I have been really pondering chapter 6 of Francis Chan’s book Forgotten God. The main point of the chapter is to stop/forget asking God’s will for your life. Chan is correct because very rarely am I asking God for His will moment by moment. I am asking God’s will in the sense of like a ten year plan! I know that God calls us to submit, obey and follow Him, yet I still want to know more than that! I have come to the conclusion that God will not give me the big picture because if He did, I would become focused on and motivated by the wrong thing.
Luke 10:30-37 Jesus tells the Parable of the Good Samaritan. To summarize, there was a Jewish man who was beaten by some bandits and left half dead along the side of the road. A priest seeing this half dead man crossed the other side of the street so as to not help the man. A Levite (or Temple assistant in some translations) also crossed to the other side of the street when he saw the man in need. A Samaritan man (who would have been despised and hated by the Jewish people) had compassion on this Jewish man and cared for him.
What does this have to do with plans? Well, I think that if God gave me the big picture/plan, I would become/respond like the Priest and Levite. Sadly, I would miss the man/woman/child in need. I would walk with a purpose to go and do God’s business/ministry/will that I would miss the need right in front of me. In my pride I would think I cannot stop to help you because I am on my way to do a good work for the Lord. I know this about myself. I can be SUPER task focused almost to the point of tunnel vision that I do not recognize the need around me (and in some instances I may not even care- man that is humbling to admit!). I also have no regard to the attitude that I display toward others because I am so focused on the “important” work that I am doing for God. I genuinely hate being interrupted (my mom, dad and husband can verify this!) and if God gave me the big picture, I know that I would look at that person’s need as an interruption/distraction to my day, my work and my plan.
I am in NO way suggesting that we should never ask for God’s will! What I am suggesting and want to challenge us with is to take inventory on our motives for why/how we are asking God for His will/plan. Are we asking God for His will to glorify Him or we asking God’s will/plan for our own comfort/security/ease etc.?
In my humble opinion, if we are loving God and loving others with the right motive(s), no matter what is going on around us, we are doing God’s Will. God will never will us to treat anyone with contempt, hatred, animosity, indifference etc. I have no clue where in your life you may resemble the Priest and Levite rather than the Good Samaritan. I encourage you to pray Psalm 139:23-24 “Search me, O God, and know my heart; test me and know my anxious thoughts. Point out anything in me that offends you, and lead me along the path of everlasting life” (NLT).
Father, it is so easy to want to please You and work for You and do things for You that we miss what is going on right around us. Lord, I ask that You help us to seek Your will with the right motives. Remove from us any fear and anxiety about the future. Help us to hold tightly to You and loosely to our plans. Father, I thank You for this reader. I pray that whatever it is they are seeking and searching for, that You will reveal Yourself to them in a way they clearly know is You. Reveal to us our pride and where we have attitudes like the Priest and Levite. Give us the strength and courage to respond like Christ. Help us to live and show Christ to others in this dark and hurting world. Lord, I ask that we lay our plans at Your feet, that we seek Your will in a manner that pleases You. Lord God, I thank You for the opportunity to share. May this reader be an encouragement to others wherever You have them today, in Jesus’s Name I pray, Amen.