I am way behind on my reading goal of 30 new books this year. I joined the #HRBookClub and have read 3 of the recommended 10 or so. Most of my choices have been non-fiction (though I did purchase “The Prince of Egypt” by Dorothy Clarke Williams which “The Ten Commandments” is based on). I recently finished “Just Do Something: a Liberating Approach to Finding God’s Will” by Kevin DeYoung based on the recommendation of Jennifer McClure. She talked about it in her podcast. As someone who grew up hearing the advice to “seek God’s will” this book really spoke to me about how we are probably getting it wrong.
We, er I, often pray for God to “show me the way” “show me the map” “show me what You want me to do.” I’m looking for that secret treasure map that shows me exactly the plan that God has for me so I can do what “he wants me to do.” We LOVE to quote Jeremiah 29:11 “For I know the plans I have for you declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.” [Because Jeremiah is ALL about the individual.] We justify our lack of decision making on the fact that God hasn’t told us what we should do. Yet, does God really work that way? Do we really think God cares that much about whether we spend our days as a doctor, lawyer, teacher, waitress or HR professional? or is he more concerned with our Character?
The most important issues for God are moral purity, theological fidelity, compassion, joy, our witness, faithfulness, hospitality, love, worship and faith. Kevin DeYoung
God gave us brains to reason, wisdom to figure out things. He tells us, OFTEN, in the Bible to seek wisdom — there’s an entire book on it (Proverbs). We aren’t looking for a treasure map to our “perfect life.” I’ve seen so often in my life that God takes my decisions and turns them to good. Romans 8:28 tells us this same thing “And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose.” God can bring good things in the midst of the awful — this doesn’t mean he wants the bad things to happen! But we have free will to make decisions and He can use those choices to his ultimate purpose.
So, just how do we find this wisdom to assist in making good decisions? Mr. DeYoung has really good advice here:
- Read the Bible. Know God’s Word. This isn’t about picking & choosing a verse to justify your decision. This is about knowing the Bible, knowing what God is still saying to us today. By knowing what the Bible says, we will be better situated to make godly decisions.
- Seek good counsel. Proverbs 19:20 says “Listen to advice and accept instruction, that you may gain wisdom in the future.” Be teachable. The first piece (knowing God’s Word) will help you find that good counsel. Those who truly have your best interest at heart. You will want counselors, mentors, friends, guides who are able to help you decide what is the decision that would most glorify God.
- Pray. Spend some time praying, thinking on the decision. Ask God for pure motives and to help you be honest with yourself.
- And then DECIDE. Don’t hyper-spiritualize something that doesn’t need to be. Most of our day to day decisions aren’t.
God doesn’t really care what our day to day job is. He doesn’t care if we have hamburgers or spaghetti for lunch. He DOES care about the kind of person we are. He wants us to live for Him, to Love Jesus, to Love our Neighbor and pray for our enemies. He wants us to be like him.