Friday, April 1, 2016

God's Specific Will For Your Life

A friend suggested the other day that I was uniquely placed to perform a certain function in God's church. This friend felt that it was my place and my calling. My response was, "If I am supposed to be doing this, why would God tell you about it and not me?"

My friend and I have not hashed this out yet and we may or may not do so. I overreacted to his presumption to volunteer me for this function and rightly apologized for it. I saw things in his motivations that were most likely not there. I am "gifted" with a conspiratorial view of reality. Perhaps that speaks way too much to my own motivations. Whatever. That's not what I want to talk about.

It is my thought that God has a general will for all of his people. It is laid out in scripture in the clearest possible terms. One of those "general will" things is finding something you are good at and doing it -  serving your church and others with whatever that is. I believe I have found this. I think it's teaching. I have been teaching adult classes in my church for over 17 years. I enjoy it. My students say they learn things and enjoy participating in my class. I think this is a good indicator that I am doing what I am supposed to be doing. God did not tell me to do this. Someone handed me a teacher's lesson guide one Sunday and asked me to fill in for them and it went on from there. I stumbled into something that I could do, enjoyed doing and have continued to do for many years. To say that I know God wants me to do this specifically, that is teach, is a stretch. To say that he blesses me and fills me while I do it comes more from a feeling than any empirical knowledge of what He specifically wants from me. And that brings me to this.

The only way I would know specifically what God wants me to do is if He would say so directly to me. God has a general will for everyone who calls upon His Name and it is outlined in scripture. Everything else is just opinion...until God speaks.

In the Bible, God had a specific will and plan for many people. Among other reasons, this is why they are in the Bible. The thing that all of these people had in common was that God spoke in some way DIRECTLY to them. It was not a matter of divining circumstances or assuming a specialness not otherwise indicated and so taking on the mantle of a mission for God.  

God would call them in a very personal and "in person" way. The last people in history called directly by God to His specific will were the apostles. To my knowledge, no one has received a personal visitation or revelation toward specific service since that time.  

In our time, only God's general will applies. His Word has been laid down. We are free to choose and try things in service to Him and His people. If we find something we are good at, we should do it. Worrying and hand ringing about "does God want me to do this" or "is God calling me to do that" is just stupid, egotistical and prideful. God wants you to serve. Find a way. Refine it with His help. Get good at it and do it.

There is no specific will from God for your life or mine. If there were, God would be talking to us. Instead, He speaks to us through His Word. He calls all of us to serve in some way. Let's just do it.

Let me close with this. There are things that you know you will not be good at. Think about those things and try to avoid them. Do not insert yourself into situations that you know will not work to God's glory or the growth of others. Stick to what you know and what you know you can do for others. You will not then fail.

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