Monday, February 8, 2016

Is it God's Will? Really?

So you want to "live your adventure" as somebody we know keeps saying.

So you've read some of my earlier posts and determined to back it up by a sound Biblical outlook to choose to do something that actually makes sense in the context of God's Grand Design.

Great!  But that's really just the tip of the iceberg.  Like Tolkein said,
"It's a dangerous business, Frodo, going out your door. You step onto the road, and if you don't keep your feet, there's no knowing where you might be swept off to."
One small step for man, one giant leap of faith for Hobbitses. :)

But how does one know what is the Will of God, and what is just noise?  That's where things start to get difficult.

Don't you wish God was like a Magic 8-Ball(tm)?  "Should I take that job in Pasadena?"  Give the ol' Bible a shake... a thingy floats to the top "Signs point to 'Yes'."   Well, okay then!

It doesn't work like that.  Sorry, I've got no concrete answers for you.
What I can offer instead are some really valuable pointers I've learned along the way.

First point:  The Word of God.  The more you read the Bible, the more you start to understand how God operates.  Jesus said:
"I no longer call you servants, because a servant does not know his master's business. Instead, I have called you friends, for everything that I learned from my Father I have made known to you."
The mind of God... his plans, what He's like, how He operates... all right there for us to read.

Second: The spirit of God.  For your homework, read 1 Corinthians chapter 2 sometime.
In more nuts-and-bolts terms, this is one of those things that grows with practice.  The "still, small voice" of God's Holy Spirit is something that takes practice to listen for.  Daily prayer, as well as the Christian disciplines of fasting and meditation are all important.

This all goes hand-in-hand in with the first point, too.  The two parts magnify and play off of one another.  As does the third.

Third: The people of God.

Proverbs has a lot of things to say about seeking out as much council as you can get.  But there's are caveats:
  • All council is not Godly council.
  • Don't choose your council based on what you want to hear. (Yeah, I know that trick.  Frankly, not so clever.)
  • Often people lean toward giving the most socially acceptable answer, rather than the correct answer.
Third (again):  Make decisions with people in mind.  Maybe God would rather have you treat people right than take on some grand scheme to save the furry-footed burrowers.

Phil Vischer's new puppet video Mission to Sector 9 is about that exactly.
"When in doubt: choose love", the main character learns.  A bit over-simplistic, perhaps, but the truth is God's Kingdom is about PEOPLE.  Christ died for PEOPLE.  We must learn to care most about what God cares most about... PEOPLE!!!

Finally one more bonus point to really throw a money in the wrench.
(Flowing from #3, it came from one of the guys from a Mens' Bible study I'm a part of.  So there's the tie-in.)

Anyway, he challenged us with, "When the choice is 'go' or 'stay', why do we treat 'stay' as the default case?  Maybe the whole reason the idea was placed in our brain to start with, is because 'go' is the answer!"

It definitely puts a new twist on things.  Still run the idea through all the standard checkpoints above, but maybe lean more towards accepting what takes you out of your comfort zone.  For example:  "Does God's Word have any reason why I should NOT go?",  "Do reliable Christians around me have a valid reason why I should NOT do this?", etc.

So I hope all that helps to point you in the right direction with the next big decision you're to encounter on this road of adventure.

Live YOUR adventure!
-E.L. Fletcher

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