THE WILL

BY:  LARRY HODGES

“O my Father, if it be possible, let this cup pass from me: nevertheless not as I will, but as thou wilt”

Matthew 26:39

The human will is a wonderful and powerful and little understood thing. It is often little considered. It constitutes a part of man’s soul along with intellect and emotion. Man’s soul is his consciousness, his personality–the expression of his being. We are told in Genesis that God said, “Let us make man in our image, and after our likeness: and let them have dominion over the fish of the sea, and over the fowl of the air, and over the cattle, and over all the earth, and over every creeping thing that creepeth upon the earth. And so God created man in His own image, in the image of God created He him; male and female created He them. Genesis 1:26-27

We are here reading the account of His creation as it was dictated to Adam by God; otherwise he would have known no more about his beginning than you or I know first hand about our birth, for a large portion of what was created took place before Adam arrived on the scene. After man’s creation, we hear God distinctly say, “And God saw everything that He had made, and, behold, it was very good (including man). And the evening and the morning were the sixth day. Genesis 1:31

At this point man has been created, but not yet formed of the dust of the ground. The words, created and formed carry meanings differing from each other. Then, in chapter two of Genesis, we are told that what we have just read is an accounting of “the generations of the heavens and of the earth when they were created, in the day that the Lord God made the earth and the heavens, and every plant of the field before it was in the earth, and every herb of the field before it grew:” Genesis 2:45 They had been created but apparently were not yet in materiality. They existed in spirit only. After man, both male and female, was created, the Bible says, “And God saw everything that He had made (including man), and behold it was very good.Genesis 1:31 A little later we read the startling words, “And the Lord God said, ‘It is not good…'” Genesis 2:18

First we are told that He considered everything that He had created to be very good, and then soon after, He seems to change His mind about it and says it is not good. What happened? Originally, man, Adam, was created in God’s own image and he was (verse 1:27) created male and female. Adam was as complete in himself as God was in Himself, for he was created in God’s own image and likeness. Something obviously happened between the “it is very good” of Genesis 1:31 and the “it is not good” of Genesis 2:18. The decay, which led to the fall of the man, had already begun. By that I mean that man had already begun to look outside himself for his completion, which resided within him. Man was already starting to decline spiritually from his place in God.

It was not until after the fall had already begun to take place that Adam was formed, or received a physical body. We are told that “the Lord God formed man of the dust of the ground, and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life; and man became a living soul” Genesis 2:7. There was no record given of a soul until man’s spirit was breathed into his form, his body then man became a living soul.

We generally think of the fall of man as being a sudden thing which occurred the instant Adam partook of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil when, in fact, a descent had already commenced the very moment Adam began to look toward and live toward the outward physical realm. He could not have looked toward the outward realm without looking away from God. Thus, the expression used by the Lord God, “it is not good.” Before that, Adam knew only what God knew in him and spoke only what God spoke through him. He had his being in God, not in the outward realm of materiality. When he looked outward, he looked away from God and God’s spouse, Virgin Wisdom, and she departed from him.

It was not until man’s spirit, which God breathed into his nostrils, was joined with man’s body that man became a living soul, a physical expression, a being conscious of himself rather than of God only. It is not at all ironic that man’s return to Paradise and to the bosom of his Father is the reverse order of his fall from it. That by which man was at the first seduced and led astray from his life has now been overcome in Christ Jesus in order for man’s return. Even the New Age Movement knows this, and there are many speaking very similar things concerning man’s return to his first Originality, but it is never in Christ that they speak of it as accomplished. As those such as Michael Lanyon, Anna Lee Skarin, Christine Mercy and others state it, we must simply do it. But we can only “do it” because Jesus Christ has “done it” and we are in Him. Christ Jesus is now to us in the New Creation what the first Adam was to mankind in the old.

