I have an assignment to explain the Reformed Protestant view of the differences between the Permissive, Sovereign (Decretive) and Efficacious Wills of God. My initial exploration into this subject has left me confused, mainly because there are so many different terms applied to the Will of God in its various forms.
From what I've read, there is a view that the sovereign or decretive will of God can be divided into His efficacious will and His permissive will. Also, that in both the decretive and efficacious wills, God is directly responsible for causing His will to come to pass.
I have already seen this Christianity Stack article, but it does not help me: How are the Decretive, Preceptive, and Permissive wills of God defined?
One short article I found exposed some difficulties with the Permissive Will of God:
The distinction between the sovereign will of God and the permissive will of God is fraught with peril and tends to generate untold confusion.
In ordinary language, the term permission suggests some sort of positive sanction. To say that God “allows” or “permits” evil does not mean that He sanctions it in the sense that He approves of it. It is easy to discern that God never permits sin in the sense that He sanctions it in His creatures.
What is usually meant by divine permission is that God simply lets it happen. That is, He does not directly intervene to prevent its happening. Here is where grave dangers lurk. Some theologies view this drama as if God were impotent to do anything about human sin.
This view makes man sovereign, not God. God is reduced to the role of spectator or cheerleader, by which God’s exercise in providence is that of a helpless Father who, having done all He can do, must now sit back and simply hope for the best. He permits what He cannot help but permit because He has no sovereign power over it. This ghastly view is not merely a defective view of theism; it is unvarnished atheism. - Exposing the Permissive Will of God
The more I read the more confused I become. Frankly, I'm out of my depth. I would be grateful if someone could at least point me in the right direction to find a straightforward and readily understood Reformed Protestant perspective on the relationship between the various aspects of God's will.