Is This God’s Thing Or Mine?

Have you ever asked that question?

So I’m talking to a friend about Journey4Hope and he says, “I prayed about this and I believe God wants me to jump in and help.” And my skeptical bone starts tingling.

I wonder a lot about my skeptical side, that part of me that tends to look a little sideways at ideas that seem obvious to others. And one of the notions that tickles my skeptical bone is “this is God’s will.”

God told me

Does that ring a bell? Someone has an idea, a vision, a big plan, and they’ve prayed about it and they’re certain it’s ordained by God. And that’s pretty much their argument for moving forward.

How do you argue with that? No matter how crazy or illogical or ill-conceived, an idea from God has to be trusted, right? If “God tells you to do it” you can’t really refuse.

I’ve experienced that certainty once, when I wrote and published the story of Relentless Grace. The way the story came together made no sense. Writing the story with no experience was totally illogical. Publishing the book with no background was downright crazy. But it was absolutely the right thing, and in retrospect I believe it was a process guided by the Spirit’s hand.

That doesn’t mean it’s gone smoothly or that it’s been a huge financial success. By most business standards, publishing the book wasn’t a good choice. But the book has touched a number of lives. I’m absolutely certain it was the right thing to do.

How do you know?

There’s a big spectrum of thought about God’s involvement in everyday events. I know sincere, committed people who pray about the smallest choices. I know others who are pretty sure God wants them to make those decisions. I don’t claim to know who’s right, though I guess I lean toward the second view.

Please don’t misunderstand. I absolutely believe God speaks into our hearts. I believe people receive visions and signs from the Spirit.

But I also think we’re susceptible to a human temptation to transform “our thing” into “God’s thing.” I think we sometimes use God’s will as an excuse to do what we wanted to do anyway, or to abdicate responsibility for the consequences of our choices.

So I’m kind of reluctant to use “God told me to do it” as a justification for my choices.

I have no clue if God wants me to ride a bike 1500 miles. I usually have this sense that He cares less about what I do than about the heart behind my actions. I think He wants me to use my gifts in service and love, and that perhaps the details aren’t what matters.

Maybe God has a sense of humor. Maybe He thinks the idea of an old bald guy in a wheelchair riding a hand cycle 1500 miles is silly. Maybe the Trinity is sitting around their living room chuckling at me. Actually, I kind of like that image

But I know they understand the heart behind the project. I know they’ll use the story to inspire and touch people. I know they’ll be with me along the way.

It’s my job to decide, and then to do my best. I know that, no matter what happens with this project, God will use it for good.

Have you experienced skepticism about “God’s will” in everyday decisions? Have you ever been certain He was guiding you in a particular direction?

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Copyright 2010 by Rich Dixon, All Rights Reserved. Used by permission.

Rich is an author and speaker. He is the author of:

Relentless Grace: God’s Invitation To Give Hope Another Chance. Visit his web site

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