Knowing the will of God

Many people struggle with discerning the will of God for their lives, wanting to know what it is that God wants them to do. Some seek to know the will of God for every decision they have to take. But is the will of God something that we have to beseech God to reveal to us, or do we already have his will revealed for our lives? While God may at times make us aware of what he wishes us to do with regard to a specific decision, in general we can turn to the Scriptures to learn what it is that he wishes us to do.

Sermon: Knowing the will of God

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One thought on “Knowing the will of God

  1. Chris:

    Thanks. Here are a couple of comments.

    1. First, with respect to your point #2 at the bottom of p. 5, you can stress more forcefully there that this is where community comes in, over agains individualism. Most of us, especially when in our schooling years (and even later) are unable to discern our own gifts and abilities. That comes through practice and development and the help of parents, friends, teachers, and others. All the more need for a loving and trustworthy network (and close-by community if possible) of people. So even in study and in apprenticeship, we need to encourage one another to work diligently at whatever we have to do in order to discern the talents and gifts we have. It will do no good to sit around and wait for God to drop a specific revelation from the sky to tell us to go become a teacher or bricklayer or engineer.

    2. Closely connected to that is the importance of taking seriously the circumstances in which we have found ourselves, sometimes by our own past decisions. Each of us always a child of parents or guardians and therefore have a calling from God to honor them. If we marry and/or if a couple has children, there is an institutional calling that must not be set aside or ignored. If we take a job, even if we discover eventually that it is not where we want to remain, we bear organizational responsibility there that calls us to serve God in proper ways.

    3. Finally, a story I heard (maybe you have also) that fits your purpose here is about two brothers, one of whom goes into law and moves to the city and the other goes into farming. One day, after much urging from the farmer, his brother comes to visit his farm. After the tour and much discussion, they sit down on the porch that looks out over the farm, and the city brother says, “this is truly amazing. You and God have achieved something outstanding. I’m impressed.” After a minute or so of thought by the farmer, he responds, “yes, and you should have seen it when God had it by himself.” Humans bear many responsibilities that we can’t escape or sidestep by asking God to do something, or to give us specific directions, as if God is our human foreman or consultant, sharing our responsibilities. We need to trust God and walk with him in full awareness that, as you say, God has already assigned us a responsible role in the creation and as disciples of Christ in the creation.

    Cheers,
    Jim

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