“Who doesn’t want to know the will of God? As a young man, that topic occupied me as much as any other. I recall reading Alan Redpath’s guidance that discerning the will of God is done best by aligning the lights of three beacons. First is circumstances. Second is the truth of Scripture. Last, the counsel of wise friends. If those line up there is good reason to believe you are in the will of God and your decision, while not guaranteed, will more likely be the right one.
“But, I have discovered over the course of my life that discerning the will of God is not always that clean and neat. In fact, there are times when the will of God seems to go against all three guides. There are moments when God asks for the unimaginable that contradicts our understanding of Scripture, only confuses our circumstances and flies in the face of our trusted friends.”
Fred Smith, Excerpt from “The Impossible Will of God”
Dear God, I read the first paragraph of this friend’s blog post this morning and thought, “Oh, I totally disagree with that!” And then I saw his second paragraph. YES! “There are times when [your] will asks for the unimaginable that contradicts [my] understanding of Scripture, only confuses [my] circumstances and flies in the face of [my] trusted friends.” YES!
I have a relative right now who is really facing some trials. I know my advice to her, but is it the right advice? How do I really know? I’m using my logic and wisdom, but, in the end, I am a fool and my knowledge and perspective are limited. I would hate to steer her wrong.
In thinking about this first paragraph (and granted, Redpath says, “not guaranteed,” so he has some cover here), I am left to consider Job and his friends. I don’t know if he had Scripture to review, but he was certainly seeking your wisdom, he was seeking his friends’ counsel. He just couldn’t make his spiritual wisdom and his friends’ counsel match up with his circumstances.
Father, there is almost too much here for a prayer to you this morning. It’s worth an essay at a minimum. So let me just say that I agree with my friend’s blog. I pray that you will speak to me through my friends, my circumstances, and through scripture, but I also pray that you will give me peace in my trials, teach me, bring me to repentance when I need to, and speak to me in your still small voice that says, John, what are you doing here?
In Jesus’ name I pray,