With camp, taking a group of students to
Much of what I have to say revolves around the final point that God uses our personal preferences and desires in order to fulfill His purposes throughout the world. Have you ever met those people who couldn’t make up their mind because they were still “praying for God’s will”? Now before you get your engines revving too much I am NOT advocating we act ignorantly or without the input of the Holy Spirit. I’m thinking more of the people who put off this hyper spiritual aroma that they are in “no man’s land” for long periods of time discerning what God wants. Trust me – I’m convinced there are some items we should pray months for, even years, but that does not apply to the majority of life’s decisions. You know the kind of people I’m talking about…
I truly think this mode of thinking traces back to the idea that if anything “comes” from us that it is not of God. So people try really hard to pray away that it be their decision but God’s decision. The problem is at the end of the day… you do make a decision. You have to! We don’t get emails, or voicemails, or even snail mail from God, yet many times as I have prayed for knowing God’s will I have actually been asking Him to do the hard work. A dear friend and mentor to me, Jim Henderson, really helped to morph my thinking on this topic. He said, “by asking God to make the decision and just inform us steals away our opportunity for spiritual growth because we’re asking God to do the hard work.”
Two things are at play – While you’re stagnated in indecisiveness the Kingdom is not moving forward (at least in the particular area of your life). Simultaneously, a fear of decision making delays the opportunity for spiritual growth to occur.
And finally, just one more note. The “I’ve got a peace about it” syndrome is alive and growing. Too often I’ve heard that phrase as if it’s the Christian version of Staple’s “Easy Button”. It’s like if we make that comment to someone else at church they can’t help but agree with whatever I just said. Here recently God has stretched my thinking on this familiar saying.
Three examples come to mind. First, think of the entire book of Job. It wasn’t fun. He lost everything of value to him. His closest friends ridiculed him and questioned his purity. How much “peace” did he have? Second, think of the suffering the apostle Paul described in 2 Corinthians 22-33. His sufferings include being beaten with a cat of nine tails 5 times, beaten 3 times with a rod, stoned once, shipwrecked three times, lost at sea, and the list goes on and on. His life was faced with regular hardship and how much “peace” did he have? Finally, think of Jesus. In the Garden of
It must be that God’s peace is different from what the world says peace is. It is not the absence of conflict, it is the assurance that God is in control. Our problem is that we (the church) assume God’s in it as long as I can sleep all night, not have my stomach in knots, or don’t break out in a cold sweat. Surely we have to discern God’s will better than just an emotional feeling. Peace comes from knowing that those who call on His name have eternal hope and life in Him. We do not need to let fear or sin or anxiety or doubt restrain us from living a life with a peaceful heart. With God’s promise, we can be courageous even when inevitable troubles come our way.
So… how are you doing following God’s will for you life?