This prophetic word is titled the Good, Pleasing, Perfect will of God.
The Lord has been highlighting this to me a lot lately and I knew it was something that He would want me to address. As I was studying out the stories in the bible, I was able to clearly see why this is so timely.
2023 will be a year of decisions. Whatever decisions you choose to make, nor not make, will determine what happens for you in 2024. Hence, understanding the Good, Pleasing, Perfect will of God is very relevant for this season.
Who is this word for? Everyone.
The scripture is Romans 12:1-2 NLT
And so, dear brothers and sisters,I plead with you to give your bodies to God because of all he has done for you. Let them be a living and holy sacrifice—the kind he will find acceptable. This is truly the way to worship him.2 Don’t copy the behavior and customs of this world, but let God transform you into a new person by changing the way you think. Then you will learn to know God’s will for you, which is good and pleasing and perfect.
Here it is in the Amplified Version
Therefore I urge you, brothers and sisters, by the mercies of God, to present your bodies [dedicating all of yourselves, set apart] as a living sacrifice, holy and well-pleasing to God, which is your rational (logical, intelligent) act of worship. 2 And do not be conformed to this world [any longer with its superficial values and customs], but be transformed and progressively changed [as you mature spiritually] by the renewing of your mind [focusing on godly values and ethical attitudes], so that you may prove [for yourselves] what the will of God is, that which is good and acceptable and perfect [in His plan and purpose for you].
I highlight the parts that talk about the renewing of your mind and changing the way you think because this is the first step to finding out what the will of God is for your life. If your mind is not renewed by God’s word you will NEVER find out what God wants you to do. You would be wandering aimlessly looking for your purpose. Hence, meditating on the scripture is the only way to find God’s purpose for your life.
Then the question come about the Sovereignty of God vs Free Will. Where does one end and the other begin? The answer is, it is not one or the other but rather – this and that – both.
The two work hand in hand. Sovereignty and Free Will.
What is the Good, Pleasing, Perfect will of God?
First, you can have 4 positions as a Christian
1 – You are walking in disobedience and therefore outside of the will of God (a very dangerous place to be)
2 – The Good will of God
3 – The Pleasing will of God
4 – The Perfect will of God.
Say what now? Yes, there is more than one will of God for your life. You have 3 different options and, you get to choose.
I sat with the Lord and I was asking Him about this and I’m going to tell you exactly what He said to me and then I am going to back all of this up with scriptures and stories from the bible. At the end I believe that you will truly understand how this all works, His Sovereignty and your free will.
1 – I asked Him “how would we find out what Your perfect will is for our lives?”. He gave me the scripture I shared above Romans 12:2 – your mind must be renewed. An unrenewed mind will never find the will of God.
2 – He said you must love Me. I reflected on this and then this scripture popped in my head.
28 And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose. 29 For those God foreknew he also predestined to be conformed to the image of his Son, that he might be the firstborn among many brothers and sisters. 30 And those he predestined, he also called; those he called, he also justified; those he justified, he also glorified.
We like to think that God is going to work out everything for our good but I believe sometimes we neglect the fact that He’s only doing that for the people who love Him and are walking in His purpose for their life. In other words, He’s not going to work it out if that was never His will for your life.
3 – Then I asked How do we know that we truly love You? He said if you love Me you will keep My commands.
“If you love me, keep my commands.
Whoever has my commands and keeps them is the one who loves me. The one who loves me will be loved by my Father, and I too will love them and show myself to them.”
Nothing says I LOVE YOU JESUS more than obeying what He tells you to do.
Loving God = Obedience
You cannot separate these two.
4 – Then He said to me when you obey My commands I will give you clear instructions on what you need to do.
“Whether you turn to the right or to the left, your ears will hear a voice behind you, saying, “This is the way; walk in it.”
It is going to be impossible for you to miss it if you love God and obey His commands. Along the way He will tell you exactly what you need to do.
