And the LORD said to Samuel, “Obey the voice of the people in all that they say to you, for they have not rejected you, but they have rejected me from being king over them (1 Sam. 8:7 ESV).
The concept of the permissive will of God has been used to describe God’s permission to allow us to choose a different path. Even though we are still operating within His will, we can choose a course that is different from His original plan and purpose. The scriptures do not use the specific phrase “permissive will”, but, just like the Trinity, the concept is seen in the Word.
In the scripture above, the Israelites came to the prophet Samuel, and demanded to have a king, just like the nations surrounding them. This path was contrary to God’s original plan, yet, He allowed a different course. God’s perfect plan was for Israel to continue living under Him as their King, but they wanted a human king, and the Lord granted their request. This is the permissive will of God, in contrast to His original, perfect will. However, the permissive will never allows us to choose sinful paths.
God’s perfect will for your life is always the best choice. If you make your own decisions, and He allows it as permissive will, the outcome will prove why it was not His perfect will in the first place. Even though God chose Saul to be the Israelite’s human king, it did not go well for Saul. Know, and stick, with the perfect will of God for your life.
Will we face difficulties when we choose our own path, as the permissive will of God? See 1 Sam. 8:11-14.
APPLY THE WORD
The permissive will is not sinful, but is not God’s best for us. Be careful not to choose God’s permissive will for your marriage, career, ministry, family, or finances. In the permissive will, the trade-off will always come back and bite you.
Ask the Spirit to help you always choose His perfect will in your life.