Discerning God’s Will

 “God’s will is not difficult to find,

confusing to follow, or easy to miss.

Even in the face of our sometimes foolish choices, God

can lead us back into the center of his perfect will,”

 

By Jerry Sittser, The Will of God as a Way of Life (back of book)


As a 9-year-old, I heard the voice of Jesus whispering into my right ear: “I want to be personal to you, too. Do you say ‘yes’ or ‘no’?” From that time on, after saying ‘yes,’ I wanted to live in the center of God’s perfect will. And for the most part, I thought I was doing so.

As an adult, I pushed to the back of my mind the reminders that I had not kept my childhood commitment to be a missionary. I fell in love with someone definitely not God’s choice for me. Then, after I married someone I did feel sure was God’s choice for me, I tended to put my husband first in my heart rather than Jesus.

We had twelve fairly good years of marriage, then five bleak years in which I kept praying for God to heal our marriage. When that didn’t happen, I became angry at God. I kept agonizing about “what is God’s will?” I finally decided I had to set my husband free. He was so unhappy that I was afraid he would become mentally ill or commit suicide if I didn’t.

Since I felt angry at God and abandoned by him, I lost trust in him, Obviously, I was no longer in the center of his will. Then, as can be expected, Satan took advantage of my anger and lack of trust. He drew me off the path of God’s will into a pit. For three years, my life was in turmoil.

But God drew me back into his heart, into repentance and relationship with him, into the center of his perfect will. I learned He forgave me and restored me to his will. But I wondereddid I forever lose the chance to fulfill His plan for my life?

Reading the book (previously mentioned) by Dr. Sittser encourages me. He says what matters most is that we “seek God’s kingdom and his righteousness” (Matthew 6:33). Our obedience to God is his will for us, his plan for us. Of course this is tricky. When we look at choosing a career, for instance, any number of jobs could be considered to be in God’s will. What is important is that we “seek to honor God in every word we say, every duty we perform, every relationship we have, every religious exercise we follow” (71).

Becoming a person who trusts God is more important than what job we take or career we choose, or even who we marry. Colossians 3:17 says, “Whatever you do, in word or deed, do all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through him.” This means we seek to honor God in everything: speech, actions, relationships, and worship.

This theme of trusting God is one of the main themes in the book I wrote called Rescued by God’s Mercy telling how God rescued me and taught me through the book of Isaiah. God is so merciful. He loves to rescue us from the messes our foolish choices get ourselves into.

“What counts most is that God is working in my life,

writing a redemptive story. I can trust him and do his will

wherever I am, whether or not I made the “right” choices,

whether those “right” choices had a good outcome.”

Sittser p. 103

“God chooses us, gives us grace, and redeems the story of our lives.” Sittser p.105

Each of us has a primary calling to trust, serve and obey God. Sittser also talks more about our unique callings, but you’ll have to read his book to get that.

I am at peace now, knowing I’m back on God’s path, in the center of God’s will through the redemption of Jesus Christ. Throughout my years of turmoil, I was convinced God had called me to be a writer, so I wrote. Now it seems my main calling is to be a caretaker of my present husband. I try to trust, serve, and obey God with a sweet spirit, but I still try to find time to write. I pray it will glorify God.

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