2 Peter 3:9 "The Lord is not slack concerning His promise, as some men count slackness, but is longsuffering toward us, not willing that any should perish, but that all should come to repentance."
If God is God, how can His will be that all would accept Christ, yet some don't? My goal is to answer this question as well as tackle the root question of God's ultimate authority and divinity over all creation. As well as teach a few things about our authority in Christ!
The "cause" of this question comes from a lack of understanding of the authority God has given us Christians. So what authority has God given us Christians? To put it simply, God has given His children the authority to impart and mobilize His divine desires and will on earth. This then affects the spiritual world which changes the physical world we see today.
Why did God seemingly "lock up" His desires (will) in us? I don't know, and as far as I've seen, the bible doesn't say why, just that it is. But that doesn't change God's ultimate power. The authority we carry as Christians is power, but it is not the ultimate power that is God. God's ultimate power is what supersedes this framework of understanding and will be done no matter what we say or do. You can see this ultimate power in Genesis where God used the flood to destroy mankind and spares Noah and his family, because of man's evil heart. Rather, it is "power with conditions" and the bible is clear as to what those conditions are. To sum it up quickly, we have this authority as long as our prayers are done inside the will of God as well as in the name of God, Jesus Christ. This is why you don't see Christians "manifesting" mansions, multiple wives, and other crazy stuff, because it is not in the will of God, so it won't unlock God's power for it to be done by Him.
With that said, you can certainly work towards these things and might receive it. This is because you're serving your own selfish desires, rather than submitting to God. And this is the root of sin, desires and actions that are outside the will of God. Just because it is outside the will of God doesn't mean it can't happen. Just like the existence of traffic laws doesn't mean laws cannot be broken, instead it means if you do this action the laws say not to do, you earn the punishment of the law. In the world we live in today, that could be a ticket or fee, but the punishment of God's law is death. This is why we die, we earn the reward of our sin, and yes even after Jesus has paid the fee for sin. Those who accept Christ as their Savior won't die spiritually, only physically. Jesus promises eternal life, but your earthly body must be shed to enter into heaven.
The authority God has given us is found the following verses:
Luke 10:19 I have given you authority to trample on snakes and scorpions and to overcome all the power of the enemy; nothing will harm you.
The Snake represents the devil (Genesis 3:1)
Both the snake and scorpion are unclean animals in the bible (Leviticus 11:41). The New Testament interchangeably uses unclean animals & unclean spirits.
Hebrew translation of Authority = power, & strength
Greek translation of Authority = Mighty, right, liberty, jurisdiction, strength, bring under power, exercise authority upon.
Mark 16:17 And these signs will accompany those who believe: in my name they will cast out demons; they will speak in new tongues; 18 they will pick up serpents with their hands; and if they drink any deadly poison, it will not hurt them; they will lay their hands on the sick, and they will recover.
Lay hands on the stick, and they will recover
Cast out demons in Jesus' name
Speak in new tongues
Again, "pick up serpents with their hands" refers to the power/ authority we have over the devil and demons.
Matthew 16:19 And I will give unto thee the keys of the kingdom of heaven: and whatsoever thou shalt bind on earth shall be bound in heaven: and whatsoever thou shalt loose on earth shall be loosed in heaven.
Keys are used to obtain access, and Jesus giving Peter the keys to heaven and earth is God giving the Church specific access to bind and loose things on earth and in heaven. We are the Church, and so this applies to us.
Bind = to attach, to fasten
Loose = to unbind, release
Matthew 18:18 Truly I tell you, whatever you bind on earth will be[a] bound in heaven, and whatever you loose on earth will be[b] loosed in heaven.
This verse, in context was Jesus talking to his disciples, we are Christ's disciples, and so this applies to us.
We could fill a library of God's will, but let's tackle the most applicable and relevant desires of God. First, what does "will" mean?
Will = desire
Lets look back at 2 Peter 3:9 and paraphrase a bit. Rephrased to stay on this topic of God's it reads = The Lord's will isn't that any should perish, but that all should come to repentance. We could say, God's desire isn't that any should go to hell, but that all should come to repentance.
