November 5, 1991
Those ice cream places with umpteen dozen flavors fluster me to no end. I’d like a scoop of each; however, that would make me round, so making a selection is the only alternative. “Peaches ‘n Cream” looks good, but so does “Raspberry Delight,” never mind “Lemon Meringue,” or “Milk Chocolate.” Why did they make so many choices?
A book of names is just as perplexing for new parents; or a holiday guide for campers trying to pick a site for next year’s vacation. Dozens of channels perplex TV addicts selecting a viewing favorite. Fat curriculum catalogs frazzle college students trying to pick the most suitable courses. And multitude of products in multitudes of catalogs or multiple stores in multitudes of malls make shoppers dizzy.
The smorgasbord of life can be just as confusing for a person who honestly wants to make choices according to the will of God. Which school do I attend? Which career should I pursue? Who should I marry? Where should I live? What car should I buy? When should I have children? And on it goes. How can we find the will of God anyway? Has He hidden it without giving us any clues to its whereabouts? Or do we throw darts at the assortment?
It is a help to know God’s will has two spheres. The first sphere is His sovereign will. This includes His control over events; history does take the course He has determined. But unless He reveals something through prophecy, we don’t know what these events will be until they happen. Not to worry, we won’t miss His sovereign will; God is powerful and able to do whatever He pleases. His sovereign will is a certainty.
Because of that, our best response to the sovereign aspect of God’s will is acceptance. In other words, we fit ourselves into what happens, trusting that God has our best interest in mind. Romans 8:28 says, “We know that all things work together for good to those who love God, to those who are the called according to His purpose.” Even though it is, for the most part, hidden from us, whatever He has planned He will use for the good of those who belong to Him. We need not fear His sovereign will.
In contrast, the other sphere of God’s will is completely revealed in Scripture. We don’t have to hunt for it or try to figure it out. It involves ethics and morals, choices that are straight-forward: Do not kill. Do not commit adultery. Do not steal. Tell the truth. Love others.
Notice this important truth about the MORAL will of God: because we have the freedom to choose, we can “miss” it. To fit into His moral will, we must choose to do (or not do) these actions. In cases where matters are not distinct or it seems we must decide between two good choices rather than one bad and one good one, God calls us to obey in what we know and ask Him for wisdom concerning our options.
But what about those situations where it seems our only option is choosing the lesser of two evils and sin seems unavoidable? Thankfully, God promised this would never happen. 1 Corinthians 10:13 says “... God is faithful and will not allow you to be tempted beyond what you can handle but will with the temptation also provide a way of escape...”
In other words, whatever our situation, we never HAVE to choose sin. There is always a choice, even though life would be easier if it was less like 57 varieties and more like the fast food outlet across the street – where the options are limited – to Chocolate or Strawberry!