5 – Then I asked the Lord “what if we miss our way and end up on the wrong path?” Read Romans 8:28 again. There’s two different things that can end up happening to us when we are on the wrong path. Sometimes in life it is just straight disobedience. You knew the right thing to do but you just made up your mind to do the wrong thing. Disobedience puts you immediately outside the will of God. If you are walking in disobedience right now then you are out of the will of God. Period. The end. The only solution is to repent and do what you know is the right thing to do. When you step into disobedience God hits the pause button on your destiny and He doesn’t hit the play button again until you repent. Everything is on hold and your life moves into striving, no new revelation, things get really quiet, you’re stuck until you repent.
The Lord says “If you end up on the wrong path, I will draw you back into My will and the promises for your life with My love” You see, it is a cycle. We love because He first loved us. He loves you and He draws you in with His love. Then when we get a true revelation of this unconditional love we can’t help but to love Him, He then reveals His will to us. If we get off track, because we’re human and sometimes we do miss it, then with His love He’ll guide us back to the right path. He’s so loving and so kind and He forgives us when we mess up. All we have to do is ask… “Lord, I messed up forgive me for this and help me get back on track”. It’s not hard. HE rejects no one.
It is a circle of love and that is how you find the will of God and stay in it. It operates based on His love.
6 – I asked Him what happens to what was promised to us when we get off on the wrong path? He says “the promise awaits you because your name is written on it“. Sometimes we give the devil way too much credit for the things that happen to us in life and he can’t just steal what is yours. God knows you. He’s not just going to give away what belongs to you because you mis stepped along the way. No, what is yours is YOURS. The only thing that happened in the mis step is that you delayed receiving what belongs to you. That’s all.
“Let us hold tightly without wavering to the hope we affirm, for God can be trusted to keep his promise.”
He is faithful, even when we are faithless! He doesn’t change – immutability! His promises are Yes and Amen to the glory of God the Father.
7 – I said to the Lord “how then do we reconcile free will with Your Sovereignty and Your Plan”. He said, “you get to choose up to a certain point after that, I block your way if you’ve gone too far off the path, or I deny you access” Yes folks! You only get away with disobedience up to a certain point and then God just basically cuts you off. Block your path, like Balaam and the donkey (Numbers 22:21-22). He will LITERALLY box you in until you are left with absolutely no choice but to do what He says. Sometimes we fast and we pray and we pray and we fast hoping God is going to change His mind, but He doesn’t. We start beating our fists at the locked door hoping it will open when that’s not God’s will. Some of you won’t have a choice and if you fight against it then it becomes a painful process.
“For the Lord disciplines the one he loves,
and chastises every son whom he receives.”
7 It is for discipline that you have to endure. God is treating you as sons. For what son is there whom his father does not discipline? 8 If you are left without discipline, in which all have participated, then you are illegitimate children and not sons. 9 Besides this, we have had earthly fathers who disciplined us and we respected them. Shall we not much more be subject to the Father of spirits and live? 10 For they disciplined us for a short time as it seemed best to them, but he disciplines us for our good, that we may share his holiness. 11 For the moment all discipline seems painful rather than pleasant, but later it yields the peaceful fruit of righteousness to those who have been trained by it.”
Examples, did Jonah have a choice? No, he didn’t. He chose to use his free will to run but God put him in the belly of whale for some timeout so he can think. In the end, the Sovereignty of God RULES over all of our disobedience. (Read the book of Jonah)
Paul when he went through is own conversion he wasn’t even looking for Jesus. As a matter a fact, he was persecuting the Christians by burning them at the stake. So the last thing he had in mind was to serve Christ. That didn’t matter. When God was ready for him he just put him in a little timeout by making him blind and taking his appetite for 3 days until Saul turned into Paul and came to his senses! In the end, the Sovereignty of God RULES over all of our fleshly deeds. (Read Acts 9)
Listen, some of us have a very big calling that affects a lot of people so we will never be allowed to do what we want to do. This is not an option. The free will for these saints is like having a dog on a leash, they are only going to go so far before the leash chokes them then they have to run back in the direction of the Owner!
