loves His children dearly. It is His will that we live, prosper and be in health even as souls prosper in all things. 3 John 1:2, “Dear friend, I pray that you may enjoy good health and that all may go well with you, even as your soul is getting along well”.

Although God has all power and control of all things both on the earth and in Heaven, He gave us free will to choose what we do, and how we live on the earth. However, He judges the manner in the way His will is accomplished in us. His will is that we would pursue after righteousness and holiness, in-line with His words with complete obedience and reverence. Romans 12:2, “Do not conform to the pattern of this world but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is-his good, pleasing and perfect will. Our free will is subject to God’s just judgements, but we are encouraged by the Holy Spirit to live and make choices that justifies us rather than condemns us before God.  For us to successfully live our lives fruitfully and victoriously, we have to consciously follow the path that leads to life, and not to damnation. Deuteronomy 30:19, “This day I call the heavens and the earth as witnesses against you that I have set before you life and death, blessings and curses. Now choose life, so that you and your children may live.

Jesus through His birth, death, burial, resurrection, ascension and glorification, has shown us a more excellent way to serve God, and abide by will for our lives. God is so good and patient; He understands that we are frail, therefore He gives us grace and protection when we are in His will for us. 2 Corinthians 12:9, “But he said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.” Therefore, I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses, so that Christ’s power may rest on me”. There are three manners by which God judges our obedience to His will for us; and they are the good, the acceptable and the perfect will of God for man-kind”.

An example of the manner in which God classifies our obedience to His will, can be clearly seen in the parable of the prodigal son. Luke 15:11-32, “Jesus continued: “There was a man who had two sons. The younger one said to his father, ‘Father, give me my share of the estate.’ So, he divided his property between them. “Not long after that, the younger son got together all he had, set off for a distant country and there squandered his wealth in wild living. After he had spent everything, there was a severe famine in that whole country, and he began to be in need. So, he went and hired himself out to a citizen of that country, who sent him to his fields to feed pigs. He longed to fill his stomach with the pods that the pigs were eating, but no one gave him anything.“When he came to his senses, he said, ‘How many of my father’s hired servants have food to spare, and here I am starving to death!I will set out and go back to my father and say to him: Father, I have sinned against heaven and against you.I am no longer worthy to be called your son; make me like one of your hired servants.’So, he got up and went to his father.

“But while he was still a long way off, his father saw him and was filled with compassion for him; he ran to his son, threw his arms around him and kissed him. “The son said to him, ‘Father, I have sinned against heaven and against you. I am no longer worthy to be called your son.’ “But the father said to his servants, ‘Quick! Bring the best robe and put it on him. Put a ring on his finger and sandals on his feet.Bring the fattened calf and kill it. Let’s have a feast and celebrate. For this son of mine was dead and is alive again; he was lost and is found.’ So, they began to celebrate. “Meanwhile, the older son was in the field.

When he came near the house, he heard music and dancing.So, he called one of the servants and asked him what was going on.‘Your brother has come,’ he replied, ‘and your father has killed the fattened calf because he has him back safe and sound.’“The older brother became angry and refused to go in. So, his father went out and pleaded with him.But he answered his father, ‘Look! All these years I’ve been slaving for you and never disobeyed your orders. Yet you never gave me even a young goat so I could celebrate with my friends.But when this son of yours who has squandered your property with prostitutes comes home, you kill the fattened calf for him! ” My son,’ the father said, ‘you are always with me, and everything I have is yours.But we had to celebrate and be glad, because this brother of yours was dead and is alive again; he was lost and is found”.

In the above parable, we can see that the father’s will was to have both of his children live and enjoy his wealth with him. However, the youngest son had another plan outside his fathers will. Now, in relation to our topic, the son’s decision to leave with his share of his father’s wealth, would not be classed by his father as his perfect will for his son, but as his good will. And after the youngest son spent all his inheritance, he decided to return to his rich father as a servant. Now, when his father saw him coming from a distance, He ran and embraced him. His father accepted him though he had spent all his share of the inheritance. Again, this action could be classified by his father as his acceptable will. The father however wished that his son never left in the first instance. That can be classified by his father, as his perfect with for his youngest.

The Perfect Will of God is God’s best choice for us in everything. This is the most secure, blessed, favoured, and rewarding plan of God for all who He has called by His name. When we are in God’s Perfect Will for us, we have meaningful lives, develop close relationship with God, and we will find true joy, peace and hope. As children of God, our spirits are always longing and willing our souls and bodies into perfect fellowship with God, but our souls constantly needs renewing. A person who is living in God’s Perfect Will for them, is completely controlled by the Holy Spirit in every way. Romans 8:14, “For those who are led by the Spirit of God are the children of God”. When we are in God’s Perfect Will (complete obedience), we become selfless, humbled, sacrificial, guided by the Holy Spirit, God lovers, and His prized possessions.

Luke 22:41-44,” withdrew about a stone’s throw beyond them, knelt down and prayed, “Father, if you are willing, take this cup from me; yet not my will, but yours be done.” An angel from heaven appeared to him and strengthened him. And being in anguish, he prayed more earnestly, and his sweat was like drops of blood falling to the ground”. Jesus demonstrated what is classified by God, as His perfect will, when He completely obeyed the Father’s plan, and sacrificially gave His life for us to be reconciled back to God. Isaiah 53:7, “He was oppressed and afflicted, yet he did not open his mouth; he was led like a lamb to the slaughter, and as a sheep before its shearers is silent, so he did not open his mouth”. we see also in Luke 22:42 , that although He doubted if He could endure the shame of the Cross, He simply said, “not my will but your be done.

Whichever way God classifies the way we obey His will in our lives is entirely up to God, but it is determined by a number of factors, which I will list below:

Factors that can Affects God’s Will in our lives.

1. Our level of obedience to God and His word.

2. The degree of our love for God.

3.  How submissive we are to the Holy Spirit.

4.  The levels of our faith.

5.  How long we remain in sin.

6.  The grace of God upon our lives.

7.  How correctable and teachable we are.

Jeremiah 29:11, “For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.

Praise God!

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