When I think of “God’s Will”, I think of something really ominous – like dark clouds, a thundering voice, and a deep command to go to Antarctica and evangelize to the penguins.
I think it’s easy to be afraid of God’s will.
Still, I think we can get caught up in waiting for God’s “perfect will” to reveal itself. We long for writing on the wall, an airplane to sketch us a note in the sky, or a text from J.C., Himself.
“Where are You, God? What’s Your plan for my life? Just give me a hint. A peek. Say something. Anything. Give me clarity. A roadmap.”
And we wait.
Now, don’t get me wrong. God does ask us to wait – days, weeks, months… even years sometimes. But I think that sometimes we get so hung up on “waiting for God’s perfect plan” that we miss His will for our daily lives.
The word “will” actually means: The mental faculty by which one deliberately chooses or decides upon a course of action.
I think this means that in order to discern what God’s will is for our lives, we have to make a decision. And then we have to do something.
God’s a big God with a big plan. And I’m completely convinced that if we decide to do something that isn’t according to His plan, He’ll shut the doors. But we have to take action toward a door in order for Him to close it and open another one.
My generation, the millennials, is accused of being enabled and lazy. And as I look around at my Christian peers as they just sit and wait for that perfect job, spouse and life to drop on them prepackaged and ready to go – I think that perception is accurate.
I mean, when we look at the Bible, God didn’t show up on Noah’s door with a ready-made ark and tell him how long he’d be on the ark or even if he’d ever get off the ark. He didn’t lay out the whole picture for him from beginning to end.
God said, “Make yourself an ark of cypress wood, make rooms in it and coat it with pitch inside and out. This is how you are to build it.”
God essentially laid out an instruction manual for how to build an ark. And that was it.
And then Noah had to do it. He had to actually build an entire ark. From scratch.
Now, if I were Noah, I’d be thinking, “Say wha?? Ain’t nobody got time for that, God.”
But Noah did it. And, he trusted that God was going to take care of him.
When Jesus was in the Garden of Gethsemane, He prayed, “Father, if You are willing, take this cup away from me.”
Being the Son of God, He knew God’s plan for His life in full. He was sweating blood as He anticipated in anguish what was about to happen to Him. But He still finished praying, “Yet not my will, but Yours be done.”
And then He took action.
When the crowd came to arrest Him, He called off the fight. He went with them willingly, decisively, deliberately, actively.
They murdered Him and then He rose again. He had to trust God in that separation from the Father.
When I look at my own life, it doesn’t always seem to makes sense. It feels mismatched, out of sequence, stalled, rushed, convoluted, and sometimes just stupid and pointless – like it’s not going anywhere at all.
I can’t see the full picture. I never will.
But, thankfully, God can. And His timing is perfect. He’s never late and He is always there. I just need to keep taking action day by day, moment by moment, and keep putting my trust in Him.
We don’t know. We just don’t know what God’s will is. And we won’t know it in full. We’ll be lucky if we recognize it a piece at a time. And yet there’s something. We have to do something.
Decide. Act. Trust.
Trust that God is going to direct us in our choices. Trust that He is going to take care of us in our pursuits. Trust that He already is.
Proverbs 3:5-6 says:
Trust in the Lord with all your heart,
And lean not on your own understanding.
In all your ways, submit to Him,
And He will make your path straight.