March 25, 2009

What is God's Will for my Life?

I remember one of my first jobs as a software engineer. I was hired after a long and tedious interview process. I was so excited! I was on top of the world! I finally knew what I wanted to do. I was ready to get going. I showed up to work on the first day, was introduced to everyone, sat down at my desk, and waited. There was the computer in front of me. I started playing around, looking at things, looking around the room at all the busyness. It seemed everyone had something to do...except for me. I chatted with the guy who was sitting across from me when he wasn't on the phone. I surfed the internet. I messed around, I waited. I wondered when I would be given something to do.

Finally my boss came out to see how things were going. He apologized for being so busy. He told me to sit with another guy and listen in on his tech support phone calls so I could get familar with the system. I did. I have to be honest though, I was quickly losing interest. The only thing that kept me interested was the paycheck!

I was given passwords, sketchy instructions, and told to learn the software. I needed to understand the software before I could be expected to code any enhancements. So I did the best I could. I fumbled through documentation. I listened in on tech support phone calls. I surfed the internet. I went home. Day after day for several weeks this went on.

I began to question my boss's desire to have me there. Why am I here? You're paying me to sit here all day? I have more to offer! I have gifts and talents, not to mention a degree in computer science! Why was my job simply a matter of showing up, and waiting for time to go home to come?

The question of God's will is probably the most commonly asked question in Christian circles.
People ask it all the time. What does God want me to do? How can I know? I think I'm supposed to be doing this, but I feel unsure. How can I know what God wants me to be doing?

God created us with a purpose. He designed us to do something. But how often do we sit through life waiting? People wake up each morning, think to themselves "There's got to be more to life than this" and wait for the end of the day so they can start all over again.

The problem is this: we know deep down that there is more, but we don't know how to figure out what 'more' is. With my job, I had to read the documentation that was given to me. I had to study it and apply it to the software on the computer. I had to learn to ask questions of those around me. I had to be free to investigate, to talk to those who knew more about the software than I did. I had to learn how to talk to my boss. I had to be free to tell him what I was feeling, to share with him my frustrations, and to share with him my passions and dreams!

How can I know God's will for my life? We have been given access to all the answers. God is not going to send an email with step by step instructions on what to do every step of the way. He has however given us a book to read, the Bible. The Bible tells us everything we need to know. And when I come across things that I don't understand, I have to be willing to ask those around me who are more familiar with the Bible: "How can I apply this to my life, or to my current situation?" I have to begin applying what the Bible teaches to my everyday life. And finally, I have to take everything to my Heavenly Father. He's the One who created me. He knows me inside and out. He knows what works and what doesn't. I have to learn to go to Him, free to tell Him my feelings. I am free to share my frustrations, as well as my passions and dreams.

When we learn to study God's Word, talk to other believers, and talk to God, then we will begin to see God's will unfold very clearly in each of our lives.

5 comments:

womenintheword said...

Excellent post, Geoffrey! I take it you read "Decision Making and the Will of God"? Working through it right now, myself. I will be interested to see how you develop your teaching on the subject. Blessings to you!

Geoffrey Janes said...

Actually, no, I am not familiar with the book "Decision Making and the Will of God."
I was prompted to write this after a discussion I had with a good friend this morning.

a.helms said...

"I had to learn to ask questions of those around me. I had to be free to investigate, to talk to those who knew more about the software than I did. I had to learn how to talk to my boss. I had to be free to tell him what I was feeling, to share with him my frustrations, and to share with him my passions and dreams!" I so like the sound of this Geoffrey but what do you do when you have tried everything to learn how to talk to "your boss" or to go and ask questions of those who "know more" than you do but can no longer trust this because they are not willing to help or they just don't "have the time" for you to sit down and help. I have come to that place where I learned to trust God finally to tell Him how I feel or that I need help. I still don't understand a lot of things though and could use the help at times but I don't trust the people these days.

C. Michael Pilato said...

Geoff, just wanted to let you know that your post here partially inspired one of my own. Thanks for that.

Anonymous said...

I am sorta a baby christian,but One thing i do recognize is that any job you get that is honest work and doesn't go against the scripture is a good job.Jesus could have easily said that he had more to offer to the world then working as a carpenter.He did have more to offer but timing plays a important role and learning to be content with whatever your doing as long as its honest work until God lets you know you need to move on....but it is something you should always prayerfully consider,and ask God his will on!