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626. A Better Question

When asking God to reveal His will for our lives, there’s a better question we should be asking.
IT’S WORTH CONSIDERING
In recent articles we’ve looked at the issue of knowing God’s will for our lives fromwaterfall 1 different perspectives. It’s an issue we all long to resolve. We want to know what God wants us to do. Just tell me and I’ll do it. Right? Well, I’ve recently discovered that we’ve been asking the wrong question. Here’s a much better question: Lord, what is Your will?

On the surface, this seems like a step backward. It seems too general. We want specifics. We want to know what God desires for us, and we feel quite justified in our quest. The problem is that our focus is all wrong. As usual, it’s on us instead of on God. Once we shift the focus, we’re able to see the bigger picture. God wants us to look to Him to see what He is already doing in our midst. Then He invites us to join Him, utilizing the gifts He has given us. Jesus often reminded His disciples that He does nothing on His own. He only does what He sees the Father doing (See John 5:19). He also said, “Just as the Father has sent Me, so I send you” (See John 20:21). We are to follow His example of doing what we see the Father already doing.

Jesus supported this principle when He said, “No one can come to Me unless the Father Who sent Me draws him…(John 6:44). The initiative comes from the Father. He works-we respond.

AS I SEE IT

We’re good at coming up with seemingly great ideas for things we can do for Godbeautiful 1 and then asking Him to bless our efforts. We want to be productive members of His kingdom who are bearing fruit, so we’re always looking for ways to be a good “workman.” The problem is that unless the idea originated with God and He is clearly already working in the arena we’ve chosen, our efforts will prove fruitless. We assume that if we really want to do something for God, the idea must have come from Him, so we forge ahead. Then when we crash and burn, we wonder what happened and we get discouraged.

I know too well the folly of this kind of thinking. Been there, done that. Eventually, God, in His mercy, asks us if we’ve had enough and invites us to participate in His plans His way. When we’ve failed enough times, we’re finally ready to start working with God instead of for Him. Only when we’ve been brought to the end of ourselves and our plans will we be ready to truly surrender our lives and our plans to God.

That’s when we wait, pray, and seek His will in His word. When we have survived the crucible of His testing and are ready, He will give us our “assignment.” It just might be in an area we never would have chosen, but we can rest assured that we will be effective and productive since we can be sure that we’re finally in the center of our Father’s will.

For a more complete perspective on this approach, I recommend the latest edition of the classic, Experiencing God by Henry Blackaby.

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