King David walking in the perfect will of God, decides to stay home from war and spots Bathsheba. The only problem was she was married to someone else, he went and had an affair with her. Now he’s out of the perfect will of God, in disobedience, and takes it a bit further by arranging for her husband to be killed on the battlefield. Oh my! Adultery and murder. What does God do? He stops talking to David for ONE WHOLE YEAR. One of the quickest ways to know that you are outside of what God wants you to do is the silence. David didn’t repent so Nathan had to go to him and call him out on it. David repented; however, there were consequences for that sin which is that the first child he had with Bathsheba died. (read 2 Samuel 11-12)
Now, I will venture to say that Bathsheba was in God’s will to marry David. Yes, she was. If you look at the genealogy of Jesus Christ in Matthew 1, David is in the line of Jesus followed by Solomon. King Solomon was always in the plan! So, it isn’t that Bathsheba wasn’t the will of God it is how David went about it that was the problem. There’s a chance Uriah, Bathsheba’s husband, was going to die in a war anyway so David still would’ve ended up with her. Because she’s Solomon’s mother and he’s in the genealogy of Jesus. And God doesn’t work with an eraser where He’s erasing one name and replacing it with another. It’s already been decided and written down before the foundations of the earth.
Therefore, there are times when we step outside of God’s perfect will by how we go about doing things. We want things on our own terms in our own timing and that is how we can step outside of God’s will. You can take something that is God’s perfect plan and ruin it because of how you handled the situation. Once sin enters the equation, things change.
Same scenario if you think about how Israel wanted a king. They demanded one outside of God’s timing and ended up with King Saul. God was ALWAYS going to give them a king but the perfect will was for David to be the King….but David wasn’t ready. So, Israel moved from God’s perfect will into God’s pleasing will. God allowed it, but king Saul was a downgrade. Hope I am making that clear.
Christians can end up marrying someone that may be God’s Good will, or even God’s Pleasing will but it wasn’t God’s Perfect will. And let’s face it sometimes we just see confirmations to the very thing we want, and we leave no room for God to tell us wait, I have something better for you. The Lord just allowed it but it wasn’t His best! Then He says He hates divorce – the Perfect will. However, Matthew 19:9, He gives circumstances under which He will allow divorce. This is a Good will. It’s not His best.
And, God wants you to know that you shouldn’t use the divorce option rashly just because you have “grounds for divorce”. No, this is not a license. It is a place of last resort when you’ve done everything to make that marriage work, and this is the only viable option. This is His place of healing and restoring you by allowing you to step back, get healed, restored, glean your lessons, to then have you move back into His perfect will once that process is over. This is the place that He has created for you where He extends His grace and love to you. There’s also no need for you to ever feel condemned because you had to do this. You’re STILL in His will.
Using king Saul’s scenario, David was anointed at 17 and didn’t become king until he was 30. That means that Israel would’ve had to wait for 13 years to get a king. Actually, perhaps even shorter if David didn’t have to constantly be on the run from the counterfeit king trying to kill him.
Single People, can you wait for 13 more years for your spouse to show up? Yes or No?
Most are not patient enough to wait for it. Instead, end up with the wrong person.
God’s perfect will requires patience. It. Takes. Time. But in the end, you will be so happy with your decision to wait….and ask “Lord, is this person your perfect will for me?”
Next example, (Genesis 12) Abraham was told to go, leave his family and go to a place where God showed him. So he went! Does that mean he was in the perfect will of God? NO, he was not…
“ So Abram departed as the Lord had instructed, and Lot went with him.”
And just like that he went from the Perfect will of God to the Pleasing will of God. God allowed his travel companion but that was not the Perfect will. Was Abram being disobedient on purpose? No. He just never asked God. He likes Lot and Lot said he wanted to join him and Abram just went along with it. Afterall, it has to be a very lonely road to go alone. We do it all the time.
