I squeezed my eyes tight, pushing the daylight out of every conceivable corner. I was convinced that it was right here, right now that God would speak.
The setup was perfect. I was 17 with a few communication skills and on fire. I wanted to serve God – anywhere, anyhow. I drove into a quiet spot in woods and set up a chair under a large aspen tree. I sat and waited for something – a voice. A bush. A finger writing on the white bark. Anything.
“What is your will? What should I do?” I just needed a sign.
I didn’t get one that day. It didn’t seem fair. After all Elijah got one. And Moses, too. And the disobedient Israelites. Even Thomas got to touch Jesus’ fresh nail holes.
He also ignored my tests throughout life– like when I asked Him to make the nickel come up five heads in a row to confirm my choice of a college. He also ignored the day I flipped open my worn New Testament, looking away while my finger pointed to a random verse to give me yet another signal. The embarrassing list of methods could go on and on.
Any sincere believer has been there. David Platt’s in his book Follow Me is sure to help plenty of sincere, but sincerely wrong believers who have gone through all kinds of holy manipulation to do the right thing.
He outlines an assortment of methods we have devised for finding the Will of God.
- The astonishing miracle. “God, cause this pencil to move across the table.
- The striking coincidence. “ She’s got an aunt in Idaho. My uncle loves potatoes. We both use Colgate. God has willed us to marry!”
- The Open Door – “If I send in my application for a Secret Service agent, and they accept me, despite my spotty criminal record, then that is your perfect will for me. “
- Casting the Fleece – “If this $10 turns into a $50, then I’ll go into missions.”
- The Still Small Voice – “I’m listening. Wait is that you? Or is that a song from the radio playing in my head?”
Platt advances a line of logic that is so simple, yet it’s hard to digest considering our lifelong quest for the Holy Grail of God’s perfect will.
“We operate as if God’s will were lost,” he writes. “What if He has already revealed it? What if God the Father has not sent his children on a cosmic Easter egg hunt?”It’s would be comical, if it weren’t so personally applicable. Can you honestly imagine God, sitting back with a mischievous, knowing look on his face? “Warmer. No Colder. Cooling. Getting warm. Red hot! You found it! You found my will.”
It Was Right There All Along
Here’s the will of God. For us to surrender to Him. It’s spelled out clearly in Scripture. He’s never deviated from the principle. He’s always rewarded those who pursue obedience.
And the first act of clear obedience. “Go and make disciples.”
Suddenly, life just got a lot simpler. It’s not a complicated road map, full of twists, turns, and directionals. Instead, this walk is one of surrender. Oswald Chambers writes, “The only time a man will wonder where the path lies is when he is actually off the path.”
Why is the hunt for the will of God so elusive for so many? Because we make it that way, according to Platt.
“The more we know God, and the more we walk in his will, the more we understand how foolish it is to think that he would ever want to hide it from us,” he writes.
Is it me, or was that a light bulb that suddenly illuminated over my head?
Do you struggle with God’s will for your life?