[Note: This article was written as part of a challenge that a friend in Christ made with me. We were each to write a 600 word essay arguing the other person’s viewpoint on a matter. One of us argued that God always has a specific will in every matter and the other argued that God gives us a variety of choices. The other article can be found here.]
Does God have one perfect will for me or are there a number of choices and plans that I can make that would equally please Him? Can I get up in the morning and make my to do list or does God have one prepared already? Here are some thoughts and verses in support of the view that you can make your own to do list and choose your options.
God Expects Us to Be Part of the Process of Making Plans
In Proverbs, we are told that “Plans are established by seeking advice; so if you wage war, obtain guidance (Proverbs 20:18) and “Plans fail for lack of counsel, but with many advisers they succeed.” (Proverbs 15:22) Why would God ask you to seek advice from others to make your plans if He already had made the plans for you and just wanted you to download them?
God Wants Us to Use Our Minds
God expects us to use our minds to make plans. Jesus said “‘Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind.” (Matthew 22:37 NIV emphasis added). Loving God with all of your mind requires you to use your mind to make godly plans. God wants us to “think” about how our decision will show our love to Him as compared to just saying “God, what is your will?” That doesn’t mean we shouldn’t ask Him what His will is too since He tells us to “find out what pleases the Lord”, it just means He wants us to make choices that please Him. (Ephesians 5:20)
Although we are given the “mind of Christ” and the Spirit “leads us into all truth,” we are in various states of maturity and we will not always know what God specifically want us to do. God expects us to use our minds (including seeking His Word and advice from others) to make plans unless and until we have received His revelation on a particular matter.
It Takes Practice to Make Godly Plans
We have looked at several scripture thus far, but do I get to make my own to do list or not? Yes, but it does not excuse us from the need to seek and desire his will to be done. We still need to learn to wait on God and seek to discern whether our decisions do not contradict God’s revealed will through His Word. It is helpful to ask yourself “what’s the most loving thing to do in this situation?”
If you are making a major decision or plan, it is wise to get advice from your parents, spouse, pastor and godly sisters and brothers and to consider fasting and prayer. Making godly decisions is a skill that we get better with as we practice. Hebrews say that spiritual maturity involves “practice” and “training” to discern between good and evil. (Hebrew 5:14) If you have to practice something, it’s likely you won’t get it right all the time. Don’t beat yourself up. Remember “…there is now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus.” (Romans 8:1)
Once You’ve Made Your Plans, Trust that God Has Got Your Back
A wise pastor once said “where there is integrity in the process, God will get you to where you are supposed to be even if you first get it wrong.” God has got your back. So, get your pen and start that to-do list. May he give you the desire of your heart.
Now read the contrary viewpoint: 6 Reasons to Believe God has a Specific Will
The below YouTube, “Arguing the Other Side” tells more of the story about the challenge between my friend and I.