I struggled as a high school and college student. Like many other students at that age, I had a hard time knowing what was next. I was under the impression that I had to know exactly what I wanted to do for the rest of my life. I had discovered that I could do a number of things well, but none of those things seemed to be a good career fit for me. So, I struggled. I didn’t know which college was right for me because I didn’t know what career was right for me. I wanted a clear and unfettered look at God’s will for the rest of my life. I think that’s something most all of us can relate to. We want a precise long-term picture of God’s will for our lives. I believe that the desire to search for Gods will in this way finds its roots in our search for a meaningful identity. We want to know who we are in light of who God says we are.
It can be difficult to know what God’s will for our lives is. Thankfully, I had a mentor along the way that helped clarify some things for me and it helped to take a lot of pressure off of the big life decisions that I had to make.
He pointed out that there are aspects of God’s will for our lives that can clearly be known from the scriptures. This isn’t an exhaustive list, but I think it serves to help make the point.
It is God’s will that you should be sanctified… 1 Thessalonians 4:3
For we are God’s handiwork, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do….Ephesians 2:10
Go therefore and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, 20 teaching them to observe all that I have commanded you… Matthew 28:19-20
22 But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, forbearance, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, 23 gentleness and self-control. Against such things there is no law…Galatians 5:22-23
So, whether you eat or drink, or whatever you do, do all to the glory of God…1 Corinthians 10:31
There are myriad of other verses that I could point to, but I think this enough to make the point. I believe that God is much more interested in us being like Jesus than He is in anything else. That isn’t to say that God doesn’t care about who we marry, what college we go to, or what job we take. The larger point is that he cares more about how we do the job we have, how we treat the spouse we have, or how we use the college experience we have.
God makes it pretty clear in his word that we are to make disciples, to do good works, practice love and kindness, to honor him in every aspect of our lives. Essentially, he wants us to be like Jesus.
At the end of the day, we have the freedom to choose which college we go to or which job we should take. We use the brains that God has given us and we prayerfully consider the options using people that we trust as a sounding board. The bigger and more important question is, “How do we faithfully follow Jesus after the decisions are made?”. God makes that pretty clear to us. We live out God’s will for our lives by doing the things we know that he has commanded us to do in His word. I firmly believe that as we do seek to be more like Jesus the answers to the other questions we have will, for the most part, fall into place.
Questions for Reflection:
- Do you struggle with knowing God’s will for your life?
- Are you trying to discover what God wants from you in a 10-year plan format or are you more interested in discovering what God wants for you at the moment?
- How do you discern what to do with major life decisions?