The Will of God (Part 3)

Published by DonDavidson on

In parts one and two, I showed that the will of God is for us to obey him, and that while the will of God is almost certainly irrelevant for some of our choices—like what toilet paper to buy—it is vital for those that the Bible addresses, most of which involve questions of right and wrong.

Now what about those important, life-changing decisions for which the Bible seems to offer no clear answer? Should I marry this person? Should I go to college, and if so, where? What career should I pursue? Where should I live?

You may have to fall back on Paul’s advice in Philippians 2:12, and “work out your own salvation with fear and trembling.” But here is what I can tell you from my own experience:

1.         Watch for the signs of the times. Paul recognized that it was the will of God for him to be an apostle and an evangelist because he was struck blind on the road to Damascus. I knew without a doubt that God wanted me to leave active duty in the Navy because he closed some doors and opened others to help me see what he wanted me to do. So watch for the signs. It doesn’t happen often, but it can happen.

2.         Pray. When my wife and I were engaged to be married, I prayed many times for God to prevent the marriage if it was contrary to his will. He didn’t. Time has proved that to be the right decision.

3.         Even if you somehow get outside of God’s will, trust that he will “[cause] all things to work together for good to those who love God.” (Romans 8:28)

When St. Joan of Arc was captured by the English, they put her on trial for heresy. At one point during the trial her tormentors asked her if she was in a state of grace, free from all sin. This was a trick question, for her answer would necessarily lead to accusations of either sinfulness or conceit. Joan amazed all with the wisdom of her reply: “If I am not, may God put me there; if I am, may God keep me there.”

I believe we should always pray something similar: “God, if I am not in your will, please put me there; and if I am, please keep me there.”


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