“What is the will of God for my life?” This is a question that I constantly ask myself, and one that almost every Christian, at some point, has asked. This is not a bad question; desiring to do the will of God is a very good thing, in fact, the best place to be is in the center of God’s will. But still, we all find it difficult to determine what the will of God is for our lives.
There are various ways we handle this looming uncertainty. Some of us wait around doing nothing until we receive a “sign” from God; others feel like every “good” Christian becomes a missionary to some third-world country, and so they dive into that without prayer. Sometimes we base God’s will off of how we “feel”; but the problem is, the aforesaid inclinations are not exactly very Biblical.
The first one shows idleness and a lack of Godly ambition. We should not wait around for a clear cut plan of our lives, but rather, we should go about our life doing everything we can to further the Kingdom of God, for the glory of God, even if that means working at a diner as we live out a Christ-like example for others to see. The second example is common, especially among young Christians. So many people feel like in order to be a “spiritual” Christian, they must go off and be a missionary in some random country. This is definitely not a bad thing to do, but not everyone will be called to do so. A lot of the times we have ulterior motives. Some of us make this decision out of a thirst for adventure. We live out very quiet lives in America, and some of us are very tired of the mundane; but we should never do something out of selfish ambition, or for a “change of scenery”. We must be satisfied wherever God has us, and sometimes it will be preaching the Gospel overseas. If we are prayerfully seeking God, then he will guide us to where He wants us to go. Period. (Actually, most well-known missionaries were everyday people with everyday jobs until God changed their lives for His purpose. They weren’t “looking” to be missionaries; they were just busy seeking Christ, and then He put that desire into there hearts. They saw a need, and filled it. That’s what missionaries do.) Now, to address the last example: Our feelings should not guide us through life. This is extremely unbiblical, because this is a self-consumed approach. If I based my life decisions off of how I felt, I would be in bed 24/7! I mean, some things Christ calls us to do may not “feel good”. I bet some of the martyrs didn’t “feel” so great when they were being burned at the stake, but that was something God had called them to do. Contrary to popular belief, peace shouldn’t come by how we feel or through our circumstances, but rather, from Christ Himself. So, we must learn not to be led by our own feelings, but by God.
But what does God have to say about His will for our lives? 1 Thessalonians 5:16-19 says, “Rejoice always; pray without ceasing, give thanks in all circumstances; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you.” So, God’s will for us is that we: rejoice in everything (this means rejoicing even when a situation doesn’t go the way we would have it go); pray without ceasing (don’t stop…there is never not a good time to talk with God); and give thanks in all circumstances (yes, even in the times when God takes instead of gives). This verse has been a comfort to me. Instead of “figuring my life out”, I can just obey God and seek Him with all my heart. He has the rest. He already knows the plans that He has planned for us. Ephesians 2:10 says, “For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand, that we should walk in them”.