Christians declare they want to live within God’s will. They want to have a complete comitial of their heart, soul and strength to God. They want their actions and words to reflect a trust in God’s purpose for their life. Yet when faced with choices, they face uncertainty as they try to understand God’s will in the choices offered. How do we choose what to do? How do we choose between “open doors” that lead to serving Him? How can we know God’s will?
Is God’s will whatever opportunity works out for you? When Paul and Silas were in jail and an earthquake opened the jail doors they stayed put. They didn’t interpret the literal “open door” as God wanting them to go through it. They stayed put and the jailer and his household came to put their faith in Christ. Paul and Silas’ ministry was about spreading Jesus’ truth, which is God’s will. Given their circumstances at the time of the earthquake, fleeing would have made sense. They would be safe allowing for greater opportunity to spread the word to larger audiences outside prison. However their decision to stay was not reckless. They had wisdom and understanding that aligned them to God’s will such that their own needs were secondary. When we seek to align with God’s will, is it OK to also hope that the choice include, what is best for us and our families or must we put them aside?
The Hebrews slaves in Egypt were oppressed. Their situation was grave and they suffered daily. No matter what daily choices they made their circumstances remained dismal. However they chose to cry out to God who heard them and responded with Moses. When they cried out their circumstances were certainly on their mind. However it was God’s will that a community focused on loving Him would be established in a new land. He had waited 400 years for a generation wanting to be part of that plan. The Hebrews did not rationalize or over think their prayer – they just asked God to do something. Choices do not automatically seem clearer if we ignore our circumstances or our families. Decision making can be dependent more on whether we are in the habit of choosing and trusting God.
God does not yell out daily instructions to us to help us choose. He offers the Holy Spirit, scripture, and even other Christians whom He has blessed with wisdom and understanding to help His children make choices. Often our choice comes down to choosing how to serve God knowing we have families and jobs.
If you are contemplating or struggling with a choice linked to following God’s will may I offer these suggestions:
1. Ask others to pray for you as you seek clarity.
2. Go to God’s word seeking answers. Scripture is our ultimate source of authority in all areas of life. Ask God to lead you to specific passages of how your choice fits into His plan.
3. Seek the advice of mature Christians. Look for someone who knows you well, who will be objective with you and who knows and walks with God and knows His ways.