Listened to a Tim Keller message today that a friend referred me to. It’s one of the top few resources I’ve heard on the topic of “discerning God’s will” and the truths that God is in control and decides what we experience but also that we as humans have free will and have responsibility for our actions.
Keller talked briefly about what others may call God’s general will and God’s specific will. There are general things that God has revealed to be His will in general. Examples are that God desires all people to know Him and that He wants His people to be obedient to His commands.
There are things that concern wondering what God thinks about specific decisions particular to our lives. Examples include, who should I marry? what career path should I choose?
Keller uses the example in his own life of when he was planting a church in New York City. People would ask him if he was absolutely certain that it was God’s will for him to plant a church in New York City. He would respond, “No.” He would then go on to say that he’s not positive he was called to plant a church, but that he is absolutely certain that we are not to worship idols, that we are not to murder and numerous other things that God has revealed in His Word. He is certain that God desires people to know Him, and that there weren’t many others starting churches in New York City, and that there was a need there. So he decided to plant a church.
Another good question is not so much, “God, what is your will for my life?” But rather, “God, what is your will, and how can I play a role?”