As human beings we are so forgetful. In fact incredibly forgetful. We have always been and we always will. Take for instance when God brought the Israelites out of Egypt, from slaves to free people of God, they witnessed the great mighty deeds of God such as the 10 plagues and the parting sea. But what happened after? Moses left the group to receive further instruction from God and on coming back the restless Israelites had decided to make a golden calf to worship! (See Exodus 32)
That is why I need to constantly remind myself what God’s will is for me and for us all. But what is God’s will and how does that relate to my life now? From Desiring God by John Piper, he explores what it means by God’s will.
Before I get into that… I want to share my struggles. Many years ago probably 4/5 years, I had to make the biggest decision of my life. To (A) start dating a non-Christian and take matters into my own hands or (B) trust in God to know His plans are not meant to harm me. At the time I had no idea why it would be better that I did not date a non-Christian, after all people do it all the time don’t they? Perhaps I should insert another post here, but for now I will continue.
Fast forward to today, this past year I have been faced with the same issue. This time, temptation is greater than ever before because we lived in the same flat. The man who gave me second thoughts is different. Yeah yeah I know… it sounds silly. There’s always going to be someone who’s ‘different’ until another ‘different’ person comes along. Well anyway, he is my first proper ‘different’ guy. We compliment each other in so many ways, only that our very most core value does not align. So badly I wanted to agree with him that as he explores Christianity that we can continue dating, but thank God that I’ve stood my ground and laid out the boundaries.
In hindsight I wanted to take matters into my own hands again, to say yes let’s date and if he doesn’t find his own conviction in Christ that we would know we would split for good. I realised that that means I don’t trust God enough for Him to take care of the person I want to be with. That I’m trusting in my own strength and control, when really I’m not in control!
For the longest time I kept asking myself, why did God put me in this position? Can I still call on His name knowing I would fall again even though I’m longing for a way out? Yet what I can joyfully say out of all the struggle and wrong choices on my part, God is ever so merciful. He still used me even whilst I was in my conflictions, to touch the life of my other flatmate I was living with. The Almighty God shown His light having me there to share Jesus with my flatmate. It was so difficult because I knew I was a hypocrite, but I did not hide that fact even from my flatmate.
This is not the only thing that has spurred me on to remind myself of what God’s will is, but also the fact that I’m in the transitional phase of moving on to the next stage in life – from uni to the working world. Unfortunately I have been rejected from a job interview but I know that this means God is planning to plant me else where.
So back to what is God’s will and how we can practically discover God’s calling unique to us:
- God’s will of command
- What is my purpose in the grand scheme of God’s plan? (a.k.a calling)
1. God’s will of command
Through spending time with God in His word and prayer, we can be able to discern what is right and what is best in God’s eyes.
I appeal to you therefore, brothers, by the mercies of God, to present your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and acceptable to God, which is your spiritual worship. Do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewal of your mind, that by testing you may discern what is the will of God, what is good and acceptable and perfect.
This springs up many questions such as:
God where do you want me to be?
Whose lives would you like to touch and reach out through me?
What am I meant to be doing, what are my next steps?
These questions must always be in line with
“This, then, is how you should pray:
“‘Our Father in heaven,
* hallowed be your name,
* your kingdom come,
* your will be done,
on earth as it is in heaven.
Give us today our daily bread.
And * forgive us our debts,
as we also have * forgiven our debtors.
And * lead us not into temptation,
but deliver us from the evil one.
Calling, our next phase in life must include:
- Bringing glory and honoring God in our decisions
- Desiring for more people to come to join God’s family, His kingdom
- Keeping in line with His moral standards
- That we acknowledge our wrongs, reconcile and grow in His Spirit of forgiveness
- To help us forgive and not begrudge people before we move on to the next steps
- To bring us to a place, situation, new job, new relationship with minimal temptation
God will challenge our hearts and minds. We must be patient, willing and open-minded to embrace what He has in store. To seek the advice of other brothers and sisters in Christ would provide a useful third perspective. God will use the talents He gave us, the connections we have around us to push us to the right door. As we continue to perhaps apply for jobs in one area of our God given talents, He will close the doors until there remains one door open. God may also completely uproot us, but never fear for He is always near.