Cooperating with God’s Will

Tom Burke

October 2012
© 2012 Scriptural Study Groups.  All Rights Reserved.

When God speaks, He speaks truth. Unlike the words of man, God’s Word is always faithful—as faithful as God Himself. His Word will always accomplish what He sent it to accomplish.

Isaiah 55:11
So shall my word be that goeth forth out of my mouth: it shall not return unto me void, but it shall accomplish that which I please, and it shall prosper in the thing whereto I sent it.

Today we are surrounded by those who scoff at the very idea that God, or God’s Word, could hold any true power. They mock God’s Word without trembling. They view it as a weak and outmoded thing, as a useless appendage that no longer applies to mankind, if indeed it ever did.

They think they have found something better. Something higher. That following their own will, their own aspirations, will free them from the “restrictions” of obeying Him.

This is not a new concept. God’s Word speaks of a time, before the advent of the human race, when a glorious and privileged being named Lucifer followed a similar path.

Isaiah 14:12–14
How art thou fallen from heaven, O Lucifer, son of the morning! how art thou cut down to the ground, which didst weaken the nations!
For thou hast said in thine heart, I will ascend into heaven, I will exalt my throne above the stars of God: I will sit also upon the mount of the congregation, in the sides of the north:
I will ascend above the heights of the clouds; I will be like the most High. [Emphasis added]

Rather than continuing in God’s will, Lucifer began thinking. He began formulating his own path, planning his own destiny. He said in his heart, “I will.” But God’s will is not so easily thwarted.

What was God’s response to Lucifer’s imaginings?

Isaiah 14:15
Yet thou shalt be brought down to hell, to the sides of the pit. [Emphasis added]

Ezekiel speaks further about the rebellion of Lucifer.

Ezekiel 28:13–15
Thou hast been in Eden the garden of God; every precious stone was thy covering, the sardius, topaz, and the diamond, the beryl, the onyx, and the jasper, the sapphire, the emerald, and the carbuncle, and gold: the workmanship of thy tabrets and of thy pipes was prepared in thee in the day that thou wast created.
Thou art the anointed cherub that covereth; and I have set thee so: thou wast upon the holy mountain of God; thou hast walked up and down in the midst of the stones of fire.
Thou wast perfect in thy ways from the day that thou wast created, till iniquity was found in thee.

In other words, Lucifer was blessed! He was privileged. Within God’s will, he had all that he could ever need and more. But this ended when he chose the path of iniquity (wickedness or unrighteousness). This choice had consequences.

Ezekiel 28:16–18
By the multitude of thy merchandise they have filled the midst of thee with violence, and thou hast sinned: therefore I will cast thee as profane out of the mountain of God: and I will destroy thee, O covering cherub, from the midst of the stones of fire.
Thine heart was lifted up because of thy beauty, thou hast corrupted thy wisdom by reason of thy brightness: I will cast thee to the ground, I will lay thee before kings, that they may behold thee.
Thou hast defiled thy sanctuaries by the multitude of thine iniquities, by the iniquity of thy traffick; therefore will I bring forth a fire from the midst of thee, it shall devour thee, and I will bring thee to ashes upon the earth in the sight of all them that behold thee. [Emphasis added]

In rejecting God’s will, Lucifer did not only fail to become greater than God, he also forfeited the wonderful privilege that had originally, by God’s will, been bestowed upon him.

Ezekiel 28:19
All they that know thee among the people shall be astonished at thee: thou shalt be a terror [literally, a horrible thing], and never shalt thou be any more. [Emphasis added]

When Lucifer’s “I will” encountered God’s “I will,” only one will prevailed. Ultimately, only God is capable of bringing His will to pass, in all times, under any circumstances.

Adam and Eve, the first man and woman, also chose to follow the path of Lucifer and, like him, experienced a similar fall from glory to degradation. As a result of this fall, the Scriptures tell us that all of Adam’s descendents (you and I) from our very first breath are already at enmity with God. From the womb, we are “hardwired” for rebellion. We are born saying, “I will.” Or, as the book of Romans puts it:

Romans 1: 21, 22
Because that, when they knew God, they glorified him not as God, neither were thankful; but became vain in their imaginations, and their foolish heart was darkened.
Professing themselves to be wise, they became fools.

However, we do not have to remain in that state. God’s Word is still faithful. It is still living and powerful. And, thank God, it is still available for us to read and to believe. Even today, we can follow His ways. We can enter into His blessings. We can choose to make His will our will.

Psalm 119: 7, 8, 15, 16
I will praise thee with uprightness of heart, when I shall have learned thy righteous judgments.
I will keep thy statutes: O forsake me not utterly.
I will meditate in thy precepts, and have respect unto thy ways.
I will delight myself in thy statutes: I will not forget thy word. [Emphasis added]

God moved first: He made His will known to man. We can choose to ignore it, to resist it, to actively work against it. We can also choose to keep it, meditate on it, delight in it, and remember it. We can choose to live it.

Psalm 101:1–3
I will sing of mercy and judgment: unto thee, O LORD, will I sing.
I will behave myself wisely in a perfect way. O when wilt thou come unto me? I will walk within my house with a perfect heart.
I will set no wicked thing before mine eyes: I hate the work of them that turn aside; it shall not cleave to me. [Emphasis added]

As we say, “I will” to God’s will, He can again move in our lives, imparting wisdom, strength, and the blessing that we so desperately need. Although the following verses are speaking specifically of the savior, Jesus Christ, yet they express God’s desire toward anyone who chooses to do His will:

Psalm 91:14–16
Because he hath set his love upon me, therefore will I deliver him: I will set him on high, because he hath known my name.
He shall call upon me, and I will answer him: I will be with him in trouble; I will deliver him, and honour him.
With long life will I satisfy him, and shew him my salvation. [Emphasis added]

God’s will can still be known today by learning His Word. As we learn it, and choose to cooperate with it rather than resist it, we are positioning ourselves in a place where God is able to bless us, to deliver us, and to set us on high in ways beyond even those recorded in the Old Testament. Our cooperation begins by believing on Jesus Christ, the one who always did God’s will, even to the point of death, that we might be restored to God today. Then, as Christians, children of God, we need to continue in His will. Our will sometimes looks good; God’s will is good, always. And, despite the silly protestations of man, it is still God’s Word and will that prevail.