Praying & Two Wills in God
During the summer of 2001, I was working as a summer programmer at Camp Barakel. Camp always begins the summer season with two weeks of counselor training, and I will never forget one particular workshop session. We all gathered in the East Side chapel and Dan Cummings spoke on the glory of God’s sovereign grace. I had heard of these “Reformed” guys before, but I had never heard one who was so passionate and amazed by God’s grace as he. We talked over lunch about all things God-centered before he headed back home. It was a great and gracious conversation, and one that changed my life. He, of course, did not let me leave empty handed, giving me some books that day, one of which was Still Sovereign. It is in this volume the article "Are There Two Wills In God?" by John Piper appears. You can read the article online at Desiring God.
It is a helpful article that brings much Scripture to bear upon the topic of how God can ordain things that the Bible reveals He also hates, and how His ordaining never makes Him the author of evil or the doer of sin. As we tried to come to an understanding in this sermon, we concluded that God is sovereign and mankind is fully responsible for their sin. Every cell in our bodies, every atom in the universe, every human action, everything that happens from the beginning of time to the end, bows it's knee to contributing to the purposes of God!
Yes, that means even the evil done against you, and done with the most horrific intent imaginable, God will work together to accomplish His ultimate purposes (Romans 8.28). The proof of this is the most evil act in history, which was the killing of Jesus, was ordained by God to accomplish His purposes. The lawless men who falsely accused, sentenced, beat, crucified & then stood watch over Jesus while He died, all meant it for evil, yet none of this surprised the Father. In fact, He ordained it all (Acts 2.23; 4.28) before time to accomplish His purposes for the praise of His glory and for the good of those who love Him.
Our hope is not in our praying or in the various circumstances of life. Our hope is in our Father in heaven because we can trust in His sovereign, all-encompassing wisdom and power to bring about His loving ends while He works out everything for our good.