Doubts and Knowing God’s Will
“How I wish God will tell me exactly what He wants me to do.” “I want to do His will but how do I know what His will is?” “I know I am supposed to see what God is doing and go along with Him, but how do I know what is He doing?” “How do I know it is God’s will for me to change job/ marry this girl/ train for this career?” Do these questions sound familiar? It should because it has been asked by millions of Christian everyday as they seek to live their lives in obedience to Him. Don’t you ever wish God will come out directly and tell us what He wants? Life would be so much easier.
There are times when I wish God will talk to me in an audible voice, “Alex, I want you to do this…” So much easier. No more doubts. No need for decision making. No need for seeking the counsel of friends and church leaders. No need to look for confirmation in the Bible. “Is that what you want me to do? Okay.” Of course, for many of us, when God calls, we are often not at home.
But God does not lead us that way. Often He will leave us to make the decisions on our own. He provides the information for decision making in His Word, in the wise counsel of friends and more mature Christians, in circumstances and in the peace (shalom) of the inner witness of the Holy Spirit. Even as we made the decision and commit to it, we are never 100 % sure that this is the correct decision. That this decision is God’s will. No matter how many years you have been a Christian, how mature you are in Christ and how skilled you are in discernment, there is always doubt. So be encouraged when you have doubts. You have lots of company. Finally, you need to launch forth in faith, trusting that you have made the right decision and trusting that even if you have made the wrong decision, God is there with you and He will help you to correct your mistakes if you continue to seek to obey Him. It is obedience that He seeks. God is more interested in your attitude toward Him than in what you do.
As Hannah Hurnard wrote in her book, Hind’s Feet on High Places, “When you continue your journey there may be much mist and cloud. Perhaps it may even seem as though everything you have seen here of the high places was just a dream, or the work of your own imagination…But you have seen reality, and the mist which seems to swallow it up is the illusion. Believe steadfastly in what you have seen. Even if the way up to the high places appears to be obscured and you are led to doubt whether you are following the right path, remember the promise, ‘Thine ears shall hear a word behind thee, saying, This is the way, walk ye in it, when ye turn to the right hand and when ye turn to the left.’ Always go forward along the path of obedience as far as you know it until I intervene, even if it seems to be leading you where you fear I could never mean you to go.”
So, my brothers and sisters. Put your trust in the Lord. Make your decision in accordance to His Word, godly counsel and circumstances. Then trust in Him to look after you. God’s purpose is greater and wider than we would even appreciate. It is like a big river flowing to the sea. We are like a leaf fallen from a tree into the river. As we float on the water, we may be bobbing up and down, the eddy current may carry us in the wrong direction for a short while but in the end, the energy of the flowing water in the river will carry us to the sea. Just trust that He will take care of all things. Make your decision and go forth in faith.
Labels: Spiritual Direction, Spiritual Formation