Sunday, May 02, 2004

It is the will of...

How do Evangelicals typically view God's will? Our church has been without a senior pastor for about 6 months now. Back in March, after extensive searching, our church board presented to us a candidate for the position. The vote by church membership was overwhelmingly in favor of bringing him on. Plans were laid, and his arrival was expected to occur in June. A great sense of peace seemed to fall upon the church and more than one person commented on how they knew that this was God's will. Well, today we found out that he has backed out of becoming our new pastor. What happened to being so sure that his coming was God's will? Did God change His mind? Do we now run to Romans 8:28 and take comfort in knowing that God has some greater good in mind? Does it mean that what God really wanted was for us to go through this trial in order to strengthen our faith? If so, then we circle back and have to ask, once again, what about our being so sure that this person's coming was part of God's will? It can be so frustrating - trying to figure out what God wants us to do. But that is the core of the problem... we think that we have to find out what God wants us to do when, in reality, that is not what the Bible teaches. Call it providence or call it coincidence, but next Sunday I will be teaching a class on Decision Making and the Will of God. I will be using the guideline developed by Greg Koukl at Stand to Reason. I will be substituting for the regular teacher and all I was able to give him, with regards to my topic of presentation, was the title. Unfortunately, the blurb that ended up being announced for the class said,
Why do we often struggle with knowing God's will for our lives? Life seems like a maze that challenges us to move from the entrance to the exit without getting caught in deadend paths. Inside the maze, we only see walls and turns. God stands above the maze and looks down on our plight. He knows the right path.
Herein lies the crux of the frustration I mentioned above: we think that there is some cosmic blueprint for our lives that God knows, and we have to discover. If only we can learn how to tune in on the hints that God throws our way, then we can avoid getting caught in deadend paths. Yet if we read the Bible we will find that it does not teach that we should expect to get that type of guidance from God. In fact, it teaches that we have been given the responsibility of making our own decisions... through a methodology framed within a Biblical Worldview. Needless to say, I think I will surprise a lot of people next Sunday.

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