Q. I join the thousands of others in thanking you for clarifying Biblical issues. My question concerns confusion about the difference between the Lord’s ‘permissive’ will and His ‘directive’ will. For example, I think that the Lord directed the result of the recent U.S. presidential election to accelerate the demise of the U.S.
A. Permissive will and directive will are terms developed by theologians and are neither demonstrated nor described in the Bible. On a personal level, when we’re in fellowship with God and our spirit is aligned with His, the decisions we make will be reflective of God’s will for our lives. When we are uncertain about a decision, we wait for confirmation before acting to avoid a mistake.
In Romans 13:1 Paul wrote that there is no governing authority except that which God has established. To me that means He’s never passive about it. He literally decides the outcome of our elections. That’s not to say this is always a positive experience from our perspective. It means that He determines whether we need blessing or discipline and chooses our leaders accordingly.