Finding the Will of God

by | Jan 20, 2012 | 06 Articles, Theology

5 If any of you lacks wisdom, let him ask God, who gives generously to all without reproach, and it will be given him. 6 But let him ask in faith, with no doubting, for the one who doubts is like a wave of the sea that is driven and tossed by the wind. – James 1:5-6

If you’re following our James series, you know that I think James 1:5-6 are two of the most frequently misinterpreted verses of the Bible.  So how do we find God’s will?

If we accept the fact that God is our Father, our Provider and our Redeemer, does it make sense that He would hide His will from us?

Yet many Christians talk about the “will of God” as if finding it is a version of the con man’s three-shell game where a pea is hidden under a small cup and two empty cups are placed on either side.  As all three are quickly moved around the table, the con man asks you — the mark — to guess which cup hides the pea.  No matter how carefully you watch, you always guess wrong.

We Christians sometimes sound like “marks” when we talk about finding God’s will.  We use phrases like “if only I could find God’s will” as though God is purposefully hiding it from us.  Or “I’m praying that I’ll discover God’s will for my life” as though God is making finding His will as difficult as possible so that only the most worthy will succeed in guessing the right shell.

Thankfully, these ideas don’t mesh with Scripture.

For one thing none of us is worthy.

And if we really believe that God loves us enough to send His son to die for us while we were sinners, to pay the penalty for our sins and secure our redemption, then does it make sense now that we are His children that He would play some sort of hide-and-seek game with his will?

If you’re ready to abandon the notion of God has some almighty con-man duping His children in the shell game of His will, but don’t know what to replace it with, read this book:

Finding the Will of God?: A Pagan Notion? by Bruce K. Waltke

Waltke contrasts the “popular” view of finding God’s will with the biblical view and then gives a biblical 6-step process for finding it.

“Anytime a believer gets into a behavior pattern where they perform some activity to gain God’s pleasure, then await His word through some obscure sign, I believe they are very treacherous waters.  Certainly Christians who use their Bible like a magic book, letting it fall open to a page and randomly pointing to a verse, come dangerously close to idol worship.”  (Finding the will of God, page 51)