The Greek word for ‘escape’ is ‘ek-pheygo,’ meaning TO FLEE OUT OF. It is the same word that is used in I Timothy 6:11, “But thou, O man of God, flee (escape) these things…” Flee what things? The context gives quite a listing: strife of words, whereof cometh envy; strife, railings, evil surmisings, perverse disputings of men, supposing that gain is godliness, the love of money, etc. Then it says, “FLEE THESE THINGS,” escape out of the snare of these things.
2 Tim. 2:22, “Flee also youthful lusts,” All of the over-desires of the flesh so prevalent in youth, for they must have this, and that, seeking to satify self. The driving passions of the flesh of youth which can seemingly only be subdued with the passing of time and many disciplines of life, until we realize how empty it all is, and our sense of values change. Is it possible to pass through the midst of all this, not touching that which would defile? YES! By the help of the grace of God, as our prayer rises to Him continually. He can keep us from lingering in the midst of temptation, and from being sidetracked into involvement with these things. Jesus, “In the days of His flesh, when He had offered up prayers and supplications with strong crying and tears unto Him that was able to save Him from (out of) death, and was heard in that He feared (for His piety.)” (Heb. 5:7).
The Biblical thought of escape, or, to flee out of, does not hold within it the thought of ‘escapism’ in the sense of not having to face up to the test, but rather, to pass through it uncorrupted, and thus OVERCOMING IT. The Word of God does not teach ‘escapism’ whereby one avoids facing the testing, but that we pass through it without being corrupted by its negativity. We flee out of the corrupting influence, to follow after that which is pure and holy. God will enable His worthies to pass right through the midst of trouble and not be harmed.
by David Wilkerson
“He that hath the bride is the bridegroom: but the friend of the bridegroom, which standeth and heareth him, rejoiceth greatly because of the bridegroom’s voice: this my joy therefore is fulfilled” (John 3:29). Our greatest joy should be, “I heard His voice! I stood alone, waiting, and I heard Him speak to me!” In the Song of Solomon, we can hear a last-day bridal love duet. The bridegroom beckons His betrothed to hide away secretly with Him: “O my dove, that art in the clefts of the rock, in the secret places of the stairs, let me see thy countenance, let me hear thy voice; for sweet is thy voice” (Song of Solomon2:14). Then later in the Song, she responds, “It is the voice of my beloved that knocketh, saying, Open to me . . . my love, my dove” (5:2). To those whose hearts have grown cold, who can no longer hear His voice, God has promised to give a new and tender heart if they repent and turn to Him in faith. A hard heart is not terminal—that is, if you want to change! It is not something God did to you; rather, you did it to yourself by shutting out God’s Word. Here is your promise: “And they shall come thither, and they shall take away all the detestable things thereof and all the abominations thereof from thence. And I will give them one heart, and I will put a new spirit within you; and I will take the stony heart out of their flesh, and will give them an heart of flesh: that they may walk in my statutes, and keep mine ordinances, and do them: and they shall be my people, and I will be their God” (Ezekiel 11:18-20).
And, “Then will I sprinkle clean water upon you, and ye shall be clean: from all your filthiness, and from all your idols, will I cleanse you. A new heart also will I give you, and a new spirit will I put within you: and I will take away the stony heart out of your flesh, and I will give you an heart of flesh. And I will put my spirit within you; and cause you to walk in my statutes, and ye shall keep my judgments, and do them” (Ezekiel 36:25-27).
The Will of God
The Bible is deeply concerned about the will of God—His sovereign authority over His creation and everything in it. When we speak about God’s will we do so in at least three different ways. The broader concept is known as God’s decretive, sovereign, or hidden will. By this, theologians refer to the will of God by which He sovereignly ordains everything that comes to pass. Because God is sovereign and His will can never be frustrated, we can be sure that nothing happens over which He is not in control. He at least must “permit” whatever happens to happen. Yet even when God passively permits things to happen, He chooses to permit them in that He always has the power and right to intervene and prevent the actions and events of this world. Insofar as He lets things happen, He has “willed” them in this certain sense.
Though God’s sovereign will is often hidden from us until after it comes to pass, there is one aspect of His will that is plain to us—His preceptive will. Here God reveals His will through His holy law. For example, it is the will of God that we do not steal; that we love our enemies; that we repent; that we be holy. This aspect of God’s will is revealed in His Word as well as in our conscience, by which God has written His moral law upon our heart.
His laws, whether they be found in the Scripture or in the heart, are binding. We have no authority to violate this will. We have the power or the ability to thwart the preceptive will of God, though never the right to do so. Nor can we excuse ourselves for sinning by saying, “Que sera, sera.” It may be God’s sovereign or hidden will that we be “permitted” to sin, as He brings His sovereign will to pass even through and by means of the sinful acts of people. God ordained that Jesus be betrayed by the instrument of Judas’s treachery. Yet this makes Judas’s sin no less evil or treacherous. When God “permits” us to break His preceptive will, it is not to be understood as permission in the moral sense of His granting us a moral right. His permission gives us the power, but not the rightto sin.
The third way the Bible speaks of the will of God is with respect to God’s will of disposition. This will describes God’s attitude. It defines what is pleasing to Him. For example, God takes no delight in the death of the wicked, yet He most surely wills or decrees the death of the wicked. God’s ultimate delight is in His own holiness and righteousness. When He judges the world, He delights in the vindication of His own righteousness and justice, yet He is not gleeful in a vindictive sense toward those who receive His judgment. God is pleased when we find our pleasure in obedience. He is sorely displeased when we are disobedient.
Many Christians become preoccupied or even obsessed with finding the “will” of God for their lives. If the will we are seeking is His secret, hidden, or decretive will, then our quest is a fool’s errand. The secret counsel of God is His secret. He has not been pleased to make it known to us. Far from being a mark of spirituality, the quest for God’s secret will is an unwarranted invasion of God’s privacy. God’s secret counsel is none of our business. This is partly why the Bible takes such a negative view of fortune-telling, necromancy, and other forms of prohibited practices.
We would be wise to follow the counsel of John Calvin when he said, “When God closes His holy mouth, I will desist from inquiry.” The true mark of spirituality is seen in those seeking to know the will of God that is revealed in His preceptive will. It is the godly person who meditates on God’s law day and night. While we seek to be “led” by the Holy Spirit, it is vital to remember that the Holy Spirit is primarily leading us into righteousness. We are called to live our lives by every word that proceeds from the mouth of God. It is His revealed will that is our business, indeed, the chief business of our lives.
The three meanings of the will of God:
(a)Sovereign decretive will is the will by which God brings to pass whatsoever He decrees. This is hidden to us until it happens.
(b)Preceptive will is God’s revealed law or commandments, which we have the power but not the right to break.
(c)Will of disposition describes God’s attitude or disposition. It reveals what is pleasing to Him.