GOD OF PURPOSE: Will, Freedom and Power
By Sis Angel Juico
The purpose attributes of God are His Will, His Freedom and His Power. AW Tozer has brilliantly combined these three, making us understand that Omnipotent God uses His power to fulfil His Holy Will, His Purpose with full independence & full FREEDOM, in the way that is pleasing and perfect to Him. He is not an impulsive kind of God, but our God is a planner.
(1) God’s Will
It is the final or most ultimate reason for everything that happens. Our Sovereign God holds everything in His hand. God approves and determines every action necessary for the existence and activity of himself and all creation. His Sovereign Will always prevails, and it is a kind of will that is good, pleasing and perfect.
Many are the plans in the mind of a man, but it is the purpose of the Lord that will stand. - Proverbs 19:21
Paul refers to God as the one
“who accomplishes all things according to the counsel of his will” - Ephesians 1:11
(2) God’s Freedom
God does whatever he pleases. He has the full freedom and is independently powerful to do whatever is pleasing to Him. Nothing in creation can hinder him from carrying out his will. He does not need to answer us or to explain to us. You and I are answerable to God, but He is not answerable to us. He is God and we are not.
“Our God is in the heavens; he does whatever he pleases” - Psalm 115:3
Both Will and Freedom are communicable attributes because we exercise choice and make real decisions regarding the events of our lives. Our ability to exercise will and make choices is one of the most significant marks of God-likeness in our existence. This is the very reason why Adam & Eve were able to make their own choices. God has free will and he gave us that privilege as well. He has given us power to make our own decision & our own choice as well.
(3) God’s Power (Omnipotence)
Our God being all-powerful, does everything with an intelligent purpose and a definite goal. His Omnipotent Free Will aligns to all Who HE is. It always aligns to all His Attributes and to His Nature as Sovereign God.
“Great is our Lord, His understanding is infinite, and His power is mighty..." - Psalm 147:5
DA Carson says
“God’s sovereignty is nothing but God’s omnipotence constantly at work to fulfil His Will!”
Two(2) Main Aspects of God’s Will:
Charles Stanley says there are two main aspects of the Lord’s will.
(1) Determined Will – This is His determined and designed ultimate Will, which He already ordained with a master plan drawn in heaven. And there are two types of it:
1. Universal & Ultimate Will – This is the aspect of His will, that absolutely shall be done ultimately and universally across His creation. We are all designed to bring Him glory. This is what the Bible is all about. The Lord has redeemed us back, His people to be able to worship Him. You and I are created for worship, to bring glory to Him.
For everything comes from him and exists by his power, is intended for his glory. - Rom 11:36
2. Unique Will - God has created us for His unique divine purpose. We are created uniquely by God with different talents, different spiritual gifts for each of us have own specific assignment, desire, calling and purpose that Gods designed for us.
Psalm139:16 Your eyes saw my unformed body; all the days of our lives is already ordained and were written in His book, before one of them came to be.
Romans 11:29 says that gifts and calling is irrevocable, its irreversible.
(2) Desired Will – His Desired Will encompasses whatever He commanded in His scripture, God communicates His desire for us to live each day. God gives us the ability to choose so we exercise our own free will in obeying Him, in honouring Him, in trusting Him, in loving Him and others daily. God's DESIRED WILL is for us to desire His Ultimate and Unique will for us. God's desire is for us to love Him and that in everything we do, we glorify Him.
III. General Illustration (Cruise Ship):
In a cruise ship, you can do whatever you want, but you all go to one destination. At the end of the day, the destination of the cruise is ultimately determined. And with free will that is given to us, we are responsible for own choice. But as we exercise our free will to make our decision to use our spiritual gifts for Him, to fulfill our calling, as we ride His Cruise Ship, we bring glory to him, while He empower us and equip us thru our constant fellowship with Him. Our calling and our assignment reside where God has places us. God has positioned us to that specific cabin, for a reason. Our family, our friends, our job, our community, our church, and the ministry where God has placed is our unique cabin assignment.
Nonetheless, like any cruise ship, it is not exempted from extreme waves and thunderstorms. There will be seasons of testing, seasons of waiting, or season of awakening. But if we are under His Will and in His Ship, there is nothing to fear of and we shall not be shaken. Because there is only one ship and one way that goes to ultimate designation for His people. And that way is Jesus. There might storm, but there is assurance, being Jesus as captain of that ship. For as long as Christ is the vessel, we can smile at the storm. As we go sailing home. The destination of our ship is our ultimate home, a paradise with Him.
IV. Scripture Illustration (Book of Joel):
Joel was a prophet to the nation of Judah, during the time of King Joash(800BC). The name "Joel" comes from the Hebrew word “Yah” “EL”, meaning Yahweh is God. Yahweh is God. And when we are under His will, we get His very best – being Him as our Yahweh, as our God.
(1) Locust Invasion (Chapter 1):
Judah was suffering massive calamity caused by the locust plague that destroyed the land. The people of Judah took God for granted, turned to self-centeredness, and sin. Their contentment led them to become complacent in their relationship with God.
Joel 1:2-4 “Has anything like this ever happened in your days or in the days of your ancestors? What the locust swarm has left, the great locusts have eaten; what the great locusts have left the young locusts have eaten; what the young locusts have left, other locusts[a] have eaten.
