A while back I wrote a blog on God’s will, which you can read here and I think it’s important to write again on it because of some things I’ve come to realize. I had a couple good discussions with friends of mine and the topic went toward dating relationships and how perspective changes the older we get.
I know one of the questions that had come up in previous dating relationships was something like “Well what if you’re called there and I’m called here?” which is a very spiritual sounding question, isn’t it? Unfortunately, that’s about as deep as it is, only sounding spiritual. What the question really meant was “How can we provide for each other’s needs from so far away?”
We tend to associate God’s will for our lives with what He is calling us to do, and that then must mean that we are called to a specific place to do a specific thing. Therefore we should take that into account when we are dating, right? Yes and no. I would say there are some problems with that. The truth in it is that we should certainly consider those things when we’re looking to court someone. The issue is how God’s will or calling is thought of. It seems to me that it too easily becomes “us” focused. What I mean is that we’re saying “But what if I am called here and you are called there.” I think more importantly than asking “Where is God calling me?” or “What is God calling me to be/do?” is asking a question more like “Whom is God calling me to be?”
That may seem like hair splitting but I think it’s an important difference. In Romans, Paul gives what is called the “Golden Chain of Salvation” when he writes “For those whom he foreknew he also predestined to be conformed to the image of his Son, in order that he might be the firstborn among many brothers. And those whom he predestined he also called, and those whom he called he also justified, and those whom he justified he also glorified.” (Romans 8:29-30) and usually the focus is on all the actions that God does, foreknowing, predestinating (predestining?), calling, justifying, glorifying. These are great things to focus on and are very important, but in relation to God’s will they are not what’s in view necessarily.
The key here are the words “predestined to be conformed to the image of his Son” because that really reveals God’s will for His children. Sanctification is a lifelong process, but what is the end goal? To be more like Jesus. This is God’s will and it isn’t a stepping stone to some greater good, but rather it is an end in itself. So many times I have sat thinking and praying that God just reveal what He wants for me to do, when in reality it’s been right there in Scripture the whole time. I’m not saying there are not other mandates or something but it’s very plain that God wants us to become more like Christ. Let me say that again, God’s will for your life is that you become more like Christ. Our immediate reaction is to ask “for what?” and that’s just the wrong question to ask. We can’t really move into how God is going to use us before we realize the fact that becoming like Jesus is the ultimate goal.
This is a very agile and mobile calling, and that’s on purpose. What I mean is that becoming more and more like Christ each day can take place virtually anywhere while doing most anything. Suddenly there is no more worry about screwing something up, whether that be someone you decided not to date or broke up with or an opportunity you decided not to take part in. We aren’t big enough to screw up God’s plan for our lives. The good thing about making becoming like Christ the focus of your life is that it allows you to do a great many things. Think about it, if you are focusing solely on becoming like Christ, that means that you could be flipping burgers one day and sharing the gospel to a thousand people the next and it wouldn’t really phase you. It makes you more open to how God is trying to use you. The Potter could then use His clay in whatever way He pleases, and the clay would entirely enjoy it.
Looking from this perspective, it makes more sense when Paul writes in 1 Corinthians “So, whether you eat or drink, or whatever you do, do all to the glory of God.” (10:31) To quote the Westminster Confession of Faith, the chief end of man is to glorify God. What could possibly bring God more glory than having His children striving to be daily more and more conformed to the image of His Son? This also places us in a great place doctrinally too because this attitude crushes our pride when we are tempted to make a name for ourselves or boast in our accomplishments. It makes us amazed at the grace of God in choosing to save us, and then not only that but to use us to do anything at all. The Creator/creature distinction is firmly maintained and we are supremely satisfied while God gets the glory.
Soli Deo Gloria