Lord Willing

November 28, 2011 at 11:31 am | Posted in Common Expressions | 5 Comments
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Have you ever qualified a promise to be at a certain place at a certain time with the condition, “Lord willing.” It’s sort of the Christianized version of the expression, “Weather permitting.” Some people say it all the time. It’s not necessarily a bad thing to say. There is some Scriptural support for it:

Go to now, ye that say, To day or to morrow we will go into such a city, and continue there a year, and buy and sell, and get gain: Whereas ye know not what shall be on the morrow. For what is your life? It is even a vapour, that appeareth for a little time, and then vanisheth away. For that ye ought to say, If the Lord will, we shall live, and do this, or that.

James 4:13-15 (emphasis added)

The Latin expression for “Lord willing” is Deo volente and there used to be a practice of putting the initials “D.V.” on wedding invitations to indicate the possibility – however remote – of a last-minute cancellation. For some people it is almost superstitious to say “Lord willing” before committing to anything.

Considering the sovereignty of God, it is true that all our plans are subject to His overriding and supreme will. But does the Bible give us any clues as to exactly what the Lord is willing – or not willing?

The Lord is not slack concerning his promise, as some men count slackness; but is longsuffering to us-ward, not willing that any should perish, but that all should come to repentance.

II Peter 3:9 (emphasis added)

We need to keep in mind every day, every minute, that we’re totally dependent on God. In the sense that God has desires, He is “willing” that we do His will. Therefore, it is good to pray, “Not my will, but Thy will be done.”

We are to put the will of our Heavenly Father ahead of our own will, so we have to to be very careful about saying what we do or don’t “feel” like doing. There are times when the providence of God hinders us from doing what it seems like He has called us to do, but, while it can be easy to deceive other people, it is impossible to deceive God. There are times when God wants my body to be used for His service, even though it is in pain. There are times when God wants me to go somewhere I don’t feel like going. There are times when He wants me to talk to somebody I’m embarrassed to talk to, or somebody I do not particularly like. There are times when He wants me to discipline my children even if it will disturb the peace in my home. I need to be even more enthusiastic about doing the Lord’s will when it feels bad than I am about doing it when it feels good. The remedy for a lack of enthusiasm about serving the Lord is not monotoning “Lord willing” every time I do my “Christian duty.” The remedy is remembering the Gospel and having it settled in my heart and in my mind that I really am excited and enthusiastic and zealous about doing what the Lord is willing – what He wants.

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  1. […] 18:23 For I have no pleasure in the death of him that dieth, saith the Lord GOD: wherefore turn yourselves, and live […]

  2. […] alludes to God’s sovereignty (“if the Lord will“), and makes it clear that the Knows should be able to recognize the Know-Nots, as he […]

  3. […] 2:1-2; Matthew 10:39; I John 5:11-13) 21. You Can’t Get Blood from a Turnip (Genesis 4:1-5) * 22. Lord Willing (James 4:13-15; II Peter 3:9) 23. Face to Face (Ezekiel 18-20) 24. Show and Tell (Deuteronomy 32:7) […]

  4. […] The solar eclipse (Lord willing) is happening this Monday, August 21, 2017, which is also one of my daughters’ (maybe the 4th […]

  5. […] The church members at Corinth were upset that Paul’s plans had changed, but he had not carelessly or willfully changed his plans or broken any promises. Circumstances had forced his schedule to change. He had qualified his stated commitment with the understanding that he would do what he planned to do, “Lord willing.” […]


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