Searching for God’s Will

This post is part of a new project that I’m working on. Visit Jess Alston’s website to learn more about the Dig Deep Podcast.

I’m officially the least qualified person to write this post. For the last six months, I’ve been praying for something pretty specific. It felt like an eternity of hearing silence mixed with static. At one point, I thought I could hear God snoring, or like hiccupping in a fit of laughter. And now? Now I’m receiving five different versions of that really specific prayer answered, all in unexpected ways.

But here’s the thing: my heart looks so different from when I started praying for it six months ago (really, more like several years ago)—that I might turn down all of these opportunities.

Yesterday, I had no idea where I would go with this post. And, really God, why would you have me write this when my life anthem feels like whatisGod’swillwhatisGod’swillWHATTHEHECKISGOD’SWILL?!

For me, God’s will has definitely always felt like this far distant future when God would finally finish shaking up my personal life’s snow globe and I would live peacefully in the calm version where flakes of fake glittery snow just glisten in my hair as I sit quietly on a mantle. Maybe I’d even be an ice skater in my snow globe, frozen in a graceful arabesque with a glowing smile. Ahh, triple axel (a.k.a. God’s plan for my life) accomplished. Now we can rest.

Jess taught this week that God calls us into his will through an ongoing sanctifying process, honoring God with our daily steps of obedience. Turns out, God’s will isn’t exclusively reserved for the grand sweeping triple axel moments.

I remember hearing years ago that today, right now, I am currently standing in God’s will for my life. Who knew? Clearly, it’s a lesson I have to stubbornly learn over and over (and over, I’m afraid).

Last night at yoga class, I closed my eyes as we focused on breathing in the first few minutes. I said a little prayer: “God, please tell me what to write about your will.” Yes, it sounds very trendy slash millennial slash overly zen-ey. But it actually worked.

Later in the class, I waited in child’s pose during a sequence of flow poses where we’re free to do as much or as little as we physically can (or as we mentally remember). It all felt like too much, so I just bowed down and waited, thinking I had nothing left to give. Our instructor then said, “When you get to the warrior pose, feel the power in the pose. What is your story?”

That was all I needed to hear. I found some kind of flow sequence that would get me back to that warrior pose, lunged forward with strong and balanced arms to keep me centered.

So much of God’s will requires learning to wait with hands wide open, inviting the messiness of transformation. And so much of God’s will requires our own action, taking daily steps of obedience that turn a neighborhood jogger into a marathon runner. There is power in realizing that we can’t just sit around in our snow globe, disoriented from whoever won’t stop shaking everything upside down, praying that someday it might all settle down.

Here’s what I’m still processing:

  1. Big AND small. God wants it all. As Jess shared this week, our minds often jump to the big milestone moments when we think about God’s will. Have we forgotten the small steps of daily obedience that add up over time to real transformation?
  2. Trust. Our daily steps of obedience communicate, “God, I trust you.” With our careers, marriages, geography, children. All of it.
  3. If I had known. Like I shared over here, for a creative brain, I still like everything to line up. A + B = C. Every personality test will tell you I want to know where were going and why were going there and how we’re going to get there. But, the truth is, if I would have known I’d hit a huge storm (or stepped in a cobra hole like Jess! Listen again here.) I wouldn’t have gone in the first place.

I needed this from Jess: “We don’t honor him to check boxes to get what we want.”

How many A + B boxes have I tried to check to get to C? And, today, right now, what if I stopped checking and searching and just took one little step of obedience?

Romans 12:1-2

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