God has a plan. Indeed He does, but can we know it?
There are moments in our lives which can achieve us “creeper” status. All it takes is misreading circumstances as “God’s will” when really it’s just happenstance.
This can be a pretty common behavior in our culture. When it comes to dating, where we work, and where we live, we want to believe its a part of a big huge plan that God has for us.
The truth is, it is. God does has a plan and purpose for our lives, but how can we know what that plan is? Is there a secret behind who to date, where to work, and where we live?
If we want the answer, I think the first thing we have to do is throw the “signs” out the window. The random occurances that culture encourages as “signs” are only going to make us crazy.
Our definition of “God’s will” also needs reworking. In the story of Esther, Mordecai wants Esther to approach King Xerxes regarding a decree that Haman (one of the king’s right hand men) made to destroy the Jews. We all like the bravery of Esther when she says, “I will meet with him, and if I perish, I perish,” but before that, Esther waivers. She replies with a worry of her’s that comes to mind:
“All the king’s officials and the people of the royal provinces know that for any man or woman who approaches the king in the inner court without being summoned the king has but one law: that they be put to death unless the king extends the gold scepter to them and spares their lives. But thirty days have passed since I was called to go to the king.”
Esther is scared because she knows that if she goes before the king unsummoned, there is a good likelihood that things will not go well for her. She could very well go into the throne room and not walk about out. Mordecai’s reply is this:
“Do not think that because you are in the king’s house you alone of all the Jews will escape. For if you remain silent at this time, relief and deliverance for the Jews will arise from another place, but you and your father’s family will perish. And who knows but that you have come to your royal position for such a time as this?”
Mordecai didn’t say to Esther, “This is why you are where you are. This is God’s purpose for you.” He said, “Who knows?”
It turns out that it was God’s purpose to use Esther to save the Jews, but Esther moved when things weren’t certain. The same is true for us. We are called to move and act in a world of uncertainty.
Is it God’s will for your life to…. Who knows? It could be. It’s scary to think of living in uncertainty, but it can also be freeing. We don’t have to pour every single choice through the filter of knowing the specifics of God’s will for us. That isn’t trust, and that kind of fear can immobilize us.
Let’s let go of wanting to know all of the answers before we step out in faith. Let’s grow into trust and walk away from wanting control. If we do, we will find a sense of freedom and can still take confidence that Jesus will make us clean through our circumstances.