This question has the power to paralyse or to empower, the ability to restrain or free. It is near the top on the list of most-often-asked question and, to many, the answer remains a puzzle.
I’ve been reminded of this question often during the last little while. My own pastor preached a compelling sermon on the topic. Then, a few days later, it was raised in our Bible study group, again.
There are various opinions on how to find the answer. One opinion says, “Pray hard enough and God’s will or plan for your life will be revealed.” Another says, “Read your Bible and a verse may jump out at you to show you what God’s will is.” A third opinion suggests asking for a sign.
All of these are good things to do. God does care what we do or don’t do.
But, is it really that difficult to find God’s will for my life?
What if God doesn’t seem to be answering my prayers? Does that mean my faith is not strong enough? And what if a Bible verse does not jump out at me? Do I just continue reading until one does? What if I don’t recognize the sign? What do I do then? Just wait. . . and wait? What if I never find out?
Here’s the good news. I don’t have to ask. I don’t have to wait. God has already told me what His good and perfect will for my life is.
In Matthew 6: 34 I am told to “Seek first his kingdom and its righteousness” and a little further on in Matthew 22:37 I am told how to seek that kingdom and its righteousness. “Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind and your neighbour as yourself.” That’s God’s will, His perfect plan for my life and his instruction on how to seek that kingdom and righteousness.
So doesn’t God care whether I live in this town or that, pursue this career or that, take this job, spouse, house, or . . . ? Yes, God does care because he cares for me. If my living in a certain town allows me to seek his kingdom and righteousness and to love him above all else and my neighbour as myself, then I am doing God’s will. If my job, my school, my family enables me to seek first his kingdom and its righteousness and to love my God above all else and my neighbour as myself then I am living in His will. It doesn’t matter if I live in Timbuktu or in Shanghai, work as a pastor, teacher or waitress. What does matter is whether I can live and work and seek God’s kingdom and its righteousness. If I can, I am living in his will.
So what about all those other instructions in the Bible? Don’t they count for something? Of course, they do. Those are the guidelines God has graciously given me to help me achieve his will. If I read them carefully, they all come back to the same instruction: Seek first his kingdom and his righteousness.
So what does that mean in a practical way in my life? God has gifted me and you in special ways. By doing my daily tasks to the best of my ability using the gifts he has graciously given me, whether that be cleaning house, teaching children or writing the great Canadian novel, I am seeking his kingdom and its righteousness and living in his will. I find this very liberating and empowering. I don’t have to search high and low and wonder, “what is God’s will for me? Have I found it yet?”
Yes, I have found it. Have you?
I welcome your feedback.