The Will of God

Many Christians want to know God's will for their lives (though many times they want to know it, not so they can do it but so they can vote on it). The usual approach often involves consulting feelings, looking for omens and signs, and rattling doors of opportunity to see if they are opened or closed or locked. God is quite often seen as a celestial sadist who transmits puzzling clues through signs and feelings -- "You are getting warm! You're getting cold!" If you missed one of the signs and chose wrong, then you are doomed to second best for the rest of your life or to being shelved. The motto of many such Christians can be stated, "Of course I'm doing God's will. I'm miserable, aren't I?" In contrast to the traditional method, some have studied the Bible and found a better way, the way of wisdom to find God's will.

A good introduction is Can You Know God's Will For Your Life? by Charles R. Smith (BMH Books). This short discussion book exposes the failure of the traditional method like waiting for a call or trusting your feelings. Then Dr. Smith explains five principles for doing God's declared will as guidance for doing His undeclared will.

A more detailed study is Decision Making and the Will of God by Garry Friesen (Multnomah Books). The author presents the traditional view in Part I and does a Biblical critique in Part II. But the best part of the book is the presentation of the way of wisdom in Part III. In Part IV, the author shows how the way of wisdom can be applied to every area of our lives.

The way of wisdom is a Biblical based way to know and do God's will. The traditional way is barely above the level of tea leaf reading and star gazing. Worse, it requires a distorted view of God that sees Him as a cruel and arbitrary tyrant playing a viciouys game of "Gotcha!" with our lives. So put away your OIUJA boards and mood rings and turn to the Bible to seek God's will.

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William M. Kelly