When they arrived in Canaan, 6 Abram traveled through the land as far as Shechem. There he set up camp beside the oak of Moreh. At that time, the area was inhabited by Canaanites.
7 Then the Lord appeared to Abram and said, “I will give this land to your descendants.” And Abram built an altar there and dedicated it to the Lord, who had appeared to him. 8 After that, Abram traveled south and set up camp in the hill country, with Bethel to the west and Ai to the east. There he built another altar and dedicated it to the Lord, and he worshiped the Lord. 9 Then Abram continued traveling south by stages toward the Negev.
10 At that time a severe famine struck the land of Canaan, forcing Abram to go down to Egypt, where he lived as a foreigner.
Look at what just happened. God gave him Canaan, He was clear about that but because of a famine Abram decides to go to Egypt. What. Just. Happened?
He’s out of the will of God. And it was a slooooow travel in that direction. You can see in the text that he’s just slowly moving further and further away from God’s perfect will. Until he ends up in EGYPT!
Now that he stepped over into disobedience you see that at the end of Genesis 12 he starts lying! But, God who is faithful comes to his rescue by giving the Pharoah a dream and gets him out of the mess and back on track. You see that it was the Pharoah who pushed him out of Egypt and then he heads back to where he should be….back into the will of God. Some of you are getting rejected and don’t even realize that it is God that is using that person, that company, that church, that ministry to get you back on track!
If it’s God’s will you won’t be rejected! Period. The end.
Remember, your promise has your name on it!
The Promise will not reject you.
Did the move back to Canaan put him into the Perfect will? No. Because he’s still has Lot with him.
Until, Genesis 13, he separates from Lot and then God shows him even MORE!!! Now! He’s in the perfect will of God. You see the FULLNESS of the inheritance was not revealed to him until he moved into the perfect will of God. God only showed him a part of the inheritance until Lot was out of the picture. Do you get it?
There is so much you don’t have access to until you get into the perfect will of God.
Now, let’s flip over and examine Lot’s life. We already know that he was not supposed to go with Abram. This put him into the Pleasing will of God as well. Do you know what that means? God’s perfect will for Lot was right where he was in the very beginning.
Look at how he just slid into the wrong path and never recovered. He ends up wealthy (not because of him but because of the grace and favor that was on Abram and because Abram was actually still in God’s will). With the wealth he makes to wrong decision by living in Sodom and Gomorrah. He’s making bad choices. With all the debauchery that is happening there he stays! Remember, I said when you are in disobedience you can’t hear God? If Abram didn’t beg God to go rescue him he would’ve died in Sodom and Gomorrah because God didn’t even tell him he was about to destroy the city. This shows that Lot was in total disobedience. Further, his wife died which led to that horrible interaction with his daughters. His entire life went down hill once he disconnect from Abram.
There is a possibility that Lot was out of the will of God the minute he went with Abram. You can actually have two people walking side by side and one is walking in disobedience while the other is not. What happens is that the one who is in disobedience is actually living off the blessing, grace and favor that is on the one who is in obedience. This is why you have to watch who you are connected to! The connection has the ability to make you soar or sink like a rock! Because the opposite is also true, you can be under severe spiritual attack and it has nothing to do with you but everything to do with who you are connected to. ALL of Lot’s blessings was because he was getting the overflow from Abram’s life. The spiritual connection was good for one and not the other. The minute they disconnected you see how Lot began to sink while Abram started to soar. (read the story of Lot starting at Genesis 14, 18 & 19)
What I want you to see here is this…as a people I believe we bounce back and forth between out of the will of God, good, pleasing, perfect will. It’s like 4 positions when we are working out our salvation. As we become more committed to Christ, we walk less in the disobedient position of being out of the will of God and we bounce in between the other three – good, pleasing and perfect. All of these three are good. Imagine it as getting a spot on the podium – bronze, silver or gold medal. You have to train really hard, as a soldier, to get the top spot. It takes discipline. You have to be very self-disciplined and exhibit self-control to get there. It takes time and patience.
