William Barclay said that “True prayer is asking God what He wants.” Too often our prayers are driven by our own perceived needs and selfish desires instead of focusing on what God wants to do in us and through our situation. We are focused on the here and now, but God’s eyes are also on the next and the not yet. He is capable of foreseeing every possible twist and turn our lives might take, and is always making a way for us to use the gifts He has entrusted to us in a way that furthers His Kingdom and glorifies His character. While Jesus longs for our happiness, He knows the quickest route there is to steer us toward holiness.
I just returned from a conference where I heard Francis Chan speak. He emphasized taking a deep breath and then realizing it could be the last one you ever get. Our lives are so finite. Most of us don’t think a lot about death. The younger you are, the less you will think about it and the further away it will seem. While this statistically makes sense, we have all heard of those who were cut down in the prime of their life. An unexpected diagnosis or accident brings what once seemed so far away into the present reality of our here and now.
Saeed Abedini is a pastor who was falsely accused and arrested over a year ago in Iran. Much has been written about his arrest and subsequent imprisonment. My goal here is not to retell this tragic tale, but rather highlight the amazing way God is using him despite his difficult circumstances. While incarcerated in Iran’s most brutal prison, even in the midst of enduring regular torture, Saeed has led over thirty people to Christ within those prison walls. While it would be inconsistent with the character of God to say that it is God’s will for Saeed to be suffering in prison, it’s important to recognize that Saeed continues to do God’s will even when the forces of evil are doing all they can to thwart the advancement of the Kingdom.
So many Christians wander through life waiting to discover God’s will for their lives. I can’t help but believe one of the major reasons they can’t figure this out is because they are ignorant of the mission of Christ. How can you understand the call of God for your life if you don’t fully grasp the call of God on the life of Christ? If you are frustrated or confused as to what you think you should be doing, I humbly suggest you get back to the roots of your faith and dive a little deeper into the reasons the Son of God became one of us.
In a recent post (see “God’s Will Today”), I wrote that “God’s will isn’t something you do, it’s someone you become”. I wanted to spend a little more time on this because it is the key to living a fulfilled life, one that is spent following Jesus. We spin our wheels and waste so much time in futile pursuit of what God wants us to do with our lives. The question should not be, “Lord, what do you want me to do with my life?” Instead we should be asking, “Lord, who do you want me to become in my life?”