Faith and God’s Will

Faith is an interesting thing.  Something often discussed yet not fully grasped or understood.  God’s will is another interesting topic, often evoking some sense of divine revelation to guide us in our decisions.  Both tie together and both are important topics in our walk with Christ.  And both are front and center in my life (and consequently my family’s life) right now.

I’ve learned a lot here lately about the realities of faith.  Sometimes it means following God by our own choice into a walk of obedience (e.g., Abraham).  At other times we are placed in situations not of our choosing (e.g., Joseph).  Either way, we exercise a choice as to whether or not we will walk in confidence, believing that God is in control and using our lives and circumstances for His purposes which are good.

I’m also learning a lot about “God’s will”.  A phrase often used to indicate some sort of divine leading in our decisions.  I think there are a lot of misconstrued ideas about God’s will, as if it is something to be discovered by rolling the dice or realized by some sacred sign.  There are things in Scripture that are clearly God’s will: that we be saved, that we walk in obedience, that we be sanctified, that we love others, etc.  There are other things, however, that are not clearly laid out by command but rather guided by principle and wisdom (e.g., who to marry, where to work, etc.).

So when making these types of decisions, are we looking to Scripture for guidance and wisdom in our decision or are we simply waiting for God to send us a message in a bottle with the next steps?  Are we seeking counsel (as instructed in Proverbs)?  Are we considering our motives for making decisions (e.g., Phil. 2:2-5)?  Is it something clearly forbidden or commanded?  I’m not saying that God doesn’t have a clearly defined path for our lives, to the contrary, I’m saying that I think we often approach God with an expectation that He’ll throw us a hint before we’ve done our due diligence to understand His heart as laid out in Scripture.  God will not lead us to do something that contradicts His words or His heart.

Even now, in my own life, I’m considering some different career directions, one of which is very interesting, not contradictory to Scripture, and is in line with how I’m wired.  There’s some risk to this opportunity but there’s also the opportunity for great reward (on a number of fronts).  So I’m in the process of seeking counsel from those who know me and from those who are familiar with this type of opportunity.  I’m not sure of what my final decision will be, but I am confident that by following what God has laid out in his word, it will be made clear.  And wherever I go, it must be in faith, for that is how we are called to walk – and that is clearly God’s will.

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2 Comments

  1. I, too, have fallen into the trap of looking for signs, hoping that God will “show me the way”. It’s been a hard pill to swallow that this rarely happens, and thus has led to a large crisis of faith when there have been as many big hits on me and my family in the past year as there have been. Yearning for just *one* sign or direction in the midst of all this chaos would have been a welcome sign.

    I don’t know if I have hit rock bottom and am on my way up, or if I’ve hit rock bottom and I’m just sitting there, but true acceptance of things I tell others, but haven’t truly accepted myself has been a by-product. Scriptures along with God-directed life experience is usually the only reference we have, and using our “gut” to discern these truths is about the best we can do.

    While we’re still in the midst of chaos with a coast-to-coast move, possible short sale/default of a house, abject destruction of our 800 credit score, a teething 6 month old, my new job, etc etc etc, I finally just stepped out with the mindset of “God, my mind wants to tell me that you’re not the God I was taught about, but my heart wants to believe otherwise….so I’m going to just go and DO this. Feel free to show yourself if you want…but I’m moving forward.” and things have eerily fallen into place. The chaos is still there, but the timing of a last minute business trip and everything that fell in around it just can’t be chalked up to chance…..the plan is there, but it’s not something that presented itself. It only appeared *as* I was stepping forward, not before. Its a strange phenomena to explain.

    Phipps, it’s been almost a decade since we last saw each other back at Union. I remember you as possibly the most real and Godly person I knew back then. Doesn’t seem like that has changed at all. Thanks for the post, I don’t think that was by chance, either.

  2. @poboyross Thanks for sharing your comment. Sorry it’s taken me so long to respond. There seems to be a point in the journey when our faith requires an action, and it may be in a direction of uncertainty, which I guess is the essence of faith – it’s stepping in a direction we believe to be the best and trusting that God is going to do something to sustain us. As for the UU days – thank you for the compliment.


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