What will God will and when will he will it
What if for the most part God doesn’t really care what job you have, where you live, what college you attend (if you’re my age you’re too old to change it anyway), or even (preparing to destroy my hopeless romantic card) who you marry?! Wow, you might be thinking, Trevor really doesn’t care about God’s will–what a poophead. Well before we decide what is or isn’t on my head let me explain what I mean a bit.
Most people I’ve met who are Christians spend a lot of time thinking about and even worrying whether they’re following God’s will for their lives, myself included many times. They don’t want to make God mad, but even more they don’t want to make the one decision that will send their life careening off the perfect path God has laid out for them (insert horrendously off-base proof-text using “I know the plans I have for you declares the Lord.”) I think those worries result from a serious misunderstanding of God’s will. I just don’t think biblically his will has much to do with specific decisions of our lives.
A quick tangent to address one of the very legit objections to what I’m saying. If it’s true that God’s will isn’t about my job, my lunch, or even my spouse, then God isn’t very involved in my life is he? Does he not even care about the details of my life? Is he just some esoteric CEO perched in the clouds giving his attention to the big movements of history without concern for the little people? Not what I’m getting at here. I do believe God is intimately involved in our lives. So keep reading and in just a wee bit I’ll illustrate how I can say these seemingly contradictory things (and it’s not because I’m voiding the law of non-contradiction).
Biblically I think the only strong case you can make for God’s will is that he cares about who we are. His will is that we love people, even our enemies. His will is that we don’t worship anything or anyone but him. His will is that we live lives of purity, holiness, encouragement, sacrifice, depth, and witness. Our goal, biblically, is to be perfect as the Father is perfect. Now let me ask you a question–if we are becoming all these things that are clearly a part of God’s will, won’t our decisions fit into his will? Won’t we have his wisdom as we make decisions?
This doesn’t mean God never gives us specific direction for our lives, but if we are becoming who he wants us to be and asking him what he wants us to do each day (from jobs to conversations to activities) then the Holy Spirit will be able to give us the specifics when they’re necessary. When Michelle and I decided to go to Denver we had really sought him and asked what he wanted us to do. He never said. After lots of time praying we decided together that we both wanted to go to Denver and we felt very at peace with that. I think we could have decided something else and had peace with that too. I think our lives were headed the direction they were supposed to and we were becoming who God wanted us to become, so he just needed us to decide. When we came to Aurora on the other hand, we felt like God brought us here. We prayed a lot and in a variety of ways he told us what he wanted us to do. So it can happen either way.
My point in all this is that we should make sure we’re doing something about the will of God we know–who he wants us to be. Then we prayerfully live life and if he needs to tell us something specific he’ll be able to. Otherwise maybe what we do will be his will because of who we are.