Recently Pastor Richard has been preaching about the will of God and from everyone I have talked with, it seems he has struck a bit of a nerve. The question rings out from hallways to family homes, whether people are 18 or 48 or somewhere in between: What does God want me to do with my life? What should I do?
I’ve been reading Exodus lately and the story of Moses and it is so encouraging in so many ways. The way Moses models intimacy with God is incredible. When Moses is happy, he praises God. But when he is angry at God- he still talks with God. He pours his heart out and questions Him. In this way, the turning to God in both good and bad circumstances, Moses’ intimacy with God is growing.
But the cynic in me also feels like the direct parallel from Moses life in 1500 BCE to 2011 AD is a bit of a stretch. To be sure, Moses had difficulties. Crossing the Red Sea would be difficult, to say the least. But this morning I read again about the presence of God that came and dwelt in the tabernacle and every night displayed Himself in fire and every day was like a cloud. When the cloud departed they simply followed God. Could you imagine how great it would be if you could look over at a tent or building and see God Himself residing in that place? I don’t mean to undermine the faithfulness of the Israelites,but there would be such certainty you were following God’s will when He was right there in your presence. I think to myself, following God’s will for them would be so easy.
Luckily for me I flipped from Exodus over to 2 Corinthians where God finished the rest of the story. Paul writes, “Now the Lord is the Spirit, and where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is liberty. But we all, with unveiled face, beholding as in a mirror the glory of the Lord, are being transformed into the same image from glory to glory, just as from the Lord to the Spirit.”
Liberty? I don’t want liberty; I want “God’s will”. I don’t want freedom; I want a script. I don’t want opportunity; I want clarity. I seek black and white in such a gray world. But this morning the Lord reminded me that our greatest gift in Christ is our liberty to be transformed into His glory. God works through the choices I make as I honestly and earnestly follow Him to continue to draw me into His glory. This is radically good news.
I don’t always get this right as the freedom that Christ gives at times feels like a death sentence. I envy the nation of Israel that could see God with their own eyes. But what Paul is describing here is the same promise of God’s presence with us. The gift of Christ is that God no longer resides in an old covenant or in a holy place in a tent. Christ paid the price so that we could all access God today, on our own, in a very real and personal way. We don’t have to constantly worry that we are outside of God’s will or that we are missing out on what He is calling us to. We have LIBERTY in our faith to seek Him and pray to Him and trust that He is drawing us towards His great will for our life. As I get older I’m slowly realizing that God’s will isn’t as hard as we make it. He calls us to Love Him, Love others, and spread the good news of the Kingdom of God. And yes he also calls us to move or to stay, to buy or to sell, to start a new job or stay where we are at, but often we are seeking this clarity at a danger of missing out on His great liberty exhibiting itself in our life as we are perfected in God’s glory.
So take a deep breath. Reach out to God. Inhale His presence. And know that you are living within God’s will for your life. It isn’t as hard as we often make it.