God's Will For Your Life
As a pastor, I am often asked how we can know which direction we should go in life if we seek to do what God would have us do.
In some Christian circles, the ability to figure out which direction to take in life comes down to a simple phrase: "knowing and doing the will of God."
I figure there have been thousands of books written on this subject, most working on the premise that we can know God's will and then do God's will, but only if we are faithful enough, Christian enough, right believing enough, holy enough... you get the picture.
I've come to believe that none of it is simple.
First, when we say that we want to do God's will, are we saying that we believe that God has a specific, ordained plan for our lives and that if we waver from it, we're screwed?
I was raised to believe that, and trust me when I say this: That kind of theology sucks. Sorry to be so blunt, but I could have been much more straightforward, only I'm trying to be proper.
But then, do we go so far as to think that God doesn't care one whit about us as individuals and sees us only as cogs in the wheel of God's overall plans for the universe? Because that kind of sucks, too. There I go again with more bluntness.
Let me give you an alternate view, if I may.
I think that the whole idea of doing God's will comes down to our awareness of who we are to God and, ultimately, what God desires for us.
No matter what missteps we make, bad decisions, mistakes, wrong turns, or flat-out disasters we endure, we can't possibly be out of God's will because God's will is for us to know we are loved, cherished, never forsaken, and worthy.
God's will is for us to embrace our worthiness and to live whole, flourishing lives. This is always God's will for us, even though we often try to thwart God's will by refusing to see ourselves as God sees us and to live the abundant lives God desires us to live.
So what do we do when deciding what paths to take in life? What do we do when we want to choose abundant life but don't know which way to go?
I believe it comes down to this: We need to lean into our understanding of God's love for us and follow the light of that love wherever it leads us. It's the only way for us to be truly alive.
And we'll be doing God's will when we believe this wholeheartedly and trust that we will not be led astray.
Author Melody Beattie puts it this way:
When in doubt, go toward the light.
When you get to a fork in the road,
choose the way that feels lightest. The
light will take you to the next place.
The light will lead you home.
Beloved, you are in God's will right now. You never left it. You are held in it constantly. You are God's child, and you should carry that sure and certain knowledge with you down whatever challenging paths you take.
You should know that the light of God's love for you will always lead you home.
May it be so, and may the grace and peace of our Lord Jesus Christ be with you now and always. Amen.