 Whereas the first Adam was made a living soul, the last Adam was made a quickening spirit. The English word, quickening, comes from the Greek word, opoie, and means to bestow or give life. It is the role of the first Adam to live. It is role the of the last Adam to give life; that is, there is to be “Always (a) bearing about in the body the dying of the Lord Jesus, that the life also of Jesus might be made manifest in our body. For we which live are always delivered unto death for Jesus sake, that the life also of Jesus might be made manifest in our mortal flesh. So then death worketh in us, but life in you. II Corinthians 4:10-12

The capacity in man, through the agency of his soul, to will is an awesome and wonderful thing. The power to will is in itself strangely intoxicating to man. The very idea of power is so closely allied to will that natural man thinks of power as the ability to impose his will upon another. The first to use the will in a positive sense (that is, to will rather than not to will) was, of course, Eve who, when asked a question by the serpent (remember, there had never been a question asked until this time), willed to seek an answer in her mind and thereby reached for the fruit of knowledge. Thus was the carnal, reasoning mind awakened in man and, as we know, to be carnally-minded is death. Only a little later do we see the firstfruits of this action in Cain who murdered his brother, Abel. Nimrod, the seed of Ham, does the same thing through governmental force. Nimrod, we are told, was a mighty hunter before the Lord, and the sense given is that he was in competition with the Lord.

I was brought up short recently by an unexpected word of enlightenment from the Lord. I had ordered some cases of paper from Office Depot which I needed in order to print TSL for that month. They had told me they would deliver it on a certain date so I stayed around the house on that day and did not venture out. The delivery man never showed up and I now wasn’t even sure he would come the following day. As I was walking the grounds here and thinking about what I might say to Office Depot to ensure that their delivery man would arrive the next day, the Lord suddenly spoke and said, “You are seeking to impose your will upon this man.” It was not condemning, just a matter-of-fact.

To be quite frank with you, I was so engrossed in thought that I did not recognize the Voice immediately. In fact, my next thought was a fairly carnal one. I thought that in this case, imposing my will on him to bring the paper I needed was not such a bad idea. That brought a further word from the Lord which I instantly recognized. He said, “To seek to impose your will on another, even slightly, is an admission that you are not entirely satisfied with My will.” I’m not sure, but I think my mouth fell open and I stopped walking and muttering to myself and once again began to rest in His will. My will consented to God’s will and I found rest in the matter.

The will of man is a mysterious, abstract thing. It cannot be seen or felt or perceived in any outward, physical way. But it is a very powerful thing and will-power is much more than mere determination. No war has ever been fought without it. No work ever done, no love ever won, without the will’s sanction. We cannot cross the room without willing it. No sin was ever committed or a sin ever repented of without the exercise of the will. We cannot raise a fork to our mouths without willing it. While the same is true of an animal, it is only man who is capable of exerting the will with intelligence, for intelligence is another part of man’s soul.

It seems as if man can do whatever he wills to do. He has traveled to the moon, has cloned animals, threatens to clone man, and with today’s technology, presumes even to reverse the effects of Babel and the confounding of languages with the aid of the computer. One may block a text in French or Spanish or any other language and key in the language desired and, presto!, you have translated from one language into another. The babel of the plains of Shinar reversed with a keystroke. None of this was ever accomplished without man’s will, aided and abetted by his intelligence. There has been no invention or intention without the will’s direct involvement. We believe what we believe because it’s what we choose to believe. Nobody believes anything against his will.

In the gospel account of the casting out of the dumb spirit (Mark 9:23), the father of the boy says to Jesus, “If thou canst do anything, have compassion on us.” The KJV then says that Jesus answers and says, “If thou canst believe, all things are possible to him that believeth.” The Concordant Literal Version translates Jesus’ response a little differently. “Why the if? You are able to believe. All is possible to him who is believing.” We believe what we’re willing to believe and never otherwise. Belief and faith are not the same thing. Faith comes from God and from hearing a Word from God, but some people believe things for which there is no reason to believe other than that they are simply willing to believe it. Evolution and atheism are two examples. Belief is the ground upon which faith works. It never works on the ground of unbelief.

