I was talking to my internship advisor the other day and he brought up a great thought concerning God’s will. He said that sometimes, we overrate planning and underrate preparation.
What he meant was this: we can get so caught up in the “What is God’s will for my life?” question, that we fail to answer the question of “how am I growing as a Christian so that I can be used by God for wherever he calls me to?” The secret to success in life, he said, is being ready for when His opportunity comes along.
Although I don’t have bible verses off the top of my head to support this, I feel like God talks a lot less in the Bible of what he has planned for us, and more about how we ought to “prepare ourselves” or rather, grow and mature. For the growing and maturing aspects, there are verses such as in John 15:4 (abide in me and I will abide in you), 1 Thess 4:3 (It is God’s will that you be sanctified), Romans 12:2 (Do not be conformed to the patterns of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind), etc.
I know for me, I’ve struggled with wanting to know what God has planned for me. I want to know who I will marry, to whom will I pastor to, will I ever go abroad as a missionary, how long will I be in such and such a place during this stage of my life, etc when instead, I should be concentrating on growing in Christ.
I need to be learning what it means to find my identity in Christ…to know what it means to have a relationship with an invisible, but all-powerful God…to grow my spiritual muscles in learning how to say no to sensual temptations, to see lies from Satan for what they are, to be able to have grace in encouraging others, etc. Thats what I need to be doing…not trying to look into a crystal ball called God and trying to figure out what the future holds for me.
I should note that I do think it is admirable that, as Christians, we want to know what God’s will for our lives are. I think for many of us, its a sign that we love God and want to do whatever it is that He has planned for us. We’re just like curious children who just gotta know! However, if we are not careful, we can take it to the extreme and it can become a form of fortune-telling or divination, which is explicitly forbidden in the OT (Lev 19:26, Deut 18). Just something to think about…
The question of “what is God’s will for my life” seems to be a prevalent question for today…therefore, may God give us the wisdom, as we search his Word, to know how we ought to live!
On a lighter note, if you have not seen it yet, you need to watch “Sunday Morning.” Its a self-deprecating video on megachurches, created by the media team of a megachurch, North Point in Atlanta, GA! Funny stuff!