Is God's Will a Wire-Thin Tightrope?

Erik Cooper —  August 11, 2010 — 10 Comments

Over the past few weeks, I’ve found myself locked in conversation with a number of people asking themselves the quintessential Christian question:

What does God want me to do?

And because processing these crossroads with others is often the best way to wrestle with them yourself, I’ve been looking back on ways God has directed me over the course of my life. How does God lead?  For me, every time has been a little different.

I’ve walked through seasons of calculated and detailed direction: “I want you to do exactly this.”  Where the steps were clear and the commands convicting.  Specific.

But the older I get and the longer I live in consistent connection to the Lord, the more often I seem to hear Him say:  “I know you.  You know me.  I trust you.  Make the call.

This is a tricky conversation. The Bible is very clear we’re to “submit to the Lord” (2 Chr. 30:8) and “obey His commands” (1 John 2:3).  We’re followers. But I also think we make a serious error in always assuming God’s plan for our lives is some skinny little tight rope we’re destined to tumble from into the deadly abyss of disobedience.

Let’s face it.  Sometimes our fear of “missing God” is really just our fear of making a decision.

Always inquire of the Lord.  Always listen for His direction.  Always submit to His desire and instruction.  Make obedience the posture of your life. But I don’t think God is vying to become your puppet master.  He wants a relationship, not the marionette strings.

The more He comes alive in me, the less He seems to have to tell me exactly what to do. The more our motives and desires become one. The more I hear Him say, “Hey Erik…I’m in you.  You make the call.

So perhaps our pursuit should be less about what God wants us to do, and more about how much we truly know Him? Maybe always asking for direction is really just a cheap cop-out on cultivating a relationship.  Maybe God wants to be more than our cosmic MapQuest.  Our genie in a bottle.  The magic eight ball.  Maybe.

What do you think?  How have you seen God shape the trajectory of your life?

10 responses to Is God's Will a Wire-Thin Tightrope?

  1. Oh gosh I could write essays and theses and books all day about this. Crippled me for YEARS.

  2. So much of my indecisiveness has been based in fear. It’s like I wait and wait and wait for God to plop an opportunity for ministry in my lap like I have seen him do for some. But the more and more I listen, the more I hear “see I am doing a new thing”. So maybe it’s time I step out on a limb and quit waiting for someone else to ask me to climb aboard thier ministry ship, and just go full throttle with the ideas he has given me. Uggghhhh, but then there is the fear of falling. But thank you for your post, with Him standing by my side faithfully, I am slowly rising and contemplating stepping out of the boat!

    • That’s so great Stephanie! Just remember my 9 year old daughter’s words to me before we launched CityCom: “Risk means it might not work, right dad?” Yeah…that’s right. It might not work. But what if it does?

  3. Well stated, Erik, and spot on. The word I’ve used for awhile is “alignment”. As I grow in relationship with Him, my desires come into alignment with His desires for me. When that occurs in our lives, God can be consistent with His nature and grant us “the desires of our hearts”. (Ps 37:4)

  4. Thanks Erik for such a helpful post. I ran across this quote today that seems relevant:

    “God wants to speak to you because He wants you to know Him; knowing His direction is just a by-product.” -Priscilla Shirer

  5. Erik,

    Maybe I can tell you the full story someday but this is what God wanted to say to me today.
    Thanks for the post.

    P

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