Thursday, August 7, 2008

God's Will for Your Life

We Christians are always wondering, ”What is God’s will for my life?” Many books and workshops are eagerly sought in this mysterious quest. We think, “I just know the answer is out there somewhere, if only I could find the right formula…” Some tell us to follow our dreams while others say, “Do what you’re good at” and still others say that you never quite know because God may change it minute by minute. But God isn’t capricious--constantly changing nor is he holding out on you, keeping some big secret from you. In fact, he so much wants you to know what he wants for your life that he had it written down for you even before you were born!

As I recently wrote to a young friend, God doesn’t have a different will for each person, his will for all of us is written in the Bible (with an emphasis on the New Testament). Of course, there are details that will vary such as timing and location, etc. I’m in no way dismissing the leading of the Holy Spirit! But the first place the Holy Spirit will lead you is to that which has already been said. Do you remember your mother ever saying, “Now what did I already tell you?”

One question that comes up among young people and increasingly among the not so young is, “Am I ‘called’ to missions?” The answer is simple—yes. Jesus said,” Therefore go and make disciples of all nations…” (Matthew 28:19) Every Christian is called by Jesus to take the good news of his kingdom to the nations though the nations or “people groups” may very well be in your city. Your role may be to help someone else travel, supporting them in (fervent!) prayer and finances until you can take a more active role.

What field should I work/major in? Which job should I aim for?” are two other questions that confront most of us at an increasingly earlier age. Your number one calling is to be a disciple of Jesus who makes other disciples (this certainly includes worshipping him) so your primary concern should be in taking a job that doesn’t so fill your time that there’s no time left for following Jesus in every way,and gathering with other believers (this does not necessarily mean committee meetings!). You already know from scripture without having to wonder (I hope!) that it should be work that honors God and doesn’t dishonor him. There is an old teaching that all work a Christian does honors God—sorry, there’s no way that being a stripper or a manufacturer of products that harm people will ever honor God.

These are just a couple of the questions many of us have about God’s will for our lives. I’ve only skimmed the surface, but my aim is to send you back to God’s Word to get the foundational knowledge of his will—you may be surprised at how many of the details fall into place once you do. More later…

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