Wednesday, January 4

The will of God, part 2

I'm doing a mini-series talking through the idea of God's will. Here's part one where I shared a bit from Erwin McManus' book, Chasing Daylight. I'm sure there's other good books out there and perhaps I'll do a little research later on today.

In the meanwhile, I thought I'd continue this discussion of the role of God's will through sharing a couple of worthwhile blogs that have spoken on this topic.

One post that I read early last year was written by very Much Later, who discusses discerning God's will; a post that I think about often now. Here's the part I want to share:

He looked at me as though I had stuck another nerve. “What if God doesn’t want me to do it? I don’t want to screw my future up.”

“You think pretty highly of yourself, don’t you?”

“What do you mean?”

“Do you really think you can screw your life up while trying to serve God?”...

...Go, eat your food with gladness, and drink your wine with a joyful heart, for God has already approved what you do. Always be clothed in white, and always anoint your head with oil. Enjoy life with your wife, whom you love, all the days of this meaningless life that God has given you under the sun—all your meaningless days. -Ecclesiastes 9:7-9

The word ‘approved’ in verse 7 is Ratsah in Hebrew. It means to be pleased or satisfied with, determined or favorable toward something. I don’t want to say that we can do no wrong, but I think it might be more difficult than we think when we’re in love with Jesus. If you’re trying to make a big decision, stop torturing yourself by superimposing your emotions or another person’s attitude over God’s will. As long as you don’t want something terrible and you’re not breaking the law, you’re probably alright.
How can I mess up if I have been called by God, which I say I have, and I have been equipped, by God, to serve in many ways? Instead of waiting for a divine neon sign to appear, can't I just step out in faith, trusting that God will make it clear if I need to stop or change directions? And EVEN IF I mess up and pursue a course that completely flops, is God not still sovereign and fully capable of using the mess for His glory? Heck yeah, He is!

Here's another blog (Jason Vana) that also has something to add:
For the longest time, I had this idea that God has a specific, detailed plan for my life: where I should go to school, what I should major in, where I should live, the line of work I should do, who I should marry, when I should have kids, when I should change jobs or careers, if I should pursue my master’s, if I should lead a missions trip, even down to how I should spend my day.

And if I made the wrong decision, if I made to move before God wanted me to, if I chose the wrong major, the wrong job, the wrong place to live…

…I would never get where God wanted me to be.

Abraham lived to be 75 years old before God called him to move to a country he didn’t know. Moses worked for his father-in-law for 40 years before he had his burning bush moment. David tended sheep for years before and after he received the call to be king. Even Jesus lived a pretty normal Jewish life for 30 years before being released into His calling.

These men made decisions about their lives, their careers, where they would live, who they would marry, when they would have kids, what they would study, what they would do with their lives, some were even ready to go into retirement, before they ever knew God’s will for their lives.

And God still used them – mistakes and all.

So maybe God’s will isn’t some path we have to have figured out.
Maybe it’s not something we get early on in life and follow through until we die.
Maybe it’s more than just blindly following a plan that someone else sets for us. what have we learned?

Since I had better just speak for myself, I think I'm learning that the idea of messing up God's will may be something that is a bit hard to do (or even possibly a fallacy), when you are serving Christ and genuinely striving to know and reflect Him. Please don't read that as solid theology...I'm still working on this after all. As we were reminded yesterday, I shouldn't let fear keep me from moving forward and from pursuing Godly do so is a sin and can rob me (and others) of the opportunity to being where God has already called me. Lastly, Jason reminds us that God's timing may not be as we'd imagine but the wait shouldn't stop us from moving forward...God still desires to use us and maybe in the process of taking faithful steps, He will unveil a much greater calling or purpose.

Your turn...what's on your mind? Anything to add?

Tomorrow, I'll go the Bible...see what God says is His will, in His own words.

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