Discussing and coming to terms with the will of God is something that perhaps has no real end point. Each issue we face in life is filtered through either God’s will or his sovereignty. That may mean he has influence over every area and every decision, or it may mean he simply observes and only intervenes when it is “required.”
There is not a day goes by where I enjoy the absence of this thinking. Perhaps it’s because I seek to be in God’s will; somehow know God’s will; or wonder if I’m living outside God’s will. For whatever reason, as I read and study different areas I find the topic ever present. It’s talked about on several different platforms and covers a multitude of areas that I seldom consider.
To gain some perspective on this, I would encourage you to check out of of my favorite blogs, the Jesus Creed. There Jeremy Berg addresses the issue of family planning and talks about the “Quiverfull movement.” The discussion centers on family planning under the will of God. Naturally, the subject matter itself is not something that is immediately applicable to me and my wife. However…..it is something that could be applicable to thousands. Not only faithful Catholics but, as Quiverfull represents, many Evangelicals as well.
Now, the blog subject itself has an intriquing premise. But the comment section is where the meat of the issue is candidly discussed. Often times we see only one side of an issue and think, “Well, that seems plausible, even correct.” Then, when we carry a beginning premise to it’s various implications or influences, then we begin to wonder, “Perhaps there is something here I’m not understanding.”
There is seldom one side as it applies to declaring knowledge of God’s will, even living in God’s will, especially when it reaches beyond a personal application. I might say I now God’s will for my life, but there is no evidence or even credibility for me to say that will would be the same for someone else. Yes, there may be general principles that apply, like obedience to God’s word, living morally based on biblical teaching, or teaching others to obey what Christ commanded. However, once we move beyond those basic premises, we move into the realm of subjectivity and perceived understanding of the teaching of scripture.
A recent discussion I read evolved around the disucssion of alcohol. Most, if not all participants in the discussion saw no clear mandate from scripture that prohibited moderate alcohol consumption. Nevertheless, I suspect many evangelicals would argue that it is not proper Christian behavior. Based on what, they may not be certain, but they simply beleive it’s not appropriate. And certainly would not subscribe it to living within God’s will. Now is there a right or wrong on this. Certainly many would come down vehemently on the side of “wrong.”
Naturally we could move to other issues such as abortion, working in certain environments or jobs, reading material, missions, even divorce. Filtering any of these through the will of God is a challenge at best. Especially if we choose to suspend personal opinions and speak only to the facts.
Yes, it’s never easy and certainly never over.