God’s will, would He be doing anything else?


I’ve done my share of agonizing over what God’s will is for my life. I suppose it’s not an uncommon thing. Sometimes it’s even necessary. I had a cool thought the other day about how to discern what it is God wants us to do with our lives.
So often folks feel like they need to figure out what God wants them to do before they can begin the work rather than seeing that the work is already in progress and has been. Paul tells us in Philippians 2 to work out our salvation with fear and trembling. Certainly to do so we must know what God wants us to do. But He also says that we are to do so because God is at work in us both to will and to work for His good pleasure. Isn’t “His good pleasure” another way of saying “what God wants.”

What is He at work in you both to will and to work? I think we are sometimes paralyzed by the effort to discern God’s will when the fact is that He is already at work in us both to work it and to will it. Rather than spend precious time in idle confusion about whether God wants me to be a pastor or a plumber, it might be better to contemplate what God is already accomplishing through me. Do I find God doing the work of a pastor through me? Do folks come to me for help with difficult passages of scripture they are studying? Do they come to me for advice or wisdom in their lives and relationships? Does God use me in these situations to bless them with sound understanding and wisdom, or does are my efforts in that regard less than fruitful?

I think what I am saying is that God is at work in us both to will and to work His good pleasure. Finding His will is often more an issue of seeing what God has already made us and is making us rather than an issue of trying to foresee the future. How does God use you to bless others? Cultivate those areas of your life, and find those who have gone before you faithfully serving God in those areas to learn from them.

Strive to be faithful to God in the circumstances He has you in and see what efforts He grows and blesses and which are unfruitful, which draw you nearer to Him and satisfy your soul. How do you know if you have the gift of prayer, or giving or teaching or encouragement or what have you? How is God blessing others through you? Do folks tell you they were blessed by your giving, or by your encouragement, your teaching them or praying with/for them? Folks often waste precious days waiting for God to reveal His will when He is already at work in them to will it and work it. The need is for us to look at what God is up to in our lives already, how He uses us and works in us and the need is for us to invest in those areas where God is at work and cultivate them.

  1. #1 by Amy Hoffman on January 19, 2007 - 10:15 AM

    I have seen too many people in this position. Not only put into place on their own, but also by their senior pastor telling them where they will be even though they think they should be somewhere else. Obviously, that may have been a physical place “calling/will”, but nonetheless there was a lot of blood, sweat and tears. I think there is a lot of freedom if we look close at the scriptures and see how the New Testament apostles and believers followed Christ and how Christ did things himself. The recognized he voice of God, did what was said and it was done. Oversimplified, I know. But it makes me believe that it can be done. Therefore I should live my life in that way.

    By the way, I used to live in Athens, Ohio and be part of Oasis. I have since moved back to NW Ohio. I appreciated seeing your comments today. It is encouraging to know that there are other brothers in Christ praying for my family. I love them dearly. Thank you for interceeding on their behalf before the Father.

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