Not Rocket Science
For the past few days I have been pondering the subject of God's will. I think it's because one of our sons is getting ready to graduate from seminary, and so we’ve had a few conversations about what it means to “follow God's will” for our lives. As we’ve talked, it’s reminded me of my own graduation, and I've been struck by how different my life has turned out from what I anticipated it would be 30 years ago. And it's all because of one simple factor: God’s will has been done.
Now, I don't say that in a self-congratulatory way, because the truth is, a lot of God's will being done in my life has happened with me kicking and screaming all the way. The hard reality of life is that we often resist God's will because it requires us to humble ourselves and admit that we don't know the best way to live our lives. But when we can bring ourselves to submit to His will, He is faithful then to show us how to live. 1 Peter 5:6 puts it like this: “God opposes the proud but favors the humble. So humble yourselves under the mighty power of God, and He will guide you.” As Believers, we need to know God's will for us, and then we need to do it.
Which of course brings us to the question, “How?” How do we know God's will for us? Well the first thing we need to understand is that God's will for us is not hidden, or difficult to find. I think a common misconception is that God's will is like a secret formula that we need to figure out - and nothing could be farther from the truth. Deuteronomy 30:11-14 tells us, “The commands I’m giving you today are not too difficult for you to understand or perform. They are not up in heaven, so distant that you must ask, ‘Who will go to heaven and bring them down so we can hear and obey them?’ They are not beyond the sea, so far away that you must ask, ‘Who will cross the sea to bring them to us so we can hear and obey them?’ No, My word is very near you; it is in your heart so you may obey it.”
What this passage makes clear is that God’s will for our lives is not beyond our reach. We don’t need to follow certain rituals, or go on pilgrimages in order to find it. Instead, we simply need to turn to one of the best places to find His will - and that's the Bible. The Bible is God’s will revealed to us in black and white. The problem is, when it comes to determining what God wants us to do, the Bible is often the last place we look. And that's because even though we see the Bible as a book that has “truth” in it, we don’t necessarily see it as having relevant information that will help us make choices for our modern lives. For example, when was the last time you were wandering in a dessert waiting for the Red Sea to part so you could walk through to the other side? That’s the type of thinking that often keeps us from looking to God's Word to find out God's will.
But here’s the truth about the Bible: it's God-breathed. This means that the Bible is one of the best ways for us to know God because the Bible shows us the essence of who God is. It gives us the nature and character of God. At the same time, it tells us how we are to live in response to that nature and character of God. And in doing all of that, the Bible is giving us “God's will” for our lives. For example, God's will for us is that we love Him, and love others. God's will for us is that we forgive others the way that we've been forgiven. God's will for us is that we trust Him to direct our steps, and provide for our needs. Simply put, “God’s will” for us is to do what He wants us to do. And what He wants us to do is clearly explained in His Word to us - the Bible.
So today, let's take time to better understand God's will for our lives. Let’s open His word and read about Who He is, and how He's called us to live. And let's do this so that His will can be carried out in our lives.