Read Acts 16:1-10
Two times the Holy Spirit told Paul, Silas, and Timothy “no.” Next came a voice and a vision. Clearly, God was directing the three of them according to His will.
Although I don’t know exactly what those promptings of the Spirit felt, sounded, or looked like, part of me yearns for the kind of indisputable clarity that I read in those lines. Part of me wants to say, “If only knowing the will of God was that simple and that obvious!” A diagram on the wall in which there is an arrow pointing and words written, “God’s will for you – this way please!” that sounds pretty inviting. A dream in the night in which Jesus tells me, “Here’s what I want you to do . . .” that is pretty appealing.
Instead, most of us find ourselves gravitating towards one of two ends of a continuum. The first is the person struggling and wondering. He or she wrestles with the Lord over decisions like:
- What should I study?
- Where should I go to college?
- Should I marry? If so, whom?
- Which job should I take?
- Where should I live?
- Which car should I buy?
- What about kids? Should we have any? How many?
- What should I do in retirement?
Even though this person genuinely seeks God’s will, he/she is never quite certain that he/she has found it or is living it out. There is always an element of doubt.
Meanwhile, the second is the person who just plans and heads out. There is little or no concern about God’s will. He/she just charges ahead, doing what seems best or most desirable. If pushed into a corner, this person might say that it must have been God’s will because He didn’t intervene and prevent the course of action.
Over the course of this study, we will be exploring more about discerning God’s will. It does require that we yearn for it, that we look for it. But will it always be as illusive and uncertain as many of us think it to be? Those are good questions!
“God, I want to grow to better understand your will for me and my life!”