Can You Miss God’s Will?

The opening line of a familiar table grace for children is a good place to jump off this week: “God is great, God is good. . .”.

In the previous post we discussed God’s good heart toward His children. That’s a comfort to be sure – but what if my thick head can’t discern what His good heart is leading me toward? The second principle focuses on God’s greatness, which thankfully is able to overcome my denseness!

Principle #2: Rest in God’s Sovereignty

It’s a familiar old anxiety that has plagued me from college days. Many of life’s decisions are perplexing, with multiple options each looking attractive. You pray. You confess your sin. You search your heart’s motives. You ask for counsel. You weigh the advantages and disadvantages of each option comparatively. You want nothing more than to know and do God’s will.

But still, YOU must make a choice. Careful now. What if you didn’t pray enough? What if you left a sin off your confession list? What if your counselor was having a bad day? What if, what if, what if. . .? And what if you left off an important “what if”?!

Do you notice where all the focus is here? On YOU and your ability to discern. Really, this kind of anxiety is evidence of self-reliance. Let’s get our mind off our inabilities for a minute and onto the greatness of our God. The prophet Daniel’s prayer should do it:

“Blessed be the name of God forever and ever, to whom belong wisdom and might.

He changes times and seasons; He removes kings and sets up kings;

He gives wisdom to the wise and knowledge to those who have understanding;

He reveals deep and hidden things; He knows what is in the darkness;

and the light dwells with Him.” (Daniel 2:20-22)

Just think of it. The God who loves you unconditionally in Christ is the omnipotent sovereign of the universe. If He is controlling little things like earthly dynasties and pagan rulers, it’s likely He’s up to the challenge of guiding His children through life.

The next time you’re bordering on a panic attack over some decision, just rest in God’s super-ability to guide you safely toward His ultimate goal for you – that of being transformed into the image of His Son (cf. Phil. 1:6).

About Sam Harbin
I am the President of Calvary Baptist Seminary in Lansdale, PA as well as the Chair and Professor of Pastoral Theology.

5 Responses to Can You Miss God’s Will?

  1. I think of a line that I have heard attributed to Luther, “go and sin boldly.” The point being that fear of making a mistake will only lead to stagnation. God even uses our mistakes and poor choices to shape us into a tool fit for his hand.

    Thanks for the post.

  2. Mark DeBoe says:

    Thanks Dr. Harbin. These blogs have really helped me with some decisions I need to make. Thank you.

  3. Jim E says:

    So good…can’t wait for more on this…getting in my “Way Back Machine”…I remember as if yesterday…1965…and I was talking with my pastor…I asked him, how he knew God’s Will for his life…he said he always used Proverbs 16:3 when making major decisions for his life…”Commit thy works unto the Lord, and thy thoughts shall be established.”…no lightning out of the blue but just the Lord showing step by step…making our thoughts the same as His Will…

    As we “Commit our ways”…He will establish our plans…He loves us so much that when we decide and no matter how difficult the road, He will give us confidence and expectancy about what is ahead…worked for him…worked for me…God’s Word has a liberating effect…Oh, that’s right, you’ve noticed…

  4. Alex Tandon says:

    Thanks Doc Harbin…you know full well how timely this post is for us. Left to ourselves, decisions about the future pose an overwhelming task; however, we are never left to ourselves. Praise God!!!

  5. Bailey says:

    Don’t laugh,. I almost didn’t read your blog because of your denomination– I pressed on, though! Your answer was not just excellent, but perfect! it witnessed to me to not think about “me” but the nature of God: His goodness; His mercy; His love. You gave a perfect answer. thx

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