More on God’s Will.
“[D]o not be foolish, but understand what the will of the Lord is.”
-Ephesians 5:17 (ESV)
I have been faced with some pretty intense decisions this week–namely decisions about choosing a college. This, likely, has been the most important life decision I have been faced with thus far in my life. During this season in my life, I have been so thankful for the knowledge that I have about God’s Will. This knowledge, for me, has been founded, not on any merit of my own, but only by God’s grace. I have been extremely blessed to have many Godly influences who pointed me to the biblical definition of God’s Will. This knowledge has been of imense comfort to me during this time. You honestly have no idea how freaked out I would be about this decision without knowing what I know.
That being said, a lot of people in my life are making the same decision. In the messed up world of college admittance, rejection, waitlists, financial aid, and what-have-you, any degree of certainty is very hard to come by. Even that is an understatment. Believe me when I say that I feel the strain of these decisions just as much as any of you.
Briefly, let me explain my situation. I applied to four colleges. I have been accepted at three of them, but I was offered a spot on the waitlist at the other. The trouble is that my #1 choice was the one at which I was waitlisted. However, I’m not about to start complaining; I have been extremely blessed to have such a wealth of options for college next year.
Here’s the point though: when I found out that I probably wouldn’t be going to Northwestern, although I was disappointed, it didn’t make me anxious that my future had suddenly been compromised. This mentality came out of my faith in the promises that God has given me in His word. These promises include:
God’s Will is a sovereign will. His overall plans for the world will be accomplished on time every time. We just get the privilege of being included in that–and an amazing privilege it is! God tells us in Ephesians that he “works all things according to the counsel of his will.” (1:11 ESV) Now realize that he’s not kidding when he says ‘ALL’. Last time I checked, ‘all’ included the fact that I did not get accepted at Northwestern. ‘All’ also includes the fact that you maybe did not get accepted at the school of your choice. He’s working it out according to his will. He has a plan.
God knows what he’s doing. The fact that I didn’t get accepted into Northwestern in no way compromises God’s sovereign will for my life. It is not as if He was waiting for the acceptance letter in the mail and now that it didn’t come he’s like, “Oh crap! What are we gonna do now? My whole plan for Zach’s life was contingent upon him going to Northwestern.” Yeah, no. God’s sovereign will cannot be thwarted by anything. His ways are higher than mine, plus he sees the big picture. I just see right now. So as much as it ‘sucks’ for me that I didn’t get into Northwestern, I can take comfort in the fact that God’s plans for my future have been in no way diminished.
“For I know the plans I have for you, declares the LORD, plans for wholeness and not for evil, plans to give you a future and a hope.”
-Jeremiah 29:11 (ESV)
God’s plan is good. He is on my side. He has a good plan for my future. I have so much freedom in the truth that I’m not just going from day to day here with no purpose or direction. God has a ‘plan’ for me that is hopeful, after all. He has one for you too if you strive to live according to his Word (there’s a lot to that, but we don’t need to get into that right now). :) That plan for you will not be thwarted by anything. King David wrote in Psalms 138:
“The LORD will fulfill his purpose for me; your steadfast love, O LORD, endures forever. Do not forsake the work of your hands.”
-Psalms 138:8 (ESV)
He is never going to give us over to the futile ways in which things happen in this world.
Now, all that being said, God does not have some specific detailed plan for our lives. Remember, he’s sovereign. So it’s not as if he’s up in heaven going, “Oh man Zach, you better pick DePaul because that’s where I ‘want’ you to be and you are so screwed if you do not go there.” God’s will is about my heart. My heart is, by his grace, to serve him and him alone. I believe that he will use me wherever I go to college, and, as I said before, his purposes will ultimately be accomplished. He can (and will) do the same for you. :)
Our God is a God who loves his children more than anything we can possibly imagine. He is good. His plans are good, and when you think about that, there’s really nothing to worry about.
Make a wise decsion. God will take care of the rest.
P.S. I got a lot of this from my Pastor, James MacDonald (as I often do). He could explain it to you a lot better than I can. Check it out here: http://store.walkintheword.com/p-1110-way-of-wisdom-a-biblical-alternative-to-the-traditional-view-of-gods-will.aspx Pst… I could just let you borrow this if you’d like.