“What should I do for a living? Should I marry her? Should I move to that town? Should I take that job? Which school should I go to? What is my destiny? God, what is your plan for my life? Just show me.” Ever prayed any of those? God’s will, God’s plan.
This has been on my radar over the last several weeks through conversations, blogs, tweets and such. I think these questions are normal. I’ve actually been digging through some of this over the last several months on my own. I think at the heart of it all, it boils down to these questions:
- Does God have a specific plan/will for my life?
- What is God’s plan/will for my life?
- Will God show me what his will/plan is for my life?
Here are my thoughts:
Does God have a specific plan and purpose for your life? I believe so. Does He mean for you to discover this ahead of time? No, I don’t believe so.
There is a teaching that has been around for a while. It’s this idea of discovering God’s will like it is this nebulous, entity floating around and it is our job to track it down, to find it and embrace it. It’s what I call “The Disney Blueprint”: we’re waiting on the fairytale. My experience is that just leads to doubt, inaction, confusion and pain. Or like one speaker I heard put it, “we treat it like a choose your own adventure” book: If you choose option A, “congrats you’re in God’s will”. Choose option B, and “Oh, so sorry, you missed the will of Gob by choosing b. You chose the nose dive off a cliff for your life. You’re toast and are done”.
So, the question remains: How do I live in the will of God? That’s a long answer, but in short, you do what you know is God’s will. God’s will is for you and I to grow in the likeness of Jesus and He promises to work all things for your good. Seek to live in obedience to Jesus and develop the heart and mind of Christ.(Matthew 6:33, Romans 8:28, 1 Thessalonians 4:3). As we do that, He promises to be with us. I’m not saying that I don’t believe in Providence. I’m saying that if we knew the whole story ahead of time, it would not be a life of faith, trust and holiness.
Some Must Reads/Listens
Couple of resources that I came across that are food for thought:
- Just Do Something – If I had a student or friend that came up to me and asked, “How do I discover God’s will for my life?”, I would immediately point them toward to a message entitled “Just Do Something” by Kevin DeYoung. One of the best messages that I’ve heard on God’s will/plan, bar none. Highly recommend it. A great listen. He also has a book entitled the same.
- Donald Miller’s post “Does God Have a Specific Plan For Your Life? Probably Not” While I don’t agree with premise that God doesn’t have a specific plan for our life, there are some really good thoughts in his post. I think for some we get so focused on God’s plan and purpose that we are scared or even forget to dream, take a chance and live. Particularly love this quote: “But if He is setting a box of crayons down in front of you (a box of crayons called life) then by all means draw.”