A recent discussion in the comments section of a blog post from a few months ago ....
had me marinating over the topic of God's will and man's will...again...I mean it is a topic that I often think about, and it had me go to that place once more.
The Bible likens the believer's relationship to a child and a Father. A child can demand all kinds of things at every whim or fancy, but does that obligate the father to give in to the child at that moment of the request? I think of the people that Jesus healed...some had been waiting for a healing for many years, begging that God would relieve their misery. Why didn't He? When Lazarus, beloved by Jesus, died, Lazarus's sister Mary complained that if Jesus had been a little bit sooner her brother would not have to have died. Why was He late? Or was He?
We have a timetable of when we think things should happen. There are many charlatans who will promise you that God will give you everything you want IMMEDIATELY and if He doesn't, it is because your faith is lacking, so show your faith by sending in all your money to the ministry....blahblahblahblahblah....
When looking for an image for this post, I found the one above, and interestingly, the story of the Doomsday Clock dovetails nicely with my thoughts about God's timing, God's will, and man's (and woman's...that is, mine included) impetuous nature. God answers when He does and the way He chooses to show us that it is His will, not ours, that causes what He does in our lives at the appropriate times, which often is not when we wanted it (immediately, whether it was yesterday, a week ago, or 20 years ago). Joseph had to wait in prison in Egypt MANY YEARS, having been falsely imprisoned for a crime he didn't commit. When he explained a dream to two fellow inmates the one who lived promised to tell Pharaoh about Joseph's plight, but then it wasn't until another 2 years passed before he remembered Joseph when Pharaoh had a dream. How mean of God to keep Joseph in jail all that time for a crime he did not commit!!! How dare He! What an evil God! No, actually, it ended up all being for good (if you know the rest of the story, I know you would agree with me). But God could have done things differently. Why did people have to suffer in order for God's good to have to come so late? Ahh, is it to teach us patience? Perseverance perhaps? Maybe...but it is for God to do what He does for the reasons He knows are the correct ones. We would only be guessing, but a good God who has the welfare of His chosen ever in mind, does what He does for those who love Him.
This is a quote I ran across yesterday, it sort of tells part of this equation:
" Now God sometimes allows people to treat us unjustly. Sometimes He even allows their actions to seriously affect our careers or our futures viewed on a human plane. But God never allows people to make decisions about us that undermine His plan for us. God is for us, we are His children, He delights in us (see Zephaniah 3:17). And the Scripture says, “If God is for us, who can be against us?” (Romans 8:31). We can put this down as a bedrock truth: God will never allow any action against you that is not in accord with His will for you. And His will is always directed to our good. "
Jerry Bridges, Trusting God: Even When Life Hurts
The Bible says the fiery trials purge us and refine us like gold in fire. The book of Job explains it beautifully. God has made available all these things: warnings, rebukes, admonishings, wisdom, explanations, comforting passages, praises, love, and much more, and we can foolishly find ways to discredit what He says to us, or we can take it to heart and pray for His timing in the performance of His will in our lives. His will is to save the lost. Are you lost?
Oh, and regarding the Doomsday Clock article...it's an old article...the time has been moved up to 3 minutes to midnite. The closest it has ever been to midnite was when they put the time at 2 minutes to midnite, and then after the cold war it was reset to 17 minutes to midnite....but God knows what time it is by His timetable. The disciples in Jesus day thought that the end of the world would be in their lifetime, and look at the patient endurance of God who is waiting for more people to save. He is patient...but are you patient, to the saving of your soul, with Him?