Summary: In determining God's will, we often are confounded because we confuse a blueprint for a game plan.
“God Has a Blueprint for My Life”
We’re moving forward in our series of messages called Mythbusters. We’re looking at a variety of spiritual myths that people believe in and on which they build their lives. Today’s spiritual myth is “God Has a Blueprint for My Life.”
What do you do when it’s time to make a major decision? As Christians, most of us experience a heightened interest in discovering God’s will at that point in time. It’s not that we don’t care about God’s will the rest of the time, it’s just that when making a choice about a job opportunity, selecting a college, determining the future of a romantic relationship, or deciding where to live, we don’t want to blow it. So, we seek God’s will with extra fervor. We pray for it, ask about it, and search for it. We do those things in the hope that what God wants us to do become clear to us.
Simply put, this message is about how we approach determining God’s will for our lives.
Eph. 5:17 – Therefore do not be foolish, but understand what the Lord’s will is. We can know God’s will but we’ll never really know it unless we understand how it works.
We use several tactics in order to determine the will of God. Some of us look for signs, divine coincidences, and open doors that supposedly show us God’s leading. We want to see happen in our lives what happened to Gideon. We want to play the fleece game.
The story is found in the Old Testament book of Judges. God had told Gideon that he would use him to rescue the Hebrew people from their enemies. Gideon placed a fleece – a sheepskin – out on the ground and said that he would believe that it was God’s will if God would allow only the fleece to be wet with dew but not the ground the next morning. God did so. Gideon wasn’t convinced. He asked God to do just the opposite the next night and God did. You will hear some folks speak about laying a fleece before God to help them make a decision in some area of their lives.
We want the process for determining God’s will to be quick and easy. God doesn’t always deal with us the same way he dealt with Gideon. Determining God’s will for a certain situation is many times not quick nor is it easy.
Others look deep within, seeking a supernatural insight or a sense of inner peace to show the way. The problem here is that sometimes doing God’s will makes us very nervous and unsettled because operating by faith means being obedient – whether or not we know the outcome.
Still others play Bible roulette, flipping through pages of the Bible until they find a passage that seems to speak directly to their situation. That can be a dangerous process.
One fellow was seeking guidance for his life. He decided that he would just flip through the pages of the Bible, stop at a random page and point his finger at a passage. Wherever his finger landed, he was going to take that passage for his advice.
The first passage his finger landed on said, “Judas went out and hanged himself.” Seeing that, he was a bit confused and a little afraid. So, he flipped some more pages and pointed his finger at another passage. It said, “Go and do likewise.” Completely baffled, he tried a third time. It said, “Whatever you are to do, do so quickly.”
Some of us major in fact-finding and seeking wise counsel (or at least the advice of a few friends). Almost all of us pray a little more: Lord, show me your will – please! The more I’ve sought God’s will and watched others seek God’s will, I’ve become convinced that God’s will is both important AND elusive.
It’s important for obvious reasons. Any time God has a specific plan or a preference in mind, only a fool ignores it. A bigger fool defies it. Just ask Jonah. He discovered that defiance is not a good option. And so have I. I bet that you have, as well.
As for God’s will being elusive, it’s elusive because … well … it just is, isn’t it? That fact of life raises a troubling question. If God’s will is so important, why is it so hard to find? The answer to that question seems very surprising.
God’s will isn’t that hard to find. Most of God’s will is spelled out in black and white on the pages of the Bible. It’s not hidden. There’s no cosmic Easter egg hunt required to see who can find it and who gets left with an empty basket. Unfortunately, many of us approach understanding God’s will from that perspective.