(2) Empire Invasion (Chapter2):
He was warning that the locust was just a warning of an even greater judgement that is awaiting Judah - in a form of the Assyrian Invasion. And so Joel urges the people again to fast and repent. Only through an act of repentance, genuine humility, and submission to His authority, that His Ultimate and Unique Purpose in our lives can be accomplished.
Joel 2: 12-13 “return to me with all your heart, with fasting and weeping and mourning.” 13 Rend your heart and not your garments. Return to the Lord your God, for he is gracious and compassionate, slow to anger and abounding in love, and he relents from sending calamity”.
In this first half of the book, the Lord is showing his Holy awakening amongst the people of Judah. It affirms God’s omnipotence, to do whatever it takes to do His Perfect Will.
(3) Divine Restoration:
Joel's message is not only about a fearful judgement, but it is also filled with hope and love of God. As a response to their repentance, there was a shift from the story of Devastation from God’s Judgement to the story of Gods Omnipotent Grace and Mercy. It gives total balance and a view of who our God is, providing us with a perspective of how the Power of God operates to fulfil His Will.
a. Divine Healing (Material Restoration): God will restore the land of Judah
“I am sending you grain, new wine and olive oil, enough to satisfy you fully; never again will I make you an object of scorn to the nations. I will restore to you the years that the swarming locusts have eaten. You shall eat in plenty and be satisfied, and praise the name of the Lord your God, who has dealt wondrously with you” (Joel 2:25-26).
b. Divine Protection (National Restoration): God's promise that He will spare Judah from Northern-Horde, from the Assyrian troop and captivity.
20 “I will drive the Northern Horde far from you, pushing it into a parched and barren land; its eastern ranks will drown in the Dead Sea and its western ranks in the Mediterranean Sea”.
c. Divine Presence (Spiritual Restoration): He promised that our fellowship with Him will be fully restored, through the promise of the Holy Spirit.
Joel 2:28-32 “I will pour out my Spirit on all people. Your sons and daughters will prophesy, your old men will dream dreams, your young men will see visions. Even on my servants, both men and women, I will pour out my Spirit in those days. I will show wonders in the heavens and on the earth. And everyone who calls on the name of the Lord will be saved”
This passage is the exact same passage Peter quoted during the Pentecost at Acts 2, for which Joel was named the “Prophet of Pentecost”. God knows that the help we need is nothing other than Himself. Having His Spirit with us gives us assurance that He will be able to fully guide us, empower us, to direct us to His desired will and Ultimate/Unique Will for us, through Him who is in us.
d. Divine Renewal (Eternal Restoration): God showed far distance vision about the Image of the Future Day of the Lord the when the Lord will make all things new:
Joel 3: 18 “In that day the mountains will drip new wine, and the hills will flow with milk; all the ravines of Judah will run with water. A fountain will flow out of the Lord’s house and will water the valley of acacias
God's original will for us is to put us with Him in paradise, in the presence of Him. In this story, He demonstrated His omnipotence that as long as it is His Will, how He can reverse a devastating event – turn it into restoration and salvation. He can turn a devastated land and bring it back to life. And He makes His Divine presence real and accessible to everyone.
The will of God is determined:
1. Through His Word
God’s will has been set forth in His word. The word testament means will. We have to set aside a special time to meditate. God's will, will never be contrary to His written word. And the application of the word in our individual decision and situation is either directly implied as what scripture says, or will require a matter of discernment based upon general principles in His word.
2. Through His Spirit
For when the spirit comes, he will guide you to all truth and he will show you things to come. (John 16:13). The Holy Spirit will transform us, will give us a renewed mind to know His Will.
3. Through Prayer
For in our quiet moment, away from confusion in the world that God will reveal His will. Fasting also helps to weaken the flesh and to be sensitive to His Spirit.
4. Through Circumstance
And in any circumstances, we are facing, there are only three possibilities. Either it is:
a. Result of Human Will:
He gave us free will to choose. He also gave us full responsibility for our choices. And every response we make in every situation, whether in actions or decision, becomes our defining moment, it is another step either to draw us away or to draw us closer to His ultimate & unique plan and will for us.
The Lord can’t spare us or erase the consequences of our past wrong decisions and direct disobedience to His Will. But our failures will never stop God from loving us. And in every wrong turn, God recalculates back how to lead us to the right destination, and there is no condemnation in Him as we return to Him.
b. Result of Enemy’s Will:
Enemy’s Will is always aimed at destroying what God’s wants to establish, to distort the good, pleasing & perfect will of God our over His creation. Evil is real. When Joseph was sold by His own brothers to slavery? When Joy Tanchi was raped at age of 15yrs by 7men? – Those were evil. They intended it for evil. But God turns things around. What the enemy meant for evil, He can turn it for good. God can turn our mess into our ministry. God can turn our tragedy into testimony.
c. Result of God’s Will:
He always has a good, pleasing and perfect plan and purpose for us (Romans 12:2). God’s will is perfect. The Greek word used for perfect is teleios which is better translated as “finished; complete, needing nothing for completeness. For the ultimate will for us of the Lord was made perfect only through Jesus. Our wholeness can only achieve through Jesus, it was finished through His victory on the cross.