Today’s one of the biggest days of my post-secondary education – it’s the day I decide on which concentration I’ll be studying.
To some of you, that doesn’t sound like much of a decision. However, for this can-never-make-up-her-mind woman, this day has been haunting my mind since before the first day of college.
Whenever it comes to making big life decisions, I have always found it excruciatingly difficult. What if I don’t choose the right one? What if I mess up my life because I didn’t think about every single possible avenue?
What if I miss God’s Will for my life?
Have you ever found yourself in the same place? Your decision may have been different (where to move, who to marry, which job to pick, whether to go on that trip, how many ministries or activities to get involved in, etc.), but you still have the same thoughts. There are so many directions life can take us, and we don’t want to mess up by taking the wrong one.
I mean, what if we miss out because we picked the wrong choice?
What if you ended up going to the wrong college? Or, maybe, you should have date that person? Perhaps you should have went on that missions trip? What if traveling would have meant avoiding an injury that affected your future? What if, had you volunteered at a different summer camp, you would have made important connections that changed your life for the better?
For some of us, it’s so easy for us to let these thoughts flood our minds.
If you can relate, can I let you in on a secret?
You don’t have to worry about any of this.
One book that radically affected how I look at God’s Will for my life was Kevin DeYoung’s Just Do Something. DeYoung reminded me that following God isn’t as complicated as I sometimes made it out to be.
“I’d like us to consider that maybe we have difficulty discovering Gods wonderful plan for our lives because, if the truth be told, He doesn’t really intend to tell us what it is. And maybe we’re wrong to expect Him to.” ~ Kevin DeYoung, Just Do Something
We’re often wanting God to give us the story-line of our lives, complete with a Table of Contents for every Chapter of our lives and an Epilogue describing how our life ends.
The thing is, knowing all this isn’t important. Of course, we tend to think it is – we want to make sure we get everything right – but God has other ideas.
In fact, God has already told us what His Will for us is. God’s Will is that we glorify Him by surrendering to, obeying, following, and enjoying Him forever. This is it – this is what we truly need to know to live a life that coincides with God’s Will for your life. Better yet, the various ways we can learn and apply this is sprinkled all throughout the Scriptures:
Ecclesiastes 12:13 tells us that our whole duty is to fear God and keep His commands.
Romans 12:2 charges us “[d]o not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewal of your mind, that by testing you may discern what is the will of God, what is good and acceptable and perfect.” (ESV)
1 Thessalonians 4:3-5 says that God’s will for us is our sanctification and abstinence from sexual immorality.
1 Thessalonians 5:18 tells us that God wills for us to praise and thank Him in every circumstance, because He has allowed it in His sovereignty for your good.
We can look at the Ten Commandments and know what God’s Will for us is. We can read the Epistles and see what God has to tell us. We can study the whole Bible and learn more about who God is and who we are, then look and see where God has planted us and find ways to serve Him and be faithful right where we are now.
This may not be the easy answer you were looking for. Many of us are tempted to think that life would be better if we could just know exactly what we’re suppose to do and then just do it.
But would it really be better? Could the issue really be that, maybe, we are afraid to trust God with our lives – that we must know what God is doing and make sure it fits our agenda first?
Isn’t God in control? Doesn’t He know what is best? Is He not faithful, working everything out for our good as His children? Yes, we have choices that we must make, consciously seeking His wisdom – but are you also willing to trust Him with all the unknowns in your life?
As I decide on a concentration today, I know that choosing one path over another could mean a completely different life. That’s okay. I know my choices aren’t sinful, and I’ve thought through my options, discussed them with others, and prayed about this decision.
In the long run, I may not know where this choice will lead me, but I know it can provide me a job that will allot me resources to serve God, bless others, and provide for myself – and really, that’s the main thing for me.
So, knowing this, I’m going to just choose something, enjoy it, and serve God through it.
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*If you are interested in studying into this subject more, I would highly recommend reading Kevin DeYoung’s book Just Do Something (which can be found on Amazon.com, Christian Book Distributor (CBD), Chapters, Barnes and Noble, and Goodreads), as well as John Piper’s article “What Is the Will of God and How Do We Know It?” It is also important to note that there is God’s Will of Decree (aka, God’s Sovereign Will) and God’s Will of Command. I have focused in on God’s Will of Command for the purposes of this blog post.
**Photos from Unsplash. Featured article photo by Brendan Church, in-text photo by Martin Reisch.