God's Will in Your Life
Author: Lloyd John Ogilvie
Publisher: Eugene, OR: Harvest House, 1982
Ogilvie is a preacher and his book manifests the heart of a strong pulpit communicator. The book reads like a series of inspirational sermons delivered with passion. Finding God's will, in one sense, is last on his agenda. "Rather, the will of God is a relationship with Him in which he discloses His purpose, power, and plan for our lives--and in that order." (10). Most of the book is dealing with our love and obedience relationship with God that will be the foundation of finding God's will.
Ogilvie uses several terms for God's will and it can become confusing. His ultimate will seems to be what we have called God's moral will. "God's ultimate will is that we know Him, love Him, glorify Him, and grow in an intimate relationship with Him." (22). God's perfect will again is God's moral will (90) or at times is used of God's individual will (93-94). God's provisional will is God working with us when we disobey to bring us back to His path (94). God's sovereign will is called called "sovereign" or God's immutable plan (88). God's individual will he calls God's personal will (6), or His specific will (97).
He divides the Greek words "thelema" and "boulema" as representing God's desire and His immutable plan respectively. In practice this will not work every time since thelema often relates to God's sovereignty (Eph. 1:11; James 4:15). Boulema usually refers to God's determined will, but not always.
Ogilvie assumes the traditional view. He does not try to prove this view, but at key points usually quotes a writer such as Henry Drummond (135) or F.B. Meyer (69).
Although he must be considered traditional view, he exhibits many of the distinctive characteristics of the Wisdom view. First, he emphasizes the moral will of God as the key to God's guidance. Most of his book is proclaiming simple love and obedience to God's revealed truth in Scripture. Second, he gives wisdom, thinking and desiring a greater place than is normally given in the traditional view.
Ogilvie emphasizes wisdom by the questions which he asks before making a decision. These questions are assuring the accomplishment of God's moral will and wisdom. "Will this decision free me to impact the lives of people with the gospel?" (73). He also emphasizes wisdom by seeing it as the special gift of God to know His will (119). Finally, he focuses on wisdom by seeing God work through our thought processes.
"We have been given the capacity of discernment to be able to sort things out (165)." "He expects us to do hard thinking and come to tough decisions. But exercising our intellectual capacity is based on claiming John's bold promise, 'But you have an anointing from the Holy One, you know all things' (165-66)." "Prayerful thinking" will lead us to good conclusions. "Dare to trust the Lord in you!" (167).
The stronger the emphasis on wisdom, the less the chance that wisdom will be supplanted in the decision making process. Ogilvie's version of the traditional view puts a strong emphasis on God using our consecrated thinking and the wisdom which He has provided. As a result, it will give less problems and more help in making decisions than the normal presentation of the traditional view.