"The Counsel of His Own Will"
If God acted according to the forced implementation of His will rather than "the counsel of His own will," we might better comprehend His working to fulfill His eternal purpose in Christ (Ephesians 1:11). Were this the case, however, a far lesser view of our Lord would present itself to our hearts and minds.
The Bible declares a God so good, so great, so powerful, and so involved in His creation that He can give freedom to angels and humans, see them misuse it in innumerable ways and means, but nevertheless successfully accomplish His ultimate intentions. No mere chessplayer deliberately moving pawns, as it were, shines forth from the Scriptural revelation. We rather see created beings, including those supposedly friendly toward Him, continually acting in opposition to the will of God - "Oh that My people had hearkened unto Me, and Israel had walked in My ways!" (Psalm 81:13). Moreover, the Bible states that such waywardness results not from Divine determination, but from human mis-inclination.
"Let no man say when he is tempted, I am tempted of God: for God cannot be tempted with evil, neither tempteth He any man: but every man is tempted, when he is drawn away of his own lust, and enticed" (James 1:13-14).
Again, "counsel" governs the means whereby our Lord fulfills His purposes. He knew and He knows His sublime capacity to weave together innumerable choices of created beings - be they conformed to His will or not - with the ultimate result being the glorifying of His Son and the successful accomplishment of "gathering together in One all things in Christ" (Ephesians 1:10). A weak and tawdry deity would require forced implementation of his will. The Most High God needs no such tyranny. He rather grants freedom, sees it misused to the degree that His beloved Son dies at the hands of sin's perpetrators, but fulfills His ultimate intentions all the more wondrously. "And though they found no cause of death in Him, yet desired they Pilate that He should be slain. And when they had fulfilled all that was written of Him, they took Him down from the tree, and laid Him in a sepulchre. But God raised Him from the dead" (Acts 13:28-30).
Such is the God of Scripture, the Lord whose counsel of heart and mind reveals a greatness and goodness beyond all imagining. Indeed, consider the literally trillions of human and angelic choices He must coordinate for the fulfillment of His eternal purpose. Were they all His choices, we might better understand. "He made a big plan, acted accordingly, and forced created beings to do the same." We might get our minds around that notion. However, when the God and Father of our Lord Jesus forms His purpose, He grants real freedom for participation or refusal to both the angelic and human races. A portion of the former misuse the liberty. All of the latter refuse. "Nevertheless, the counsel of the Lord, that shall stand" (Proverbs 19:21; emphasis added). This is glory. This is wonder. This is love, grace, mercy, wisdom, and power beyond all conception and imagining! Thus we do well to join the Apostle Paul, who having himself written of the Most High and His historical workings to redeem His earthly people Israel, and His Heavenly people the church, falls before God in utter amazement…
"O the depth of the riches both of the wisdom and knowledge of God! How unsearchable are His judgments, and His ways past finding out! For who hath known the mind of the Lord? Or who hath been His counselor? Or who hath first given to Him, and it shall be recompensed unto Him again? For of Him, and through Him, and to Him, are all things: to whom be glory forever. Amen."
Weekly Memory Verse
But why dost thou judge thy brother? Or why dost thou set at nought thy brother? For we shall all stand before the judgment seat of Christ. For it is written, As I live, saith the Lord, every knee shall bow to Me, and every tongue shall confess to God.