Of all the questions I get asked, the most frequent is, “What is God calling me to do in [whatever situation]?” People ask that question about relationships, employment, major purchases, medical uncertainties, and a never-ending list of other things. A person’s intention in asking it is almost always good. They know the Gospel and understand the lengths to which God went to save them. In response, they love God, want to honor Him, and in giving their lives to Him, they want to follow Him as the Lord of their lives by being obedient to Him. All of this is wise and right.
As I try to respond to the questions I am asked, there is one common misconception that I often have to help people process through. Many people approach following God’s will as if it were a maze. They believe there is one right path through life and God expects us to find it. The thinking goes that if we turn in the wrong direction, we will wind up at a dead end or spend long periods of time wondering around, lost. In other words, we can mistakenly think of God’s will for our lives as a series of “right or left, A or B, here or there” choices related to the way we should go or steps forward in life. Most often, this is not how the Bible talks about the will of God.
The Bible says things like, “For this is the will of God, your sanctification…” (1 Thes. 4:3) or, “Rejoice always, pray without ceasing, give thanks in all circumstances; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you” (1 Thes. 5:16-18). In Proverbs 2, it says that the “knowledge of God” is wisdom. Reading the Bible, you get the impression that knowing God’s will is not as much like maneuvering through a maze as it is knowing His Word, trusting Him, and abiding in Him. It says that when we do those things and make decisions by praying to Him and considering His heart, we will be doing His will.
You probably made tens of thousands of decisions in 2012. Most of them were minor and routine, but several were extremely significant for you. It is likely 2013 will be similar. That’s why this Sunday, as we prepare to begin a new year, we will talk about the will of God for our lives in 2013 and every day beyond that the Lord should choose to give us. I look forward to seeing you there. May God be pleased to make it beneficial in each of our lives for His glory.
For the sake of His name,