|Posted on 1 May, 2015 at 13:45|
One of the thing that Christians are most concerned with is making their lives match the will of God. This can mean one of two things. First, living according to the will of God means to be obedient to Scripture. All Christians should strive to know and conform their lives to the will of God as revealed in Scripture. This is our callign as Christians. Unfortunately, we sometimes spend more time and energy trying to discern the will of God that isn't revealed in Scripture. We approach big and important issues in life such as which house to buy, who to marry, or which church to join believing that God has a specific plan in mind and it is our job to try to figure out what God's will is. Should we hear a "voice from heaven" before we make these decisions? A few principles can be applied here as we explore this:
1) We are responsible to God's revealed will. "The secret things belong to the LORD our God, but the things that are revealed belong to us and to our children forever, that we may do all the words of this law." (Deuteronomy 29:29 ESV) God has given us his Word. We are responsible to do what he has revealed there. God also has specific plans and purposes for the course of events in everybodies lives. These things are the "secret things of the Lord". We are not responsible for these because they are made known to us.
2) Trust in the sovereign God. "[God] works all things according to the counsel of his will, (Ephesians 1:11). Since God works all things according to his will, he is not handcuffed by our decisions. Even though we may believe that our decisions can frustrate God's plans, they cannot. We can trust that God will work all things for our good, even if we don't know what his plan is ahead of time (Romans 8:28-29). If every step is revealed to us ahead of time, we no longer live by faith. God wants us to trust him with these things even though we don't know all the answers.
3) Pray for wisdom. "If any of you lacks wisdom, let him ask God, who gives generously to all without reproach, and it will be given him (James 1:5). Should you ask a certain woman to marry you? God probably won't writer her name on your arm or anything but that doesn't mean there aren't factors in your decision that haven't been revealed in Scripture. For example, Christians are to only marry other Chrisitans (2 Corinthians 6:14). Proverbs 31 gives a rundown on what a good wife looks like. Ask God for wisdom based on biblical truth.
So then, how we do know if we should buy a Caravan or a Montana? We don't. We use all the information available to use biblical wisdom to eliminate sinful or foolish options. We trust that God is sovereign and he will work either vehicle for your good. We relax, knowing that we haven't cast ourselves out of God's will for chosing the Caravan over the Montana. Remember, God's revealed will calls you to trust God and not be anxious. The life of faith is to step out and live according to the Scriptures, trusting that God will take care of the secret things.
For more on this, check on the easy-to-read book Just Do Something: A Liberating Approach to Finding God's Will by Kevin DeYoung. This book is available to borrow from my library as well. Just stop by and ask me.