I get this magazine in the mail called “Worldwide Challenge“. I’m pretty sure we get it because we support our friends who work with Campus Crusade on the University of Colorado – Boulder campus. It’s a good magazine. It’s inspiring and that sort of thing. But there was an article this month that literally left me with my mouth agape. Spot on.
The article was entitled “The Art of Following God” by Rick James. I wish I could link to a copy of the article, but as vast as the world wide web glows, it’s no where to be found.
Subtitled “Tips for seeing the whole picture” the article quotes Romans 12:2, “…so that you may prove what the will of God is, that which is good and acceptable and perfect.” James asks how we should discern a will as “dynamic and at times as mysterious as the wind.” Isn’t that what we’re all trying to figure out? What we should be doing. How we should be living. What our future holds for us. Which path we should take. And ultimately it all comes back to trying to discern God’s will for our lives. So that’s what I loved about this article. Mr. James listed out six ways God communicates His will to us.
-Desires and Emotions: The things we deeply want and love [or don't] can be influenced by the Holy Spirit.
-Reasoning: There’s something to be said for logic and rationale.
-Wisdom: We’re given God’s word and it’s full of knowledge and examples of God’s work. We have both our stored knowledge as well as impressions imparted to us by the Holy Spirit.
-Circumstances: That moment [sometimes in hindsight] when you realize how many things had to [and did] perfectly align to make something possible.
-The Counsel of Others: I think this is my favorite. I think that’s true because I’ve been so blessed with so many wise friends and family members.
-Scripture: Biblical principles are black and white, laid out, available to us.
I think what I loved most about this article was the variety of “colors” on the palette of tools available to us as we attempt to align our impressions to create a
masterpiece master plan. Sometimes it’s easier to spend time worrying about what we should do and what our next step should be. But how much greater and fulfilling would it be to direct that energy towards discerning God’s will. It would certainly be more productive.
“This palette of colors, if mixed skillfully by a mature Christian, can yield a beautiful portrait of where God is leading. But, if we use only one color (say, emotions), we risk creating a reflection of our own wants and desires.”
“And he who searches hearts knows what is the mind of the Spirit, because the Spirit intercedes for the saints according to the will of God. And we know that for those who love God all things work together for good, for those who are called according to his purpose.” Romans 8:27-28
This article totally spoke to my heart. As the New Year turns we’re all thinking of ways we can put forth a better version of ourselves for 2013. We’re daily painting the path that’s before us. We’re trying to find the picture most aligned with God’s will. And we have all of these tools available to us. All of these ways God speaks to us daily. Sometimes I forget. I forget that it’s an open line of communication. I’m not charged with deciding all of these big, life-changing decisions. I just need to follow. And trust. And maybe have a little faith.