on knowing God’s will

I have to admit that all too often my own personal theology can be in flux. One area that I have been think about lately is with regard to God’s will. We all want to know what God’s will is for our lives and usually we want to his specific will for us with regard to things like what kind of job or career we should be in, who to marry, where to live and go to church and so on.  I don’t think there is necessarily anything wrong with that as I too have had and do have similar longings, questions and desires.

What has been on my mind lately however is that I think if we push too hard for knowing God’s specific will for our lives, we may end up not getting too far, and may, in fact, become in danger of trying to manipulate God or be in danger of treating seeking God’s will like some act of divination.

The reason I say this is because I am not entirely certain the Lord necessarily always has a specific will for us in these things. I think he leaves a lot of this up to us to make our own choices but within the bounds of what we do know to be his revealed will as seen in Scripture.

I am thinking at the moment that instead of the Lord having a specific will for us as to what to do with out lives in regard to work, or where to live and who to marry and so on, instead he leaves a lot of that up to us but expects us to make these decisions based on what we know to be true and right as he has directed us through Scripture.  (I just said that already…)

In other words, you have the freedom to choose.

BUT, within that freedom to choose, we are to be responsible in making that choice and then his will becomes for us live out our lives in accordance to Scripture.  In wahtever context we find ourselves, love God, love people, be obedient to Him, live in righteousness and peace with others as much as possible, share the gospel (in word and in deed) and so on.  So, if I were to choose to become a teacher, God’s will for me then becomes that I teach well, encourage the students, don’t exasperate them, be true to the subject matter and so on.

This is not to say God goes not have specific will for us but to say I do not know how often or how well that will is carried out or brought to fruition, sometimes others our we ourselves can get in the way.  There is a job we have applied for. We feel this job will be a good fit for us and would allow us to live out and carry out God’s will as revealed in much of Scripture, especially with regard to
fulfilling the great commission.  Now is this God’s will for us?  Maybe, maybe not.  If they hire someone else does that mean it wasn’t the Lord’s will?  Maybe, maybe not.  All too often it seems people make their own decisions anymore and the hiring process can be so subjective anymore.  These things can sometimes be hard to discern.

All this to say I think the Lord puts desires in our hearts and encourages us to follow those desires, but how this is played out and in what context it happens, may be up to us (such as if we teach at one place or another, etc) – but once we make that choice, his will then is for us to be faithful to him and to the work we do in righteousness and truth. 

Let me know what you think.

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