March 2, 2010

We Need A Resolution

Things are starting to get better . . . I think.

By no means am I ever going to fully grasp everything about God in this lifetime, but I can see how He has been growing me, changing me, sanctifying me and revealing Himself to me.

Thank you to those who read and commented on this blog, or talked to me about it in person. I love talking over, thinking through and digesting this stuff with the people God has placed in my life. I know that God works through us and can reveal Himself more through each other.

It's just funny how you can have a specific viewpoint or way of thinking for the majority of your life that becomes disrupted . . . or waved away like a cloud of smoke. Definitely unsettling at first, but incredibly enlightening and even freeing.

I can be really bad at articulating my thoughts, so bear with me.

I don't want to make the big decisions in my life - I want God to call the shots and then direct me there. However . . . if I am living my life for God, seeking God, and evaluating decisions biblically, I should be able to make choices/decisions in freedom and confidence. And I am coming around to see that it's more loving when we have that freedom versus a specific, limited course that has been predetermined.

The traditional view of an individual will, while it still is something that calls to me, can be rather restricting and rigid. What if God did have a very specific, detailed plan for my life that was either the center of a target or tightly coursed map? Well, there is GREAT potential for me blowing it (more like guaranteed that I'd blow it). There is also no flexibility . . . and it makes it seem like God can only work in my life if I'm in this very tight parameter (which seems to put a limit or leash on God's power and sovereignty). But God is bigger than that. He can certainly weave together the details of our lives, whether we're living in Raleigh or Los Angeles.

I still believe that God provided the friends, community, church and job that I have here in RDU. Do I believe that He would provide these things if I lived in another city? yes. That goes against the traditional view of an individual will, if you think about it. But the newer view of God's will says that if I come to a place where I need to make a choice, I should evaluate these choices in light of His Word and the lifestyle He is calling me to, and then freely choose. So - living here or in California. If neither one is morally wrong, I can go whichever way I want and trust that God is going to be with me in either place. I would still trust Him to provide me with a job, friends, church, place to live, food on the table . . . no matter where I was, and I believe He would do so. I see how this is much more freeing than the "target" or "dot" view.

Moreover, the traditional/target/dot view is not supported by scripture, as the book I previously mentioned is pointing out. Yes, scripture states that God is our sheperd, loving father, provider, redeemer, but that does not mean that He has a specific, tight course that I have to figure out. Plus . . . it would be insanely hard for me to even find this specific, individual plan. I don't have the capability to even find something like that - like a needle in a haystack. AND that's putting waaaay too much weight on my abilities - presuming I even have the ability to find some hidden specific plan.

I also realize that I think in extremes, in black and white. It's something about myself that I think is highly entertaining, but dangerous.

I tend to think that either God has predestined and ordained every step and breath, or that He is not working in my life at all.

I'm not saying that God doesn't know my every step and breath, because He does. I'm saying that there's a difference between Him being omniscient and having a bunch of puppets/robots on the earth, where one has no free will or ability to choose in any decision.

I'm coming to still maintain that yes, God did place certain people and circumstances in my life - He does provide for us when we ask (well, and even when we don't ask, hah) - but He does that no matter where we live or work, etc. But there's a difference from seeing that God placed an awesome roommate and group of people in my life, versus the idea that He created me to specifically live here and be friends with these specific people . . . like it our destiny, and if I hadn't lived here, I would have missed God's plan entirely.

Maybe God created me and He's working in me to sanctify me and conform me to the likeness of His Son, as scripture states . . . and in that, things are falling into place. He has given me skills and desires, and allowed me to work as a RN, and given me ministry opportunities - but who's to say those things wouldn't have fallen into place if I decided to be a barista at Starbucks (well, I'd rather do indie coffee) or a school counselor? I did like the idea that God wanted me to be a RN and specifically called me to this profession and my specific workplace, but I'm seeing freedom in this new viewpoint.

I really appreciate what Brent said in response to my last post:

"Your questions are based on the idea that God needs to work on the external cirumstances in order to guide your life on the path He has laid out for you. But can't he just as easily work out the details of your life by working in the internal aspects of your faith, character, and holiness? If God's ultimate purpose is to transform us into the likeness of His Son, then where we live, or what job we have, or who we marry probably won't be the determining factor on whether or not we work out His purpose in our lives."

I think that brings a lot of clarity. Talking to Christen and Julie last night also helped me sort out my thoughts and start see this in a new way as well. Thank you guys (and to Brent and Lacey for commenting on the first post as well!) for sharing and for your insight. I know we're never going to have all the answers, but I do feel a bit refreshed and liberated over this whole thing. Not to say I'm done wrestling with this by any means (hey, I still have to read that book), but things are starting to look better.


  1. Definitely sympathize with not knowing all the answers. Glad my thoughts could be part of the conversation that hopefully brings you some peace about the issue. I think when we reflect on scripture and the character of God as shown through our own lives to better understand Him, I think that pleases God. It also produces a humble orthodoxy that says, "This is what I think... for now."

  2. I'm glad you are feeling more peace on the topic. I agree with's freeing to know that there are many paths we could take that would be God-honoring. And He gives us the freedom to choose based on our abilities and desires. I think taking a step in faith is what He wants us to do, with the confidence that if it's the wrong step, or another path will better serve Him, He'll be there to guide us to it!


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