Students who attended Youth Camp will recognize an illustration I use when helping others sort out the illusive “Will of God” for their lives. It goes like this:
Many of us want God to give us the full blueprint for our lives – or at least the big picture of who we’ll marry and what we’ll do for a living.
That’s like asking me, when I’m at Tyndale, how to get to my home in Springdale. I can quickly say, “Go south on Bayview Ave. Take the 401 East until you arrive at Quebec. That’ll become Highway 20 Est. (To save time in MTL, you might wish to take the 40 above, or the 30 around). Then continue on the 20 until just before Trois Rivieres, when you’ll need to exit and take Highway 85, then 185, which will take you to Highway 2 South in NB. Take that until you come to the NS border, and continue on the 104 East. At Cape Breton, you’ll take the 105 north to North Sydney (or the 125 if you wish to visit Rita McNeal’s teahouse smile emoticon You’ll board the ferry for NL, and then once in Port Aux Basques take TCH 1 East for 394km, until you come to route 390. My home is about 6kms from there, at the entrance to Springdale.
Though we think that’s how we’d like God to show us his will, the truth is, with no further instructions than those I rattled off above, many of us would end up lost in Montreal, or northern Quebec. That’s what God’s “big picture” would look like.
The alternative is for me to say “I’m leaving for Springdale tomorrow; you’re welcomed to follow me.” Now, at many points along the route, you may well feel lost. But, in reality, if you trust the One who’s leading you, then though you think you might be lost, the fact is that you’re not really lost – you just don’t know where you are. The key is to know whose tail lights are in front of you. If they are God’s, you might not know where you are – but you’re not lost.
So as we seek His will, very often he’s simply saying “Follow my tail lights.” (One youth pastor proudly told me he used my example, and told his youth to always “follow God’s headlights.” No. If you see God’s headlights coming at you, that’s a whole other situation lol).
Follow my tail lights, He says. You may not know where you are, or even where you’re headed – but you’re not lost. You may sense He has his signal light on, so you know a turn is coming soon – but not know where you’re headed. Scary perhaps, but still not lost.
But even before looking for the big picture, realize that God’s will for us is found simply in Romans 8:29 – Being gradually conformed to the likeness of Jesus Christ. Romans 12:1-2 tells us that everyday, we must not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of our minds. As we do this, we fulfill Psalm 37:4. In our delighting ourselves in God, he slowly exchanges our human desires for His. So as we’re conformed daily to His likeness, we get to go and do what we want to – because they are His wants for us. If we daily delight in God, there’s no need to “run” from the will of God – you’ll want to do His will, even if it scares you. The more like Christ we become, the clearer his tail lights look to us…