God’s will

What should I do? Should I take this job, buy that car, marry that person, move to another city? We all look for guidance and help in making the big decisions or even the small ones; do you want McDonald’s or Subway for dinner? How do you go about making decisions? What role does God play in your decision-making? What is God’s will for your life?

There are three ways you might explain God’s will for you. Forrest’s mom always used to say, “Life is like a box of chocolates; you never know what you’re going to get,” and that’s true, in a sense. Both Paul and James said you don’t know what’s going to happen to you tomorrow; “we’ll see how it will go” and “if the Lord wills” we’ll do such-and-so or go to this-or-that place. You could also say life is like a dot-to-dot, moving from point to point, staying in the lines, and this is God’s will for you. If you move off the lines or miss a dot, you’re “outside of God’s will,” and God is going to get His will accomplished, no matter what – think about Jonah going to Tarshish by way of the fish, or Paul’s vision in Acts 16 where he was stopped from going to Asia but had to go to Macedonia instead. Or maybe God’s will for you is more like a cloud, staying within the cloud but having freedom to choose. God gave you your head for more than a hat-rack; use your brain, make a decision, and pull the trigger. In Acts 15 at the Jerusalem council, there was an important decision to be made. At the end of the day, after much debate, dissension, and discussion over the issue, James and the council decided on a plan and said, “It seemed best to us and the Holy Spirit.” No dream or miraculous voice from the sky, just prayer, assessment of the situation, and making a call.

Any of these three ways to explain God’s will for you are helpful. Behind it all, God is at work in His world, to achieve His purposes and will. He will not share His glory with another and is revealing His glory to all and gathering a people onto Himself, for His worship and praise. His goal is getting us to the end, when sin and pain will be eradicated and He and His people will live together eternally. Until then, we often do NOT get specific and direct guidance on particular pieces of our lives, but God has already told us much of His will for us through His Word. It’s interesting that most of what God commands for us, His will for us and what we should do, has to do with character. Consider Romans 12:9-13 as an example: “Let love be genuine. Abhor what is evil; hold fast to what is good. Love one another with brotherly affection. Outdo one another in showing honor. Do not be slothful in zeal, be fervent in spirit, serve the Lord. Rejoice in hope, be patient in tribulation, be constant in prayer. Contribute to the needs of the saints and seek to show hospitality.” This is what God wants you to do, and it’s not about what job or city or car to drive. God is more concerned about the “who you are” than “what you do” because what you do flows out of who you are. God is forming and conforming and transforming you to look more like Him, more like Jesus. That’s His will for you, and He promises to guide you and lead you as you make decisions. “Seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness, and all these things will be added to you (Matthew 6:33.)” Trust in Him and His guidance this day.