|graphic from thegospelforoc.com|
In a recent conversation with a new friend, she asked, "Does it really matter to the Lord what I do for a job?" She is afraid to ask God what he thinks. Why? Because she is afraid she might find out God's will requires a radical change in her life.
When we first come to Jesus Christ for salvation, we come with repentance. That means we are turning our back on our sins and on unbelief, and that now we are willing to change from our way to his way. Or at least, we are willing to have him make us willing to change. If I am afraid to learn that God wants something different from me, does that not mean that I am refusing to give up my will? Hmm. What happened to repentance? Does it only go so far?
As my friend is a new Christian, I can understand her fear. The problem is, she fears the wrong thing. The fear of the LORD is the beginning of wisdom, the Bible says. The fear of the Lord is what drives the Christian to understand his will. As my friend learns to fear God and obey his direction, she will find that she will also trust him more; as she proves him, she will find that the result of submitting to God's will is better than any of her own plans could have turned out. Truly, it is the goodness of God that leads us to repentance (Romans 2:4)! He is so gracious and kind.
I wrote a post on this topic several years ago, and it bears repeating:
Trusting God's Answers
“But they understood not this saying, and it was hid from them, that they perceived it not: and they feared to ask him of that saying.” Luke 9: 45
Have you ever been afraid to ask God about a particular passage of the scripture? I have. Soon after I was saved I began to hear preaching and to come across Bible literature about a lady’s wardrobe. It wasn’t just about modesty, for if it had been, I would not have been bothered. I thought I was modest. (It’s amazing how the Bible opens blinded eyes!) This stuff I was hearing and seeing had to do with women wearing pants, and how God designed women and men, and what the Bible has to say on the subject of a woman’s wardrobe. For some weeks I pondered and wondered. I searched the scriptures, looking for a verse that said my outward appearance didn’t matter. (It wasn’t there.) Then I began to argue with God. While I didn’t want to be a rebel against the Lord, I also didn’t want to submit to his will if it meant giving up my pants. What would my family and friends think? Wouldn’t people look at me strange if I only wore skirts?? How could I afford a new wardrobe?!
The whole question could have been solved much sooner for me, if I had just asked God the clear meaning of the passages I had read. But I was afraid to ask him! I think I already KNEW what God wanted me to do. So why was I afraid? Did I think submitting to his will was going to make me miserable? Did I think God wanted me to feel conspicuous? Was he going to destroy my comfortable LIFE? Did I think God just did not know what he was doing? After all, in our culture, women wear pants. If I gave in to this, what else was he going to demand from me? (Pants on ladies is not the subject of this post, so keep reading.)
Since that time, other similar issues have come up for me, issues that I was afraid to ask the Lord about -- how he wants me to act towards or react to the unloveables in my life, what he wants from me now that he owns me, what kind of missions offering does he want me to give? The Bible has the answers to all of those questions. Certainly I have not gotten the victory over every fear concerning what God might ask of me, but I do thank the Lord for this promise:
“For the Son of man is not come to destroy men's lives, but to save them.” Luke 9:56
There is nothing that God could ask of me, that, if I obey him, will make my life miserable. Oh, I might be afraid to give up this security blanket or to be put into that uncomfortable situation or to humble myself, but I know now that on the other side of obedience there is joy and a peaceful conviction that I am in the will of God.
My husband knows a man who thinks maybe the Lord is calling him to be a preacher. This man is afraid to ask the Lord about it, because he is afraid of the answer. A call to preach would mean EVERYTHING that his family is comfortable with would change. They would have to move away, take a very serious pay-cut, and move into the spotlight as a preacher’s family. He would have to learn to speak in front of people on a very regular basis (oooh!), and come up with messages that he is convinced are from the Lord, to feed his church. The burden to pray would be great. The burdens of his church family would add to the burdens of his own family. His wife would be a preacher’s wife, and his children would become PK’s. His dreams and aspirations for this life would go up in a puff of smoke! Now that’s scary! Is God set out to destroy this man’s life and that of his family? No. God wants to save his life. God may be giving this man an opportunity to serve him right in the center of His perfect will. What an opportunity! What peace can be found when God’s answer is known AND acted upon.
What does God want for your future or your career (or lack thereof)? What does he want you to look like, and how does he wish for you to spend your free time? Are you afraid to ask him? If you are God's child, he has a wonderful plan for you. His plan for you is better than any of your own plans. Go his way. It may take a leap of faith to ask him what it is, but you won’t regret following him in it.