I told my husband over coffee, this morning, that he wasn't as good a listener as he used to be. He sipped his coffee, listening to my little rant, and said nothing.
"See? That's what I mean!" I said with a bit of exasperation in my voice. (Okay, more than a bit). "You used to comment more on what I commented on. I need your feedback. I feel like I know more of what I'm thinking if you comment on what I'm thinking 'cause then I can see if what I'm thinking is clear and sound or if it's crazy."
You're probably thinking to yourself, That poor man- what he has to put up with! But really, this guy knew exactly what he was getting into 20 something years ago because I was this verbal and this overly analytical when he knew me then!
I like to hear what my husband is thinking about what I'm thinking. He's very sound and sensible, and he's slow to speak but when he says something, he means it.
I always thought that the Apostle Paul was kind of like this too. But lately I've been seeing him in a whole new light. People who know God can know His will, but that doesn't mean we know the Whole will of God and are cognizant of it at every moment. Our minds would split open if that were the case because God's will is overwhelming...for us , not for Him.
I was reading in 1 Corinthians 16 about the collection of money for the Christians in Jerusalem, and was looking at Paul's instructions when I started to note something interesting. As spiritual and strong in the Lord as Paul was, he was still a man, and therefore he was often in the dark about God's will even when he was walking in the light.
Notice the wording here from verse 4 through 7: "And if it seems appropriate...I am planning to travel through Macedonia... It could be that I will stay a while, perhaps all winter... I want to come and stay awhile if the Lord will let me...". If you feel like commenting under your breath, Make up your mind, Paul- don't worry. That's what I felt like doing too.
Making up your mind about what you are doing and where you are going and if God wants you to do something, is a another aspect of God's will- His forward looking will. There's the sense of God's will for you today: don't lose your temper, give grace, be slow to anger, be abounding in love. That's God's will for you right now.
But then there's also the sense of what is God's will for you tomorrow and next year? Because you have to make certain choices in life that affect the rest of your life ( choice of college, choice of career, choice of spouse, choice of friends) you do need to know God's will. As we can see in this 1 Corinthians 16 passage, Paul seemed a bit fuzzy on what and where he would be next week and next year. But the good news is that I don't think he made those fuzzy sounding statements with a heart of anxiety and fear.
God will make it clear ...where you need to be next year.
God will make a way...when you feel you can't even make it through today.
I can say those statements with certainty- even if I am uncertain about what He will do and what He wants for you- as far as particulars. It just could be that He wants you to feel as uncertain as you do about what you will do- but certain of His love and His will to guide you.
I am planning to write more on this subject...if it seems appropriate. It could be that I will write more tomorrow...or perhaps the next day. I'm not sure yet.
But whatever I eventually decide to do, however meandering a path I take, or however uncertain I feel, I'm certain of this: God WILL make a way. And I'm also certain of this: today is a good day to KNOW that you can know not only His will, but the God of Heaven and Earth, Himself- Savior, Way Maker, Everlasting Father, Almighty God.