I had a buddy in college who was very confidently aggressive with women.  When he saw a girl he wanted to ask out, one of his pick-up lines was “Well, HELLOOOO ‘God’s will’!”

When one of his relationships got ugly and went south, I asked him if we should now refer to the girl as “Godzwilla”.  He wasn’t amused.

Evangelicals, I discovered, have a whole category of jargon related to “God’s will”.  They talked about wanting to be sure that they were “in God’s will” with life choices – where to go to college or church, what car to buy, or who to marry.

I also discovered that different teachers had different methods of “finding God’s will”.
You could fast.  You could pray.  You could read your Bible.  
You could seek counsel from spiritual leaders.
You could ask for a sign (called “putting out a fleece”, referring to Judges 6.37ff; e.g. “Lord, if it is your will that I date this girl let me encounter her on the sidewalk tomorrow afternoon at 3 pm”).
You could look for “open doors” (opportunities that opened up before you) and “closed doors” (opportunities that disappeared as viable options).
Or you might just plain “feel led” (I plan to devote a whole blog to this notion).

Learning theology complicated matters.  I learned that God is omnipotent (all-powerful) and sovereign (in control of everything) and nothing can stand against Him.  Therefore, God’s will is always done.

But if God’s will is always done, whatever we do is God’s will.  Yes?

Well…yes, I was told.  But that’s God’s sovereign will.  But God has TWO OTHER WILLS, which, if you understand them, you will see that there is no conflict whatsoever!

First there is God’s moral will – the “thou shalts” and “thou shalt nots” – that He prescribes for us.

Then there is God’s permissive will – i.e. God wills that we can will against His moral will, but since He willed that we could do so, everything that is willed against Him is also willed by Him.  It is His will and not His will at the same time.

Therefore, God sovereignly wills everything, including that which He hasn’t willed, by willing that He willed that which He has not willed.

Therefore, you must go through great pains to see to it that you are in God’s will, even though it is not possible that you can be out of God’s will.

Is it just me, or does this sound like something so ridiculous that only a highly educated person could believe it?