Is God’s will more like a compass or a map?

One of the things I like about blogging is the stuff I miss. I miss a lot.

It’s an immediate medium. I do actually put a bit of thought into the words, but we all know it’s also something of an in-progress work. So I frequently receive comments that cause me to think deeper or further.

One of my most frequent commenters is my lovely wife, Becky. Her comments usually occur in the kitchen, prefaced gently by a phase like, “Did you think about …?” Mostly the answer is, “No, I didn’t think about that at all.”

So I wasn’t surprised when she asked yesterday whether readers might feel like I was leaving God out of the mix when I used Don Miller’s metaphor and encouraged you to Share A Great Story.

Two good questions: first, did I leave God out of the equation? I hope not. If I did, it wasn’t intentional. I don’t believe it’s possible to live a truly great story that’s not centered on His will.

And there’s the second question: Is God’s will more like a compass or a map? In story language, who’s the author?

In map language, God’s the author. God has a detailed plan for our lives written in advance. Our task is to discover and follow that plan. God provides the map, I do my best to follow it.

In compass language, I’m the author—following God’s outline or direction. He defines the parameters of a great story and gives me unique gifts and opportunities to use them. He wants me to be creative, as He’s creative. He wants me to write a great story, using Him as compass or co-author or guide.

I don’t think either model is 100% correct. God isn’t that simplistic. As I’ve said before, there’s mystery in the interplay between human free will and God’s omnipotence that’s slightly (or maybe more) beyond my comprehension.

But it’s obvious which way I lean. God’s will for my life is pretty clear. He wants me to spend time with Him, love my wife, share my gifts with others, care for the needy. That seems to be compass language that points me toward True North. It’s up to me to fill in the details, and always be willing to let Him interrupt.

What He doesn’t seem to want is for me to sit around waiting for a cosmic traffic light to tell me to get moving. The light’s already bright green.

“Follow me.”

“Go and make disciples.”

Time to go. You and I and God have a story to write.

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Copyright 2008-2012 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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