The Perfect Will of God — have you heard of it?
While the Bible mentions God’s will, and that it’s perfect, the 21st century establishment definition of The Perfect Will of God really isn’t in the Bible, although many of us act as if it were so.
In short, our misguided reasoning looks like this:
God has a perfect, individualized plan for our lives, and achieving it depends upon us. If we do not listen to His voice, perfectly (have you heard His voice, audibly, lately, giving you step-by-step instructions for your day? Me neither), then we will make wrong choices, thereby causing us to MISS the perfect will of God and muddle through some lesser form of what our life could have been.
Gosh, that sounds hopeful.
Through the years, I have watched good, godly people torment themselves in prayer over a decision — sometimes it’s a very small one — and essentially freeze in place because they’re so afraid of making the wrong choice.
“What does God want me to do?” they agonize. “And why won’t He tell me?”
“Why don’t you just choose the option that seems right to you?” I asked a woman once. “Neither option is a wrong one, neither one involves any form of moral compromise — which one do you want to do?”
“But it has nothing to do with my wanting anything!” she wailed. “It’s what God wants.”
But what God wants, and what He works toward creating, are grown-up children in the house of our Father, and as long as we remain as very little ones, never sure of our position, never putting to practical application the lessons that He has taught us, then we remain immature.
“I will instruct you and teach you in the way you should go,” we are told in Psalm 32:8-9, “I will counsel you and watch over you.
“Do not be like the horse or the mule, which have no understanding but must be controlled by bit and bridle or they will not come to you.”
God, in His grace, mercy, and love, works closely with His children, teaching us at our particular grade level, and then watches over us as we take faltering steps forward, then walk more firmly, and then run. Because we are not horses, we do not run away from Him, but run with Him at our side, guiding and encouraging us.
To give credit to horses, the smart ones stay close to their human master, having learned to trust him or her as their leader, and a perfectly matched pair — horse and rider — is a beautiful synergistic duo, each with a part to play.
And while it is true that God never messes up on His part but we do on ours, this does not mean that we do not take the part that He has given us — to live our life, review our choices, bring them to Him in prayer, and make a decision based upon what looks wisest and best to us, in light of what we know about God’s way of doing things.