“How do I know that this is the Lord’s will?”
We wrestle with this question often. While it is important to be sensitive to the Holy Spirit, and to listen well to God’s leading, I notice that we often misunderstand God’s will.
One day, when I was nineteen, I had the choice between two jobs and I had to make up my mind in five minutes. During that time, despite fervent prayer, I heard no answer. It was as though God stepped back and said, “It doesn’t matter. Choose the one you prefer.” That’s exactly what I did—and I’ve never regretted my decision.
When my niece was born, she spent the first half-hour of her life drinking in everything about this strange new world into which she had been born. We wondered what she thought about the things that are so familiar to us. What was it like to be born?
Jesus once said, “You must be born again.” (John 3:7)
He means so much in those five words, but I think I know a little of what He intended.
“Do you know anything about the overtone series?” My sister asks.
I shrug. “You were the music major! This is some obscure part of music theory, isn’t it? Okay, tell me about it. In English.”
My sister laughs. She touches the piano lightly, and the note rings out, pure, like water. I am sure, from her rapt expression, that she hears nuances in the note that I cannot hear.
“Hear this note? Middle C?”
He must know and love Christ.
This is the most essential criterion for a husband. There is nothing unclear about God’s will here.
God’s will is clear: Believers must marry only other believers.
“Why is it all about God’s glory?” I’ve asked this many times. What is the purpose of life? To glorify God in all that we do. What was the purpose of salvation? To glorify God by reconciling sinners into a personal relationship with Himself. Why are idols so evil? Because they compete for God’s glory. It all comes down to His glory, His honor, His reputation.
Frankly, at times this concept has been rather mystifying to me. If the object of such possessiveness of glory were not God Himself, I would accuse the person of arrogance and selfishness.
Now let me turn this idea on its head.
None of my life has gone the way it was "supposed to go," but I don't love my life any less because of the hardships and new directions. I see so much unexpected good in it, and I want others to see the good in theirs.