The Life Foundations Nexus
GOD’S WILL FOR MATURE ADULTS
By Dr. Michael J. Bisconti
Jesus told us what the will of God is. He told us that it was to, first, love God and then to love others. Note that Jesus set priorities. We are to love God first. Well, how do you love God? Is that just an emotion? No. In fact, love may or may not involve a “feeling of love.” Love always involves choosing to do good to someone. Therefore, to love God involves choosing to do good to God.
What good are we to do to God? In fact, how can we do any good to God since God already has all the good that there is? This is a great misconception about God. God does not have all the good that there is. Why? Remember that we are created “in the image of God.” We have a heart. Therefore, God has a heart. We can be grieved. Therefore, God can be grieved. John 11:35 says: “ Jesus wept.”
Before we go on, some might object that to say that God can be grieved means that God is weak. This objection is due to their assigning to God an attribute of man. God is not a man. When we grieve we may become weak. When God grieves he retains his strength. His heart, like our hearts, can experience need but he always retains his strength.
Okay, what then does God’s heart need? God’s heart needs what our hearts need when we are filled with the Holy Spirit.
What does it mean to be “filled with the Holy Spirit”? To be filled with the Holy Spirit is to have all the power of the Holy Spirit active in our being. II Timothy 1:7 says: “For God hath not given us the spirit of fear; but of power, and of love, and of a sound mind.” God has given us the spirit, the Holy Spirit, of power, love, and a sound mind.
How do you know if you are filled with the Holy Spirit? You are filled with the Holy Spirit once you choose to do the will of God.
In light of the above, God’s heart needs what our hearts need immediately after we choose to do the will of God.
In summary, the will of God is first that we love God. We love God by doing good to God. We do good to God by meeting the need of the heart of God. We meet the need of the heart of God by meeting the needs of our hearts immediately after we choose to do the will of God.
Before we finish, some might object that the above teaching allows people to do anything they want, even if it is sinful. The answer to this is found in II Timothy 1:7 quoted above. Note that the Holy Spirit is the spirit of love and a sound mind. Therefore, if a person meets a need of their heart (after having chosen to do the will of God) and what they do does not demonstrate love and a sound mind…they have not truly chosen to do the will of God. Note also that the final authority for what constitutes love and a sound mind is the Bible.
Finally, someone might say: “I have chosen to do the will of God but I still have done something sinful. How can this teaching be true?” One possible answer is that you have a (not unhealthy) delusion that what you did was sinful.
Another possible answer is that you have been inconsistent in doing what is right for so long that God will no longer necessarily maintain your ability to do what is right. James 1:5-8 says: “If any of you lack wisdom, let him ask of God, that giveth to all men liberally, and upbraideth not; and it shall be given him. But let him ask in faith, nothing wavering. For he that wavereth is like a wave of the sea driven with the wind and tossed. For let not that man think that he shall receive any thing of the Lord. A double minded man is unstable in all his ways.” If this is your state, your situation is not hopeless. Consider this:
You have lied to a friend a hundred times. Then you go to seek their help but they don’t believe that you are telling them the truth when you say that you need their help. What do you do? You live without their help until you can restore their faith in your word. How do you restore their faith in your word? You repeatedly tell the truth until they begin believing you again.
To regain the ability to do what is right, you must do the will of God for immature adults for a long enough period of time and it is God who decides what is “a long enough period of time.” What is the will of God for immature adults? See What Does The Bible Tell Us To Do.