I see you sitting in your dorm. You’re trying to pick a major. How are you supposed to know what you want to do for the rest of your life? You see that lady who is a few steps ahead of you in life- maybe she has a career, maybe she’s a mom. You look up to her, because you think she’s “arrived”. You want to be that one day- someone who is oozing Jesus. But for now, you’re 19, & God’s will seems like some treasure you’re digging to find.
I’m a mom of 2, wife, and and stay at home mom/part-time teacher. And friend, can I encourage you with a few things that God has taught me about His will? When I was that 19 year old, I had this image in my head that “God’s will” was something that you figured out as an adult. Like it was a gift you got to unwrap once you hit a certain age or something. Wrong. So wrong.
I think I got this view in part because we talk about God’s will like it is this mystical thing to achieve, like only the super Christians figure it out. But the more I walk with the Lord, the more He teaches me about His will.
God’s taught me that I haven’t “arrived”, and I never will (not on this side of eternity at least). Christianity isn’t about arriving. It’s about abiding (more on that later), and as we abide, Jesus sanctifies. So my encouragement to you? Stop thinking that you have to reach a certain age to be that person that’s overflowing with Jesus. The Lord has no age requirement. Wherever you’re at in life, now is the time to be filled up with Him so that you can overflow Him.
If you’re anything like I was, I’m sure that you wish that the Lord would just send you an email with detailed steps of His plan. Even snail mail would work, right? But wrong. The Lord has given us everything we need in His Word; it is complete. We also have the gift of the Spirit; He seals our salvation and then He guides, encourages, and convicts us. And friends, as much as we think that we want that big picture of this puzzle called life (ya know, how you have to look at the picture on the puzzle box to figure out how to do it?), God doesn’t send it. He doesn’t need to. He gives us information on a “need to know” basis, because He is God and we are not. If He sent us that email, or mailed us that picture, then we would really have no need to depend on the Lord. And the Lord wants His children to depend on Him; I think that’s a beautiful thing. He also doesn’t send us that email because there’s some really awesome things in our future and some really tough things that we don’t need to know about yet. We might either puff up with pride or spend our days in a closet crying, and that’s not how the Lord wants us to live. I think if the Lord would’ve sent me an email saying that in 2016, I would be a stay at home mom, I would’ve laughed.
So, how do you find God’s will? Can I let you in on something I’m learning? I think it’s actually a lot simpler (in some ways) than we think. God’s will for us is to be transformed by the renewing of our minds (Romans 12:2). God’s will for us is to give thanks in all circumstances (1 Thessalonians 5:18). God’s will is for us to trust in Him, and then He will make our paths straight (Proverbs 3:5-6). And the wonderful thing? God equips us for every good work and to do what is pleasing to Him, His will (Hebrews 13:20-21).
But practically, how does this look? I know, you’ve got big life decisions coming up. Let’s go back to Scripture. I absolutely love John 15:1-11; let’s focus in on verse 5, “I am the Vine; you are the branches. Whoever abides in Me and I in him, he it is that bears much fruit, for apart from Me you can do nothing” (ESV). Abide. We can find and do God’s will by abiding. What’s abiding? Abiding in Jesus is walking with Him step by step, not just when it’s time to make that big decision. You can abide in Jesus by daily being in His Word. Abide by being constant in prayer; these don’t always have to be fancy, long prayers. This could simply be, “Lord give me grace”, or “Lord, where did I put my keys?” (I’ve seriously prayed this numerous times). Abide in Jesus by memorizing His Word. Abide by seeking the council of godly people. Abide in Jesus by serving in your local church. Abide.
And as you abide, He’ll make the desires of your heart His desires. He will reveal to you what He wants for your life. He’ll nudge you to stay or go. It won’t come in the form of an email or a well drawn out map (I can’t read maps, anyway), but it will come through the Spirit and His Word, and that my friends, is better than the big picture of the puzzle.
So, friend, I know that life can be scary. We will never know what tomorrow holds, but we do know the One who holds tomorrow. But just walk with Jesus. I think finding His will is really that simple. Day by day, step by step. It won’t always be easy. You won’t always be perfect at it. But walk with Jesus, and He’ll string together all of the little and the big moments of your life to make the perfect picture that He is weaving. And in it all, know and remember, that He is good and that He is faithful.