Updated: Aug 31
God is carrying out his plan throughout creation, not anyone else. We are here to do His Will, not the other way around. Today we're going to discuss understanding the Will of the Lord.
Three to four years ago, I had two dreams from the Lord. In the first dream, I was walking through the interior of a cruise ship with a dear friend of mine. We came to a table that had beautiful food and different extravagant decorations on it. Everyone and everything was dressed beautifully, including the lights. They were warm and sparkled like nothing I had ever seen before. The people also sparkled. Everything was beyond what I had ever imagined would be found on a cruise ship. There were round tables and people seated at them. The people were happy, enjoying themselves, and celebrating being on the ship. I noticed a short walkway that led to a room with two doors that were closed and went to explore. Somehow, I could see through a crack in the closed doors and observed there was another party going on inside the room, but it was private and exclusive. It was even larger and greater than the celebration going on outside of that room. The room was expansive. There were levels that spanned from the lower parts of the ship upward filled with other people, and they were all sitting at tables. The lights were even brighter, more brilliant, and more beautiful than the ones outside and everything sparkled more than it did outside the room. An urgent and desperate feeling came over me like I had to get inside that room. It was the Captain's party. My desire to get in that room became so great that I was ready to do anything I needed to so I could get into that room to meet the Captain and see if I could find a seat.
In my second dream, I was walking in what appeared to be a grand Symphony Hall. The lights in the house - where the audience would be seated - were all dimmed. There was a light on the stage and it was just a small, warm, glowing light, but it was beautiful. I couldn't tell what was going to happen in the symphony hall, but by the way things looked, I knew it would be something special and would be happening soon. It just so happened that I was there before anybody else. The only other people there were the ones that were sweeping the floor or working on preparing things for the upcoming event. I walked around and looked over where the orchestra was going to be and around at the seating to find the best seating. All the seats were covered with this red plush cushiony velvet-like fabric. There were many many seats that just kept going up in rows, ascending up toward the ceiling -similar to how the seating looks in a stadium. I remember being excited and thinking that I can have any seat I wanted because I was there before anybody else. I looked and thought about where I might want to sit, and I knew that whatever was going to happen I greatly desired to be a part of it. I decided to wait for two of my really dear friends, and I went outside to meet them. I was so early to this event, that even the parking lot lights were still off. Slowly people began to arrive. I continued to wait for my friends because I wanted us to all sit together - I wanted my friends to be a part of the blessing as well. But, there soon came a point where I had to go back inside because I might miss my seat. So, I quickly went back into the building.
When I got back inside what would be the foyer, all the doors leading down into the auditorium were closed. They were sealed and guarded by two men who looked like bellhops, or old movie theater attendants. They were wearing red suits with gold buttons and a red bell boy's hat with gold trim. While standing in this area, I could just barely see through the cracks of the door. And, I could see the beautiful lights had come up to full strength. It was so bright and glorious! I heard the sound of the audience's awe-filled excitement and expectation, but I couldn't see what was happening on the stage. I begged and pleaded with the bellhops to please let me in. I explained to them how I was here earlier, and how they had seen me walking around. Even though I reminded them, it didn't matter. They told me I couldn't enter in and one of the men just pointed and directed me outside to an overflow room. I was so sad and heartbroken, because I wasn't inside the main room where I really wanted to be. I went into the overflow room - it was nothing like the auditorium where the main event was happening. The walls were dingy white and had no decorations on them. There were rows and rows of brown, metal, fold-out chairs, which didn't even have cushions on them. There was a very small, old, box TV held up in one corner of the room. It was so small that everybody in the room wouldn't possibly be able to clearly see what was on the TV. The floor was white, peel and stick tile that you see in a grocery store - very plain and placed right over concrete with nothing special about it. I was stunned by the bellhop's dismissal and overwhelmed by the dismal comparison between the two halls, but I finally got to a seat, because people were filling that room up as well. I didn't want to completely miss my opportunity. I sat in a cold, hard, fold-out seat thinking about how much I didn't want to be there and trying to trace where I went wrong in my decision-making, but it was better than nothing.
