Tuesday, June 17, 2014
What If I Missed God's Will?
There are two ways in this world: God's, and not God's. Somehow, we forget that.
I'm guilty of living as if God hands out riddles that we solve correctly...or else. It's easy to think this way, blurring the line between free will and God's sovereignty. When opportunities arise, it's normal to question whether it's what God wants or not.
God's will is a big topic. John MacArthur's book Found: God's Will is a thoughtful, concise exhortation teaching discernment. In the book, MacArthur particularly points out that the will of God isn't nebulous and isn't ours to uncover. Throughout the Bible, our Lord very clearly exemplifies His character and His desires, while also making clear the commandments that define His will. If we earnestly seek to follow and obey the Lord according to His Biblical will, MacArthur suggests, then our desires will be in line with Christ, so we can pursue our desires.
Isn't that relieving? The simplicity of the truth is amazing. Our Lord deals in clarity, as in light. That Christ is the light illuminates for us that the truth is not hidden, muddied, or mysterious -whether it is His will in our individual circumstances or His will for the world in all of history.
Now, "we know in part," knowing that in heaven we will know in whole (1 Corinthians 13:12). But we know that everything that we need to know right now, from God, we find in the Bible (Psalm 19:7-9, Jude 1:3, 2 Timothy 3:15-17).
For some, that's all fine and dandy, but what happens if we miss God's will? What if we follow a desire that perhaps wasn't closely examined before Scripture and find that in a particular instance, our passions were worldly?
There are some ways that we act in fear of missing God's will:
1. We set up tests
Like Gideon in Judges 6, we lay out "fleeces" to attempt to get God to confirm things. This can quickly become a matter of testing God, which is sin.
2. We create back up plans
Like Jacob in Genesis 32-33, we divide our "flocks" in case God doesn't come through the way we want or expect Him to. How little is our faith.
3. We go ahead zealously
Like Peter in Matthew 26, we grab our "swords" to make a way for God to do what we think He should do. Our blind ambition does not mean that God is "on our side" and "on our terms".
In the meantime, God is at work. Because God is always at work. Our Lord, regardless of the sins that tempt us and entrap us, "works all things together for the good of those who love Him according to is purpose" (Romans 8:28).
1. God makes a way through all circumstances (Isaiah 43:16)
Whether the Israelites are backed up against sea or several disciples are condemned in prison or we find our conditions hopeless, God makes a way for His children for their good and for His glory. He is never thwarted by evil or the straying of man because of evil pursuits.
2. God provides an escape from sin (1 Corinthians 10:13)
Truly our Lord never gives us more than HE can handle. Christ died that we might have an escape from our enslavement to sin into the freedom of righteousness before God. That enslavement was our biggest dilemma. There isn't a lesser situation in which sin ultimately gains victory over us.
3. God works on behalf of those who wait on Him (Isaiah 64:4)
Waiting is hard -it's true. So is not worrying. But how faithfully and surely does our Lord provide! His plans, in His time, are immeasurably more and better than our highest aspirations and dreams.
Whatever opportunities the Lord presents, we can count ourselves blessed to put our hope and trust in the one, true God who never misses out on His opportunities.