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Saturday, February 16, 2013

What is God's Will? The Gnosis of ME.

Now THAT'S proof, I tells ya!

Christian bookstores are filled with books and glossy periodicals addressing angsty Christian questions about "Finding the Will of God for MY Life".

Is it God's will that I work at Sonic?

Is it God's will for me to be single?

Should I wear the red tie to the interview?

The search for some subjective, experiential indicator of God's Will for Me feels like a postmodern Third Great Awakening, my very own personal Cane Ridge. The Second Great Awakening was a time where people sought subjective proof of their election. Since there is no Scriptural basis for such corroboration (beyond fruit-bearing), people found their "proofs" in...odd places. One would find his evidence upon seeing a white heifer on a hill, reflecting the sunset, another in the pattern of dew on a spiderweb. ANYTHING could have served as proof of one's election into the Kingdom of God. Such a feelings-and-experience oriented approach to eternal verity carries with it inherent danger. My feelings and perceptions become the yardstick of my spiritual experiences, rather than the unchanging, objective promises and commands in the word of God. I become the arbiter of spiritual truth in my life.

Some mornings (Many? Most?) I awaken, and do net feel terribly redeemed.I am stiff; my back hurts; my balance is bit off. A cup of sacramental Joe, and I feel a tad better, but note that my aches and grumpery do not change one iota of God's covenant with me. He still loves me. He still demands that I be set apart to Him. The blood of Christ still cleanses me from all sin. My feelings have nowt to do with it. The condition of my back affects it not a whit, nor does the weather, my proximity to an asteroid, nor even the roseate glow of a sunlit cow.

Here's a thought. Live your life. Do what is smart. Get your tires rotated and oil changed on schedule. Wear the colors that look good on you. Find the work that you enjoy, that you are good at. Read your New Testament and do what it says. THAT is the will of God for you. The Puppetmaster God is foreign to the Scriptures.

1 Thessalonians 5:18
in everything give thanks; for this is God's will for you in Christ Jesus.
1 Peter 2:15
For such is the will of God that by doing right you may silence the ignorance of foolish men.
Proverbs 3:5-6
Trust in the LORD with all your heart, And do not lean on your own understanding. In all your ways acknowledge Him, And He will make your paths straight.
Philippians 2:13
for it is God who is at work in you, both to will and to work for His good pleasure.
Romans 12:2
And do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, that you may prove what the will of God is, that which is good and acceptable and perfect.(Take time to read the contexts!)

Do the things that God reveals in his Word; live them. That may well keep all of us sufficiently busy doing the work of the Kingdom that we no longer worry about cow-watching.

Live YOUR life; live it HIS way..



Doom said...

I have gone through so many phases regarding what God wants, what His will is, and how that pertains to me. And I do have some... concerns about it. In the end I have decided that... if I use the faith I have, wherever and whenever, to the best of my ability... if I honestly and fully try to allow myself to be His tool or the tool of His will (there might be some differences there)... that I will be where I need to be, when I need to be there, and that I will do what He would ask of me.

That will never be perfect enough for some, until they let go of any control. That's a hard thing to do. The first one to do it, oddly, was God! Then again, He is rather mature.

Yes, some times I think God is in complete control... and while I still see that, I know He let us go... and we are the only things that matter so why would He hold the rest, or at least directly? There is always the difference between controlling, good planning, and knowing, though, too. Gah!

Is there a test on this at the end?

The Aardvark said...

The test is now.

It's more or less pass/fail.

My main point is that God has already told us what to do, how to live in Christ. We don't need flaming swords in the sky, nor rubine cattle, to know His will for us.

1) He gave us our lives.
2) He gave us His Son,
3) Who gave us clear instruction on How To Live.
4) Who gives us pardon and new life in which to live it.

If I worry about what tie to wear, or if the car breaking down is God Telling Me Something, then I'm missing the point. Live YOUR life; live it HIS way.

That is my point.

Doom said...

At least that is a good answer. If I think we are talking about two different topics, sort of. Or more you are painting it as Rembrandt, and I'm going all Dali. Still, I'll bite that answer.

Jay said...

I think you completely miss the point of all this. Or rather you dismiss it.

It's not what is down in black & white in the Bible. You know ... That ancient product of a male dominated agrarian society. IT'S WHAT YOU FEEL THAT COUNTS!

Honestly, you have no idea how much time that saves. All that reading just gets in the way. Thinking is so over rated anyway.

Now if all good Christians just stop worrying, listen to their tele-evangelists, repeat their cliches/mantras & just sit around waiting to get tanged/raptured, then all will be good with them.

Seriously, I had some difficulty with a friend who is an excellent artist. He wouldn't do anything with that talent of his. Said he was waiting for the Lord to tell him what to do with it.

I told him that having the talent was message enough. Besides, if God were to strike a flaming message on a mountainside for him it wouldn't have helped. Though he can draw, paint & sculpt his reading skills were woefully inadequate.

The fact God "compensated" his lack of scholarly adeptness with such artistic ability meant nothing to him. He's still waiting for a sign or at least a "feeling".

What a waste ...

Feelings ... Wo wo wo ... feelings ...

Doom said...

Hmm? I thought I was rather clear that it doesn't come down to black and white, if... actually it does in the bigger picture. But in our lives? We are too... sinful... to try to be absolutists.

Our place in heaven, or even getting there, within our knowledge base and give or take, for example, won't be based on a test, of any kind. It will depend on our ability to reflect God's love. But this will be shown here, if not in the same way for all either. As I understand things.

As for your friend? I agree that his willfulness is tragic, but I don't quite understand how that fits with the topic or my comment(s)? Perhaps I am simply not understanding something in the post and articles. Fair enough.

Jay said...

Sorry Doom. Was referring to Aardvarks' article not your comments. I should have specified.

The Aardvark said...

Doom, the worrying over the tension between God's foreknowledge (being outside of time looking in is a keen trick) and the idea of predestination (God's planning and MAKING everything happen) has been the subject of endless debate, and has produced metric tonnes of books. This to me is foolish (the argument, not you!!), because they are not equivalent. Knowing that a thing will happen does not equal making it happen. This is where prophecy-mongers get it screwed up. Isaiah was shown glimpses of the Suffering Servant Jesus hundreds of years ahead of time. This is because God knows the end from the beginning. God did not have Isaiah write the screenplay of Jesus' life, which Jesus then dutifully carried out. Quite the opposite. Isaiah saw bits of Jesus' life, and reported it.
(These are more thoughts than answers to you)
Jay's friend illustrates precisely what I am kvetching about. God has given him a life, and equipped him with artistic talents. Rather than recognizing these facts, and using the skills and gifts he has, he is wasting his talent waiting for God to give him a paint-by-numbers kit. Not being a jerky judge, here...it's just that the Scriptures give no such instruction to live that way. Religion may well do so, but often that is diametrically opposed to the counsel of God's Word.
I don't know if I have made clear how very happy I am that you, and Jay, and Michael, and Giraffe, and Galt and whomever else, come to play in my little sandbox, here.

Jay said...

Would ANONYMOUS be the "cat" in the sandbox?