What is God’s will? Most Christians would say, “If I just knew God’s will for my life, I would do it.” Typically, when people talk about God’s will, they are usually interested in learning specific details. Where does God want me to go to college? What career path does God want me to choose? Who does God want me to marry? Where does God want me to live? All in the name of wanting to know God’s will for their life, people lose sleep, experience stress, and worry endlessly.
Here is what happens all too often: People get hung up on trying to discover God’s specific will for their lives and overlook the importance of living out His general will. When I refer to “God’s general will,” I mean the truths, instructions, and commands that apply to everyone. Love, compassionate, forgiveness, charity, humility—these are attitudes and actions that every follower of Jesus should strive to live out. “God’s specific will” pertains to truths, instructions, and commands that apply specifically to your life. God might be calling you to a particular vocation that would utilize your talents and bring you joy. He might be directing you to a certain ministry opportunity where your unique abilities would be put to good use.
Consider examples of people who focus on finding God’s specific will while forgetting to follow His general will:
- It is a young, single man who desperately wants to know whether or not God is calling him into full-time ministry, all the while being intimately involved with his girlfriend.
- It is a professional woman who is praying about which career opportunity she should pursue next and in the meantime refuses to be generous with God or others.
- It is the couple that wonders which country God would have them choose for the adoption of a child, all the while spending most weekends in a drunken stupor.
Here is a principle we need to weave into our lives: Instead of being consumed with the uncertainties of God’s specific will, let’s first and foremost be committed to fulfilling the certainties of God’s general will.