When I woke up from each of those dreams, I had such a pain and longing sensation and sorrow on the inside of me. My heart aches now as I recount the dreams. I can't sufficiently describe to you how I felt to do it justice. But, those dreams changed me. There were many messages for me from the Lord in those dreams, but among them was that there is such a thing as "God's perfect will" for my life, and the "perfect will" of God is equal to His best. God's best was not what I thought it was. It wasn't what I'd imagined or contemplated it being in my Christian walk.
At the time when had these dreams, I had been saved for several years. The dreams themselves were unexpected, but more so for me was learning that His "perfect will" was something that I personally could not live without. The Lord took me through the dreams and explained Himself to me. He let me know that in order to understand Him, I would have to come up to His kind of thinking. We've begun talking about God's perspective (in another blog post), being seated in heavenly places, and looking at things from the way He looks at them. Now, we are going to talk about His motives. What is His target or focus? What is He after? Why is He doing the things that He's doing in the earth? Here is the purpose in a nutshell.
Let's look at 1 Corinthians 15:22-24 (NASB). "For as in Adam all die, so also in [a]Christ all will be made alive. But each in his own order: Christ the first fruits, after that those who are Christ’s at His coming, then comes the end, when He hands over the kingdom to our God and Father, when He has abolished all rule and all authority and power."
The Apostle Paul states it right there in verse 24. "Then comes the end. When He [that is Jesus] hands over the kingdom to God the Father and He has abolished all rule and all authority and power." That's it... Just simply stated, in a nutshell! God declares the end from the beginning (Isaiah 46:10 NASB). Knowing this, let's go to the end of the scriptures and walk through the Word to find out what the Lord is telling us so we can understand what He wants and is working to complete. It's important to know that God is serious about what He is accomplishing after all, His word will never return to Him unfulfilled. We can find a very similar, if not the same string of thought spanning throughout the Scriptures; from the end to the beginning.
Let's look at Revelation 21:2-3 (NASB). "And I saw the holy city, new Jerusalem, coming down out of heaven from God, prepared as a bride adorned for her husband. And I heard a loud voice from the throne, saying, “Behold, the tabernacle of God is among the people, and He will dwell among them, and they shall be His [a]people, and God Himself will be among them[b]."
Examine verses five through eight of the same chapter (Revelation 21:5-8 NASB). And He who sits on the throne said, “Behold, I am making all things new.” And He *said, “Write, for these words are faithful and true.” Then He said to me, “[a]It is done. I am the Alpha and the Omega, the beginning and the end. I will give water to the one who thirsts from the spring of the water of life, without cost. The one who overcomes will inherit these things, and I will be his God and he will be My son. But for the cowardly, and [b]unbelieving, and abominable, and murderers, and sexually immoral persons, and sorcerers, and idolaters, and all liars, their part will be in the lake that burns with fire and [c]brimstone, which is the second death.”
Now there are two key phrases that I want you to pick up on. The first is Revelation 21:3 (NASB) "Behold, the tabernacle of God is among men, and He will dwell among them, and they shall be His people, and God himself will be among them." And, let's examine verse seven of the same chapter [Revelation 21:7]. We're looking for keywords again, remember; "...and I will be his God and he will be My son."
Now, we'll look back at the beginning [of the Word] because God declares the end result from the beginning. Let's follow His track and His pattern as we look at Genesis 2:22-25 (NASB). "And the Lord God [a]fashioned into a woman the rib which He had taken from the man, and brought her to the man. Then the man said,“At last this is bone of my bones, And flesh of my flesh; [b]She shall be called [c]‘woman,’Because [d]she was taken out of [e]man.” For this reason a man shall leave his father and his mother, and be joined to his wife; and they shall become one flesh. And the man and his wife were both naked, but they were not ashamed. Let's continue in Genesis 3:7-11 (NASB) Then the eyes of both of them were opened, and they knew that they were naked; and they sewed fig leaves together and made themselves waist coverings. Now they heard the sound of the Lord God walking in the garden in the [b]cool of the day, and the man and his wife hid themselves from the presence of the Lord God among the trees of the garden. Then the Lord God called to the man, and said to him, “Where are you?” He said, “I heard the sound of You in the garden, and I was afraid because I was naked; so I hid myself.” And He said, “Who told you that you were naked? Have you eaten from the tree from which I commanded you not to eat?”
