“Stop asking God to show you his will for your life.”
That’s Francis Chan’s unorthodox challenge to earnest Christians seeking to know God’s plan. As Chan points out, all that seeking, praying, talking, and fretting about God’s will may be signs that you are not looking for ways to glorify God but for ways to stay safe and avoid making mistakes. You want the security of knowing you are on the “right path” of following God’s perfect will for your life.
Here’s how Chan puts it:
“I think a lot of us need to forget about God’s will for my life. God cares more about our response to His Spirit’s leading today, in this moment, than about what we intend to do next year. In fact, the decisions we make next year will be profoundly affected by the degree to which we submit to the Spirit right now, in today’s decisions.”
Chan goes on to say, “It’s much less demanding to think about God’s will for your future than it is to ask Him what He wants you to do in the next ten minutes. It’s safer to commit to following Him someday instead of this day.”1
Of course, Chan is not counseling us to go our own way or to discard the notion that God has a plan for our lives. He’s just pointing out the obvious—that God doesn’t disclose all that much about the future. Even someone like Joseph, who had fabulous dreams about his future, had no idea how the details would unfold. He didn’t realize that he would be falsely accused, thrown into an Egyptian jail, and exiled from home and family, and that every twist and turn would lead to the fulfillment of God’s plan.
Peace comes not from being given a divine blueprint for our lives but from saying yes to God in this very moment.
- Francis Chan, Forgotten God: Reversing Our Tragic Neglect of the Holy Spirit (Colorado Springs: David C. Cook, 2009), 120.