(Principle number 5)
God Respects Even the Different Wishes and Opinions of Others. God is love. Love respects others.
God is sovereign. He created everything. All the world (and even all the universe) is His and He can do whatever He wishes. But what God wants to do is very much determined by His character of love and that, it seems, even means He shares in the decision making.
We read in the Lord’s Prayer “Thy will be done.” In fact, we don’t just read it, if we follow Jesus’ example in prayer, we will pray for it. Why should we pray for God’s will to be done when God is the sovereign of the whole universe? Isn’t He in control of everything? Can’t He do whatever He wants? Doesn’t He do it anyway regardless of us and what we might say or want?
Actually, God might operate the government of heaven on something closer to a democratic system. In fact, there are clues that there is actually something like a council in heaven; that God might even listen to the advice or opinions of others and let them share in decision making – not because He needs to but because He respects others.
The book of Job describes a meeting (heavenly council?) setting:
“Now there was a day when the sons of God came to present themselves before the LORD, and Satan came also among them. And the LORD said unto Satan, Whence comest thou? Then Satan answered the LORD, and said, From going to and fro in the earth, and from walking up and down in it.” (Job 1:6-7)
There is scriptural evidence that these “sons of God” are the representative “Adams” of other, unfallen worlds. They came before the LORD (in heaven) evidently for a meeting. At this meeting, Satan made certain charges against God and a decision was made to allow Satan the opportunity to prove His point in regard to Job (Job 1:8-12). See more about the identity of the 24 elders around the throne.
Within the Bible there are many examples of God listening to others.
Abram bargaining over the destruction of Sodom and even said to God, his friend:
“That be far from thee to do after this manner, to slay the righteous with the wicked: and that the righteous should be as the wicked, that be far from thee: Shall not the Judge of all the earth do right?” (Gen 18:25)
This sounds incredible – here is Moses telling God that He should repent:
“And Moses besought the LORD his God, and said, LORD, why doth thy wrath wax hot against thy people, which thou hast brought forth out of the land of Egypt with great power, and with a mighty hand? Wherefore should the Egyptians speak, and say, For mischief did he bring them out, to slay them in the mountains, and to consume them from the face of the earth? Turn from thy fierce wrath, and repent of this evil against thy people.” (Exo 32:11-12)
Why didn’t God just say something like “Who are you to talk to me like that?” and ignore Moses or worse? Was Moses foolishly risking his life or did he know the character of God, his friend (Exo 33:11)?
For more on these and other examples go to: (PAGE COMING SOON)
God does not have to have his own way all the time. He respects the opinions and wishes of others. Love respects the opinions of others; there are many examples of that in scripture.
There is much that happens that He doesn’t do personally. He commissions angels as His ministers to carry out His will, deliver messages etc:
“Are they not all ministering spirits, sent forth to minister for them who shall be heirs of salvation?” (Heb 1:14)
It might be helpful, when considering each of the three principles above, to understand God’s will. In dealing with how God relates to others, we could break God’s will into categories:
- God’s ultimate will
- God’s permissive will
- God’s perfect will
I have said a number of times that “God’s ultimate will is to make as many people as possible as happy as possible for as long as possible.” He has a perfect plan for every person and, if a person was to follow God’s will perfectly every minute of their life, that plan could come to pass. However, all have sinned (Rom 3:23); we have all deviated. But God keeps readjusting His plans for us to meet our situation, to try to bring about the best result for us.
Sometimes, in dealing with people in various cultures and settings, He allows what is less than His perfect will. We could term that His permissive will and here is a good example:
“He saith unto them, Moses because of the hardness of your hearts suffered you to put away your wives: but from the beginning it was not so.” (Matt 19:8)
Perhaps one of the greatest proofs that God honors and allows others to exercise their free wills (and does not authoritatively impose His own) is the fact that so little of God’s will actually happens on earth – witness the great mess this world is in. People who say things like “God is in control” with the idea that He micromanages all the affairs of earth probably haven’t thought through what they are saying.
God also used (and these are more readily recognized) metaphors and parables in the Bible. These are not discussed here at this time. The categories above and the examples that go with them should be enough to show that heaven has certain principles and that these have an effect on the language of heaven.
The principles of heaven affect the language of heaven.
Principle Number 6 – COMING SOON