In looking at Genesis and these couple sections of Scripture, there are again, two key things we want to point out. the first is in Genesis 2:25 (NASB) which states, "And the man and his wife were both naked, and we're not ashamed." Then in Genesis 3:8 (NASB), "They heard the sound of the LORD God walking in the garden in the cool of the day, and the man his wife, hid themselves from the presence of the LORD God among the trees of the garden." We should focus on those verses of scripture because we need to understand the relationship God had with mankind. God was their God. Adam and Eve, were his people. There was absolutely nothing that separated each of them - Adam and Woman (Eve), from their God, not even clothes. They were not ashamed. They were walking together. Each one of them, Adam and Woman, were walking together with their God in a close, personal, and intimate relationship with the Lord. When we really consider what the Word is stating in these verses, it looks and sounds a whole lot like what was announced in Revelation 21:7.
Also, we can focus on Revelation 21:2-4 (NASB). "And I saw the holy city, new Jerusalem, coming down out of heaven from God, prepared as a bride adorned for her husband. And I heard a loud voice from the throne, saying, “Behold, the tabernacle of God is among the people, and He will dwell among them, and they shall be His [a]people, and God Himself will be among them[b], and He will wipe away every tear from their eyes; and there will no longer be any death; there will no longer be any mourning, or crying, or pain; the first things have passed away.” The Lord continues to add details and information concerning the holy city in Revelation 21:25-27 (NASB) In the daytime (for there will be no night there) its gates will never be closed; and they will bring the glory and the honor of the nations into it; and nothing unclean, and no one who practices abomination and lying, shall ever come into it, but only those [t]whose names are written in the Lamb’s book of life."
We can see that these scriptures reflect one another and go together because of what God created in the beginning. We know that He reflected on His initial design and plan and said, "It is good". Understanding that God created the dynamic that He desired between Adam and Himself, and Woman and Himself; it will bring light to our walk. With the fall of mankind; sin brought separation which made man and woman want to hide from God. And, while the separation tore their relationship apart, it never changed the fact that God always wanted to dwell among them - that's why they walked together in the cool of the day. God always intended to walk amongst and be one with His people.
But, let's not stop there. Let's keep walking through the Scriptures; looking next at Genesis 17:6-8 (NASB). I will make you exceedingly fruitful, and I will make nations of you, and kings will come from you. I will establish My covenant between Me and you and your [f]descendants after you throughout their generations as an everlasting covenant, to be God to you and to your [g]descendants after you. And I will give to you and to your [h]descendants after you the land where you live as a stranger, all the land of Canaan, as an everlasting possession; and I will be their God.”
Let's go to Exodus 6:6-8 (NASB). "Say, therefore, to the sons of Israel, ‘I am the Lord, and I will bring you out from under the labors of the Egyptians, and I will rescue you from their bondage. I will also redeem you with an outstretched arm, and with great judgments. Then I will take you [f]as My people, and I will be [g]your God; and you shall know that I am the Lord your God, who brought you out from under the labors of the Egyptians. I will bring you to the land which I [h]swore to give to Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob, and I will give it to you as a possession; I am the Lord.’”
What about Leviticus 26:3-12 (NASB)? Pay particular attention to verses 11 and 12. "If you walk in My statutes and keep My commandments so as to carry them out, then I shall give you rains in their season, so that the land will yield its produce and the trees of the field will bear their fruit. Indeed, your threshing season will last for you until grape gathering, and grape gathering will last until sowing time. So you will eat your [b]food to the full and live securely in your land. I shall also grant peace in the land, so that you may lie down, with no one to make you afraid. I shall also eliminate harmful animals from the land, and no sword will pass through your land. Instead, you will chase your enemies, and they will fall before you by the sword; five of you will chase a hundred, and a hundred of you will chase ten thousand; and your enemies will fall before you by the sword. So I will turn toward you and make you fruitful and multiply you, and I will confirm My covenant with you. And you will eat the old supply, and clear out the old because of the new.11 Moreover, I will make My [c]dwelling among you, and My soul will not [d]reject you. I will also walk among you and be your God, and you shall be My people."
Ezekiel 36:26-28 (NASB). "Moreover, I will give you a new heart and put a new spirit within you; and I will remove the heart of stone from your flesh and give you a heart of flesh. And I will put My Spirit within you and bring it about that you walk in My statutes, and are careful and [i]follow My ordinances. And you will live in the land that I gave to your forefathers; so you will be My people, and I will be your God."
