One of the number 1 questions I am asked as a pastor, shepherd and disciple is “What is God’s will for my life?” You can substitute “life” with future college, marriage, career, church, ministry opportunity, friendships, relationships, etc. etc. etc. etc. etc. etc. etc. etc. etc. etc. etc. etc. etc. etc. etc. etc. etc. etc. etc. etc. etc. etc. etc. etc. etc. etc. etc. etc. etc. etc.
I think you get the point.
As much as I love this question because it comes back to someone who wants what God wants for their life, the big problem with them asking me is… I’m not God and the last being that truly tried to be was cast down from heaven as we’re learning in our current sermon series. This is not saying that I shut down the conversation like a Louisville fan would when mentioning the name “Rick Pitino.” In fact. I have a nifty little power point presentation and everything going over certain steps when seeking God’s will for your life but in the end most people have to take a step of faith regarding that next step and I’m reminded of the most important part before taking that initial step in today’s Proverb.
1 The plans of the heart belong to man,
but the answer of the tongue is from the Lord.
2 All the ways of a man are pure in his own eyes,
but the Lord weighs the spirit.
3 Commit your work to the Lord,
and your plans will be established.
9 The heart of man plans his way,
but the Lord establishes his steps.
25 There is a way that seems right to a man,
but its end is the way to death
33 The lot is cast into the lap,
but its every decision is from the Lord.
In each of these passages from Proverbs 16, we see two things. One, that when our plans, at heart, is based off of our own personal motives, it will lead to folly and, as verse 25, says death. We can easily cover this up with religious talk but as verse 1-3 mentions, it’s the Lord who weighs the Spirit. Commit those plans to the Lord no matter what. If you receive any inclination that you are choosing a path that is out of sin and selfishness, beware.
Second, and this is one of those tough theological debates that can circle itself around, but… God IS sovereign over those decisions. Yes, even what may seem like a bad decision. How often I’ve had conversations with people on the other side of those steps where they say “I didn’t follow God’s will, I made a stupid decision, what did I get myself into?” and although there’s a lot of truth in some of those statements I also believe that God is a big enough God to prevent those decisions and paths if He wants to and that He uses those situations somehow, someway for His glory. Maybe this is a very hard marriage or a very tough ministry situation? Why does hard and tough equate to the opposite of God’s will? Tell that to Hosea and Job. Were they not in God’s will? As we can see from these passages in Proverbs, God is quite sovereign in those steps, even if you have doubts and hardships. I don’t know about you but that certainly helps me in those tough seasons.
How has God revealed a tough season for you life as “His will”? Comment below.
By: Erik Koliser — West Campus Pastor