Tuesday, October 14, 2008

I blog therefore I am

Well it would appear that God is shining on me today as I have figured out how to post- I think. Since noone has posted for this week yet I may try after all.

The concept that is getting stuck in my craw this week is the whole "will of God " thing. Now bear with me here.

I was told by someone after hurrican Katrina that it was God's will that New Orleans perish because of its immorality.

I have been told that while a certain party was in office that it was a manifestation of God's will.

When the other party one the election I was told that God was turning us over to out selfish desires.

My questions is : what is it to hear God's will and how are we sure that we are not merely manifesting the desires of our own egos.

I have not heard anyone say that the floods of 2008 were the will of God in response to the direction our country has gone.

I have not heard that the stock market crashing was the will of God because people got too greedy and were forsaking relationships with each other for money.

How do we know on a personal level God's specific will for our lives? Other than to Glorify God and Praise and honor God- do we really need to know any more than that?

When we are considering a choice between two otherwise equal careers do we pray to find God's will and expect a concrete answer?

How many people explore a call to ministry for selfish reasons? ( I only ask as that is my current question of struggle.)

More later
In Peace and grace
Ruth

2 comments:

Stephen Pradarelli said...

Hi, Ruth:

Great post. Whenever someone claims to know God's will, I get very nervous. At best I think we can only grasp at God's desire -- for us to love one another, care for the poor, stop squabbling over petty dogmatic differences. But God's will? I honestly don't think tsunamis, presidential races, or football games come into play here. If anything, God's will is played out at the local level, at the person-to-person level. How you speak to your spouse, your coworkers, the people you really really loathe matters. How you spend your money matters. Where you put most of your energy -- that matters.

As for untangling God's will from our own motives, I don't think you can do that anymore than a surgeon can separate flesh from spirit. Rather, perhaps God works through our desire, our talent, our unique (and often slanted) view of the world to accomplish good (and sometimes great) things. Maybe in the end it doesn't matter, so long as we approach our desires with honest prayer and talk through them with other Christians whose maturity and sincerity impress us.

Peace.

Stephen

Tim said...

Ruth, thanks for the question.

Often when we ask, "How can I know God's will?" we are wanting guidance for decisions that are facing us or knowledge of what's to come. However, if God calls us to faithfully trust the Spirit's leading, then might our longings for direction or certainty short-circuit our trust? Consequently, I have come to believe that we usually discover God's movement or leading only after the fact. Once we've been through a particular set of circumstances, we might gain partial insight into the purpose the experience served and how we were being led. As we make various decisions, we can ask ourselves whether or not a given action or decision is in keeping with the vision of the kingdom we currently have. Also, asking whether or not we're at peace within ourselves about a particular issue might be another way of asking if the Spirit's pleasure has manifest itself within us.

Tim