Message Magazine’s Online Devotional for Sunday, May 31, 2015
Based Upon Judges 14:3-4
Ordained plan or permissive plan. Under which are you operating?
“Then his father and his mother said unto him, Is there never a woman among the daughters of thy brethren, or among all my people, that thou goest to take a wife of the uncircumcised Philistines? And Samson said unto his father, Get her for me; for she pleaseth me well. But his father and his mother knew not that it was of the LORD, that he sought an occasion against the Philistines: for at that time the Philistines had dominion over Israel.”
The Lord’s will is broader in its scope than most of us understand. His thoughts are far above our thoughts and His ways are above our ways.
The Lord’s will is broader in its scope than most of us understand. His thoughts are far above our thoughts and His ways are above our ways. There is an aspect of His will that can be considered as the ideal. For example, God created humankind to live perfect lives and intended that Adam and Eve pass the test at the tree of the knowledge of good and evil. His purpose was that we never sin, and that we would live eternally. As you know well, based on your own experience, sin did enter the world; therefore, God’s original intention was not met. If God were a human being, this would be the end of the story. Since He is not, this is where the arm of the Lord is revealed.
The Lord had a plan from eternity past that would immediately be enacted when humans chose to sin. We were not on an inevitable rollercoaster toward sin that we could not escape, but the Lord knew what choice we would make, therefore He had a plan. The Son of God would become a human being, live a perfect life, die a perfect substitutionary death, and rise again to minister for us in heaven. This plan, albeit beautiful, was only necessary because of the choice Adam made in Eden to defy His Lord. This fit more into God’s permissive will, though He was active in orchestrating it.
There are different versions of the Lord’s permissive will (as we understand it), which He allowed in order for His ultimate purposes to be realized. These versions would be painful for those involved, but if they accomplished their perfect work, the pain would drive God’s people to Him. For instance, the Lord never intended for Israel to have a human king, but He allowed it. He never intended that human beings ever divorce, but under certain circumstances, though it may not be expedient, it is permitted. God never intended that we consume the flesh of dead animals for food (or living ones for that matter), but because of certain environmental issues after the flood, along with the griping and murmuring of His children in the wilderness, He allowed certain types for a season.
Such was the case with Samson. God told him at the beginning of his ministry what his plans for the Philistines were. He understood that Samson would be slow at carrying out his intended purpose; therefore, God figured it all into the equation. He wanted a wife that his parents disapproved of because of the clear counsel of God against marrying uncircumcised, ungodly people, yet the Bible says the Lord was leading him. God did not intend that he ever marry that woman, but knew what choice he would make, therefore the Lord allowed it so his ultimate purpose could be realized. In the end, through much turmoil and unnecessary pain, Samson fulfilled the Lord’s will.
Here is the simple question for the day. Will you accept the Lord’s will for your life? There are two ways for it to be accomplished, the second of which is long and painful. I personally like the idea of allowing the Lord to perform His ideal in my life, but He loves me enough to do whatever it takes to save me; even if I need His permissive will to be done.