What Does God Want Me To Do?
By Fin Sheridan
Last week, we talked about the beginning of the Lord’s Prayer, in Luke 11:1 The disciples come to Jesus and ask him to teach them to pray. He begins with the audacious claim that they should call God ‘Father’.
Today, we’re going to pivot to the other explanation of the Lord’s Prayer, described by Matthew in Matthew 6. Jesus continues the prayer with v10; “Your kingdom come, your will be done, on earth as it is in heaven.”
What is God’s will? It’s a question that has divided and united, a question that millions of Christians across the world ask regularly. It’s a question for teenagers deciding which path to choose in life and a question for hopeful couples wondering if they have found “The One”. It’s a question for those choosing a new church or pondering a relocation. It’s a question that all of humanity should be asking because it is the question which should direct our lives.
“Your kingdom come, your will be done, on earth as it is in heaven.”
It’s a question that causes much angst too. It’s very easy to get distressed at the thought of doing something that is not God’s will, particularly when you want to live a life that pleases God. The subject of God’s will is vastly discussed by men and women much smarter than me, with much more to say about it and so I don’t expect this article to be a fix-all or a cover-all.
I will, however, offer one way of thinking about the will of God that has provided comfort and clarity for me over the years. Imagine a garden (God created us in a garden so we’re already off to a good start). The garden has parameters and boundaries and within it are many fun things to do; swings, a slide, a climbing frame, some sports gear, a pool, some beds for lying in the sun and a big table. Sounds good right?
Now, imagine a parent sending their children out to the garden to play. They don’t prescribe a certain activity in a certain order: “Go out on the slide for ten minutes then do 3 laps of the pool and then you must only play football”. They simply say “Go and play outside”. The choice is the child’s. The parent has provided a place for them to live, laugh and experience, with fences and hedges to protect them. Within those boundaries, all the parent wants is for the child to enjoy the good gifts they have provided for the child. Swings or slides? It’s up to you. (Let the reader understand.)