I have discovered a secret about figuring out God’s will and I want to share it with you. If you are anything like me you have spent time vacilating between two options and gotten stumped trying to figure out which direction God wants you to go. Maybe it was a relationship you were wondering about, a college major you couldn’t decide on or a move you were contemplating. It’s agonizing and frustrating to sit there spinning your wheels looking for traction, one way or the other.
During these times we do things like: list out pros and cons on a paper with a line down the middle, seek wise counsel, pray and fast and sometimes, in desperation, we look to God’s Word for hidden clues as though it were a magic eye poster. I remember messing myself up pretty good when I was praying between moving to Montana and staying in California while reading the book of Acts….Paul had a dream with a man from Macedonia and that sounds kind of like Montana if you slur your words…maybe I should go there! But then in the next couple verses he went down to the river side and Riverside is in California so maybe God wants me to stay here! I was admittedly clutching at straws.
And while we should definitely be turning to godly friends, and praying as we seek His will, I think we often neglect one of the most important and obvious steps. Instead of obsessing about the areas where you don’t know what He wants you to do, focus on the ones where you already do. Figure out which parts of your life are already out of His will and get in line.
His Word tells us it’s not His will for any to perish but for all to repent. If you aren’t saved you are outside of His will.
His Word tells us that it’s His will for us to be sanctified and that we would abstain from sexual immorality. If you are sinning sexually you are outside of His will.
His Word tells us that it’s His will for us to be thankful, rejoice in everything and to pray without ceasing. Let’s just say we are all in need of serious work in this area!
You get the idea. And those are just the times that He explicitly says, “The will of the Lord is…” The whole Bible is packed full of crystal clear precepts that reveal God’s will for our relationships, our work ethic, the way we discipline our kids, even the way we treat our animals. It might not tell you whether or not to take that job offer, but it will tell you how to approach work at the job you already have. If you don’t get that figured out it won’t matter where you work, the bigger problem will follow you to your new job and you will remain outside of His will.
What I have found is that when I shift from focusing on the mystery area where I’m waiting for a mexican food induced dream or a hologram to show up on the pages of my Bible; and instead I deal with the areas where He already has given me instruction but I haven’t obeyed, the whole process seems to gel and fall into place without the agony. It’s kind of like being in a car with a GPS unit deep in a parking lot. If you punch in where you want to go you are expecting list by list, turn by turn navigation to show up but instead sometimes you will hear, “You are not on a road. Get to a road and your navigation will begin.” Sometimes I think God says the same to us. We are stalled out waiting for Him to speak and He’s going, “I already did. Do what I have told you, GET ON A ROAD and the next step will come naturally.”
We shouldn’t expect Him to tell us something new until we are doing what He has revealed to us.
Romans 12:1–2 I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that you present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable to God, which is your reasonable service. And do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, that you may prove what is that good and acceptable and perfect will of God.