A response to two burning questions:
- What is God’s Will for my life?
- How do I know if I am doing God’s Will?
What is God’s Will for my life? In Christian circles, the question, “What is God’s Will for my life?” comes up in every single Christian’s mind. There are sermons, conferences, and even books that focus specifically on God’s Will, most of which I have read, heard, or attended. So why am I writing on God’s Will if there is already so much out there? Well, to be honest, the question, “What is God’s Will for my life?” is the problem itself. This question talks about the fact that there is only ONE direction that you are supposed to go and that every single person’s call is unique. I’m sorry to burst everyone’s bubble, but I would dare say that each and every single Christian has the exact same call and that there are multiple directions that one can go.
Jesus said, “‘Love the Lord your God with all your passion and prayer and intelligence.’ This is the most important, the first on any list. But there is a second to set alongside it: ‘Love others as well as you love yourself.’ These two commands are pegs; everything in God’s Law and the Prophets hangs from them.” (Matthew 22:37-40) And Jesus came and said to them, “All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me. Go therefore and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all that I have commanded you. And behold, I am with you always, to the end of the age.” (Matthew 28:18-20)
The Great Commandment and the Great Commission. This is God’s Will for each and every Christian. So the question shouldn’t be a matter of “What is God’s Will for my life?” What it should be is, “How do I fulfill the Great Commandment and the Great Commission with the opportunities, gifts, and talents God has given me?” How do I know if I am doing God’s Will? Working with University students, I swear that this is the most broadly asked question across the board amongst Christians. I’ve asked it, you’ve asked it, we’ve all asked it. So what is the answer? Before I give an answer to this, I want to share some observations of how most people will respond to this question. What I notice when I hear people ask this question is that there is an underlying fear of “doing the wrong thing.” This results in people not really doing anything with their lives out of fear of doing the wrong thing. So what is this wrong thing in the sight of God? Let me illustrate this with the Parable of the Talents (Matthew 25:14-30). This parable talks about the faithfulness of 2 servants that went and duplicated the masters money, but the big kicker of this is the one servant that chooses to do nothing with it and returns originally what the master gave him. Upon hearing this, the master is furious at the laziness of this servant. He then takes his talent away, gives it to the one who had more and throws the servant out. I don’t know about you, but I really feel for this servant. The servant didn’t lose his Masters money so everything should be fine. Yet why did the master get so angry? I personally believe that what the master really wanted for this servant was that he needed to simply try doing something with his money. I believe that even though the servant may have lost his masters money, the master would be perfectly fine with it because of that fact that the servant did his absolute best. What happened though is that the servant was motivated by fear. This fear would probably be along the same line as “I am scared of doing the wrong thing” or “I am scared of disappointing the Master.” In turn, this fear lead to inaction. This inaction lead to the Master being angry and disappointed. This anger and disappointment eventually lead to the servant’s downfall.
|What has been given to steward?||Money||Money, gifts, talents, and opportunities|
|Motivation||Fear of doing the wrong thing or disappointing the Master||Fear of doing the wrong thing or disappointing God|
|Action Taken||Bury the talent (Do nothing with it)||Be hesitant to commit to anything (Do nothing)|
|Master’s Response||“You wicked and slothful servant”||…..|
So in short: Fear (doing the wrong thing)=Inaction=Doing the Wrong Thing It’s the very fear of doing the wrong thing that leads us to doing the wrong thing! That wrong thing is… DOINGNOTHING! So in light of the question, “How do I know if I am doing God’s Will?” I want to challenge everyone who is asking this question to not do nothing. It’s not just as simple as doing the “right” thing. It’s more about just doing something that you believe is the direction that God is calling you to best fulfill His Will (Great Commandment & Great Commission). Will you make mistakes? Will you go the wrong way? Of course! That’s how life is and that’s how the Christian walk is. Learn from your mistakes and move on. Continue to pursue God in all that you do. In your studies, your universities, your workplaces, your churches, your extra-curricular activities. Pursue God relentlessly and unafraid, knowing fully well that God has more than enough power and authority to redirect you in the right direction if needed. The experiences (and life experiences) that you will receive in this process could very well lead to your passion in fulfilling God’s Will in your own creative unique way. In closing, I want to leave you with a quote from one of my favourite TV shows:
Take chances, make mistakes, get messy. – Miss Frizzle