“We should be humble in looking to the future, because we don’t control it; God does. And we should be hopeful in looking to the future, because God controls it, not us.” (pg. 47 of Just Do Something)
So… how do you make your decisions? I think honesty compels us to say it is usually how we feel that helps us decide things. This is not wrong, necessarily. (What would women be without their marvelous intuition? 🙂 ) The problem comes in when we say, “God told me…” because we feel one way or another. It isn’t really fair to blame God, now is it?
When Gabe got terribly sick during nursing school, we wondered if this was God closing a door, or whether Gabe’s resolve and determination were being tested. There are endless second guessing conundrums like this for people who make all their decisions by their feelings.
If there is one overarching theme in the book Just Do Something, it is that God wants to show us His will in His Word.
Let’s take a look at the Proverbs, specifically chapter 2.
1 My son, if thou wilt receive my words,
and hide my commandments with thee;
2 So that thou incline thine ear unto wisdom,
and apply thine heart to understanding;
3 Yea, if thou criest after knowledge,
and liftest up thy voice for understanding;
4 If thou seekest her as silver,
and searchest for her as for hid treasures;
5 Then shalt thou understand the fear of the Lord,
and find the knowledge of God…
9 Then shalt thou understand righteousness, and judgment,
and equity; yea, every good path.
Proverbs is full of cautionary statements about those who just do life all wrong and the contrast with those who live in wisdom. I quote DeYoung, “In Proverbs, a fool is not an oaf or a moron. He is a person who doesn’t live life God’s way. Wisdom is knowing God and doing as He commands. Foolishness, on the other hand, is turning from God and listening only to yourself… God doesn’t expect us to grope in the dark for some hidden will of direction. He expects us to trust Him and be wise.” (pg. 89)
If we could open the Bible and find information about what we should work, or who we should marry, or which house we should buy, things would seem so much easier. God doesn’t find it necessary to give us such specific information. His will is that we love His Word, become infused with it, and be transformed into the image of His Son.
When their are choices to make that could affect our lives drastically, DeYoung says we need to walk the way of wisdom.
- Read the Scriptures.
- Listen to wise counsel.
- Pray for illumination.
- Make a decision. (in faith)
Do you see how this approach could be more restful than worrying that you might end up living in Tallahassee when God really wanted you to be in Boston? What if you broke this down to praying about whether you should pick up a sandwich at McDonald’s or Wendy’s. (Probably neither one of those is wise. 😉 ) Of course, you don’t obsess to that extent. What God really cares about is that you are His representative wherever you go, and either place you go for your sandwich is going to have people who need to see that He is a beautiful Savior.
Is it really so much different whether you live in one geographical region or another? And what about jobs? Marriage? I laughed out loud when I read DeYoung’s recommendation for finding the will of God in marriage. He is speaking to men who are afraid that they are stepping outside of God’s will unless they have it nailed down who is the right one before they ever ask the girl out. I will tell you, I would have hated this when I was twenty, but now it amuses me with the ring of truth.
“Men, if you want to be married, find a godly girl, treat her right, talk to her parents, pop the question, tie the knot, and start making babies.” The thing is, from my lofty perch of nearly twelve years of happy marriage, I can tell you that any way you tie the knot, living with the love of your life is going to involve some hard work. There are no short cuts to great relationships, so you might as well spare yourself the angst of finding the One Soul in the Universe that completes you. Relax and trust that the God who starts a good work is able to finish it!
I will close this with one concluding quote:
“God gives His children the will to walk in His ways– not by revealing a series of next steps cloaked in shadows, but by giving us a heart to delight in His law.”
“Fear God and keep His commandments, for this is the whole duty of man.” Ecc. 12:13