Quick! Tell me: What is God’s will for your life?
You don’t know? Why not? You’re a Christian, aren’t you? Aren’t you reading the Bible and praying? Surely, you should be in tune with God’s will.
- Which college should you or your child attend?
- Whom should you marry?
- Which career should you pursue?
- Should you buy or rent a home?
- Where in the Church should you invest your time?
Do you have a clear message from God on all these questions?
Looking For A Sign Can Be Sinful
Far too many Christians think God is in the business of oracles.
Look at the Old Testament prophets, though. The vast majority of the messages they delivered had nothing to do with the future. The message of the prophets was primarily God’s word to God’s people about God’s grace and the people’s need for repentance.
When the Pharisees set out to decide if Jesus was the Messiah, they asked for a sign.
And the Pharisees and Sadducees came, and to test him they asked him to show them a sign from heaven. He answered them, “…An evil and adulterous generation seeks for a sign, but no sign will be given to it except the sign of Jonah.” So he left them and departed.
God hasn’t ever been in the business of oracles.
Expecting God to miraculously instruct us on our decisions isn’t biblical. We don’t need to be spoon fed the will of God. We need wisdom to discern it. But how do we get this wisdom? Before finding such wisdom, we need to determine that wisdom is.
Wisdom Isn’t What You Think It Is
Would you like the wisdom to see God’s will? What if it’s nothing like you think? In the world’s eyes, wisdom is the ability to apply your experience to make good decisions. The Bible doesn’t speak about wisdom in the same terms:
The wisdom from above is first pure, then peaceable, gentle, open to reason, full of mercy and good fruits, impartial and sincere.
When God gives us wisdom, it manifests as godly character. But how does that help us make decisions?
What To Do With Godly Wisdom
King David, with his heart following after God (1 Sam 13:14), desired something:
Now when the king lived in his house and the LORD had given him rest from all his surrounding enemies, the king said to Nathan the prophet, “See now, I dwell in a house of cedar, but the ark of God dwells in a tent.”
2 Sam 7:1-2
David – following after God – began to long after something. He wanted to build God a temple. How did Nathan, God’s prophet, counsel him?
And Nathan said to the king, “Go, do all that is in your heart, for the LORD is with you.”
2 Sam 7:3
- David pursued God in his heart. That is, David was on the path of true, godly wisdom.
- David had a longing in his heart.
- David was encouraged to follow that longing.
How do we achieve the same results?
Follow These Steps
- Ask: “Am I seeking God and His kingdom in my life?” If you seek God and His kingdom first (Matt 6:31-33), He will transform your mind (Rom 12:2) and your desires (Psalm 37:4). This is the foundation of biblical decision-making. Don’t focus on the decision. Focus on Christ.
- Ask: “Is there an option that dishonors God?” Utilizing the wisdom from above (i.e. godly character), decide if one (or more) choice doesn’t promote the glory of God. This is a good time to get advice from other Christians.
- Decide: Go, do all that is in your heart, for the Lord is with you. Seriously. Go do it.
This is often called “sanctified reasoning” and it is the way God wants us to live our lives.
Should I marry this person?
- In general, am I seeking God and His kingdom in my life? If your highest concern isn’t the glory of God, if your chief joy isn’t found in the gospel, you won’t have wisdom from above.
- Would your marriage to this person detract from the glory of God or serve it?
- God has changed your heart and mind (Step 1) and guided you about the decision’s worthiness (Step 2). Go, do all that is in your heart, for the Lord is with you.
Don’t focus on the decision. Focus on Christ.
God’s will for you is that you throw yourself wholeheartedly into the desires of your renewed heart and mind.
Image by The White Whale Collective