How many times have you heard someone wonder what God’s will was for their life? How many times have you wondered about what his plan was for your future?
In Forgotten God, Francis Chan points out a major problem with this line of thinking. It puts all of our focus on the future and what God could possibly do in our lives then. And that takes our eyes off the present, where the Spirit is beckoning us to sacrifice, to work, and to grow.
It is easy to use the phrase “God’s will for my life” as an excuse for inaction or even disobedience. It’s much less demanding to think about God’s will for your future than it is to ask Him what He wants you to do in the next ten minutes. It’s safer to commit to following Him someday instead of this day.
I think dwelling on God’s plan for the future often excuses us from faithful and sacrificial living now… Thinking, questioning, and talking can take the place of letting the Spirit affect our immediate actions in radical ways.
This mindset changes our orientation. Instead of viewing ourselves as machines who simply accomplish our goals, we remember that we are people. People living in relationships. People with the potential to grow spiritually.
The Opportunity of Now
My hope is that instead of searching for “God’s will for my life,” each of us would learn to seek hard after “the Spirit’s leading in my life today.” May we learn to pray for an open and willing heart, to surrender to the Spirit’s leading with that friend, child, spouse, circumstance, or decision in our lives right now.
This reminds me of an important aspect of what it means to redeem the time as Ephesians 5:16 says.
We must grasp the difference between chronos and kairos. Both are Greek words translated as time. But chronos refers to minutes and seconds – measurable time – while kairos refers to seasons and to opportune moments.
We’re instructed to redeem the time – to redeem the kairos. In other words, to look for opportunities that present themselves. It’s not about fretting over minutes and seconds. Redeeming the kairos is about not missing out on today and the unique situations it presents us with.
Rather than looking for how God will act far off in the future, how could God act mightily in your life and heart right now?
What opportunities does today give you?
Photo Credit: Kelly K (Creative Commons)
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