Onto Hebrews 8:10 (NASB). “For this is the covenant that I will make with the house of Israel After those days, says the Lord: [g]I will put My laws into their minds, And I will write them on their hearts. And I will be their God, and they shall be My people." And, 2 Corinthians 6:16 (NASB), "Or what agreement does [a]the temple of God have with idols? For we are [b]the temple of the living God; just as God said,
“I will dwell among them and walk among them; And I will be their God, and they shall be My people."
If you're paying attention and following along throughout all these scriptures; we've covered the Garden, the Abrahamic Covenant, the Law we've covered the Prophets, the New Testament, and the Book of Revelation or the end. These are just a few of the many, many more scriptures that the Lord states His will toward us. We were led to bring you through these scriptures, because Scripture tells us plainly, by two or three witnesses, let every word be established. But, we should be able to clearly see this common thread. This is the plumb line throughout the entirety of the Bible: "I will be your God, and you will be My people." He, the Lord, says it multiple times and in various ways; so we will understand what He is pursuing. Which, when we really look at what that is, it's the restoration of His Heavenly Community. Let's read 1 Corinthians 15:24-28 (NASB) again. "Then comes the end, when He hands over the kingdom to the God and Father, when He has abolished all rule and all authority and power. For He must reign until He has put all His enemies under His feet. The last enemy that will be abolished is death. For He has put all things in subjection under His feet. But when He says, “All things are put in subjection,” it is evident that He is excepted who put all things in subjection to Him. When all things are subjected to Him, then the Son Himself also will be subjected to the One who subjected all things to Him, so that God may be all in all."
Let's go deeper in the Word. We must talk about the Lambs' Bride and to understand this we have to go back and look at Genesis 2:22-25 (NASB); but, let's focus on verse 24 for a moment. "For this reason a man shall leave his father and his mother, and be joined to his wife; and they shall become one flesh." Now as we focus on this, there is one question that we must ask ourselves and that question is this: What mother did Adam have of which to speak? He [Adam] didn't have one. He was created as a fully grown man, with only God as his Father. The statement is prophetic. Not of what would happen to people when they get married, because we know that that doesn't always remain. But, he's talking about the Messiah, Jesus' work of redemption and restoration that came as a result of Him putting on human flesh, dying on the cross, and being raised again to life on the third day. The first Adam, prophesied about the last Adam who Christ is referred to as in the New Testament. Jesus would leave His Father, who is God the Father and His heavenly abode (which mothers are representative of our comfort of home), and He (Jesus), left his heavenly abode to cleave to his wife - the Bride of Christ. Many people argue about which is the Lambs' Bride? Is it the church or the Body of Christ, or the New Jerusalem? Well, the Lamb's Bride is the Heavenly Community; which consists of both the place, the New Jerusalem, and its people. Because, after all, what is the city without her people? The Heavenly Community is what the Lord Jesus will present that to the Father without spot or wrinkle; where nothing shall enter it again that defiles or causes an abomination or a lie, but only those who are written in the Lamb's Book of Life (Ephesians 5:27; Revelation 21:27 (NASB).
Ephesians 5:25-32 (NASB) says, "Husbands, love your wives, just as Christ also loved the church and gave Himself up for her, so that He might sanctify her, having cleansed her by the washing of water with the word, that He might present to Himself the church [q]in all her glory, having no spot or wrinkle or any such thing; but that she would be holy and blameless. So husbands ought also to love their own wives as their own bodies. He who loves his own wife loves himself; for no one ever hated his own flesh, but nourishes and cherishes it, just as Christ also does the church, because we are members of His body. For this reason a man shall leave his father and mother and shall be joined to his wife, and the two shall become one flesh. This mystery is great; but I am speaking with reference to Christ and the church." These verses confirm that Adam was speaking prophetically about our Lord and Savior; and, verses 26 and 27 clarify. Right there, we know that no one was purified through the first Adam. On the contrary; all fell into sin because of him. So verse 32, the great mystery that Paul is speaking about, is that of Christ and the purified Heavenly Community that He will present back to the Father that we read about in the previous verses.
