Daily Archives: April 7, 2011

God Willing

Hebrews 6:1-8 (ESV)

Therefore let us leave the elementary doctrine of Christ and go on to maturity, not laying again a foundation of repentance from dead works and of faith toward God, [2] and of instruction about washings, the laying on of hands, the resurrection of the dead, and eternal judgment. [3] And this we will do if God permits.

The writer says that he plans to teach the readers of his letter the things that will help them move on in the faith. He will teach them what they need to know – if God permits. Our lives are in the hands of the only true sovereign God that there is. All Christians will attest to the sovereignty of God, but not all will agree that He is in control of absolutely everything. But He is. He would not be God if He were not.

The phrase “if God permits” means that if God does not permit, then it will not happen. We are very frail and fragile. None of us can guarantee that we will still be breathing this time tomorrow. And if we are, it will be because God enabled it to happen. If we are not, it will be because God caused our breathing to stop. James tells us that we should not even say that we will be in a certain place on a certain day (James 4:13-17).

The implications from this truth are immense and mind boggling. But we note at least this much now. We are totally and utterly dependent on God for everything. Everything. Consider such texts as Romans 11:33-36, Psalm 115:3, Revelation 5, Romans 8:28-30, Ephesians 1:11. God did not set the earth on its course and leave it to itself. It turns because He not only put the physics in place that allow it to turn, but because He maintains the physics. The world turns because He continues to cause it to do so (Colossians 1:15).

The writer has just finished saying that the believers he is writing should know their stuff better then they do. God is not pleased with the fact that they have not progressed further than they have. They need to grow up. They need to mature. They need to be taught the deep things of the faith so that they can progress in their walk as believers. If all that is true, then do we not know that it will be God’s will for them to be taught by the author of Hebrews so that they can grow? Not at all. God may want someone else to do it. He may call the author home before he ever sees the Hebrews again. God may have a lot of other possibilities that need to become reality first. Our job is to live in submission to Him. The will of God is always to live in obedience to His Word and live a life of worship – no matter what.

This little phrase “if God permits” is a great lesson to us. So often we live presumptuously. We think we know the details of how God is going to use us. We have such strong feelings about how our gifts ought to be put to work that we just know that God has been speaking to us. Our God’s ways are beyond finding out and we do well never to say “see you tomorrow” without adding “Lord willing” to it, if we are truly seeking to live for Him.

And this final thought. There is no better place to be than in the will of God. If God should not allow the writer to the Hebrews to get to them to teach them then that is what is better. God’s will is not just sovereign. It is better. He is not just in charge. He is in loving charge. He does not just get His way. He gets His way for His glory and our good. The God who works out everything after the council of His own will is the God who does that for the good of those who love Him and have been called according to His purpose. There simply cannot be a more comforting thought than this. He is in charge and He loves me and will accomplish all His sovereign loving purposes for me. What a God.