The exercise of one’s will is, to me, an absolutely amazing thing. It is so very subtle in its motion that we often do not even recognize it and yet the consequences which hinge upon its exercise can be seismic in proportion and effect.

We hear much made of man’s free moral agency, as if it were something the Bible teaches. The Bible teaches something similar to the free moral agency of man, but it does not teach that. Fallen man is not free. He is a blind slave to sin with absolutely no capacity to discern or judge the value of that life offered him in Christ until it is revealed to him by the Holy Spirit. Redeemed man is a slave to Christ, but it is just this enslavement to Christ which frees man and bestows upon him the greatest and most blessed freedom of which man is capable. Fallen man is at times moral, according to man’s standards, but most often he is not moral. An agent is one who does or acts. Man does have a free will, but that in no way intimates that whatever man wills, man can do. If he could do whatever he willed, he would be a free moral agent.

We are often told that God cannot save every man because every man is not willing to be saved. Can fallen man’s will successfully frustrate the will of God who claims He will do all His pleasure (will)? Which of them is truly omnipotent, man or God, the creature or the Creator? Whichever of the two is omnipotent is God.

Then we hear, “Oh, but God is a gentleman. He would never impose His will on man. He created man with a free will and He restricts Himself from imposing His will upon anyone who is unwilling.” How foolish it is to compare God with man, as if man were such sterling example of anything pertaining to God. We have a very real tendency to make God in the image of man. God does indeed overrule man’s will at times, and praise God that He does! When I used to read the account of the exodus of the children of Israel from Egypt, I felt sympathy for Pharaoh, who tried  repeatedly to let them go; but God kept hardening Pharaoh’s heart. Pharaoh was not free to do what he willed because God overruled him by hardening his heart.

When Paul was at Damascus, there were a band of Jews who swore an oath that they would not eat until they had slain Paul. God allowed the plot to become known to Paul who was then let down a wall in a basket and escaped their hands. Thus God overruled their will. They were not free to actually carry out their will upon Paul even though they could rightly be judged as murderers at heart. Pilate sought to release Jesus but was overruled in the matter. But one need not be able to do what he wills in order to be judged in the matter. “... whosoever looketh on a woman to lust after her hath committed adultery with her already in his heart (in His will)” Matthew 5:28 As the Bible uses heart in this instance, it is the seat of moral will. So a man does not have to be able to commit the act of adultery in order to be guilty of it. He has merely to be willing to commit adultery, and he is guilty of the sin. For as a man thinketh in his heart, so is he!

There are cases when God has chosen not to overrule man’s resistance to His will for the furtherance of His own purposes. Israel is a case in point. “O Jerusalem, Jerusalem, thou that killest the prophets, and stonest them which are sent unto thee, how often would (God’s will) I have gathered thy children together, even as a hen gathereth her chickens under her wings, and ye would not (Israel’s will)! Matthew 23:37 But thankfully that is not the end of the story. Though God sometimes allows man to successfully resist His will, it is only for a season and then God’s will countermands. “And so all Israel shall be saved. Romans 11:26, is God’s final word on the matter. This is the same God whose will overruled the hunger of lions in Daniel’s day, the violence of flames for the three Hebrew men, Pharaoh’s intentions toward Sarai, Saul’s intentions toward an anointed David and whose will stands as resolute and invincible for our part in this closing day.

Does God force His will on any? He never has to use force. Did he force you to come to Him? Or did He simply wear down your resistance to Him? He allowed me twenty-six years of my will, of doing my own thing, until I was so sin-sick and so weighed down with the guilt of sin that I eventually became quite willing to bow the heart and will to His Will. He never used force on me. I had become very willing. I had become so willing, in fact, that the night I finally asked Him to save me in the cab of that United Van Lines furniture-moving truck, I thought I had found Him, when it was He who had actually run me down, wore me down and brought me to a willingness to be willing.

