Have you ever wondered what God wants you to do? Of course you have. Don’t we all? We spend time in prayer searching for God’s will. When someone asks us to serve in the church or go on a mission trip we respond solemnly and piously, “Let me pray about it and discover God’s will about this.” The sad thing for most of us is, we usually use those words instead of saying, “No! I don’t want to.” Then we pray something like this: “God, I don’t really want to do this, but if You really want me to do it, I really need a sign from You.” If lightning doesn’t strike, either literally or figuratively, we breathe a sigh of relief and tell the person who asked us to serve that we don’t think God is leading us in this direction – after an appropriate wait time of course.
What is really sad about all of this is that many of the things we seek God’s will on are things that He’s already told us to do. Go on a mission trip? “Go into all the world…” (Matthew 28:16-20) In Micah 6 the prophet reminds us that “He has told us…what [we] should do…” The author of Hebrews reminds us of what God has already told us to do as well. “Through Jesus, therefore, let us continually offer to God a sacrifice of praise—the fruit of lips that openly profess his name. And do not forget to do good and to share with others, for with such sacrifices God is pleased.” (Hebrews 13:15-16)
This may sound heretical, but there are some things that you don’t need to ask God for direction about. You don’t need to ask Him for guidance as to whether or not to praise Him. Of course, that’s no problem on Sunday mornings when we are worshiping with God’s people; but the passage doesn’t limit praising God to worship services. We are to praise Him on Monday morning…before coffee. We are to praise Him when we are running late to work. We are to praise Him when the boss calls us into their office. How do I know that? “…let us continually offer to God a sacrifice of praise…” It may not be verbal, but it should be an attitude and a lifestyle that recognizes God’s presence in our lives each step of the way. We are to do good. What does that mean? I think it starts with treating others as Jesus would treat them on earth. I could list all kinds of scenarios about how to do good in specific situations but the concept that should help us understand what to do is very simple: “What Would Jesus Do?” We are to share with others. We live in a land of plenty. There is so much opportunity here in our country and most of us have wealth beyond the dreams of 95% of people in the rest of the world. We have enough to share with others far more than we currently do. The question each of us needs to ask ourselves is how can I make sharing with others a deliberate choice and action?
The major issue with most of us, when we are completely honest, is not that we want to follow God’s will. It’s that most of us want God to bless our own will. If we do seek His will, it’s not to commit to doing it, it’s to commit to considering doing His will if it suits us. We are followers of Christ. We are to seek God’s will so that we can do what God wants us to do, not merely consider it. In the meanwhile, there are plenty of things for us to do that are in accord with God’s will: praise God through Jesus – remembering His grace and mercy; do good to others – and not evil; and share with others. If you’re having trouble finding God’s will, start with those things and you will never go wrong.
Lord, I need You. I need Your grace and mercy. I need Your strength in order to follow You each day. You have given us basic instructions for following Your will. Help me to do Your will daily and help me to be in tune with You for those times when You give me special instructions.