God’s Will or His Plan?

Something to consider…

Man has been given a free will for a period of time, but he is not a free moral agent who can act upon whatever he wills. God is sovereign, but by His sovereign choosing He even allows man to act in opposition to His perfect will (His “thelema”- Gk) but not His ultimate plan (His “boulema”- Gk). Herein lies the divine tension between man’s capacity to will, and his ability to act on what he wills.

In most all of our English New Testament translations, “thelema” and “boulema” are translated as “will,” but to translate them both as “will” is not accurate enough for most applications. “Thelema” expresses an active choice (God’s or man’s), and in most cases can be translated properly as “will.” “Boulema” though, is more of a predisposition from which an active choice proceeds; a “plan,” and from God’s perspective, a plan that is even inclusive of man’s disobedience to His will.

Man, because of the authority granted to him over the earth, is allowed FOR A PERIOD OF TIME to violate the will of God (His thelema), but he cannot violate His predestined plan; His counsel and predestined good purpose which ALL THINGS must conform (His boulema). If man’s active choice cannot be worked to the good, conformed to God’s good will and purpose, then it is just not allowed … period.

In a recent conversation with a brother, I mentioned something about “God’s perfect will,” a phrase which this brother took issue with because he thought that to think that anything can be outside of God’s will brings into question God’s sovereignty. But God’s “perfect will” is His “thelema,” and (for now) He allows us to act in opposition to that “will” through our own free will and volition until we can (by His grace) overcome all self. Then we will not violate or oppose in even the slightest way God’s perfect will, but rather we will then be fully ONE in will and purpose with our Father, even as the Son is One in will and purpose with Him.

Also, considering that God’s will can be violated for an allotted period of TIME but that it cannot be eternally violated, you might want to consider that 1 Tim. 2:4 is not indicative of wishful thinking on God’s part but rather it points to the Father leaving open the possibility of current opposition to His will (concerning the salvation of all) for just a matter of TIME. Even God’s thelema-will is going to be fulfilled in the end, but for now it can be resisted by men. This is only temporary because WILL + TIME = THE PLAN – the overall plan of God factors in time. The difference between God’s thelema-will and His boulema-plan is time.