I’ve written about waiting on God before. In that post I made the conclusion that “if I give up control of the end, if I release to God the final chapter and live obedient to him daily, he’ll take me right where I need to be.”
I still agree with that . . . but I’ve been reading a book lately that is shifting my thoughts just a bit. The book is Just Do Something, by Kevin DeYoung. DeYoung is a young pastor who, in the book, counsels Christians to settle down, make choices, and do the hard work of seeing those choices through. Too often, he writes, God’s people tinker around with churches, jobs, and relationships, worrying that they haven’t found God’s perfect will for their lives. Or—even worse—they do absolutely nothing, stuck in a frustrated state of paralyzed indecision, waiting . . . waiting . . . waiting for clear, direct, unmistakable direction. But God doesn’t need to tell us what to do at each fork in the road. He’s already revealed his plan for our lives: to love him with our whole hearts, to obey His Word, and after that, to do what we like.
See, what’s always bothered me a little is this notion that God has a specific roadmap laid out for all the decisions we will make in our lives. As a Christian, I’ve always been taught that “God has a special plan for my life”. While I agree that there is a plan for my life, I’ve come to believe that the plan revolves around only two things: loving God (becoming more like Christ) and serving people. Beyond that, I think our lives could take several different paths and still be within God’s will.
Does that mean God doesn’t take an interest in some of the details of my life? No. I think it means that God is more concerned that our focus is on Him and His people rather than on which job to take. Or which house to buy. Or whether we should get fries with our meal. The fact is, if we are focused on the right things, God will use us no matter where we find ourselves living or working.
The bible has lots of examples of people receiving visions from God — specific instructions on where to go, what to do, etc. But there are many instances where it appears God didn’t provide clear direction. Take Paul for instance. If anyone would seem to have a direct line to God it would have been Paul, right? Of course and he did receive direct instruction from God. His amazing conversion story immediately comes to mind. But even Paul appears to have made numerous decisions without direct input from God.
It seemed good to the Holy Spirit . . . Acts 15:28
Paul had decided to sail past Ephesus to avoid spending time in the province of Asia, for he was in a hurry to reach Jerusalem . . . Acts 20:16
After I go through Macedonia, I will come to you—for I will be going through Macedonia. Perhaps I will stay with you awhile, or even spend the winter, so that you can help me on my journey, wherever I go. I do not want to see you now and make only a passing visit; I hope to spend some time with you, if the Lord permits. 1 Corinthians 16:5-7
Not exactly the sound of a guy who’s got his entire map laid out in front of him!
I don’t want to get too deep with this, but this concept has the potential to be a paradigm shift for many who find themselves, like me, with dreams and goals that lie just out of reach. If God doesn’t provide clear direction. If I am seeking God and serving people. Should I still be waiting on Him to set the table for me? Ponder that and let me know what you think.
I’ll leave you with a quote from a great American that fits this subject perfectly:
When you come to a fork in the road . . . . take it. Yogi Berra
Image credit: Fergal OP