Clarity or Closeness? | Discovering the will of God
I desperately want to know and do the will of God. I’m sure I’m not alone in that pursuit; finding and doing the will of God can often be a point of stress or confusion and the topic of many books and articles… like this one… and I hope this quick note can add perspective to that journey for you.
I was recently praying over my daughter before bed and my prayer sounded something like this, “God, please make her gifts and her calling obvious to her and to us.” As I finished that prayer I felt the Holy Spirit challenge me not to pray that way over her life or my own. At first it felt weird, why wouldn’t God wan’t to make it obvious? Then I remembered a key verse in the Bible about discovering God’s will in Acts 17.
“The God who made the world and everything in it is the Lord of heaven and earth and does not live in temples built by human hands. And he is not served by human hands, as if he needed anything. Rather, he himself gives everyone life and breath and everything else. From one man he made all the nations, that they should inhabit the whole earth; and he marked out their appointed times in history and the boundaries of their lands. God did this so that they would seek him and perhaps reach out for him and find him, though he is not far from any one of us. ‘For in him we live and move and have our being.’ As some of your own poets have said, ‘We are his offspring.’ (Acts 17:24-28 NIV)
The process of discovering your calling is intentionally designed by God to be a journey that brings us closer to God.
We often want clarity, but what God desires is closeness.
When I was praying that prayer over my daughter it was as if I felt God in that moment sadend by the thought of my daughter bypassing the journey of drawing close to God to discover that calling and purpose. God doesn’t just want us to find our purpose, but find our purpose in Him.
When you really consider the whole theme of the Bible from start to finish you find that it’s about closeness. It’s about our God, who created and loves us, being so devastated by the separation that he brought us close again through Jesus. Even Jesus was called Immanuel, which means, “God WITH us.”
What if we stopped asking for clarity FROM God, and started seeking closeness WITH God? Just to be clear, I’m not saying that we shouldn’t ask for wisdom, clarity or direction on our lives or a decision that we need to make, the Bible is clear that He speaks and gives wisdom to us when we ask. But, I am saying, focus more on closeness than clarity. The incredible thing is that God desires to walk with us not just observe us. I’ve found the leading of the Holy Spirit in my life has been more him showing me as I walk with him, and less of him telling me what to do from a distance. When I ask for clarity, God invites me close, and when I come close, He clearly leads me. Spend time with Jesus today.
Come near to God and he will come near to you. (James 4:8)