I recently finished reading "Just Do Something: A Liberating Approach to Finding God's Will" by Kevin DeYoung. The alternate title sums the book up quite well: "How to Make a Decision Without Dreams, Visions, Fleeces, Impressions, Open Doors, Random Bible Verses, Casting Lots, Liver Shivers, Writing in the Sky, Etc." How's that for a change? Few books have caused me to think as much as this one has, especially on such a wide range of topics. I could talk about the inability to make decisions, because it often seems that when we have two options put before us (generally with the idea of here's what you give, here's what you get), a signal goes off inside of us that consists of red lights flashing, sirens blaring, and a frantic cry for help, like the whole universe depends on this one decision of ours. I could talk about Kevin's points on job hunting and marriage, which I really happened to like, particularly because I discovered that there's actually a man out there who understands my hesitancy to pursue a career. I could talk about how so many of us pray for God to reveal His will for our lives (which he isn't exactly going to do) and all end up doing nothing: "At the rate some of us are going, we will be exploring our future career at thirty , entering adulthood at forty, trying to find ourselves at fifty, questioning everything again at sixty, pondering a career move at seventy, wondering what we were made for at eighty, and still waiting to discover God's will at ninety. And then we'll die, never having done much of anything." But that's way too much ground to cover in depth, and I really believe that all these things are just a small part of a much greater, yet simple principle.
This one principle is found in the last paragraph of the book: "So the end of the matter is this: Live for God. Obey the Scriptures. Think of others before yourself. Be holy. Love Jesus. And as you do these things, do whatever else you like, with whomever you like, wherever you like, and you'll be walking in the will of God." So if you want that in even simpler words, the principle is this: Love God with all your heart, obey His Word, then do what you want.
The more I've thought about that idea, the more I've come to like it and the more I've come to see how practical it really is. I actually really believe that if we lived by this, life would be a whole lot easier and things would go well with us. If we love God, we will do those things and make decisions which we know will honour and please Him, just like a woman who loves her husband will seek to live in such a way that honours her husband. If we obey God's Word, we really don't have much room to err in life. Not only are our actions and words accounted for, but also our thoughts, motivations, and intentions. Even some of those things which we don't do as we see in James 4:17: "Therefore to him that knoweth to do good, and doeth it not, to him it is sin." So if we are truly living in obedience to the the Word of God, and loving God with all our heart, there's really not that much room for us to fall.
No, the Bible doesn't tell us exactly tell us who to marry, what career to pursue, which car to buy, where to live, and if we pray, God isn't going to always tell us exactly what to do either. But the Holy Spirit speaks to us through the Word and instead of asking God exactly what to do, we ought to be praying for wisdom. Proverbs does speak a lot about it for a reason. Job 28 is actually one of my favourite chapters for wisdom: "And unto man he said, Behold, the fear of the Lord, that is wisdom; and to depart from evil is understanding." (Job 28: 28) And the will of God is really not as complicated as Christians try to make it, but rather quite simple. As you read through the New Testament, simple things come up like the giving of thanks and sanctification as being the will of God for us. And if we started living out the simple things we understand, pursuing sanctification and holiness, and stop fussing over things we don't, or things that Christians can't agree on, we would come a long way.
And has it ever occurred to you, that there might not just be one right choice?