It sounds good to say, “I’m just seeking God’s will in this area of my life” but what do we really mean by that?
To be sure, there is a time for reflection on how God is directing our steps. But is it possible some quests for finding “God’s plan for me” are in vain?
Here are three points to consider, paraphrased from Send Me I’ll Go:
- It demands information God has withheld. God doesn’t tell us everything that he intends to do in the world, but rather what we need to obey him. God doesn’t expect you to know his secret will. That’s what makes it secret! See Deut. 29:29.
- It seeks guarantees where God offers none. James 4:13-16 makes it very clear that we’re not in control of our future, and cannot be. Trying to get God to “make it clear to me if I should do this” ultimately leads to taking the path of least resistance. Whenever circumstances get rough, you’ll imagine God is disapproving and moving you towards easier, safer options.
- It presumes to speak for God. When someone says “I just feel like God is telling me to do this or that,” how can anyone answer or argue with such an appeal to authority? Would you be comfortable putting words into the mouth of anyone you know? Would you feel free to discern their intentions without actually hearing them say the words themselves? We’re not on solid ground when we attribute every strong impulse of our hearts or every profound thought that comes into our minds to God. Does what we feel or think agree with God’s actual, revealed words?
Stop waiting for a sign. Shed the extra-biblical ideas that feed your “finding God’s will” obsession. You’ll be free to simply obey him, and trust him in those areas where you don’t know exactly what his will is. That’s where faith really starts to matter.