Where do we play in all this? With that lovely authority God has given us, we must us it and pray for God's will to be done, and in this context we must pray that people would turn and repent. We actually see this in the Lord's prayer below:
“This, then, is how you should pray: “‘Our Father in heaven, hallowed be your name, your kingdom come, your will be done, on earth as it is in heaven. Give us today our daily bread. And forgive us our debts, as we also have forgiven our debtors. And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from the evil one’
For God's Kingdom to come
For God's will to be done on earth, like it is done in heaven
For God to provide us with food both physical and spiritual
For God to forgive us of our sin
For God to keep us away from evil
For God to save us from the devil's schemes
God have given us the authority as well as the direct order to pray for His will to be done. He even reveals a lot of His will in those verses. James 4:3 sums this up perfectly, stating unanswered prayers are a result in prayers not being in the will of God, and are out of our own desires.
James 4:3 "Ye ask, and receive not, because ye ask amiss, that ye may consume it upon your lusts."
We have the whole bible as a guide book and act of love from God to tell us what His will is.
Action In Will
Prayer is an action, and when that action is done in the will of God (and in faith) you get change. I'll give 2 biblical examples of God's will being prayed through intercession and I'll top it off with my own experience.
In the book of Job, Satan was given permission to take everything from Job except his life. During this time Job's friends kept blaming Job for his misery, not knowing he was without blame. God shows up at the end of the book and is angry with Job's friends and tells him to pray for his friends.
Job 42:7-8 "After the Lord had said these things to Job, he said to Eliphaz the Temanite, “I am angry with you and your two friends, because you have not spoken the truth about me, as my servant Job has.8 So now take seven bulls and seven rams and go to my servant Job and sacrifice a burnt offering for yourselves. My servant Job will pray for you, and I will accept his prayer and not deal with you according to your folly. You have not spoken the truth about me, as my servant Job has."
God tells Job to pray for Him not to destroy Job's friends. That's a pretty clear picture of God asking someone to pray in His will for a change to then take place. And the change that took place was God not destroying his friends, because Job prayed in the will of God.
Jumping to the New Testament, we see in the book of Acts, the early church ask God for the desires God already had for them.
Acts 4:29-31 And now, Lord, behold their threatenings: and grant unto thy servants, that with all boldness they may speak thy word, By stretching forth thine hand to heal; and that signs and wonders may be done by the name of thy holy child Jesus. And when they had prayed, the place was shaken where they were assembled together; and they were all filled with the Holy Ghost, and they spake the word of God with boldness.
Before Jesus ascended up into heaven, believers would do the things the early Church just prayed for, why? Because you must ask for God's will to be done. Just because God tells you His will, this doesn't always mean it's going to happen. He tells us His will so we would be obedient and pray for it to happen... so it will happen! The early church prayed for the things they prayed for because they didn't have it, so they prayed for God to give it to them. The result of this was the building shook, they were radically filled with the Holy Ghost, and they preached the word of God with boldness!
I lived most my life in darkness, being baptized and accepting Christ in my life, but I was with out a relationship with God and had no fruit of the Holy Spirit. My wife, who was my girlfriend at the time was praying for God to change me for 4 years. We would argue, I hated everyone, and didn't care about God at all.
My life was falling apart around me and I tried everything, dabbling in other religions practices (not going full in but stuff like yoga, and mediation), and eventually ended up worshipping money until even that stopped giving me peace. I ended up going back to God, repented, and called out to him for 3 days. On the 3rd day he answered me and gave me direction for my life. He changed me to desire holiness, and put a strong apatite in me to pray and read constantly.
He's been guiding me ever since, but I tell you, there is power when you use your authority in Christ and pray in the will of God. It was God's will for me to serve Him, my wife's prayed in God's will for 4 years, and has always been in control. Looking back, God destroyed my life as a gesture of love to show me nothing build on Him will last. He destroyed the temporal, to spare my eternal destination.