Nothin’ Doin’

Remember that one young man in Judges who was so scared to take responsibility that he put out fleeces to determine God’s calling?

Gideon's Fleece

Of course, Gideon.

Gideon had a lot of odds against him as he did his best to survive during the Midian occupation. So we can cut him some slack as a timid young man trying to figure out what God had for him to do. But that brings up an interesting conversation about how we today figure out God’s Will for our lives. So many times the temptation is to become paralyzed with choices that all seem to be equally legitimate. In retrospect, Gideon of course should have taken the path that he did, but it seemed to be a major departure from what he was comfortable with. Read more about Gideon Here

So is God’s will always what is most uncomfortable?

Not necessarily, just because something is difficult doesn’t mean it is God’s will. But as the saying goes:

Whom God calls, he also equips.

This quote is based on numerous bible verses, most notably the story of Isaiah as a young man being called to be the prophet to Israel at a young age.

We can also look back at the story of Joseph and his brothers. (Genesis 37, 39-50) It’s a familiar story, Joseph gets thrown in a pit by his brothers and sold into slavery where he was given mastery of his masters house. But after a situation where he refused to give into lust he was wrongfully thrown in prison and held there for years. But he eventually was called out of the dungeon where he had been put in charge of all the prisoners to interpret a dream for the king. Because of this he was raised up to second-in-command of all of Egypt to oversee the preparation for a coming famine.

When the famine came, Josephs brothers came to buy food and he hid his identity from them. When he chose to reveal it, he told them this:

What you meant for evil, God meant for good. Genesis 50:20

So does that mean that all bad things are part of God’s Will?

Again, not necessarily.

There is a great book called Just DoSomething by Kevin DeYoung that outlines the three types of God’s will and how they interact in our lives.

He outlines them in Pages 19-26 as

1. God’s Will of Decree, an unchangeable fact. God is, after all, sovereign and over all things- he takes care of all the little details and is above all other powers. His Will of Decree is the end result, he knows the path that will be taken there but doesn’t share that information with us.

2. God’s Will of Desire, the things that He asks of us. This is the aspect that we are told to be Christ followers and that God has good works prepared in advance for us (Eph 2:10). What this means is that we are under his sovereignty but not free from responsibility for our actions.

3. God’s Will of Direction, this is the type of will that we are usually thinking of when we are trying to decide where to live, what job to take, who to marry, etc. He does have a plan for our lives, we know that already, but so many times we strive to find God’s Will of Direction before making a decision.

The question becomes, should we even have to worry about this? God does have a plan, he knows the future, but is life like a maze with only one exit and lots of dead ends? DeYoung answers no:

“While we are free to ask God for wisdom, he doesn’t burden us with the task of divining his Will of Direction for our lives ahead of time. pp 24

So this brings up a lot of sticky situations. DeYoung’s point in the book is that we shouldn’t hold back because we feel like we are going to mess up God’s plan. He argues in the book that as we make daily decisions that one shouldn’t hesitate because they feel that they will mess up God’s Plan.

There are definitely times when God directs the actions of people like you and like me, but in my experience it happens that the traces of God’s will were almost always discovered after the fact.

My friend Macaela Bennett summed up the Just Do Something book very well when she said, “God’s will from 1 Thessalonians 4:3 is for us to be sanctified. We look at a situation or activity and ask, ‘does this bring me closer to my savior?’ If the answer is yes, then that choice is within God’s Will.”

The verse in Romans mentions this subject as well when Paul writes in Romans 12:1-2

Therefore, I urge you, brothers and sisters, in view of God’s mercy, to offer your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and pleasing to God—this is your true and proper worship. 2 Do not conform to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is—his good, pleasing and perfect will.

So what Will you do?

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