“Thy will be done…”

At the Ripley’s Aquarium of the Smokies plaza on Sunday, September 11, from 8:30-9:00 AM, the Gatlinburg Special Events Department, Gatlinburg Chamber of Commerce and Ripley’s Aquarium of the Smokies will host a program to commemorate the 10th Anniversary of September 11, 2001. I will serve as Master of Ceremonies. In conjunction, today I share my column that appeared in The Mountain Press (Sevier Co. TN) and other publications shortly after those tragic attacks on America 10 years ago.

Following the cowardly attacks upon America by terrorists this past week, many people have asked questions pertaining to “God’s Will” and why he would allow such a tragedy to happen. I talked about it in our Fellowship of Christian Athletes meeting, in our Sunday school class and in a meeting with businesspeople.
Even though I don’t generally agree with the liberal theology espoused by English clergyman Dr. Leslie Weatherhead (1893-1976), I do appreciate the way he categorized the three “wills” of God. First of all, Dr. Weatherhead described God’s “intentional will.” It refers to what God “intends” to happen. It refers to how he wants people to think, talk, act and react as we use the power of choice he has given to us.
People are encouraged in Matthew 6:9 to pray, “Our Father which art in heaven, Hallowed be thy name. Thy kingdom come. Thy will be done in earth, as it is in heaven…” In heaven, God’s “intentional will” is accomplished. On earth, people don’t always do as God intends. God did not create people as puppets on a string. Since he allows us to choose, our choices are often made contrary to what God wants us to do. Such contrary choices lead to jealousy, envy, hate, lying, robberies, rapes, murders…
When God’s “intentional will” is not accomplished, then we come to God’s “circumstantial will.” In so many words, God says to us, “This is not what I intended to happen, but under the circumstances, let’s work through this to bring something positive from the ashes.” Individually and together, following God’s leadership, we can build on the tragedy of September 11. Humans can grow closer to God and closer to one another. National patriotism and world unity can be greatly enhanced. It is not easy and it is not simple. More suffering may precede ultimate blessings. But together, we can rise above the ashes of heartbreak, insecurity and devastation.
This, essentially, is the meaning of Romans 8:28, “And we know that all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are called according to his purpose.” This portion of scripture is not a spiritual bandage. It does not indicate that everything that happens is good. Its message is that with faith in God and in one another we can take a terrible situation and build on it in a positive way.
Finally, we come to God’s “perfect will” or “eventual will.” This refers to God’s plan that “will be done in earth, as it is in heaven.” Someday – eventually – the earth as we know it will be over. All evil will have been defeated. There will be no jealousy, envy, hate, lying, robberies, rapes, murders…
Meanwhile, we are imperfect people living in an imperfect world. We are a part of one another, affecting and influencing one another. That is why it is vital for us to realize that everything we do affects other people. We either have positive influences or negative influences. That is why it is vital for us to seek to know and to do God’s will as best we can and to encourage others to engage in the same search and work.

© 2011 by Carl Mays, author of over a dozen books and speaker at over 3,500 events. Contact 865-436-7478 or carlmays@carlmays.com. Information at www.carlmays.com. The free mentoring site www.mymerlin.net is based on his book and program, A Strategy For Winning.
Related Stories & Links
National Day of Prayer & Remembrance
Special Weekend Services
List of Emergency Numbers
America Under Attack
Nashville Vigil for Victims
Questions We Face
First-Hand Report
Pray for Our Nation
Hero’s Wife Gives Birth
Let’s Roll to be released in memory of September 11
All-Star Album Honors Todd Beamer and Other Heroes of Sept. 11
Local Writer Pens 9/11 Tribute
America, The Good Neighbor



Enjoy this website? Please spread the word :)