Perhaps we have overcomplicated the process of trying to figure out what "God's will is" for our lives when really it can be much simpler. Maybe it's not a formula to dissect or a mystery to uncover but rather the process of understanding how God made us and trusting in the purpose for which He did.
Generally speaking, Scripture speaks to the will of God in terms of His glory filling the earth (Habakkuk 2:14) and His people treasuring Him as Lord (Matthew 22:37-39) then proclaiming Him as Savior (Matthew 28:18-20). More specifically, as we seek to identify our unique role in that overarching purpose, here's 3 questions I believe can help bring clarity, simplicity and direction:
1. What do you love to do?
While it feels unspiritual and self-centered to many, this is perhaps one of the most spiritually clarifying questions we could ever ask ourselves. God has hard-wired each of us with different passions that fuel our drive to work, create, progress and contribute to the world around us. What do you love to do? What is life-giving to you? What would you do for the rest of your life even if you were poorly paid to do it, or not paid at all? Now, for the question of all questions to make the legalists in the room shake in their own skin - what do you have fun doing? It's okay to admit it. I love to sit on the park bench and watch my girls play on the playground. So does God. He is a good Father who finds joy in watching His kids having fun.
Oscar Wilde once said, "Be yourself; everyone else is already taken." Do you love working with numbers? Embrace it. Teaching? Own it. Writing? Music? Engineering? Selling things to people? Humanitarian work? Be yourself, and have fun with it - there's no need to be anyone else.
2. What are you good at doing?
Again, it seems self-gratifying, but discovering the answer to this question is one of the most fundamental ways we can grow in our own self-awareness of how God made us. The imagery of a human body is consistently used throughout Scripture to illustrate the identity and activity of the Church – how the people of God relate with each other and work together. Unique gifts are given to unique individuals, not for their own good but for the good of the whole (1 Corinthians 12:4-7). A compelling question is then asked to prove a point - What good would it do anyone if we were all the same? The implied answer is none (1 Corinthians 12:17-19).
God has made you uniquely good at something. For some it is overt and obvious - speaking in public, playing a sport, singing on stage, etc. For others, it's more hidden and subtle - discernment, compassion, a hospitable spirt, etc. Whatever it is, God has given you what you need so He can use you how He wants to.
3. What exalts Jesus the most?
This question is the hinge upon which the other two swing. You may love robbing banks and find that you have been gifted with the ability to do so, but that obviously does not mean it is God's will for you to spend your life robbing banks. Why? It clearly does not exalt Jesus. How can you do what you love, do what you are good at and at the same time do it in such a way that the person of Jesus is known more widely and more deeply as a result? When our work is viewed through this lens, even the most mundane tasks become meaningful, and the ordinary is done for a more extraordinary purpose. You may never make a living doing these things, but you will undoubtedly make a life of doing these things worth living.
God has wired you with passions and infused you with gifts, and like any good father would, He loves to watch you enjoy using them. You are uniquely designed to be a platform upon which Jesus can be most magnified. Whether it's a career you are paid for or simply a mission you spend every spare second for, Jesus glorified is our ultimate calling.
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