Whose Will Matters Most?
by Joseph Franks
An unaltered free will may be something loved and cherished by some, but by those who understand the Scripture, humanity, and their own troubled hearts, free will is not something in which to find glory.
The Free Will of God
Before the beginning, God began with the end in mind and decreed whatsoever his will desired. Then, in the beginning, and in accordance with plan, he willed the world into existence. This was followed up by his persistent and providential guidance; with ease he brought to fruition that which he willed. Yes, he created men with wills. Yes, he created men with free wills — wills that were not to be coerced or forced and could operate according to their chiefest desires. However, in comparison with the wills of his creatures, God always had the most free will.
The Free Will of Man
Soon, after the beginning, man used his free will to rebel. He was created to freely obey and submit to the will of the Father, but instead he freely choose to follow the will of Satan. Such was the character and conduct of the first man; such has been the character and conduct of all his children. And this is horrible news, for a perfectly submissive and holy free will was the absolute requirement for any who would enjoy a relationship with God and enter the Kingdom of Heaven. Yes, any with perfect and obedient wills, they were viewed as holy men who were acceptable worshipers. Contrarily, all others without such submissive wills, they were viewed as “children of the devil” and their just end was the Lake of Fire.
The Free Will of God
However, God freely determined not to treat one-hundred percent of fallen men as he planned on treating one-hundred percent of fallen angels. According to his free love and free will, God determined to grant free grace to many who had used their free will to dishonor him and follow Satan. So, freely, the Father determined to send the Son, and freely, the Son determined to come to earth, use his free will on behalf of his friends, and suffer the consequences for their insubordination. So Jesus came, and notice his desire and ambition:
I can do nothing on my own. As I hear, I judge, and my judgment is just, because I seek not my own will but the will of him who sent me. (John 5:30)
For I have come down from heaven, not to do my own will but the will of him who sent me. (John 6:38)
Jesus, the holy man, found it his desire and ambition to submit his free will to the free will of his Heavenly Father. When it came to lifestyle choices and decision making, it was the free will of the Heavenly Father that mattered most. Then, due to his sense of love and justice, he freely allowed himself to be beaten by men, placed on a cross, and condemned and crushed by his Heavenly Father. But oh how sweet were the consequences of Jesus’ death for certain hell-bound sinners! For when the Just Judge pronounced Jesus to be guilty, he determined to pronounce those for whom Jesus died to be righteous. Because of Jesus’ work, sinful rebels were to be viewed as those with God-centered and submissive free wills.
However, the free will of God was not finished operating. Those for whom Christ died still had unaffected free wills; they still believed, desired, and willed like their father the devil. So God the Father and God the Son sent the Holy Spirit to address the free wills of the elect. Their minds were enlightened, their eyes were opened, their ears were unclogged, and their hearts tenderized. The result of the free work of of the Holy Spirit was a sorrow over sin, a hunger for reconciliation, a thirst for Jesus, faith in the cross-work of Christ, and a passion to repent. Yes, in time past the wills of Jesus’ friends were purchased, but in time present the wills of Jesus’ friends have been revived, transformed, and converted.
The Free Will of Man
And now for some more good news. Those who are atoned for, regenerated, and justified by the free will of God, they are finding themselves looking, desiring and willing like Jesus Christ more and more every day. They don’t always do what they want to, but they find their “want to” being progressively adjusted. More and more they pray to see God’s will done. More and more they pray to see God’s kingdom come and God’s will be done. Without ceasing they supplicate the Father asking for him not to lead them into temptation, but to deliver them from their current wicked world, their former devilish leader, and their former evil nature. Brothers and sisters, this is sure to happen; Jesus promised. All his children are being gradually conformed into the image of the one who died for them. This is his will, and his will matters most.
With all your energy, heed the will of Jesus and Paul:
I appeal to you therefore, brothers, by the mercies of God, to present your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and acceptable to God, which is your spiritual worship. Do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewal of your mind, that by testing you may discern what is the will of God, what is good and acceptable and perfect. (Romans 12:1-2)
And when you find yourself pursuing your own will instead of the will of Christ, sorrow over and confess your sin. However, don’t stay there! Look within and realize the unrighteous which bothers you today formerly did not trouble you. My brothers and sisters, this is a glorious sign that Jesus’ will is becoming your will. This is a glorious sign that you have been saved according to the free will of the Trinitarian Deity. Yes, the will of God is becoming, more and more, that which matters most to you; this should provide much needed assurance of your salvation.
And then rejoice that someday, there will be no distinction between the will of the Father, the Son, the Spirit, and the redeemed saint. A glorious day is coming when the curse of sin will be totally removed, and men will use their free will to always pursue the most free will of God. Christian, this is his decree. This is his end. This is his will, and his will matters most.