We are looking today at the subject of forgiveness. To forgive a person who has hurt you deeply may be the greatest challenge you ever face and the greatest gift you ever give. Imagine standing right next to a hurdle on a racetrack. You are right up against it. You...
Growing up, I played competitive tennis, golf, soccer, and football. I was good at many of these sports, but I was only great at one: golf, which I picked up at the age of thirteen and continue to enjoy playing at a high-level today.
Throughout high school, I felt drawn to be a professional golfer but also had a call on my life that had been affirmed by others at church for vocational ministry. During my teenage years, I often asked myself, “Is God’s will for my life to go into vocational ministry or to go into professional golf?”
Today many high school and college students are asking the same question I did in my high school years. Maybe not about golf, but they want to know what direction they should go in terms of college, marriage, and more.
The Hidden and Revealed Will of God
“The secret things belong to the Lord our God, but the things that are revealed belong to us and to our children forever, that we may do all the words of this law.” (Deuteronomy 29:29)
Deuteronomy 29:29 helps God’s people understand that the Lord has two wills—one hidden and one revealed. The hidden will of God includes every event in history, every thought, and intention of every person of everything that happens according to the counsel of His will (Ephesians 1:11).
You and I are not called as Christians to seek out this hidden will, which we cannot know because God hides it from His people. Instead, His people are to live by what the Lord has revealed about Himself in His Word.
The Lord’s revealed will is also known as His preceptive will, which tells people what the Lord finds pleasing.
God’s hidden and revealed will give God’s people freedom. As a high school or college student, you do not have to know or worry about the hidden will of God. As long as you obey His revealed Word in the Scriptures, you may freely do whatever is in accordance with the Word of God.
If for example you are presented with a choice to go to four schools you are free to choose according to the revealed will of God in Scripture. Similarly, if you are presented with five to ten choices or more of majors in college, you are free to choose what major you want at the school of your choice. As Christians, we aren’t called to make God’s hidden will come true, we are simply called to obey God’s revealed will.
What Is the Will of God?
In Ephesians 5:17, Paul says, “Therefore do not be foolish, but understand what the will of the Lord is.” In 1 Thessalonians 4:13, Paul says, “For this is the will of God your sanctification that you abstain from sexual immorality.” 1 Timothy 4:12 says, “Let no one despise you for your youth, but set the believers an example in speech, in conduct, in love, in faith, in purity.”
The desire to discover the will of God occurs for the Christian because the Holy Spirit creates such a passion for what pleases the Lord, so the people of God will aim to do all the Lord approves (Ephesians 5:10; Philippians 2:12-13).
Paul says in Ephesians 5:17 that those who are mature aim the course of their lives to understanding the will of God. God desires a holy people to reflect His holy light in our local churches and in the world.
Advice on Making Decisions
When making decisions I pray, read, and meditate on a book of the Bible like Proverbs. I also talk to godly counselors because there is wisdom in the abundance of counselors (Proverbs 11:14). After I’ve prayed, read the Bible, and talked to godly counselors, I make my decision.
Making decisions, whether they are major or minor, can be difficult. Some choices, such as getting married, involve your entire family close friends and your pastor. Other decisions may not involve a wider circle of people in your life.
Decision making for the Christian is to be done through a biblical worldview and for the glory of God. You and I as Christians make such decisions grounded in the final and full revelation of God in the Word of God which testifies to the finished and sufficient work of the grace of God.
The Lord knows our needs, burdens, our anxieties, fears, and doubts. The key to making godly decisions is to trust in the sovereign care of God. Christians believe the Lord created the world, sustains the world and who orders all things in accordance with His will and good pleasure, for His glory.
The Lord longs for His children to trust in Him to know His goodness, and for them to find their pleasure and satisfaction in Him. Making godly decisions requires trust in the sovereign care and concern of a good God who loves us and wants His children to grow in His image and likeness.
I urge you today to put your trust in the Lord, rest in His finished and sufficient work, pray, read the Word of God, find godly counselors, and make your decision. Then as you make choices about your future rest in the knowledge of God’s care and love for you in Christ.
As you head to that place and to study, please trust your sovereign God. Our sovereign God calls you to know, love, and serve Him in the local church and outside of it. Additionally, He calls you to witness to others wherever He’s placed you about the glory of the grace of Christ. Do this all to and for His glory!