Trust in the Lord with all your heart; do not depend on your own understanding. Seek his will in all you do, and he will show you which path to take. (Proverbs 3:5-6)
Seek God’s will. In. All. You. Do.
Mistakenly, in modern America, we have translated “in all you do” into “for my life.”
We don’t really want to know God’s will in all we do. We want to know God’s will for our lives. It’s a subtle difference between discerning God’s will in every situation and trying to discern God’s will for me in every situation, but the resulting consequences are monumental.
Instead of seeking God’s will for His glory, His mission in the world, and vision for humanity, we’re seeking God for our own benefit. We want to know where we should go to school, work, live, and who we should marry. Should I take this job? Should I buy this house? Should I find a “better” church?
These are definitely things we should seek God’s guidance on, but His will is so much bigger than our lives. We have a part to play in it, but we certainly aren’t the center of it. Therefore, we needn’t drive ourselves and others (and probably, God) crazy over-analyzing every decision, worried that if we make the wrong one, we’ll somehow be out of God’s will. God can use us to accomplish His will wherever we are, whatever we’re doing.
Nowhere in Scripture does God tell us to “seek his will for our lives.”
Jesus tells us to “Seek the Kingdom of God above all else” (Matthew 6:33).
He teaches us to pray, “[God’s] will be done on earth as it is in heaven” (Matthew 6:10).
It’s God’s will for God’s glory.
Not mine. Not yours. Not ours. Not theirs.
It’s His will and His alone.
This confusion about “for my life” has turned God’s will into some mysterious unknown that we must agonizingly decipher but can’t possibly ever comprehend. That’s a huge burden to carry!
God’s will is actually quite clear and simple.
Love God. Love people.
If you do those two things, you will be in God’s will.
Can you love God and people at that school or job?
Can you love God and people in that neighborhood?
Can you love God and people in that relationship?
Can you love God and people in that church?
Now, of course, there may be better fits for us based on how God has shaped us (spiritual gifts, passions, abilities, personality, experiences), and God may directly call us to do something or go somewhere, but for the most part, I believe God is like, “Love me. Love people. And do as you will.”
We tend to think it’s like this:
We tend to think that we have to first be walking in God’s ways, and then we must discover God’s specific will for our lives inside of that.
But it’s actually more like this:
Principle #3 of decision-making:
If you follow God’s ways, you’ll always be in God’s will.
So, the question is not “what is God’s will for my life?” The question is “where do I fit into GOD’S will for the world?”
Where/How can I best love God and demonstrate His love in the world?
If you ask that question, “He will show you which path to take.”
Next up: Four Practical Things to Do When You Can’t Decide