Monday, July 16, 2007

what God's will looks like

In a sense, as we read Scripture, and especially the story of Jesus there, we can pick up what God's will looks like in a person's life. But in another true sense we simply cannot.

I'm in a situation where I've been praying something like: "God, I really don't know what your will looks like in this situation. It is puzzling to me, and I want to seek to be open at all times for your direction."

This is part of what we're called to do in following Christ. Do we know where he is going? I refer here to our lives and the circumstances and issues we are encountering along the way. What are we to do? Oftentimes we may not know until we get there. And even then we seek to follow as best we can, knowing that our doing may at times be mistaken, or even wrong. But we seek to follow on, confident in the Lord that the Spirit by the Word/Scripture in community and even directly to us will help us see the error of our way, and if need be, repent, adjust and learn from it.

What thoughts would you like to share with us on this?

(Much of the thought here, while based on Scripture is influenced by my understanding from thoughts of Dietrich Bonhoeffer.)


Allan R. Bevere said...


Good thoughts.

I think it is also true that, at times, we do not know the will of God until we look back on events that have already passed by us.

I get concerned when I speak with people who are always certain of what God wants them to do. I have no doubt that there are times when this is the case, but more often then not, we come to realize the will of God while on the journey.

preacherman said...

Great post.
I can't wait.
God bless you brother!

L.L. Barkat said...

The sermon at my church this Sunday was partly about stopping our chatter, to hear, in silence, what God has to say about his will in the world and in people's lives. It was good to remember, as you have here, that our views are small and confused in comparison.

Ted Gossard said...

Allan, Thanks.

It is challenging, particularly if you've been raised with more of a cookie-cutter, program approach, at least in your mind, concerning what the will of God is.

Bonhoeffer thought there could be a number of possibilities as one went along in regard to a certain matter, as to what the will of God is.

I know in the end, I want to be following Jesus and not my own desires and thoughts, in whose life we have and can find that will of God.... (of course this never contradicts what God has revealed in Scripture, a given).

Ted Gossard said...

Thanks, Preacherman.

Don't know what you're waiting on. We all wait on the Lord to direct us together, and our individual steps in that.

Ted Gossard said...

L.L., Sounds like a very good and needed sermon for us all.

I've found forcing myself to have times of silence to be helpful- in the mornings for me. Reminds me of Henry Nouwen's decision to do the same, and I'm encouraged that often his silence was flooded with all kinds of thoughts. True with me as well, but that encourages me, along with God I think, to keep doing it. And for me that's a time of Scripture reading and prayer.

Yes, your point is good. Our thoughts are surely very often small and confused.

Ted Gossard said...

Preacherman, Hope I didn't come across offensive, as I just was at kind of a loss there, brother. Probably it's just that you have more faith than I!

preacherman said...

No you were not offensive. I love reading your blog. Read it daily it is a blessing to my spiritual life. What I was trying to point out is I can't to see how he show himself to me today. Sorry I didn't make that clearer. I know every day in my life God shows himself differently in different situations that I face in life. Today it was a Opossum that fell 17 feet on to the church floor and God opened a door of opprotunity for me to share the good news with someone who had questions about Jesus Christ. I didn't know what was going to happen today until I got to the office and the Holy Spirit lead me in the direction I went. Strang as it was.
No offense at all. I have been blessesed time and time again by your blog brother. I want to thank you so much for being a blessing in my spiritual life and in the life of those who read your blog. Keep up the great work serving the Lord Jesus Christ.

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Ted Gossard said...

Thanks Preacherman.

Ted Gossard said...

Nancy, Thanks much. I'll check it out.