So far we’ve looked at the biblical components (God’s sovereign will – God’s revealed will) that make up our understanding of God’s will. This week Mercy Hill lead pastor Andrew Hopper helps us clarify our understanding of God’s will by discussing a significant way we often distort it.
After having taken the time to see what God’s will is, I think it’s time to look at what God’s will is not. In short, I believe God’s will is not a secret plan for your life that you are intended to “find”. Now for many of us, that is a radical contention! But I think if we think through this issue well, we will end up seeing that God’s will is certainly revealed and in His word we have more than we need for “life and Godliness” (2 Peter 1:3).
Its not that God doesn’t have a specific will for your life, its just that you aren’t to be consumed with knowing it. Instead, you are to be consumed with knowing Him! But often our passion isn’t God. We have traded it for a seemingly insatiable desire to know what He is going to do with our life. Now, there really are more reasons for why we do this than I can possibly outline here. But suffice it to say that we do it…and we shouldn’t and here are two reasons why not.
First, we shouldn’t be consumed with God’s secret plan for our lives because we are never told to in the New Testament. The New Testament is much more concerned with doing the will of God as opposed to finding it.
– Romans 12:2– And do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, that you may prove what is that good and acceptable and perfect will of God.
– Ephesians 5:15-18: See then that you walk circumspectly, not as fools but as wise, 16 redeeming the time, because the days are evil. 17 Therefore do not be unwise, but understand what the will of the Lord is. 18 And do not be drunk with wine, in which is dissipation; but be filled with the Spirit,
– Ephesians 6:6: not with eye-service, as men-pleasers, but as bondservants of Christ, doing the will of God from the heart,
– 1 Thes 4:3: For this is the will of God, your sanctification: that you should abstain from sexual immorality
Texts like these, throughout the New Testament, show exactly what of God’s will we ought to be thinking about. His moral will is revealed and given to us that we might walk worthy of our calling. We are never told to seek another will…we are only told to trust God’s sovereign will and do God’s moral will.
Secondly, nothing can turn an amoral decision into a moral one. Have you ever noticed that “God’s will” questions always revolve around major life issues? It seems that we always hear decision making linked with God’s will only in the big stuff. What is God’s will for my life in which job, which school, which boy, which girl? What is God’s will for my life in which car, which mission trip, which church, which ministry? It is almost as if because these are big things to us, we need to seek God’s will in them. My question at this point is always the same…if God’s plan for your life is something we are to seek, did you diligently seek him concerning where to eat lunch today? What about which gas station to fill up at? This very morning did you seek the face of God in making a decision between Cheerios and Corn Flakes? Usually the answer to the smaller questions is no…and I think that is telling and problematic.
The problem is that we have attached a moral category to an amoral decision simply because we think it is important! But nothing, not even the significance we put on something, can make it a moral issue. Is this not the same thing Pharisees got in trouble for with Jesus? They made up new “commands of God” that brought bondage not freedom…and Jesus rebuked them for it. In some sense attaching morality to amoral decision making is simply a new form of legalism/moralism! When we say that God will be happy if you go to this college but not that college, or happy if you take this job and not that job we are creating rules which is dangerous business.
In the end God wouldn’t have us sitting around, wringing our hands about the decisions we make every day of our lives. After thoroughly reading the New Testament with this topic in view, I am convinced that if God would have us go one way or another in an amoral decision, He will tell us in undeniable fashion! So let us go today pursuing the revealed will of God and walking in wisdom.