When we decide to follow Christ, we relinquish control of our lives over to Him. We desire to do His will, not our own. But are there areas in our lives where God allows us our own control? And to what extent?
For instance, I attended a Christian college. The common way of thought there was, "God, is it Your will for me to marry this person? Show me, God."
A follower of Christ would spend much spiritual energy, so to speak, praying and seeking God on whether they should go ahead and marry a particular person. I have recently thought about this issue in a new light. As a follower of Christ, we are told not to be "unequally yoked" (2 Cor. 6:14). There is much freedom of choice when we stay within this boundary, I believe. God allows us to choose whom we will and commands us to "love each other". So I've come to the conclusion here that it is possible to marry someone within the will of God without having a "THIS is the one you are to marry!" thundered from heaven.
So, what else? Are there other areas that God has allowed us this freedom?
Our primary motivation for all, in all that we do, should be for the glory of God.
Think about that as you answer.
Can either decision glorify God? Or just one?
Here are some to consider:
Occupation: what do I do with my life?
Children: have them or not, how many, and when?
Living situation: should I live in this state or another? should I buy/sell this house?
Also, let's assume that if you heard an audible voice or had it impressed clearly upon you that this is what you should do, you would do it. God can sometimes direct very specifically.
We're talking here about when he doesn't.
What's up to you?
What's up to God?
I think that what is up to us is to obey fully what he does command in His word. Any other experience that convinces us of God's will should be tested against and made to conform with His word.
Outside of that we should operate in the freedom He has given us to seek His glory even when we can't see beyond our next step. Even when we can't see the next step, sometimes we just need to take one and trust that we're not going to make God wring his hands and put the universe on pause while he tries to figure out how to correct my 'mistake'.
He certainly transforms lives and redeems people from sinful rebellion, so why would we be surprised to see Him work gently among His children who don't have perfect wisdom but are nonetheless trying to do what He wants? Psalm 119:105 says "Thy word is a lamp unto my feet, and a light for my path."
We haven't been given light on any more of the road than we need to see to keep taking steps. Even with my high beams on I can't see all the way home at night and I drive some pretty straight, rural roads.
So there are plenty of choices and you hit the big ones of life partners and occupations. I think what maybe you're getting at is that if we seek to deeply know Christ and live in surrender to Him, our choices will glorify Him because they are made the fullness of life He gives us. The lesser details don't concern us because we desire to act justly and love mercy and walk humbly with God.
Thank you, Lance. Well said.
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