Thursday, January 22, 2004

The Lord told me (part 2)...

In this series I am touching on the highlights of Greg Koukl's Decision Making and the Will of God CD / study guide. The question I posed earlier was: How do you make decisions in your life? Greg expounds on that with the qualifier, "How is God involved in the process of making decisions?" We tend to think that God has an individual Plan for our lives and that it is our duty or obligation to find out what that plan is. How many times have you heard the phrase, "God loves you, and has a plan for your life"? When I reviewed Walt Russell's book Playing With Fire I spoke of how Russell agrees with the first half of that statement (i.e., God loves you), but he has some hesitation believing the second half. The reason for Russell's reluctance has to do with how we understand the Biblical Worldview. According to Russell, and others, the Israelites and the New Covenant believers of the first century did not have an individualistic view of their relationship with God, as we do. Rather, there's was a worldview rooted in history - knowing where they came from was a foundation for knowing who they were, and where they were going. This worldview dovetails into what Russell outlines as the Biblical view of God's Plan: 1) God, has a Plan 2) He is working out through history 3) First through Israel, and now through the New Covenant believers 4) To establish His kingdom on earth and bless all peoples of the world through faith 5) This maximally glorifies - God Note that we only fit into that view inasmuch as we are a part of God's plan. The earlier statement should then be re-phrased to, "God loves you, and wants you to be a part of His Plan." Russell contrasts the Biblical Worldview with the prevailing "existentialist" worldview in which things such as work, home, family, church, God, hobbies, country, etc., all exist in an attempt to bring fulfillment to the individual. Now, getting back to Greg Koukl, if we are under the impression that God has an individual plan for our lives, then it isn't too surprising for us to attempt to find out just what that plan is - after all - that would ensure we would make the right choices in the important decisions we face. But in searching for what we consider to be God's Will we end up relying on some sixth sense in order to know just what that will is. Thus we tend to hear phrases like, "I feel led...," "I feel God is calling me...," etc. As Greg says, this is "All based on a very important assumption: the blueprint; the road map—God made the decision that we must discover in order to make our decision." (emphasis added) Can you relate? Do you remember going through issues like these or, perhaps, having a friend go through them? What usually happened? I remember one friend who was having relational problems with her boyfriend and was at a crossroads on what to do. In seeking advice from her friends she got conflicting messages. One friend told her the problems she was facing must mean that the devil was trying block a wonderful relationship from happening - forge ahead! Another friend told her that maybe it was God closing the door - pull back! She began to wonder if she was just not mature enough spiritually to discern God's Will. Well... how do we find out God's Will? Greg decided to check with one source - God's Word. end of part 2, go to part 3

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