“And I, if I be lifted up, shall draw all men after me. John 12:32 The word draw seems fairly benign, kind and tender, doesn’t it? Drag sounds a little more like force but it implies the irresistible will of God. What Jesus is actually saying in the above verse is that when He is lifted up at Calvary, He will begin to drag all men unto Himself. The Greek word for draw is helko and it means to drag. “…Peter went up and drew the nets to shore” –John 21:11. He dragged them to shore. The word used here is the same as the one used in John 12:32. “And I, if I be lifted up, shall drag all men after me.”

But God no more needs to use force in bringing us to Himself than the sun needs to use force in order to cause us to remove our coat on a warm day. We finally get so uncomfortable that we are quite willing to remove it. When every knee bows and every tongue confesses that Jesus Christ is Lord to the glory of God, it will not be something done involuntarily. God’s love will not leave man in his helpless condition! Love’s persistence is infinite.

All of the world’s unrest and turmoil is caused by that civil war raging within individuals and their seeking to have their way or will. Few marriages have ended in divorce except for a war of wills. Unrest in God’s people is brought about by God’s people seeking their will rather than His Will. Most depression (though not all) is nothing other than a disappointed will. All things work together for good for those who are called to, and walk according to, His Will. There is no rest for God’s people or for anyone to be found anywhere outside of God’s Will. It has been said that the fires of hell are fueled by only one thing, one thing self-will! When self exchanges its will for God’s, there is no longer any fuel and the fire goes out. The lake of fire, the second death, is used for just such a purpose – ridding man of his will.

So what are the benefits, if any, to overcoming in this life as opposed to waiting until after the dissolution of the body, if we’re all going to be saved finally anyway? Aside from avoiding the lake of fire for a few ages, I think the following by William Law may throw some light on the question.

On The Soul, by William Law

“From a divine and heavenly creature man is so wretchedly changed as to have inwardly the nature and dark fire of the devils. Outwardly he has the nature of all the beasts and is as a slave of this outward world, living in all uncertainties with pains, fears, sorrows, and diseases, until at last his body is forced to be removed from our sight and hid in the earth.

“The reason why even the most depraved persons do not fully know and perceive their souls to be in this miserable state, is because the soul, though fallen, is still united to the blood of the human body. The benefit of this communion between the soul and the body, brought about by the blood, is that the sweet and cheering light of the sun can reach the soul and do for it in some degree, and for some time, what it does to the darkness, sharpness, sourness, bitterness and wrath which is in the outward nature. What the sun is able to do is enlighten, sweeten, and clear it to a certain degree. But this is not the soul’s own life; that is, this sweetness does not arise in the soul itself or of itself but only reaches it by means of the body, so if the soul has in this present time gotten no light of its own, then when the death of the body breaks off its communion with the light of this world (sun), the soul is left a mere dark, raging fire in the state of devils. If the light of this world, the sun, were suddenly extinguished, all human souls that are not in some real degree of regeneration would immediately find themselves to be nothing but the rage of fire and the horror of darkness.

“Though the light and comfort of this outward world keeps even the worst of men from a constant, strong sensibility of that wrathful, fiery, dark and self-tormenting nature (which is the very essence of every fallen and unregenerate soul), still every man has more or less frequent and strong intimations given him in the inmost ground of his soul. How many distractions are some people forced to partake of in order to ward off a certain inward uneasiness of which they are afraid, and know not whence it comes? Alas, it is because there is a fallen spirit, a dark aching fire within them which has never had its proper relief and is trying to discover itself and is calling out for help at every cessation of worldly joy.

“Why are some people, when under heavy disappointments or some great worldly shame, at the very brink of utter desperation, unable to bear themselves and desirous of death of any kind? It is because worldly light and comforts no longer acting sweetly upon the blood, has left the soul to its own dark, fiery, raging nature and would destroy the body, rather than to continue under such a sensibility of its own wrathful, self-tormenting fire.

