God’s will or God’s call – it’s something as Christians that we seek. We want a blue print, don’t we? Just tell me the steps and tell me what to do. But I believe that God’s will and our will look remarkably the same.
At the same time, God’s will is also something that we can be terrified of. We’re terrified because when we give up our will we are giving up control. If you subscribe to my emails, you’ve read enough to know what a control freak that I am.
Growing up my biggest fear was that God’s will meant having to be a missionary. At church we would have people come and speak to us that had become missionaries to the outermost places of the world. The image presented was that following God’s will would mean sacrificing everything to serve him.
I was terrified of being a missionary. I had visions of having to give up everything and moving to a remote country in a jungle somewhere. When I was little I was deathly afraid of bugs. If there was a spider in my room I couldn’t go to sleep. Well, who am I kidding? I still don’t like bugs. If I see a spider, or cave cricket, or something dreadful in the house, my initial reaction is to let out a squeal. Robert knows my distress cry and to come to my rescue.
My other view of the Christian life growing up was that we are meant to suffer in this life. Heaven will be our reward. That was the message I heard constantly from the pulpit. Unfortunately, I didn’t learn about what Jesus was telling us when he said, “I am come that they might have life, and that they might have it more abundantly.”
Jesus always asked people, “What do you want?”
There is a story in the book of Mark about a blind man who heard that Jesus was coming. He knew that Jesus could make him see. He went to where Jesus was and kept crying out to him. Others were trying to make him be quiet. Jesus heard his cries but stood still. He asked that the blind man be brought to him. Then Jesus said to him, “What do you want me to do for you?” The blind man said he wanted to see again, and Jesus granted his request.
This is a perfect example of our will being God’s will. Jesus asks the blind man what he wants. In a similar passage Jesus says, “Ask, and it will be given you; search, and you will find; knock, and the door will be opened for you. For everyone who asks receives, and everyone who searches finds, and for everyone who knocks, the door will be opened. Is there anyone among you who, if your child asks for bread, will give a stone? Or if the child asks for a fish, will give a snake? If you then, who are evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your father in heaven give good things to those who ask him!”
God Wants Us to Be Willing
Here’s how God’s will and our will can look remarkably the same. God gave us gifts and talents for a reason. It’s up to us to use them.
God’s will or God’s call can mean being a wonderful mother or father. It can mean being the best salesperson you can be with high integrity. It can mean being a personal trainer, doctor, musician, or teacher.
What it Feels Like to Be in God’s Will
What is important is to pay attention and answer the call. Being in God’s will is being in a spiritual flow. Here’s what it looks like when you’re not in the spiritual flow, when you’re not feeling like you are following God’s will. You will find yourself to be:
- Feeling constricted
In the spiritual flow you will feel:
- Everything is in perfect order
It’s really important to find time to be still each day. By being still you can listen to the still, small voice that is inside of you that helps you to discern God’s guidance in your life.
When you are using your gifts and talents you will feel the spiritual flow and will of God. In a way, I have become a missionary after all. My message is to help others reclaim their uniqueness, to know that they are completely loved and accepted by God and that God has equipped them with gifts and talents to serve the world. My territory isn’t a remote jungle but the entire world as a result of the Internet.
I did have a real world, missionary experience when I took a life changing mission trip to Guatemala. We spent an entire week in the jungle building houses for three women and their children. Guess what? There wasn’t a single bug in sight. Is God good or what?
What I learned on that trip was about happiness. You can read more about that experience and four happiness habits.
By God’s grace, God gave us free will. I believe that God’s will for us is to live and love life to the fullest. We do that by using our gifts and talents in serving the world.
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