God's Will & Our Decisions - Part 1
This will be a two-part blog series. The first entry will address the current, predominate view of God’s will and our decisions in life. The second entry will attempt to provide a biblical approach to decision-making in light of God’s will.
Does God have a plan for our lives?…a question that perhaps we have heard before or considered in our journey with the Lord. Without question God has a plan for humanity which could be considered a general or universal plan. However, many of us understand the above question a bit differently; it is often understood that God has a specific or particular plan for our individual lives. A widely held truth about God is deeply imbedded in the assumption that God has a specific plan of our individual lives. That truth is the following: God is the one who makes all the decisions for our lives.
An adherent to that above theology (God makes all the decisions for his/her life) is therefore then tasked with discerning or deciphering God’s specific plan for their life—a task that is shrouded in mystery since the adherent is to look for and interpret God’s given hints of His plan. Understanding God’s meaning of these hints can be found through employing different techniques which is the responsibility of the adherent.
Within this system of understanding God’s will and our decisions, there are four different types of hints God uses to make known His specific plan/will for someone’s life.
List of hints and respective verses:
Subjective feelings - 1 King 19:12; Romans 8:14; Galatians 5:18
Peace of God - Colossians 3:15
Providential or miraculous signs - Judges 6:36-40
Open or closed doors - 1 Corinthians 16:8-9; 2 Corinthians 2:12-13; Colossians 4:3
As we consider the above perspectives and corresponding verses, we must maintain a consistent hermeneutic when interpreting the meaning of the verses. Perhaps one of the most significant interpretive techniques we must use is the following—interpreting a verse within its context. We must be careful that we do not interpret a verse in isolation—its meaning must be found within its context.
Take some time to investigate the meaning of the above passages within the larger context of the passage and ask yourself this question—is the passage encouraging us to look for God-given hints to decipher His specific plan for those within the passage?
Take some time in the Word.
Part 2 of this blog series will provide a biblical approach to making decisions that are consistent with God’s will, thereby bringing honor and praise to His name.