“What is the will of God for my life?”
I am guessing that may be one of the most common questions asked by Christians. I’ve asked it myself many times in my younger years.
Rather should we be asking “What is God’s will?” Period. No more, no less. On this the bible is very clear. Love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, with all your mind. Love your neighbor as yourself (Matthew 22:37-40). “…that they might have my joy fulfilled in themselves… That they all may be one; as thou, Father, art in me, and I in thee, that they also may be one in us: that the world may believe that thou hast sent me (John 17:13, 21). “Go and teach all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost: Teaching them to observe all things whatsoever I have commanded you” (Matthew 28:19-20).
But that doesn’t say what God’s will is for my life, you say. It isn’t enough, I need details. Where do I go, what do I do? What will my life look like? Who should I marry? What career path should I follow?
I will let you in on a secret. The “detail” part is your will for your life, and God has left those choices up to you. Oswald Chambers once said “It is a snare to imagine that God wants to make us perfect specimens of what He can do; God’s purpose is to make us one with Himself.”
As long as you live each day with your focus is on Christ and the daily choices you make honor and glorify Him, He allows us the freedom to map out and control the finer details. He leaves that part up to us. Free will, free choice. What He then does is to then weave your choices into His larger plan (Romans 8:28, all things work together).
Your talents, your God-given desires (Psalms 37:4) bathed in redemption and together with His promise to complete the good work He started in you (Philippians 1:6) = His will for your life.
It is not necessary to have the whole of God’s will for your life all mapped out into a nice, neat package, so plan to get over thinking it has to be that way because that will mess you up every time! The important thing is the goal, the prize, which is Christ Himself and oneness with Him. This is what allows you to operate within His Kingdom and in His power here, now, in the ordinary every day little things as we walk through the valley.
Consider this along your journey as well: Distance. The distance between the path towards oneness with Christ, that communion and fellowship allowing you to see Him, know His voice, stay focused, attain the prize, operate in His Kingdom, that distance is also up to you. Proverbs 3:5-6 encourages us to trust in the Lord with all our heart; and lean not towards our own understanding. In all our ways to acknowledge him, and he will make our path straight. The shortest distance between two points is a straight line.
Though you don’t have to worry about making mistakes in your choices along the way, the closer you stay in your relationship to Christ, the shortest path to discovering the will of God for your life is oneness with Christ, knowing His voice, working with power in His Kingdom. It is that relationship – that communion. Remember the aim in life is God’s, not yours. Isaiah encourages us to call on the Lord and He will answer us. Don’t let your faith stand in the wisdom of men, but in the power of God (1 Corinthians 2:5), and the book of James tells us in verse 1:5 “If any of you lack wisdom, let him ask of God, that giveth to all men liberally, and upbraideth not; and it shall be given him”. When we stop telling Him what we want and ask instead what He wants, then is when we begin to walk that straight line.
Just as Paul describes in Philippians 3:13-14 (Brethren, I count not myself to have apprehended: but this one thing I do, forgetting those things which are behind, and reaching forth unto those things which are before, I press toward the mark for the prize of the high calling of God in Christ Jesus), our job is to keep our eyes focused on Christ. You will look back on your life one day and realize you have accomplished exactly what you were supposed to accomplish within His will, no matter if you did it through missions, from a pulpit, from the sweat of your brow in a field or factory, from your home or from an office chair in the corporate world. And the Lord will say “Well done, thou good and faithful servant” (Matthew 25:21).