The Misunderstood Will of God

_MG_2434If one more person asks me what I’m doing after graduation, I might bust. The question is breaking me bit by bit because guess what? I have no idea.

Have I prayed about it?

You better believe it.

Have I sought “God’s will?”

Sure. Whatever that really means.

Where do I feel God calling me?

Toward a passion, not a business or a town.

I understand why people ask me about my plans, and if I wasn’t facing some decision deadlines, their question probably wouldn’t bug me all that much. But here I am, making decisions, all the while wondering what God’s will is. While we’re on the subject, let’s talk about God’s will, that magical concept no one seems to understand. I’m not about to claim that I fully understand it. I think I’ve misunderstood it for 21 years. And I’m realizing that my faulty thinking has me in a hole, and I’m the one holding the shovel.

Here’s what I know.

God’s will is that I love Him and love others, that above all else, I seek Him and His kingdom. Sounds beautiful, right? If I saw those words in a job description, I would be a fool to let that opportunity pass by. Unfortunately, God’s will comes in all shapes and sizes. People tried to teach me this throughout the years. But being a “let’s make a plan, write a list, and start working” kind of person,¬† the magical view of God’s will always enticed me. Wouldn’t it be nice if he had a specific road mapped out for me, and I could just follow it step by step? Oh, and while I’m dreaming, wouldn’t it be nice if God told me everything ahead of time?

Ah, the beautiful trap. As much as I might ask for it, I don’t want it.

This past week I read Just Do Something by Kevin DeYoung, and I found myself overwhelmed by God’s love, another topic that is often misunderstood in my life. I don’t remember what the book was talking about exactly, but it had something to do with God actually speaking to his kids. It said something like, “Sometimes God speaks and sometimes he doesn’t. But he still wants us to make decisions.” And then reality hit me like swan dive that turns into a belly flop. Could it be that sometimes God doesn’t talk to us or provide specific direction about a decision because our options are great, and he expresses his love by giving us the freedom to choose?

Some theologian somewhere can clean up that question or scratch it altogether. I’m not saying that we shouldn’t weigh our decisions against scripture or that we shouldn’t pray about them. Obviously, wisdom has its place in discerning which decision is best. But if there’s one thing I’ve found in love it’s that few people feel loved when their lives and their decisions are being controlled or manipulated. Could it be that this freedom to choose is a manifestation of God’s love?

I’m currently in a situation where I get to choose between a couple of options. Each have their pros and cons. Neither is perfect, and I feel little direction from God. Understanding more about God’s will and his love for me doesn’t make the decision easier. It just makes it freer. And in the midst of it, I feel God’s love so strongly. This is a gift, to feel God’s love, His presence. And it’s a gift to recognize faulty mindsets, like the belief that God has this one super-specific road for my life, and if I miss it, I might as well give up.

So I don’t know what decision I will make. But I do know God’s will for my life: that I love Him and others, that I seek Him and His kingdom.

And sometimes He gives his kids the freedom to choose because He is a God of love.

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