When we step into the path of disobedience to get back into the will of God is not so hard when we move back in quickly, through repentance. However, there are times when we sit in the seat of disobedience for so long that the journey back is harder. Just think of the Israelites being in Egypt for 400 years and the journey they had to take in the wilderness to get back. The longer you stay out of God’s will is the harder it is for you to get back in because God has to peel away a lot.
You should make it your mission to always get right with God, through repentance, as quickly as you can when you step over the line and into disobedience.
Know that your disobedience doesn’t just affect you, as you’ve seen through the examples that were shared. Others are affected by your choices. What if Abram had just said “you know what Lot, you can’t come along with me” How different would the story look? What if Lot’s wife said “you know what Lot, I don’t think we should stay in Sodom and Gomorrah anymore, this place is evil”. Each person in your circle has the ability to either encourage you to get on the podium with your medal and stay there…hoist you from the position of good to perfect…or they can pull you down from the podium to their level.
You get to choose. You seriously have to look at who is in your circle because they can either make or break you.
Now, back to the Sovereignty of God. One scripture that has always been an encouragement to me is
“But He knows the way that I take; When He has tested me, I shall come forth as gold.”
Before you make one bad decision, before you stepped into disobedience, before you settled for the bronze medal HE, praise God! knew that you was going to do that. And HE already made the way to ensure that you was going to make it back to first place…gold. The question is, do you want that?
You see long before the Israelites made the mistake of getting stuck in Egypt for 400 years, God knew!
Here is God giving Abram a dream about what would happen to them…
12 As the sun was going down, Abram fell into a deep sleep, and a terrifying darkness came down over him. 13 Then the Lord said to Abram, “You can be sure that your descendants will be strangers in a foreign land, where they will be oppressed as slaves for 400 years. 14 But I will punish the nation that enslaves them, and in the end they will come away with great wealth. 15 (As for you, you will die in peace and be buried at a ripe old age.) 16 After four generations your descendants will return here to this land, for the sins of the Amorites do not yet warrant their destruction.”
17 After the sun went down and darkness fell, Abram saw a smoking firepot and a flaming torch pass between the halves of the carcasses. 18 So the Lord made a covenant with Abram that day and said, “I have given this land to your descendants, all the way from the border of Egypt to the great Euphrates River— 19 the land now occupied by the Kenites, Kenizzites, Kadmonites, 20 Hittites, Perizzites, Rephaites, 21 Amorites, Canaanites, Girgashites, and Jebusites.”
God already knew! Four generations before He told Abram what would happen to them. This was even BEFORE Abram had a son, can you imagine?? And, He raised up the instrument He would use for His deliverance, Moses, in the midst of their slavery to get them out.
He knew which way they would take and after He had tested them they came forth as GOLD. Because the promise has their name on it!
God is SOVEREIGN. Don’t ever buy into the argument that the enemy can just step in and steal from you. No. He’s not the powerful. You can forfeit your own blessing by giving up on it but the enemy can’t just take what God has already ordained is yours. What is yours is YOURS!
How do you pray into this? It required daily crucifying your flesh. Understand that there are things that God will ask you to do that you will not want to do. Or it won’t even make sense to you. And you will end up giving up a lot and your friendship pool will move from size of the ocean to a dixie cup! It is not easy and I don’t want you to pray anything without understanding.
So if your life starts falling apart, don’t get nervous just understand that He’s positioning you into His perfect will, which may not look like what you think it should. Remember His ways are not your ways, neither are His thoughts your thoughts; so some of the things that you think is what God would want for you may not be the case.
Therefore, pray it at your own risk.
Lord, bind me to Your perfect will. I want what You want for me. Bind my heart to Your heart. Bind my will to Your perfect will. I surrender my will to be guided by Your Holy Spirit. Cause me to desire the things that are in perfect alignment with Your will for my life. Bring me forth as Gold in Jesus name, Amen.
I hope this was helpful to you.