Wednesday, April 13, 2011

What I Think About: God's Will and Decision Making

Have you ever heard people talking about God's will?

When someone dies, we say it was God's will.  When someone is sick or disappointed, we say that what is happening is God's will or that God's will will prevail.  We pray for God's will.

But have you ever heard people say, "This situation is God's will for me" but then they don't go through with the situation?  Or maybe, "God is opening all the doors, this must be His will" but it ends in destruction?

I do believe God has a plan for our lives and that He clearly laid them out in His Word.  But sometimes, I think people use "God's will" as a cop-out to either do whatever they want or to keep from doing what He really wants when it requires sacrifice.

Perhaps there's a calling on your life and you go for it because it's "God's will."  Then you meet with resistance and determine that there is no way that path could be from God because there are too many obstacles.  So you give up.  But have you ever wondered if there are so many obstacles because that path is God's will and the enemy doesn't. want. you. on. it?

Or perhaps there is something you want to do.  So you find "signs" everywhere that it is God's will.  And you do it.  Without praying about it.  Without seeking guidance.  When others question you, you say it's God's will.  But is it?  Is it His will, or yours?

Have you ever done something you told people was "God's will" and it ended in complete, utter disaster?

This past week, Matt and I were both presented with huge opportunities.  They both have the potential to be life changing.  But now we are stuck.  Do we want to do these opportunities for our own edification or will they bring glory to God?  Are these opportunities His will.... or ours?

When I make decisions, I want to do so with faith.  I want to say, "I will walk this road, whether it is straight or jagged, downhill or uphill, in rain or shine, in light or darkness ... I will walk this road if you walk with me." I want to make faith based decisions.

However, what I often feel like I make fear based decisions.  "I can't do that.  Who will care for the kids?" "I'm not sure that is the best decision ... it might cause financial strain.  It might make us change our schedule.  We might have to give up some time or a luxury."  Fear. Fear. Fear.  Does fear keep me from doing God's will?

When I share situations like this to others, I'm often "comforted" by quips about God's will.  I believe God has a will for me but please, don't throw it about so carelessly lest I construe God's will to be the easy path when the path of least resistance wasn't the one Moses took. Or Joshua.  Or Esther.  Or Paul.

Or Jesus.

Do you see what I'm saying?  Sometimes God's will isn't the one that's easy or that has all the "signs" pointing in the right direction.  Sometimes God's will is the hard path with resistance and obstacles and pain and sacrifice. In Matthew 7:13-14 Jesus said, "But small is the gate and narrow the road that leads to life and only a few find it."

How do we find the will of God? Does it just fall into our laps in the form of "signs"?  Or do we have to seek it.  Through prayer.  Through digging in the word?  Through waiting patiently (and not so patiently) through difficult and stressful situation? Through being still and listening?

God had a will and a plan for my life but am I missing it?

Am I missing it because I'm too busy looking for "signs" than praying?
Because I'm too busy seeking advice and commentary from friends than reading His word?

Or perhaps I'm missing it because what I really want is my will, wrapped in the verbal cloak of His will.  I want the wide open gate.  The easy path.  The one He says ends in destruction.

I would rather rely on my intuition, the advice of family and friends, my circumstances that to seek His way. The gate is too narrow for my pride. But if I humble myself, if I follow Him, I will find life.

What I think about God's will is that He has one for my life.  But it isn't easily seen.  It doesn't always match my will.  It is life-giving ... if I'll take courage to walk that narrow path through the small gate.

Pray for Matt and I this week as we make some pretty big decisions.  Please pray that we would make faith-based decisions.

Thank you Shell at Things I Can't Say for hosting a platform where I can Pour My Heart out and tell you What I  Think!


  1. Yes, I understand what you're saying and I will pray for you both this week! May God grant you peace as you make decisions that bring changes.

  2. Oh wow, do I relate. I did a study this winter about Life Interupted by Priscilla Shirer and the line that jumped off the page for me was that just b/c we are given an opportunity, doesn't mean it's right for us.

    Yet, people tend to think oh, I have this great opp, it must be God's will... but you have to dig deeper than that.

    Excellent, thought-provoking post!

  3. 1st Kings Chapter 19:11-12

    11 And he said, Go forth, and stand upon the mount before the Lord. And, behold, the Lord passed by, and a great and strong wind rent the mountains, and brake in pieces the rocks before the Lord; but the Lord was not in the wind: and after the wind an earthquake; but the Lord was not in the earthquake:

    12 And after the earthquake a fire; but the Lord was not in the fire: and after the fire a still small voice.

    How often do we look for signs when we've been told numerous times that the Lord doesn't speak to us that way? When I am in tune with the spirit and keep up a regular communication with God, I can recognize that still small voice. But there are also times when I am so caught up in life I forget to maintain that relationship and then when all of the sudden I have to make a decision and need guidance I often discover that I can't decipher what God is trying to tell me.

    Thanks for bringing this to mind today. I'm trying to make an important decision this week and I would really like a sign wrapped up in a nice little foolproof package. Thanks for reminding me I need to do some more work.

  4. WOW! I feel like you have helped put words to thoughts I have all the time. Thank you.

    I often beg God for more clarity, and find myself searching the word for guidance that never becomes clear enough for my liking.

    I think I struggle over decisions more than some because I'm not in the "everything happens for a reason" camp. I believe we have every opportunity to falter, make bad decisions, and fall of the path of God's will, (and that we frequently do so). I believe He has a plan for us. And I believe that despite our mistakes, he is willing to make our decisions and mis steps work together for good if we seek Him throughout them. But crawling back to the hidden path can be a painful process for sure.

    Stopping by for PYHO! Now I'm new follower!

  5. This is by far the most pointed post I have read in a long time. You really address a serious issue and one I believe we all face in our walk with Christ. Thank you for gving me something to think about. And I hope you are able to make a faith based decision this week.

  6. Absolutely. There is such discomfort and vulnerability in faith, in admitting that we don't have all the answers, but that God remains sovereign and good. Thanks for sharing your own personal struggle with this!

  7. I read this earlier this morning & have thought about it several times throughout the day! These are wise words! Today I prayed...instead of looking for signs or reasons for us to do what God may or may not be calling us to do...I just prayed & tried to listen. I need to make faith decisions too...even when they don't make sense! I prayed for you too! Thanks!


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