All right, let's do a slight recap concerning the will of the Lord as it pertains to receiving from God based on His will. There are two typical perspectives that stick out in my mind. And, the first is a statement that's been stated far too often; which is: "If it be your will Lord," and, it's usually uttered during prayer. The second has come in the form of teaching or discussion about the will of the Lord. However, the teaching or the conversation ends up being about specific topics like the Lord's will for salvation, healing, unity, love, spiritual gifts, spiritual warfare, etc. And yes, it's a good start to the teaching aspect; however, it has the potential to lead to confusion about what the Lord's Will actually is - as though His will is self-contained in the unique area. This often results in people uttering the statement during their prayers, "Lord, if it be your will...." People pray these types of faithless prayers because of confusion and/or a lack of understanding concerning what the Lord's will actually is.
You must understand the Lord's "overall" will in order to rightly apply His promises to every aspect of salvation. For example: why God is willing to heal you and set you free? Because He is restoring the Heavenly Community. Because, He is presenting His Bride, which is the Church, the Heavenly Community, and the New Jerusalem together; cleansed and purified, back to the Father without spot or blemish or wrinkle. The Lord says repeatedly through scripture, "I will be your God, and you will be My people." When the Lord speaks, we should pay close attention. How much more should we pay attention when God repeats Himself.
The will of the Lord is the plumb line that extends from Revelation to Genesis (as He declared it: The end from the beginning). It's so simple. Look at Ephesians chapter one. Throughout the entirety of the chapter, the apostle Paul is setting the foundation and structure of the Body of Christ. He [The Apostle Paul] gives us this macro view or big-picture perspective of the will of the Lord. Before going into the details throughout the rest of the letter to the church at Ephesus, Paul specifically mentions the Will of the Lord four times in the first chapter; and I'll give them to you:
The first time is in Ephesians 1:1 (NASB) where Paul states the Will of God as the reason for his position in the body of Christ as an apostle as in verse one. "Paul, an apostle of Christ Jesus [a]by the will of God."
The second is located in Ephesians 1:5 (NASB), "[e]He predestined us to adoption as sons through Jesus Christ to Himself, according to the [f]kind intention of His will." Paul is telling us, it was the will of the Lord that predestined us to adoption as sons through Jesus Christ.
And, fourth time is located in Ephesians 1:11 (NASB), "[n]also we [o]have obtained an inheritance, having been predestined according to His purpose who works all things after the counsel of His will."
So, in this selection of Scripture [Ephesians 1:3-17], Paul captures the entirety of the will of the Lord and is explaining it to the church at Ephesus. And, in all actuality, he has explained the will of the Lord in the first 17 verses of chapter one; using it as the framework to build up the Body of Christ. And, I must state Paul is establishing the framework or the structure as a wise master builder because the foundation that's being built on is Christ. This is why Paul prays the apostolic prayer, beginning in Ephesians1:18-23 (NASB); "I pray that the eyes of your heart [x]may be enlightened, so that you will know what is the hope of His calling, what are the riches of the glory of His inheritance in the [y]saints, and what is the surpassing greatness of His power toward us who believe. These are in accordance with the working of the strength of His might which He brought about in Christ, when He raised Him from the dead and seated Him at His right hand in the heavenly places, far above all rule and authority and power and dominion, and every name that is named, not only in this age but also in the one to come. And He put all things in subjection under His feet, and gave Him as head over all things to the church, which is His body, the fullness of Him who fills all in all."
Paul prays this prayer so you and I would be able to understand the overview of the Lord's will, which was just provided because this is crucial. The Lord's will must be understood before we can move forward in or carry out the details and aspects of the Lord's will consistently - the love, grace, faith, salvation, unity of the Spirit, spiritual gifts, Christian conduct, spiritual warfare, etc. are what Paul continues to instruct us concerning throughout the rest of the Epistle or Letter of Ephesians. And, not only in Ephesians; but, this same thread - the will of the Lord, extends throughout all of Paul's writings. Throughout all of his letters, to all the churches throughout the New Testament.
It's not about us, but it's about Him - His goal, and His objective. It is about the Lord and about what He is doing. We must grasp this, so we can come into alignment with all He is accomplishing. And then skillfully, cooperate with His agenda. Amen!