Asking the Question: “What is the Will of God?”
From early childhood I earnestly sought to follow the path God has for me. Like many young Christians, I pictured this path as a singular direction, a “destiny”, which I had to find. When I graduated from high school, I was ready to find that destiny. I asked myself sincerely, “What is the will of God for the rest of my life?”
Before I started college my mother gave me a book called The Will of God as a Way of Life. In the first chapter author Jerry Sittser says, “The will of God concerns the present more than the future; it deals with our motives as well as our actions; it focuses on the little decisions we make every day even more than the big decisions we make about the future.”
This idea blew my mind and changed my heart. Suddenly I was confronted with the idea that finding “my destiny” simply meant being faithful in the little things, working to follow God one step at a time without knowing the path ahead.
At first I was frustrated. After all, finding a “destiny” is romantic; it is satisfying. Finding the right path means knowing one’s exact purpose, and allows one the security of knowing where one stands. Walking on the “right” path imparts confidence. And now the possibility of finding that confidence had been swept away all at once.
Then came relief. If there wasn’t “one path” I had to find, I didn’t have to face the constant pressure of having to find the right path. I no longer faced the worry of walking on the wrong path, or worse, of never finding a path at all. Slowly, I changed how I asked that crucial question, “What is the will of God for the rest of my life?” Instead, I started thinking, “What is the will of God in my life today, at this moment, in this situation?”
Living one day at a time takes faith. There is a comfort in having a long-term plan. For some people, faithfulness means following steps that will take them where they expect to go. For me, it has taken me to places I never expected. A year ago I could not have known I would sit here today and write this blog post. But at each step along the way, I have seen God’s hand at work.
God tells us, “Don’t worry about tomorrow. Tomorrow will bring its own worries.” This is not a call to passivity. It is a call to live each day in faithfulness and obedience to Him. To walk in the will of God, one step at a time.
As you and your child consider the next steps in your lives, whether that means working on college applications, deciding on courses to take next semester, or making a plan for the week, consider Sittser’s view of knowing God’s will. Instead of worrying about ending up in the right place in the future, work towards trusting God from one moment to the next.