Have you ever opened a watch or a clock and observed the motions of its various wheels? You will notice that while they move contrary to one another, some one way, some another. Yet all serve the intent of the work: to show the time or to make the clock strike.

This helps you to understand a theological puzzle. The relations of God’s will and man’s. In the world the providence of God may seem to run contrary to His promises, one man takes this way, another that. Good men go one way, wicked men, another. Yet in the end all accomplish the will and center in the purpose of God, the Great Creator of all things.

Take a man such as Paul [Saul] of Tarsus, he hated Christianity. He was a Pharisee of the Pharisees, who had no intent or desire to be turncoat to Judaism. He was determined to put an end to a new religion that Christ introduced among the Jews. His will was set against the Galilean teacher. Christ had died, and then had risen, but Saul’s attitude would not change. And yet this man became the chief apostle of Christ. He was not hesitant to acknowledge that it was not of his own doing, but all by the will of God. His wheels were turning against Christ. But because God was Christ manifest in the flesh, it was His will that prevailed in the end. Paul knew from his own personal experience what he taught throughout his writings: that man of himself never wills to be saved. The initiative always comes from God. He takes this initiative in a variety of ways. Sometimes by words, sometimes by His goodness, sometimes by lightnings and thunders, through suffering and pain. God turns the wheels in whichever ways He wants to to accomplish His ultimate purpose.

And His purposes are never our eternal loss and punishment, but our salvation.

This is clearly stated by Christ Himself Who said,

“Him that cometh to me I will in no wise cast out.” John 6:37.

When God moves the wheels in your life the motion is meant to bring you to the best possible position for believing. He chooses you to believe, but He does not put you in a place where you cannot help but reject Him against your will.

That is why in the beginning of John 6:37 Christ says everything. πᾶν is the word in Greek.

“Which the Father gives to Me will come to Me.”

The Father wouldn’t have given them to the Son if they were ultimately going to refuse to come.

Peter tells us the Lord is long-suffering to His word,

“Not willing that any should perish, but that all should come to repentance.” 2 Peter 3:9.

You can never say that God has pre-destined you to hell, you have chosen that yourself by refusing to come to Him. He does all in His power to attract you, but He gives you the right to refuse. For that refusal He is not responsible, but for the choosing He is.

Hell is simply the consequence He sets for those who through their own choice, reject His will for their salvation. It is when you give up your own will and take His that you are saved. He knows all who are going to submit their wills to the divine will and all who will not. But God will never permit the contrary wills to hinder the overall execution of His will in the world as a whole.

Just as the wheels in a watch that turn contrary to what you might expect, cannot frustrate the master’s purpose and design. Very interestingly the term “will of God” in the New testament is almost always in the singular form, and scarcely in the plural, did you ever notice that?  Well, God does not have a different will for each one. But each individual, whatever motion he chooses to make is an execution of the overall will of God.

It is not “wills” of God therefore, but THE will of God.

And all things and each individual work together for good which is the execution of God’s eternal plan.” Romans 8:28.

Only as you understand this basic doctrine of nature and work of God will you have peace in your soul. As you observe all that is going on in the world. You will then be like that shepherd who on being asked what the weather would be on the morrow replied that it will be “just what He preferred.” On being asked to explain what he meant he said, “I’ll tell you. It will be weather which shall please God, and whatever pleases Him always pleases me.”

I hope this is your attitude.