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Hidden Directions?

If God has a wonderful plan for my life, as many evangelistic tracts tell us, then why doesn't He tell me what it is? After all, our lives down here are a confusing mess of fits and starts, dead ends and open doors, possibilities, and competing ideals. With so many decisions to face, it's no surprise many of us are desperate to know the will of God for our lives.

The "will of God" is one of the most confusing phrases in the Christian vocabulary. Sometimes we speak of things happening according to God's sovereign will. Other times we talk about being obedient and doing the moral will of God. And still other times we talk about finding the will of God. Most of the time what we are really hoping for is God's will of direction. What does God want me to do with my life? What job should I take? Where should I live? Those are the kinds of questions we ask when we seek God's will of direction.

So here's the real heart of the matter: Does God have a secret will of direction that He expects us to figure out before we do anything? And the answer is no. Yes, God has a specific plan for our lives. And yes, we can be assured that He works things for our good in Christ Jesus. And yes, looking back we will often be able to trace God's hand in bringing us to where we are. But while we are free to ask God for wisdom, He does not burden us with the task of divining His will of direction for our lives ahead of time.

Expecting God to reveal some hidden will of direction is an invitation to disappointment and indecision. God is not a Magic 8-Ball we shake up and peer into whenever we have a decision to make. He is a good God who gives us brains, shows us the way of obedience, and invites us to take risks for Him. We know God has a plan for our lives. That's wonderful. The problem is we think He's going to tell us the wonderful plan before it unfolds.

The better way is the Biblical way: seek first the kingdom of God, and then trust that He will take care of our needs, even before we know what they are and where we're going.

—From Just Do Something (c) 2009 by Kevin DeYoung. Published by Moody Publishers.