Here’s the thing – sometimes, I have this conviction that God doesn’t care as much as we think He does.
(Don’t freak! Hear me out, okay?)
Sometimes, I have this sneaking suspicion that, maybe, as Christians, we put an unhealthy amount of emphasis on figuring out “God’s will” for our lives.
Sometimes, this emphasis to decode where “God’s leading us” causes us to debate every single decision we make as if it is going to gravely affect the course of our lives.
Sometimes, we think if we don’t get it right–if we misinterpret the signs, the open/closed doors, the affirmations–that we miss out on God’s best for us and end up with His leftovers.
Sometimes, we carry around this massive burden–this boiling pressure to see “God’s plan” written in chunks of gold in our driveways–and it entraps us in its pseudo-godliness.
Sometimes, it’s paralyzing.
Sometimes, it’s debilitating.
And sometimes, it tricks us into dishonoring the God who created us.
When we live in a constant state of “Godly” deliberation, we are covering up the underlying cause that, if goes unnoticed, will rot us from the inside out: worry. We worry that we’re missing the signs. We worry that if we don’t make the right move, we’ll mess up God’s perfect plan for our lives and the blessings He’s stored for us will sour. Like an anesthetic that disables the body muscle by muscle, the fear of living outside His will immobilizes us from following Him into the unknown. Stemming from worry and fear, this preoccupation with “figuring out” perpetuates a gross mistrust in the God who so tenderly begs us to step toward Him – whether we can see the footing or not.
We pray and we pray and we pray. We seek Godly counsel and we journal and we exhaust conversation after conversation as we carefully calculate every decision we ever make.
Where should I go to college?
What should I major in?
Whom should I date?
Whom should I marry?
Where should I work?
Where should I live?
We build up this idea that God has this linear plan for us–that one single deviation will completely depose Him and His authority over our lives–and it scares us. We place these decisions and their outcomes on a throne that sits high above God’s kingdom…and we idolize them in a Baal-like fashion.
In this state of mind, there’s no freedom.
There is no freedom to make choices as an expression of the intricacies and nuances sewn into our hearts, and there is no freedom from fear. But if we want to get down and dirty in exposing our darkest parts, this thought process reveals our belief that:
- God doesn’t really have full control of our lives
- God doesn’t dwell in us
- God can’t redeem us from our “wrong turns”
God’s word is very clear in proclaiming the opposite of all three of these things:
- It’s plastered on every coffee mug, bumper sticker and t-shirt in Christian bookstores across the world: Jeremiah 29:11. We cling to this verse. We depend on it as a lifeline in times of strife and trouble. It’s a beautiful promise of God’s sovereignty over our lives no matter what the circumstance. And it’s every bit of true. God doesn’t say, “For I know the plans I have for you and you better figure them out and follow them or else this whole thing is shot.” He promises to prosper you and not to harm you, to give you hope and a future. And just a few verses later, He promises that when we seek Him we will find Him.Instead of worrying about the outcome of your decisions, seek God all the way through. When we do this with the same intensity with which we deliberate and worry, there’s nothing in the world that could alter the beauty He has scripted for your life.
- Romans 8:9-11 and 1 Corinthians 6:19 are just a few verses that speak to the fact that, as believers, the Holy Spirit dwells in us. Sometimes, we undermine this truth and it stunts the potential we have in Christ. GOD. LIVES. IN. US. The very same power that rolled away the stone and beat death is cozy on the sofas of our hearts, minds, bodies and souls. We need to trust that as we face difficult decisions. We need to trust God in us–in our guts, in our heads and in our hearts. Sometimes, the intuition of the Spirit is tapping–but our doubt in the Spirit-born confidence is too loud to hear.
- Praise be to the Lord, the God of Israel because He has come to His people and redeemed them (Luke 1:68). The gospel oozes the grandiose of God’s pleasure to redeem. We are promised that God makes all things new (Revelation 21:5) and nothing is outside the boundaries of His restorative grace.This means that even when we mess up, even when we misinterpret the burning bush, even when we take a left instead of a right, God can (and will) redeem us–for no other reason than we are His children. And He’s in the business of making beauty from ashes.
Certainly prayer and counsel are healthy practices to engage in regularly–whether faced with a decision or not–but, as believers, it’s important to not let any decision freeze us into numbing stagnation. To do this, we must believe that regardless of our decisions, God is in control, His spirit dwells in us and His ability to redeem even the gravest of route recalculations is beyond comprehension. Sometimes God just wants us to decide and trust that He’s got the rest.
Now, go and decide.
God wants you to get where God wants you to go more than you want to get where God wants you to go.” ― Mark Batterson, In a Pit with a Lion on a Snowy Day