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I believe there is a difference between God’s “will” and God’s “desire.” His desire is that angels keep “their first estate,” but His will is “everlasting fire” (Mat 25:41) when they “leave” it (Jude 1:6). Same for man, as He “desires all men to be saved,” and “not desiring that any should perish” (1Ti 2:4; 2Pe 3:9). But His will is that “they that have done good (believed) shall enter “unto the resurrection of life,” and “they that have done evil” shall enter “unto the resurrection of damnation” (Jhn 5:29). I think in this sense it could be said that God’s “will” is done in every being in heaven and earth, but not His “desire,” which is accomplished only in those who are His.
Concerning the Lord’s prayer example (Luk 11:2), the sense is that one day God’s desire will “be done on earth as it is in heaven.” Presently, His will and desire are being done in all believers on earth, also in believers during the Millennial Kingdom on the present earth—and permanently in all on the New Earth!
“As in Heaven, So in Earth”
It is a grand thing for our souls on the one hand, to be firmly established in the grace of God toward us, to allow no insinuation of the enemy (self, Satan & society - NC) to raise a question touching the efficacy of what the Lord Jesus has wrought for us—the fullness of redemption that is in Him (nothing left to be done on His part concerning the soul, only manifesting Him in our lifestyle on our part - NC). On the other hand, to use all the liberty, the comfort, the certainty of our Father’s love for our souls as a reason for not sparing in us that which is contrary to Him. It is not only that we have the Lord Jesus for us, but we are in Him. What and who is He in whom we are? What does the Father think of the Blessed One in whom He has set us for Himself? Is there a single fault that God finds with the Lord Jesus? Is there a conceivable blessedness that He does not find there?
Now, this is exactly what we want. Full of faults, without a single thing is us (self alone - NC) which the Father’s eye could regard with complacency and delight, He who has chosen to place us in the Lord Jesus before Himself, has been pleased to give us the knowledge of it all. For it is not something done in a corner, or something mysterious and concealed from the knowledge of those to whom this exceeding grace is shown. The God who thought of such mercy had revealed it fully, that we may not have one cloud in our souls, but the positive, absolute, unvarying certainty that we are in Christ Jesus.
We can look back at Adam, and see what we are by nature—not to speak of the bitter fruits all the way through our being. We can see him sinning and rebelling; we can see him covering his sin (Gen 3:7) and throwing the blame upon his wife, and virtually on God Himself (Gen 3:12); we can see his pride and untruthfulness, for such is always the effect of sin naturally. Such is the flesh. But we “are not in the flesh” (Rom 8:9). By that wondrous work of the Lord Jesus, by death and resurrection, God has now a blessed way; and He has applied it to our souls, and given us the knowledge of it, that we are not now regarded as what we were in Adam—we are now new creations in Christ Jesus.
Although there is that which reminds us of what we were, that old, abominable life and nature, which is not in the slightest degree changed by our having a new position (Ro 8:7); yet there is this priceless truth—that the more we enter into our position in the Lord Jesus, and appreciate Him to whom we belong, the less power our old man has to assert himself. Where we question the blessing, and doubt the grace, and hesitate about the reality of our relationship to the Lord Jesus in glory, all is weak, dim and uncertain.
There may be godliness, but it will always be godliness under law—the effort after something in ourselves, instead of living upon what the Father has given us in the Lord Jesus—our Christian “Life” (Col 3:4). Although there may be a measure of separation from sin, yet there will be the danger of thinking how much better we are, or comparing ourselves with other people (2Co 10:12), and thinking we are not quite so bad. All this results from one tragic error—the tendency of man’s heart to think of himself and of what he may be to God (Rom 12:3), instead of thinking of Him who is the fullness of grace, and of what He is to us.
Still, there is a full deliverance—a deliverance that will not be one whit better when we are taken out of this world and brought into heaven (presently-complete-eternally-unchanging salvation of the soul, but not yet the body—NC); for we are not a bit more forgiven in heaven, or more secure in heaven, or more precious to our Father in heaven than we are now made on earth: for what gives us our preciousness and stamps out character before the Father is something that He has given us in His Son while we are on earth. Hence, it is that departing form this life is merely a circumstance; the essence of that blessing is on the Lord Jesus, and we are in Him, and “there is no condemnation to them who are in Christ Jesus” (Ro 8:1).
- J G Bellett (1795 – 1864)
Miles J Stanford November 6 Devotional excerpt:
For the believer, the dominion of Law is just as devastating as the dominion of Sin. At Calvary, death freed us from both.
“Theological teaching since the Reformation has not set forth clearly our utter end in death with the Lord Jesus on the Cross. The fatal result of this error is to leave the law claimant over those in the Lord Jesus, for ‘the law hath dominion over a man as long as he liveth’ (Rom. 7:1). Unless you are able to believe in your very heart that you died with Him, and that you were buried, and that your history before the Father in Adam the first came to an utter end at Calvary you will never get free from the claims of the law upon your conscience.” -W.R.N.