May 22, 2006

God’s will and man’s will by Horatius Bonar

"Cannot I do with you as the potter? saith the Lord. Behold, as the clay is in the potter's hand, so are ye in my hand, O house of Israel." – Jer. 18:6.

Nothing that is good can exist which God did not will to be, and nothing that is evil can exist which God did not will to allow. The will of God goes before all other wills. It does not depend on them, but they depend on it. It's movements regulate them. The "I will" of Jehovah, is that which sets in motion everything in heaven and in earth. The "I will" of Jehovah, is the spring and the origin of all that is done throughout the universe, great and small, among things animate and inanimate. It was this "I will" that brought angels into being, and still sustains them. It was this "I will" that was the origin of salvation to a lost world. It was this "I will" that provided a Redeemer, and accomplished redemption. It was this "I will" that begins, and carries on, and ends salvation in each soul that is redeemed. It is this "I will" that opens the blind eye, and unstops the deaf ear. It was this "I will" that awakens the slumberer, and raises the dead. I do not mean that, merely generally speaking, God has declared His will concerning these things: but each individual conversion, nay, and each movement that forms part of it, originates in this supreme "I will". When Jesus healed the leper, He said, "I will, be thou clean"; so when a soul is converted, there is the same distinct and special forthputting of the Divine will, "I will, be thou converted". Everything that can be called good in man, or in the universe, originates in the "I will" of Jehovah.
by Horatius Bonar (1808-1889)
Scottish minister and hymn writer