What am I supposed to do with my life? That’s the ubiquitous question young Christians are asking today. But even as recently as ten years ago, the question was, “What do I want to do with my life?”
Millennials thought that was too selfish. We want more than ever to be caught up in something bigger than ourselves. To be drawn into a Missio Dei, a grand calling from God.
So with just a slight change in wording, we’ve turned the question age-old of purpose upside down.
Unfortunately, this change in wording makes the question much harder to answer. When it was our own passion that was in question, it was up to us to choose what we wanted to do. But now “God’s will” comes in to the picture. We cannot choose until we know what God wants us to do.
But God’s will for our lives, as we have defined it, is an unsolvable mystery. We think it’s a specific location or occupation. We think we need to be a doctor in Dallas or a pastor in Pennsylvania or a missionary in Mozambique.
We think we have to find it before we leave college. If we miss it, we are doomed to a life of insignificance outside the mysterious ‘will of God.’
We are wrong.
The phrase, ‘What is God’s will for my life?’ has three more words than it needs.
What is God’s will? Now that’s a question we should be asking! It’s also a question that can be answered, because it has been answered.
“Rejoice always, pray continually, give thanks in all circumstances; for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus.”
- 1 Thessalonians 5:16-18
“What does the LORD require of you? To act justly and to love mercy and to walk humbly with your God.”
- Micah 6:8
“Live in Albuquerque, become a high school science teacher.”
- 2 Hesitations 1:14
It’s obvious that the bible doesn’t say anything specific about our vocation or location. So why do we focus the question of God’s will on those two categories?
God is calling us to rejoice. And pray. And give thanks. To act justly. To love mercy. To walk humbly.
When it comes to seeking God’s will, let’s focus on who we are, not where we live or what we do. And let’s leave the non-moral decisions in our lives to our own sanctified common sense.
And just do something.
Be confident that God will never abandon or forsake us. What does that look like practically?
When you need to make a big decision, lay out the options before you. Spend three days thinking and praying about each option. Seek the advice of your parents, friends and pastor. Then pick something. Anything really.
And do it well.
Know that God has given each of us an extraordinary Missio Dei. A great calling that presides on each of our lives. And it’s surprisingly simple.
Love God. Love People. Work Hard.