Daily Devotion - Monday, February 1, 2016
As a pastor, one of the questions I get asked the most is, "How do I know what God wants me to do?" Some people refer to this as a desire to "know the will of God for your life." Pastor Rick Warren wrote a book some years ago entitled, "The Purpose Driven Life," which was essentially all about discovering God's purpose for you, and pursuing that purpose with all your heart and soul.
If you walk into any Christian book store, you'll discover entire sections dedicated to discovering God's will or purpose for you life. There are lots of opinions on how to figure out God's will for you, ranging from quiet contemplation to more hands-on approaches in service and mission.
I must admit, I've read more than my fair share of books on the topic in my own efforts to figure all of this out. And what I've learned over the years and throughout all of my searching is that when it comes to God, I don't know a thing. Try as I might to know the mind of God when it comes to ordering my life, I will always fall woefully short.
In his letter to the Christians in Rome, the Apostle Paul writes about this very thing:
Oh, the depth of the riches of the wisdom and knowledge of God! How unsearchable his judgments, and his paths beyond tracing out! “Who has known the mind of the Lord? Or who has been his counselor?” “Who has ever given to God, that God should repay them?” For from him and through him and for him are all things. To him be the glory forever! Amen. (Romans 11:33-36)At this point you might be saying, "Great! What chance do I have of figuring out what God wants me to do? How could I ever know what God's will is for my life?" The answer is actually a fairly simple one although it has deep and challenging implications. Here it is: Desire God.
At first blush this might seem like one of those churchy phrases coined by churchy people when they can't think of something practical to say. It is, however, the one phrase I would use more than any other to point someone in the right direction if they are seeking God's will.
When we finally realize that we will never fully know the mind of God, who is unknowable and beyond our comprehension... When we finally surrender our own desires and our own plans to this unknowable, yet all-knowing and incredibly loving God... that is the moment when we'll begin to truly discover the intense joy of simply desiring God, listening for God's "voice, experiencing God's presence, and drawing closer to God each and every day.
And what we'll discover as we desire God above all else, is that all of the rest of it--our purpose in life, it's meaning, our vocation, our mission, our ministry, all of it--will fall into place.
May you find the courage to lay aside those things that keep you from fully desiring God. May you discover the unbelievable joy that comes from drawing ever closer to the One whose plans for you are perfect, loving and full of hope. And may the grace and peace of our Lord Jesus Christ be with you now and always. Amen.