By: Natalie Plumb
Are you unsure about your circumstances? Do you crave change? Do you have a decision to make? Are you afraid of the consequences of that decision? Are you relaying in your head constantly what to say or do?
I could be highly unhelpful and list off the key ideas we often throw around as Christians: discernment, God’s will, my will, fate, free will, coincidence, on and on…
I think the mistake we often make as Christians is assuming that God’s will is going to be so obvious to us at one point that we won’t have to make a decision. That’s what we want to believe, right? We don’t want to have to do the dirty work of unbalancing two equally favorable opportunities. We don’t want to have regrets or ask ourselves “what if” three months later. Most of all, we don’t want to be “wrong.”
That last part is so interesting to me. “Wrong” — Can you be wrong? If both opportunities you are choosing from are equally just and good, how could either of them be wrong?
We suffer, by our human nature, from this fear of being incorrect. We want to be perfect. We desire happiness so much that we are willing to sacrifice it now, via worry, stress, emotional congestion and fear, in order to make sure that we are guaranteed happiness later.
When we talk about discernment, and waiting for God to show us His will, I think we often use the period of waiting as a safety net.
“So is this it? Are you staying? Is this ministry your calling?”
“I don’t know. I’m waiting for God to tell me.”
Let me tell you: You could be waiting forever. Sometimes God just wants us to jump and take a leap of faith on the decisions we make even though we have no idea what the future holds. And if you trust in an omnipotent and omniscient God of justice, who speaks of peace, joy and hope, why be afraid? Why do we not trust in Him? Security is not necessary. Having all the answers is highly unnecessary. That’s true in marriage, right? Why wouldn’t it be true in other life-changing decisions?
After you’ve ascertained that you are striving for holiness in your heart, and either action you take would reflect that, there are other important questions to ask yourself. While waiting inertly for God to reveal His will to you, opportunities may pass you by. God doesn’t always explicitly tell us what to do. He often speaks in subtler ways, more often than not through his disciples. God prefers you to freely follow His will, not be told to do so “because He said so.” In those times, ask yourself:
Am I happy? Moreover: Am I joyful?
Am I genuine and honest with myself about my situation?
Am I looking for ways to further good in the world and in my life?
Am I full of hope or despair?
Do I love my life, or strive to live someone else’s?
The questions could go on. Ask yourself…Do you love what you do? If not, go do what you love.
I’m not saying follow Slomo’s example in every way. But isn’t what he did courageous? Doesn’t God want us to take leaps of faith in similar ways, and just trust Him?
Love what you do. If you don’t, go do what you love.
Natalie writes on Thursdays about faith, dating, relationships, and the in between. May her non-fiction stories and scenarios challenge you. May they help you laugh, cry, think and wonder.