Tough Questions Answered

A Christian Apologetics Blog

Is God Hiding His Will?

Post Author: Bill Pratt

Many Christians seem to think so.  Why else would they talk about finding God’s will as if it’s a game of hide-and-seek.  We’re told to listen to the still, small voice and to test a possible decision based on the peace we feel.  We’re told to pay attention to the hints God is giving us.  If we miss these hints, these unobtrusive suggestions, we will miss God’s will for our lives.

John MacArthur has this to say in his booklet, Found: God’s Will:54999lg Is God Hiding His Will?

Some apparently think that God’s will is lost.  At least they say they are searching for it!  To them, God must appear to be a sort of divine Easter bunny who has stashed his will, like eggs, somewhere out of sight and sent us running through life trying to find it.  And He is up there saying, “You’re getting warmer!”

When one looks in the Bible to try and find this divine Easter bunny concept, it isn’t there.  When God wanted to communicate to a prophet, his message was almost always loud and clear.  He didn’t drop subtle hints over a long period of time, hoping his clueless prophets would finally figure out what he wanted them to do.  Can you imagine if Scripture had been inspired that way?

So how does God communicate to us what He wants us to do?  MacArthur answers:

Let’s begin with a simple assumption.  Since God has a will for us, He must want us to know it.  If so, then we could expect Him to communicate it to us in the most obvious way.  How would that be?  Through the Bible, His revelation.  Therefore, I believe that what one needs to know about the will of God is clearly revealed in the pages of the Word of God.  God’s will is, in fact, very explicit in Scripture.

There you have it.  The Bible is where God’s will is found.  Let’s start there instead of searching for the hidden Easter eggs everywhere else.


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Comments

  • Scott

    I used to be one of those Christians fervently seeking Gods perfect will. I am quite certain that I was taught that coccept from the pulpit. Now that I believe that God’s will for us is found in scripture and that he really leaves many of our chpoices up to us, I notice this doctrine being taught. How did this concept originate? When did it start? I really believe that Christians who are seeking “God’s will” in this fashion are trying to evade responsability for making decisions (or maybe just evading the bad ones?). It really seems to have a flavor of the Islamic “insh’Allah”.

  • Dan Sloan

    I like this better than my “wondering what his will is for me” stuff I’ve been praying for for years.

    Yeah, it’s in there. What page did you say it was?…lol

    Appreciate ya.

    Dan

  • Boz

    The problem with suggesting that god’s will is found in the bible, is that it is possible to use the bible to support almost any action you wish to take.

  • Bill Pratt

    If you take verses out of their context, that is true; but that is also true for any book that’s ever been written, not just the Bible. In fact, I could take the phrase “it is possible to use the bible” from your comment and claim that you are saying something that you aren’t. If you actually read the passages of the Bible in their historical context, and try to determine the intended meaning of the author of the passage in question, you will find that the Bible is quite specific about God’s will.

  • Sarah

    ‘they may be EVER seeing but NEVER perceiving,
    and EVER hearing but NEVER understanding;
    otherwise they might turn and be forgiven!’ (Mark 4:12)

    True Scott, people can memorize Scriptures till they’re blue in the face, yet never perceive/understand what God’s will is for them… simply because they still want to follow their own will. And still, those who do not have a pure heart’s desire to seek God’s will will never find it.
    I avoided following God’s will for so long, thinking I could serve His will my way… Oh, how wrong was I!! Praise God for his never ending grace!

    Thanks for this post Bill.

  • Old Bill Pratt

    For the first 1500 years of Christianity, no printed bible existed, and, in fact, bibles were not distributed to the masses until the 19th century. That said, I think we should assume that there are other, perhaps more important sources for discovering God’s will. The Church’s teaching role, as well as the its role of preserving the historical record is key. The Bible certainly plays a role, but given the “interpretive” abberations we have all seen, authoratative oral teaching is still very important.

  • Bill Pratt

    That is true. There were certainly complete Bible’s around, starting in the 4th century, but they were hand-written manuscripts and were relatively rare, and certainly many Christians never saw one. Oral traditions were extremely important in Judaism, and so they were in Christianity. Christian laity depended upon their bishops and elders to teach them what the Scriptures said, but this model started to change in the 16th century when the Reformers made great strides in getting Bibles translated into languages other than Latin. Nowadays, almost any Christian can get a Bible translated into their own language, so the need for oral tradition has virtually disappeared.

  • http://www.calvaryle.org Steve Wright

    For the first 1500 years of Christianity, no printed bible existed, and, in fact, bibles were not distributed to the masses until the 19th century. That said, I think we should assume that there are other, perhaps more important sources for discovering God’s will.
    ————————————————–
    This premise is flawed and the conclusion quite dangerous. Unless the key word is PRINTED, which is obvious since the press was not yet invented, this is just not accurate. The New Testament was not only constantly being copied and circulated among churches, but it was also being translated into the mother tongues of the believers so as to increase the availability and ease of learning. One can do just a little study in this area and read about the Syriac, Latin, Coptic and other early translations. Plus there was a hgih interest among the church fathers for the writing of commentaries on the New Testament so as to better teach the believers.

    It is with the rise of the Roman Catholic Church that much of this work became so hindered, as it actually became a punishable crime by death to dare and translate the Bible into a language the masses could understand. It is to the shame of the history of the Church that there was a period when the leaders deliberately sought to keep the people in the ‘dark’ as to God’s teachings through His Word. Hence the ‘Dark Ages’

    It is no coincidence that the rise of the Reformation and the lessening of the Catholic Church was marked by a deliberate effort to see the Bible translated and distributed to the common man. Some like Tyndale were killed by Rome for this ‘crime’

    Oral traditions are important to Judaism when one understands Judaism is not a Biblical religion (anymore), it is a rabbinical religion. Christianity is a Biblical religion.

    Jesus had some rather harsh words for those who put tradtition ahead of the Scriptures.

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