Therefore we also have as our ambition, whether at home or absent, to be pleasing to Him.
—2 Corinthians 5:9
One of the most pressing concerns for Christians today is guidance. Why are Christians so interested in getting to know the will of God? I suggest three reasons for such widespread interest in this topic today.
First, it’s only natural that Christians want to know God’s will for our lives. The apostle Paul said in 2 Corinthians 5:9, “Therefore we also have as our ambition, whether at home or absent, to be pleasing to Him.” It is natural that those of us who are children of God want to know God’s desire for every area of life.
Second, Christians are interested in knowing God’s will because it is a challenging topic, especially in a society filled with options. Think of all the decisions we make every day. Not long ago if you wanted to choose a long distance carrier, you had one choice. Today, we have dozens of options. When I was growing up, if I wanted to watch television there were only four channels. Today we have hundreds of choices. We face numerous decisions like no other generation regarding where we live or what vocation we choose or what school to attend. And that’s why as never before, Christians need to know how to discover God’s direction for our lives.
A third reason for renewed interest in this topic is because knowing God’s will is a complicated issue. Quite frankly, the reason I address this topic is not because no one has ever written on it before. It is because so many people are writing books and speaking on the topic of knowing God’s will with so many contradictory ways to discover God’s will for your life.
For example, there is the formulaic approach, which says there is a formula for knowing God’s will. It’s kind of like a checklist a pilot uses before he takes off. God’s Word. Check. Prayer. Check. Wise counselors. Check. If all of them line up and agree, you can know that particular decision is God’s will. Now the problem with the formulaic approach is, what happens if those ingredients don’t all say the same thing? For example, you pray about a decision and feel like God is leading you one way. But then you go to a wise counselor who says, “You shouldn’t do that.” Which do you give more weight to: God’s leading through prayer or what wise counsel is saying to you?
A second way people try to discover God’s will is through the experiential method. They’ll say, “Well, when Moses was seeking God’s will, he didn’t have a checklist. He just got to know God intimately and God led him. So if you will simply get to know God and experience God, then you don’t have to worry about knowing His will. You will know automatically what to do.”
Other people use the rational approach to discover God’s will. They say, “God doesn’t have a particular will for every little detail of your life. He is interested in you making wise decisions. So wise decision-making is the key to knowing God’s will.”
Yet above all this chaos and confusion about God’s will, Jesus has a very simple promise: “My sheep hear My voice, and I know them, and they follow Me” (John 10:27).
Today’s devotion is excerpted from “Discovering God’s Will” by Dr. Robert Jeffress, 2008.
Scripture taken from the NEW AMERICAN STANDARD BIBLE®, Copyright © 1960,1962,1963,1968,1971,1972,1973,1975,1977,1995 by The Lockman Foundation. Used by permission.