Sometimes we can become paralyzed trying to figure out what it is we should do with our lives. This is largely an affliction of Western culture where the opportunities are plentiful and the aim is generally one of success. For those of us who seek to follow Christ, the dilemma is intensified by the fact that we want to live a life that is pleasing to Him. I think we can get so wrapped up in following Jesus that we neglect to take it to the level of learning from Him. If we simply follow, we will miss much of what surrounds us; but if we learn from Him, we will notice the opportunity and the beautiful ways to express His love as we go throughout our days. Our two-fold problem is determining what we should do and how we should live.
Fortunately, the Bible provides us with ample clues as to what we should and shouldn’t do. We shouldn’t kill, steal or lie (Exodus 20:1-17) but we should feed the hungry, care for the sick and seek justice for everyone (Isaiah 58:6-7). While that’s certainly not an exhaustive list, it’s a great start. If we want to live a life that reflects the love of Jesus, we will do the things He commanded us to do and steer clear of the things about which He warned us. As we pray for the change we want to see in the world in a way that aligns with His mission, we will gain clarity on what it is we should do. With this clarity comes great responsibility. Once we know what we should do, it is up to us to obediently do that work. This is where the hard part comes in. No longer can we simply sit around wondering what God’s will is for our life; now we know. Now we are obligated.
Once we recognize the things Jesus told us to do are the things we must dedicate our lives to doing, it is simply a matter of utilizing our unique blend of talents and gifts to take action. If you have a gift if playing music, perhaps you could raise money for the hungry by performing. If you are gifted in leadership, you could organize projects to feed the hungry. If you have a gift of service, you could join one of those projects and be the hands and feet of Jesus feeding the very ones who hunger. Whatever your gift, whatever your talent, as long as you are using it to do what Christ commanded us to do, you are in the will of God. You are living the adventurous life that we have been promised. It won’t be easy and it won’t always be safe, but it will be satisfying beyond measure.
Finding the will of God for your life is not difficult; it is in fact, extremely easy. We have made this simple subject extremely complex by assuming that there is a giant blueprint for our lives and that we are in constant peril of slipping off the narrow line that guides us through. God is far more interactive than that; He uniquely created each of us to collaborate with Him in carrying out His mission on earth. As long as we are seeking to do what He would do, to obey His commands and to serve Him only, He will be with us in all we endeavor. This is not a guarantee of success or prosperity, but it is a guarantee of a life well lived for His Kingdom and His glory. Nothing else matters anyway; without Jesus, there is no purpose and no point. Only He fulfills the empty gnawing in your heart; only He can bring rest to your weary soul.
Finding the will of God for your life is as simple as reading His word, praying that His will would be done on earth and then engaging your abilities to do the things He has told us to do. Your abilities may be small and seemingly insignificant, or they may be great and obvious. Regardless, Jesus can amplify and multiply whatever you bring for Him to use. Remember the boy who brought a couple of fishes and loaves of bread to Christ? (John 6:1-15) With that small gift and willingness to share it for God’s kingdom, more than 5,000 people were fed. How many might be fed through your own gifts? Never underestimate what God can do with the smallest of offerings. No matter who you are or what you’ve done, it is never too late to turn around and follow Jesus with all your heart. Surrender to Him, discover again what He has told you to do. Release your abilities to Him and watch Him miraculously bring the Kingdom all around you. This is the will of God for your life; it is there for the taking. Don’t miss it.