Tag Archives: Will of God

Rethinking Christian Calling

Many well-meaning Christians often want to baptize their aspirations and decisions with divine approval. It’s not uncommon to hear young people encouraged to figure out who, where, and what God might be “calling” them to. Consider three little anecdotal stories. John is talking with some friends when he confidently announces that he has met the girl he will marry. When asked how he can be certain he says God has called him to take her as his wife. Susie is getting ready to graduate high school and decides to go to a particular university. When asked why, she says God has called her to go to that school. Ben works as a plumber. When asked why he chose that profession he says God has called him to that work. Do you see the pattern?

While it may not gain me popularity points I want to rethink this common idea of God’s calling. Biblically, the call of God is used in reference to our salvation and to Apostolic office (see e.g. Romans 1:1 and 1 Corinthians 1:1). Foregoing the second of these, the Bible says we have been “called to belong to Jesus Christ” (Romans 1:6) and “called according to his purpose” […]

How Do I Know What God’s Will Is?

I’ve heard it and you’ve heard it, I’ve used it, and you’ve used it: “I think it’s the will of God that I do such and such.” Who should I marry? What should I study? When should I do this? Where should I work? Why has this happened? But the question behind those questions is: how do I go about discerning God’s will? And, I might add, that’s the question that must be answered before we go any further. If we don’t know how God reveals his will to us it will do little good to ask those particular questions.

A bit anecdotally, I remember beginning my college career at a small Christian liberal arts university in Minnesota. Of course, the whole environment of the university was aimed at trying to get young men and women to find their future spouse during their college years. The conspiracy theory was that this would give a good return to the school because regardless of what the academic experience was–or how much it cost–tales of lore would be told that this was the place where two people fell in love. And it wasn’t uncommon, for instance, for a young man to approach a potential […]