“Who has not at one time or other felt a sourness, wrath, selfishness, envy and pride which he could not tell what to do with or how to bear, rising up without his consent, casting a blackness over all his thoughts and then suddenly lifting, either by the cheerfulness of sun and air or some agreeable incident and then again at times suddenly returning upon him? These are sufficient indication to any man that there is a dark guest within him, concealed under the cover of flesh and blood, often lulled asleep by worldly light and amusements, yet such as will in spite of everything, show itself and which, if it have not its proper cure in this life, must be his torment in eternity (after time, after this life). And it is because of this hidden hell within us that our blessed Lord said when on earth and says now to every soul, “Come unto me, all ye that labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest.” For as the soul is become this self-tormenting fire only because the birth of the Son of God was extinguished in it (our soul) by our first parents, so there is no other possible remedy for it, either in heaven or earth, but by its coming to this Son of God to be born again of Him.

“And if long, long ages of fiery pain and tormenting darkness fall to the share of many, or even most, of God’s apostate creatures, that torment will last no longer than it takes the great fire of God to melt all arrogance into humility and until all that is self has died in the bloody sweat and all-saving cross of Christ which will never give up its redeeming power until sin and sinners have no more a name among the creatures of God. And if only long ages hereafter can do for a soul departing this life under a load of sins, that which days and nights might have done for a most hardened Pharaoh or a most wicked Nero whilst in the body, it is because when flesh and blood are taken from it, the soul has only the strong apostate nature of fallen angels left in it, which must have its place in that blackness and darkness of a fiery wrath that burns in them and in their kingdom.

“For in very deed the new birth is a new man, whether Christ for us or Christ in us, which is formed by the Divine Word. And this new man is “he that is born of God and cannot sin,” because he has no sin in his nature. This is “he that overcometh the world,” because he is of a divine nature and is both contrary to the world and above it. This is he who alone can “love his brother as himself,” because the love of God abideth in him. The old natural man is of this world and enlightened only with the light of this world: he is shut up in his own envy, pride and wrath and can only escape from these by the cross of Christ; that is, by dying with Him. This is the “self” that our Savior calls us to deny–this is the “self” that we are to “hate” and “lose,” that the kingdom of God may come in us; that is, that God’s will may be done in us. All other sacrifices that we make, whether of worldly goods, honors or pleasures are but small matters compared to that death of self, spiritual as well as natural, which must be made before our regeneration has its perfect work.

“To be a true student or disciple of the mystery is to be a disciple of Christ; for it calls you to nothing but the gospel, and wherever it enters, either into the height or depth of nature, it is only to confirm those words of Christ, “He that followeth me not, walketh in darkness,” and “Unless a man deny himself (his will), and forsake all that he hath, he cannot be my disciple.” This is the philosophy opened in this mystery. It is not to lead you after itself, but to compel you by every truth of nature to turn to Christ, as the one Way, the one Truth, the one Life and Salvation of the soul; not as notionally apprehended or historically known, but as experimentally found, living, speaking and working in your soul. Read as long or as much as you will of this mystery, it is all labor lost if you intend anything else by it or would be anything else from it except a man dead to sin and to the world, that you may have life unto God through Jesus Christ our Lord.” End of Quote.

It would seem, therefore, from what William Law writes that there is much to be gained by allowing one’s self to be purged while yet in this life, as well as much to be lost in resisting it. For after the body of flesh and blood is put off, “the soul has only the strong apostate nature of fallen angels left in it, which must have its place in that blackness and darkness of a fiery wrath that burns in them and in their kingdom.” It seems to be much easier to undergo purging and overcome sin while still in the body than to be left to those ages that are required to do the same work after the body has been lost.

