In the Upper Room daily devotional guide they had an article on Discovering God’s Will for your life. This is something that I am constantly concerned with and apparently so are many others because it stated that in ‘various surveys, adults consistently identify with this one spiritual question among their top three" So, this had me searching my own heart and where I am in God's will for my life.
The Upper Room listed these basic principals on finding God's will which I found to be very helpful.
1. Bible ( examples of guidance)
2. Prayer (asking for guidance from God)
3. Seeking those in our community of faith (asking for council from other Christians)
Now I agree that these things are extremely important in our daily walk with Christ and seeking His will- but there are a few other things I personally would add to that list:
4. Willingness. I think we have to offer our selves to God as well. You know, be willing- no matter how scary that is. No matter how high the stake. We can read the bible from beginning to end, pray and fast, and ask every person in church for advice- but still be too afraid to take the risk. I believe that if God lays a burden on our hearts that is Him calling us to do something. MOVE. OBEY. If we don’t, He will continue to draw us back to that specific task over and over again and the burden will become heavier until we accomplish it. And if we choose to run from God, from this burden he laid on our heart, we will always find ourselves going back to it because He will not allow it to go away.
5. Surrender. Surrendering is not always easy because when we surrender it means we give up control. Many of us are afraid we will loose ourselves if we give up control. Surrender to all that we have known- letting go of the world. The bible tells us we are NOT to conform to the pattern of this world. The dictionary defines conform as "to be in agreement or accord." Not conforming to the world is not easy because we are raised in the world and have to live here daily. There is so much pressure from family, friends, co workers, media, etc, to live life how others see as 'good and popular'. In other words- to be successful in materialistic ways.
But honestly after searching and contemplating God’s will- one thing kept coming back to my mind. I don’t think God wanted it to be this hard for us.. .I don’t think He wanted us scurrying around like little mice lost in our direction… should we turn here, should we turn there... Sure God cares about what career we choose… sure he cares who we marry, where we go to school, and even what we eat. But THE MOST important thing is that in those choices He allows us to make- is that we stop asking the questions and just wholeheartedly seek to BE LIKE JESUS.
If you are a businessman, are you conducting your business in an ethical way… are you reaching out to others or is it ( 'it' meaning your life) all about you getting richer, growing your bank account? If you choose to marry Sam or Dave are you loving them the way Jesus does? Serving them the way Jesus would... or are you angry and hateful because they are not serving YOU? If you chose to have one child- or ten… are you raising them like Jesus would? Are you taking them to church, praying with them, growing them into little Christs? Or are you showing them by your actions that being popular is important, having straight A’s means more to you than participating in the youth at the church. Are you willing to drive them to Disney land- but not to serve at the local soup kitchen? Are you trying to ‘buy’ their happiness with video games and name brand clothing. Or are you showing them/teaching them, that in serving others is where true happiness lies? ( And I’m going to go ahead and admit right here and now that I am guilty of it all). But I truly believe that if you put Jesus in the center of your life- and truly strive to BE LIKE HIM in all that you do-all of the other parts will just ‘fall into place’ without you having to spend so much time searching for the answers… God’s will for your life will just happen when you seek to be more like Him.
Maybe as you are reading this you feel like that is exactly where you are- right in the core of God’s will. If so, I congratulate you . There is no greater place to be. Or maybe you are reading this feeling like you’ve already blown it- you are already half way down the wrong road and can’t find your way back. Perhaps God spoke something and you turned and ran… perhaps you feel your whole life is a mess. There is good news because if you resolve that from today on you will surrender to God’s ways… to act, think, behave as He would- God will straighten your paths bringing you back to the center of His will. And because of his grace God can even change your mistakes around to be part of His purpose for you. I am thankful for such a God- a God who can use me even when I mess up… a God who loves me regardless of the mistakes I have made… and that is exactly why, more than anything else in this world, I want to be like my God.