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It is one of the most frequently asked questions: “How can I know what God wants me to do?”

Does God care what shirt I wear this morning? Does God care if I paint the bathroom rather than mow the lawn this afternoon? Does God care which college I attend? How can I know what is my decision and what is God’s will?

Some say God’s will is like the bubble in a level – it is a constant balancing act to keep it centered. “Center” is the key word. You are either in the “center” of His will or you are disobedient.

Others see God’s will as dynamic, with a great deal of freedom. One writer says…

God gives us the Bible to guide us to what He expressly commands and forbids. Beyond those black and white commands, He gives us great freedom to live our lives. He does not expect or demand that we will stop to demand answers from a “still small voice” for every situation we face. Instead, we fill our minds with Scripture, we study His commands, and we live life in the freedom He offers.

In other words, God’s will is more like a wide highway than it is a level. You can drive fast or slowly. You can drive in the right or left lane. You can speed up or slow down. Your choice. Just stay on the road.

I’ve concluded that there is a lot more freedom in God’s will than we normally think. I love what St. Augustine said: “love God with all your heart and do what you want.”

If God desires we do a specific thing, take a specific path, speak to a specific person -he is well able to make that clear. Otherwise, we stay in his word, walk in prayer, and use the minds he gave us.

One passage sealed it for me.

A woman is bound to her husband as long as he lives. But if her husband dies, she is free to marry anyone she wishes, but he must belong to the Lord. In my judgment, she is happier if she stays as she is—and I think that I too have the Spirit of God. 1 Cor 7:39-40

You would think that something as important as marriage would require seeking the center of God’s will. But notice:

She is free to marry, or not to marry. Her choice.

She is free to marry anyone she wishes (although some choices are better than others!).

There are two stipulations:

1. If she decides to marry, she must only marry a Christian. That is the Biblical principle.

2. The decision of whether to marry or not is based on what would make her happier. Is that a strange criterion or what?

No – it is the question – which is the wiser thing to do: marry or not?

The point is: she is free!

Challies has some fine resources that teach this perspective. I encourage you to check them out.

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2 Comments

  1. Shortest chapter in the Bible- Psalm 117.
    Longest chapter in the Bible- Psalm 119.
    Center chapter in the Bible- Psalm 118:8
    594 chapters before Psalm 118.
    594 chapters after Psalm 118.
    1188=Sum of these numbers.
    What does Psalm 118:8 say about God’s perfect will for my life? “IT IS BETTER TO TRUST IN THE LORD THAN TO PUT CONFIDENCE IN MAN.”
    Amazing how God worked that out!!! This is surely God’s will for my life!

  2. Perhaps the two views are really the same.


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