Monday, May 5, 2008

Fire at Will!

In one of the Start Trek movies (forgive me true fans, I’m old and can’t recall the specific title), there is a wonderful sequence where Picard is in one starship, doing battle (perhaps a mock battle?) with his loyal “Number Two,” Will Riker. In one of my favorite movie puns, Picard sternly orders, “Fire at will!” I laughed out loud!

Will is an interesting thing though. We seem to spend inordinate amounts of time seeking God’s will… for ourselves. Praying and sometimes even looking to the sky for writing in the clouds, or for a finger to trace the answer we seek on a wall… we implore the Lord to share with us his specific plans for us. Not always altruistically, we often are seeking to understand how OUR needs and desires can be accommodated according to His sovereign plan. I wonder, though, what ‘lenses’ we apply in seeking to find, and in seeking to understand and even align ourselves in His will.

I’m suspicious we don’t even understand just what His will even is. When I think about my “will,” I think about a determination, an intent, a plan, a “roadmap” with specific steps that I’ll take to achieve a given objective. I find myself wondering if this is true of God’s will. Does he in fact have a specifically ordained set of steps that each of us will take exactly and precisely? Is there only ONE pathway or roadmap that will lead us to his desired goal for us?

I recognize and firmly believe he does in fact have a plan… (Jeremiah 29:11), and I know that he expects us to seek his will for us earnestly through that plan (Jeremiah 29:13). I just question how specific and detailed that plan is, in anticipation of its working out. I do believe that He guides and directs each step we take (of our own free will and accord… but I’m not going there…), but as He lays the path(s?) before us, how definite is the map?

My proposition is this: If we ask, seek, and then move in accordance with our best understanding of God’s desire as He chooses to reveal it to us, and if we proceed in faith, then perhaps, just perhaps, he will work His will through our choices, for our ultimate benefit and good, according to His plan (Romans 8:29). Therefore, my purpose is NOT to agonize over discovering His plan that I might function within it, but to rely on the fact that He DOES have a plan, and that in accord with His desire for my best, I can do my best to understand in prayer and in faith, and then (whether I have full comprehension or not) to move forward, secure in His will.


Stephanie said...

I hope there is wiggle room in the choices often feel like "oops" moments and I have to trust God can work with that.

Toph said...

A new post! I'm very happy to receive some of Kit's wisdom -- it was a long dry spell (although dinner at BJ's never hurts . . .).

I've tentatively come to a similar conclusion. I suppose I struggled with knowing God's will, by which I mean a specific plan of what would and should happen in my life. I never got a sure call to go to Trinity Western, but as I prayed about it and thought it over, it seemed like the best decision. God has blessed me in amazing ways through that school. So I tend to think that while we should actively seek God's will for our life, we should not be afraid to choose one way or another if there's no clear right or wrong.

Chris said...

Funny thing happened to me once. I was praying about God's will while I was hanging out with some friends in FL and then I looked up in the sky and there was written "Jesus Loves You!" Well actually it said "-esus loves yo-" because it wasn't exactly finished and the first letter was already fading BUT you get the idea.

SO, point being, sometimes God's will is written in the sky. Though most times... don't count on it.

On a deeper note, and kind of playing off Toph's thoughts and borrowing from a comment Will once made to me, perhaps God's will is broader than we limit it to. We always think he's extremely specific though when deciding between two things such as sermon series or summer themes (Will influence) which are both within the realm of "God's will" which one we choose perhaps is up to us. God's will is that we honor him, bring glory to him, and share his love to others. Then how do you decide whether to do a series on Serving the Community OR a series on the meaning of the Cross and Crucifixion? They are both equally within God's will, if you ask me.
Anyways, there's Steph's wiggle room, from my perspective at least.

Chris said...

That and Romans 8:28, right?

"Going to get ice cream..."

Thayne Dye said...

Hey kit, my blog URL is

My first post was about the Thoreau conversation we had in the car :D

Also, I read this post and thought that it was interesting. I remember we talked a little about identity on this subject a while back.

My feelings toward this are that we should strive to do the works God has arranged for in our lives, not just let them come to us. This would mean that God wants everything we do to be righteous, although I doubt that he expects it of us. It would mean that every time we do something that isn't a strict moral issue, but a simple decision, we should run it by God before we choose, to make sure we're in the right.

I know that many of my decisions are answered by God without my involvement, though, but mostly I do that. Personally, I think God wanted us to strive for it because it builds spiritual strength, and it tunes us in to hearing his voice when he needs to call out to us.