If we are willing, if we wisely use this great and awesome thing called “our will”, we may attain in a relatively short time and under remarkably more lenient and agreeable measures what may require ages of distress and torment later, not to mention what is forfeited by such a long disobedience. I do not say that we must be able–only willing. Grace is always available in Christ, but it is only for the obedient–the disobedient don’t need it. So, if we be willing, we may eat the good of the land.

I recently experienced something I would like to share in the hope that it may benefit someone. I had been confronted by the Lord about relinquishing something in which I had found pleasure. It was not sinful or in any way tending in that direction but I had noticed that it did have a certain spirit-dulling effect upon me which I seemed quite willing to overlook because I did enjoy it. The nature of the thing was so trivial and petty I could not at first believe that God was actually interested in it, much less intent that I relinquish it. This in itself supports the idea that God means to invade every area of our life until He holds sway over it in entirety.

Every time I was confronted by Him about this thing I would silently “take it under advisement” but never give an answer and would not make a decision on it. The Lord finally had enough of that and brought the thing to such a head that I found myself in the proverbial corner on the matter. I had a decision to make and I knew that either way I made the decision, He would abide by it. I wanted to be able to put aside what had become a distraction for me, but I realized that I didn’t have the strength of determination to do so and to do it absolutely. I definitely did not want to be guilty of half-measures with God.

The fact that God has delivered me from so many other things didn’t seem to make any difference to me. I noticed another thing which took place in my soul during this time. While I was coming to a decision on the matter, knowing I really had no choice if God is to be All in me, I noticed what could be called nothing other than a great soul-sob within. It was as if my soul intuitively knew what the outcome was going to be and mourned the loss of this little innocent pleasure. I have experienced this before, and it seems to be a process the soul goes through in yielding itself to God in a matter.

I really wrestled with this thing for about four days and finally said to the Lord something to the effect of, “Lord, I want to lay this down and find all my pleasure in you, but I know that I’m just not able. If you mean for me to do this in my own strength, then when and if I accomplish this, I will have somewhat of which I may boast. Knowing that You alone must have the glory of a finished work, I yield to You in this and expect that You will make it possible. I do not ask that You make it easy just possible.” That something so petty could rouse such a struggle in me proved to me what I had before only suspected. That I can of myself really do nothing! We are pitifully helpless and woefully ignorant of it.

The moment I yielded my will in the matter, it was no longer a problem to me. My soul, in the area of will, had consented and so it seemed as if nothing was left which blocked the grace of God. The point I want to make here is that my will acted as a lock which God apparently chose not to violate. Instead, He so dealt with me that I was pleased to unlock it myself. I was once again amazed to find how easy it was to do in God what I could not do myself, and the part my will had played in it all seemed astonishing to me. Our will is a great and awesome thing when used wisely. When used unwisely it can also become so hard that it just cannot seem to yield.

In the past few months we have received testimonies of healings which have taken place with some to whom God had spoken to trust Him alone for their health and well-being. I thought it might be encouraging to some who are undergoing lingering conditions in their bodies. It should be noted, however, that each of these testimonies involved a direct word from the Lord to them, not something they had merely read somewhere.

One lady was completely healed of a thyroid condition for which she had received medication for years. Another or two were healed of a condition I cannot readily recall and I, myself, was healed of a very painful condition that had tormented me for years. But in each case, it seemed as if when the crisis of trusting God rather than other means had been successfully passed through, the healing was seemingly automatic.

I have thought about this healing incident since it happened to me and have found what God didn’t do to be almost as interesting as what He did do. He very purposely left untouched other conditions in my body which sorely needed healing. And they were of a life-threatening nature. Why? Did He merely overlook them? Did they simply slip His mind? Had I stumbled upon a manner of thinking regarding the condition He healed, which didn’t apply to those conditions He chose not to heal? These questions are merely rhetorical and, I think, quite absurd.

