Friday, 16 April 2010

Does God have an individual will for my life?

Peter Masters takes exception to what he terms 'the new view of guidance'. He cites Garry Freisen's book 'Decision making and the will of God' with its 'sweeping away [of] the time-honoured teaching that God has a particular will for each of his children' (page 8).

It is true to say that Freisen declares 'that an invidual will of God for every detail of a person's life is not found in Scripture' (page 41). However, Freisen is not saying that God's will is not individual or particular. Freisen points out that God's sovereign will 'is specific for each person and in that sense, individual' (page 41). De Young affirms that God does have a specific plan for our lives, that we can be assured that he works things for our good in Christ Jesus, and that looking back we can trace God's hand bringing us to where we are; but, while we are free to ask for wisdom, he does not burden us with the task of divining his 'will of direction' for our lives ahead of time (page 24).

The terms are confusing. Even DeYoung's claim conecrning 'will of direction' could be construed as if God is not guiding us. The point Freisen and DeYoung are making is that our job is to make moral descisions as best we can and leave all things in the sovereignty of God.

For example, take our career. Rather than waiting around for some 'sign' to tell us what we should do we should make a decision beased on what God has revealed to us. From our understanding of God's word we know that some options are off limits (even if I had the talent and body to be a stripper that option is ruled out by the moral will of God). I should ask questions like 'what gifts has God given me that I can use?' 'what do I fell passionate about (making an effort to prayerfully assess my motives)?' and, 'what opportunities lie before me?'

This is not to say that God never intervenes in a more subjective way. People have heard voices from heaven, and we may be given 'a word of knowldege from another Christian' (which should be 'weighed' carefully and prayerfully, rather than simply accpeted naively). However, we do not need some heavely 'sign' before acting. Neither do we need to feel unsure about a chosen course of action because we have not recieved some special confirmation.

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