The Elusive Will of God

Posted: December 27, 2011 in All Time Most Popular, Spiritual Growth
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I have been a follower of Jesus for as long as I can remember. And I have always been mystified by pursuit of the “will of God” for my life. I would hear questions like, “Are you sure that you are in the will of God?” Then I would become paralyzed by every little detail of what God wants me to do every moment of every day. Should I wear this? Should I make those plans? It was as though I could accidentally be out of the will of God my entire life and not even know it. Then when I got to heaven, God would reveal his secret “perfect will” and I would be like a novice magician finally learning the tricks of the trade. I had this fear that I might be living some second-rate lifestyle instead of the life God truly intended for me to live.

Since then, I have come to wonder if God’s will isn’t more descriptive than it is prescriptive. If life is like a dance, God is not sitting up in heaven as the judge of the dance, taking notes and subtracting points for missteps. Instead, he is the dance partner, the one who is right there on the dance floor with us. When people watch a dance, they don’t come away from it inspired by merely the precision of the footwork. An excellent performance is achieved when people come away from it with the heart and soul of the music. The dancers demonstrate an expression of their who they are. They let their souls be revealed through the music. Two individuals come together and move as one, each bringing something different, something beautiful to the experience. I believe God cares more about what music we are dancing to and what partner we are dancing with, than each individual step we take.

Here are some hints God gives us throughout the Bible on his will for us, his children:

For it is God’s will that by doing good you should silence the ignorant talk of foolish people. (1 Peter 2:15 NIV)

Give thanks in all circumstances; for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus. (1 Thessalonians 5:18 NIV)

When I seek out the will of God, I consider his ways. I consider his Word. I consider his work in my life in the past. I consider his true nature, what I know to be true about him. With my life, I want to express who he is, but in a way that also takes into account who he created me to be. It is not his will for me to “disappear” on the dance floor, but to complement him, to express what is on his heart so that the world will see his glory displayed in me. So, discovering the specific will of God for my life looks more like a continual pursuit of who God really is.

Do not conform to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will isโ€”his good, pleasing and perfect will. (Romans 12:2 NIV)

We will have our minds transformed and then test and approve what God’s will is. As we walk with God, we will become so accustomed to who he is, that we will “try on” every decision to see if it fits with the character and nature of God. As our minds are renewed, nothing will make sense or feel quite right apart from the will of God.

Now may the God of peace, who through the blood of the eternal covenant brought back from the dead our Lord Jesus, that great Shepherd of the sheep, equip you with everything good for doing his will, and may he work in us what is pleasing to him, through Jesus Christ, to whom be glory for ever and ever. Amen. (Hebrews 13:20, 21 NIV)

This scripture states that he will “work in us what is pleasing to him.” The weight of the burden of figuring it all out is on the Lord. Only he knows our true destiny. Only he knows what he needs to do in us to accomplish it. What he asks of us is that we eagerly pursue a greater and deeper knowledge of who he is. His nature is not worry or fear, so why should we fret over having the will of God all figured out? To paraphrase Graham Cooke, our job is to take care of the relationship. It is his job is to take care of the results.

What is God trying to teach you about his nature right now?

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Comments
  1. Unveiled Heart says:

    Oh Leigh, yet another spectacular post. I love how you think and your way with words. ๐Ÿ™‚

    I love this, and this is something that I have learned in my adult life. You put it in such a cool way, though. I agree wholeheartedly, and I find myself sometimes miffed at churches and how they preach and teach God’s will because I feel like many have missed the point of what God’s will really means. I see Christians often confused about if something is God’s will when it is most certainly His character. For example (and I’m making this up out of my head), should I get a new job or go to school or move or this or that…well, God’s will is never for us to be in debt, so if you’ve found a way to increase your income, go for it. I’ve struggled like everyone to know God’s will, but the more I live, the simpler it gets when you think about God’s Word and His character.

    Back to the dance analogy- I’ve been afraid before (and still do some days!) that I’m not even in the same building as my dance partner, and I won’t ever find the right building. I’ve since learned that it’s impossible to be out of His will when we seek His direction and do the things the Bible teaches us. We feel like we’re way out in left field, like a kid learning to ride without training wheels for the first time. But what we don’t notice is that our dance partner (sometimes invisible) is moving a chair so that we pull off an amazing stunt to go around it that is actually really beautiful but makes us feel awkward and unrehearsed…we get around that chair, and some of the lights go out, and maybe we get down on our knees and crawl, looking for some light, trying to get the rhythm back. We think we look silly, but to those watching, it’s a beautiful symphony of seamless moves, one that could never have turned out as well if we had danced what we had rehearsed. God is always there, leading the dance and making us beautiful, even when we don’t see Him on the dance floor. We always dance the dance we’re meant to dance when we seek to know Him and be like Him.

  2. Karrie says:

    I’m a sloppy dancer and have no coordination..goofiness (meaning laughable-intentional or not) is my strongpoint. While you dance with God, I will be on the comedy stage doing a duet, haha. Did I mention there’s a sign on the door that says amateur night? ๐Ÿ˜‰ another bravo and well done, Leigh. Thanks for a reminder that we don’t always have to be busy “figuring it out” to remain in the Will.

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