Mark Dever has written an excellent little piece on pursuing the will of God in everyday life and decisions. Dever is concerned that too many Christians are bound by the chains of “finding God’s will.” This phrase is often used in regard to vocation or big life decisions. I sat in several classes and discussions during my undergrad days listening to classmates stress and labor on every little decision in the hopes of finding the will of God. I will say that the desire to please God and serve Him in every area of life is the type of attitude we should carry as Christians. However, as Dever points out, far too many Christians get completely stressed out and bound by thinking that they need some sort of sign for every decision they make.
First off, what does this sign look like? It can be so subjective that no one can question it even if it sounds absurd. I’m not trying to limit the Lord here because he sometimes uses subjective means to speak to us. But it is hard to trust subjective “signs.” Second, what does it mean to “find” the will of God? Was it hiding? Did I misplace it? Did it fall between the cracks in the couch? Finally, what do we truly mean when we are searching for the will of God? It seems to me that Scripture has clearly laid out the will and desire of God. He desires that all should come to know Him. The will of God entails repenting, believing, and living for Him in every area of our lives. Are we free to make decisions without playing craps to find the answer? Indeed. God has given us a mind and when we consecrate it to the Lord, He renews and reforms it. The “free” choices that we make are then based on the new heart and new mind that God has given to us through faith in Christ. They are also based on the words of Scripture. In short, we are free to choose as long as our choices do not contradict Scripture.
Bruce Waltke wrote a book called Finding the Will of God: A Pagan Notion? that firmly addresses this issue. Run out and pick it up. It is a must read. Make sure to read Dever’s article as well. And rest assured that choosing to eat that turkey sandwich instead of a Big Mac is ok.