The Will of God
My hands are clammy, I’m bouncing in my seat, and my heart is racing like I’ve had seven shots of espresso. This was my reaction when someone asked that simple, yet not so simple cliché question: “So, where do you see yourself in ten years?” I don’t know how you respond to that question, but that’s the awkward moment when casual conversation would slap me in the face. Everything was fine until that question was thrown out there.
The idea of the unknown variable has terrified me at times. I’d go through all the “steps” to find God’s will for my life. Extended fasts, tons of cry-my-eyes-out prayers, and bugging my pastor endlessly just to get some answers. I just wanted a blueprint, street signs, a treasure map—anything! Why wouldn’t God just speak in an audible voice and tell me I was called to move here, go to this college, study this topic, and have this job? If He would say it, I would do it. I just needed some direction.
Why is finding God’s will for our lives so difficult? The better question may be, why do we make God’s will for our lives so difficult? I’ve come to realize it really isn’t all that complex. We often complicate it much more than necessary. With the pressures that will come our way with various life decisions, it is important to understand God’s first and most important plan for each of us is salvation and complete devotion to Him. That is God’s will.
As we grow up, society pushes our focus on the American dream, being happy, and financially secure. Did God not say, “For what shall it profit a man if he shall gain the whole world and lose his own soul?” (Mark 8:36) I’m not telling you to go out and live in a cardboard box in hopes of pleasing God. This is simply a call to understand God’s explicit will for each of us—relationship with Him.
A professor at St. Louis Christian College once said, “Discerning God’s direction is an ongoing process that is more concerned about who you are becoming than what you are doing. More simply: relation before vocation. Relationship with God is life-long; vocation is temporary.” Throughout the entire Bible there are clear calls to relationship with God. (That’s kind of the theme of the story, ya know?) In order to be in a relationship with Him we will always need to trust and obey. Any relationship with God will always, always, always be marked by faith and obedience. That is the original plan God has for each of us. It’s funny how once that is our focus, everything else seems to fall into place. Proverbs 3:5-6 reads, “Trust in the LORD with all your heart, and lean not to your own understanding. In all your ways acknowledge Him, and He shall direct your paths.”
What I’m trying to say is we worry so much about God’s will for us, when what He wants most is our devotion. I don’t think He has a secret agenda for our lives He’s not telling us about. He has given each of us free will along with special talents and abilities for a reason. He wants us to make decisions and work with the gifts and talents He has given us. I don’t recall in the parable of the talents that the master gave precise instructions as to what each servant should do with His talents. He gave them the talents, and they returned the product of their work to him. He gave them room for making decisions, mistakes, and success. Our decisions should undoubtedly be made with the wisdom and discretion only God gives. But I do believe in the free will God has given each of us to live our lives with the gifts we’ve been given in order to please Him. When the core of our plans and goals is to bring glory to God and stay in relationship with Him, doors will open.
The biggest decision we will ever make is not which career to take or car to buy, but whether or not we will commit ourselves to Him and His Word. Our dedication to God will always be the prerequisite to a successful future.
Sarah is the Hyphen contributor for InsideOut. She hails from South Carolina and attends Urshan College in Florissant, Missouri. You can find her on Facebook and Twitter.