God is Love. Love is not something He does; it’s what He is. Love simply would not leave such life-threatening conditions untouched unless there were some greater good Love meant to bestow by allowing them to remain untouched for the present. The apostle Paul says to us that he sought the Lord three times for the removal of his thorn in the flesh. In his particular case, I do not think it had to do with healing at all. But whatever it was, it was necessary for something being wrought in Paul’s life, and he was given the grace to bear it. Has it not occurred to us that in every way that man has gone about to secure his safety and well-being in some way other than a simple trust in a loving Father, there is without fail, a built-in penalty? Does this not seem to prove that there is a better way? When we forsake the will of God, even in the least and most minor way, we have left our place of rest though this is not always apparent at the time. “For it is better, if the will of God be so, that ye suffer...” – I Peter 3:17

T. Austin Sparks said, and I wholly agree, “Not always does the Lord choose to heal the body, but He does always want to be its life, even in suffering, to fulfill His purpose.” Are we willing to abide in the will of God when His will is contrary to ours? Hear Jesus when He prayed, “Father, if it be possible, let this cup pass from me; nevertheless, not as I will but as thou wilt” Matthew 26:39 This is the heart-cry that God is working into the heart of every would-be son in this hour. Not my will but thine be done! What we have displayed before us as Jesus prays thus in the garden is a soul in the agony of surrendering its last vestige and provision for life. And make no mistake about it, the surrender God is after in us is unto death! It was for Christ Jesus in His person, and it is for Christ in His members.

It is one thing to yield all things to God, but to give up that which is most cherished by manhis will, his self, is death to self. Without this we have no part in the first resurrection. It is this reality of death to self, a real relinquishing of the will to God, which causes what I call the great soul-sob within us. The soul knows right well that its exercise of its will has come to its own Calvary. What the soul doesn’t seem to realize is that through this very relinquishment of its own will and becoming completely dependent upon its God, through this death to self, it gains all things in God.

For no sooner does the soul agree with what the spirit intuitively knows is right and good and correct, no sooner does the soul come into harmony and oneness with the spirit as to truth and the reality of that truth by acquiescing to the truth the marriage of soul and spirit takes place. They are joined in nuptial bliss. Then shall it be that, “Thou shalt no more be termed Forsaken; neither shall thy land (body) any more be termed Desolate: but thou shalt be called Hephzibah (My delight is in her), and thy land (body) Beulah (Married): for the Lord delighteth in thee, and thy land shall be married. Isaiah 62:4 They shall be a crown of glory in the hand of the Lord and a royal diadem in the hand of their God who are willing to trade their will for His.

This marriage eventuates the redemption of the body spoken of in Romans 8:23, for the body is merely a servant. Because it is, the body is presently in a bad way due to the divided condition of the soul and spirit, for as a man thinketh in his heart, so is he. But when the will of man becomes one with God’s will, then “behold, the tabernacle of God is with man!” Such a work as this only God would undertake to accomplish. And only God is able to will and to do of His good pleasure in us. It ought to comfort us to realize with understanding that we are His workmanship, created in Christ Jesus unto good works.

We are not behind schedule one iota unless, of course, God has gotten behind schedule. It is His work from start to finish, even to the bringing of our wills into His will. We are right on schedule – God’s schedule. And we have not been carelessly abandoned in our bodily conditions. We are in intensive care, like a heart attack patient. There are no second causes that permit things to just happen to us. All things come to us from the loving hand of an all-loving God whose end purpose for us is infinitely more wise and good than man has the capacity to appreciate, much less understand. If His kingdom is truly coming in us as it is in heaven, then just as truly, His will is being done in us as it is in heaven, for there is no kingdom of God where the will of God is not done.

Oh, what a grand and glorious privilege we have been called to. And it was all God’s eternal idea! No one coerced Him into calling whom He has called. “Moreover whom He did predestinate, them He also called: and whom He called, them He also justified: and whom He justified, them He also glorified. Roman 8:30

 

WILL, THE [Larry Hodges]          1

 

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