Guest Author: Andrew George
As we go through our lives, we often find ourselves asking this question: What is God’s will in this situation? This question has pervaded the thoughts of Christ-followers for some time and it bothers us that we don’t know what to do. We don’t have an answer to this seemingly simple question. Why would God leave us in this confused state? Why isn’t there a black and white choice for every decision we must make? It is interesting to see how this question has invaded the minds of so many of the young men and women that I have met throughout my life. Equally interesting is the way the word of God handles this question.
In the Old Testament, time and time again, the person in the story merely needs to make a genuine cry to the Lord about what they should do, and the Lord answers. Not only does He answer, He often does so in a manner that is quite obvious, leaving little question in our minds as to what God’s will was for the person’s life. Moses is instructed to go to pharaoh and to tell him to let God’s people go. David makes constant requests of God and is instructed very plainly what to do. We look to our own lives and wonder, “Where are these plain instructions, Lord?” We ask Him constantly what He wants us to do with our lives and we are confused because we hear no answer. No supernatural voice appears in our heads telling us what to do. Next we look at the New Testament and notice a distinctive lack of questions. How many people do you see crying out to the Lord in the early church asking Him what to do with their lives? I cannot think of any off the top of my head. Why this change?
When we look at the establishment of the church, we see that the new believers knew exactly what they should be doing. They still struggled with their sin natures, and argued about the right way to do things, but they did not question what their mission was. Clearly God’s will is not as complicated as it may have first seemed. The early Christians had the words of Christ and the words of the apostles to guide them. We have the word of God, those same words possessed by the early church, but just written down. The will of God is not some complicated thing, but something that is spelled out very plainly. Love the Lord your God… We all know that, right? Is God really your love though, or have other things caught your eye? We can tell what we love because that is where our hearts reside. Do you love school? Money? Status? People? Experiences? Or anything else more than God? Remember that the devil is cunning and can use good things to tempt us away from God. Eve was not tempted by a disgusting, awful, evil-looking fruit. David did not fall into adultery with some slutty harlot. Loving people is a good thing. You should love people, but when what they think becomes more important to you than what God thinks, you’re in trouble. This happens all too often. We justify our love for these things because they are GOOD things. Don’t let their “goodness” hinder your love for God. Loving God is the first step in fulfilling God’s will for your life.
Now, let us pretend that you have loving God down. You’re an expert at not putting other things before Him. Ok, so what does that love look like? Loving God is not as simple as merely putting Him at the center of our lives. God said that if we love Him, we will love others. Love your neighbor as yourself. Take a look at yourself. Do you really do that? How are you doing in your task of loving others? Really take a moment and be honest with yourself. Are you gossiping? Are you lying? Are you ignoring those in need? Remember what it says in James 4:17,
To him who knows to do good and does not do it, to him it is sin.
How we treat others is a good indication of our spiritual maturity, and all too often we find ourselves coming up short. The point here is that the will of God is given to us in His scripture and it is clear. He has an expectation for us and we are to meet that expectation. We are to live lives obedient to the commandments He has set down for us; commandments that were not made to stop us from having fun, but to lovingly ensure only the best for us. Many a child is disappointed by the rules set down by grownups. They think that the rules are simply there to ruin their fun. We laugh because we know better. We know that the rules are for their own good. However when it comes to God, we look at His rules and scoff that He is limiting us. This too is the attitude of child who does not understand that the commandments of God are for our own good. This is an attitude we can overcome as our spiritual maturity grows.
We are the church, His hands and feet on this earth. The homeless guy down the street – we are supposed to show God’s love to him. The Drug addict, the prostitute, the rich man, the mean person, the homosexual, the educated fellow who mocks Christ, the murderer, the divorcees, the teenage mothers, the rape victims… every single person on this earth is a candidate to be loved. He has put us here to show them His love. If you walked up to each of those people listed above and asked them what they thought of Christians, would they say anything about love? Maybe a few, but I guarantee the vast majority would not even think to mention the word love. How do you think we are doing now? I say we, because there is no Christian great or small that was meant to go it alone. The church is a community, and we are here to support and uplift one another in our great task. Honestly, we don’t do a great job of this, and the reason is that we struggle to fulfill the will of God.
Lastly, I wish to share with you the greatest way that you can love someone on this earth: Tell them about the truth of the Gospel of Jesus Christ. Tell them about what He did and why it matters. Do this because God can use it to save a soul from destruction. You are not the hero of this story. That place has been taken by Christ. You are the humble messenger telling people about that hero, making Him known to the world. Remember the story of the serpent on the staff, when God sent a number of poisonous serpents to punish the people of Israel in the wilderness. If the people looked at the brass serpent that Moses had put on a pole, they were saved from death. Imagine if you had been there and you knew how to save everyone. You would have run from person to person sharing the good news that they could be saved, that they merely had to look on the brass serpent. You wouldn’t have cared how many rejected you because you would have been trying to save as many lives as you could. You would do this knowing that you only gave the people you spoke to the opportunity to be saved, that you could not save them yourself. That is the state of the world today brothers and sisters. WE are that messenger. We must proclaim the good news to a dying world.
Seek out God’s will in the scriptures and live it. God has not given us a micromanaged step-by-step plan on how to live our lives. He has given us great freedom to make choices: what car to buy, what school to attend, etc. These choices are up to us. In our desire for Him to tell us exactly what to do, we are rejecting the freedom that God has granted us to make many different choices. It is not where we go, or the education we have that defines us in God’s kingdom. It is how we love God and through that, how we love others. The will of God is made plain to us in His word. Make choices prayerfully. There are times when God will make a choice clear to you by opening and closing doors in your life. However, when you do not feel that the choice is clear, do whatever you think will allow you to glorify God more. Fulfill His commandments and you will be living within God’s will. I can be a teacher, an engineer, a janitor, or anything! No matter what I do, I can fulfill God’s will for my life on this earth by living the way He has shown us to live in His word. I hope that this has been an encouragement to you my brothers and sisters in the faith, and I hope that maybe God’s will is a little clearer in your life.