Three Mistakes to Avoid When Seeking God’s Will
“The steps of a man are established by the Lord …. When he falls, he will not be hurled headlong, because the Lord is the One who holds his hand.” (Psalm 37:23a-24 NASB)
You may be at what you think is a dead end in your life. “We’re never going to get out of debt! I’m never going to have a baby. My dream is never going to come true. How is it ever going to work out?"
Right now it may look dark and you may feel defeated and it may seem like a mystery to you. But one day you’re going to see in the light of eternity how it all fits together in God’s plan. Until then, there are three errors you need to avoid as you seek God’s will that will help you trust in him, even when you don’t understand.
1. Don’t be fatalistic. The idea of fatalism — that everything that happens is God’s will — leads to self-pity. It causes us to blame God for everything bad in our lives rather than accepting responsibility that we caused the problem. And, fatalism leads to passivity. It makes us think, “I’m waiting on God to bring me a wife” or “I’m waiting on God to get me a job.” God’s saying, “I gave you a brain! I gave you two feet! Get out and do something about it!”
2. Don’t be frustrated. If you try to figure out everything in your life, you’re going to be very frustrated. Sometimes you’re going to do what you think is God’s will, and it’s going to fail. “I thought God was leading me to start this business, but it failed.”
What do you do when there are no answers? You keep trusting God, knowing that he’s working on your character through all of your circumstances and that he has good plans for you.
3. Don’t be fearful. What is behind the fear of God’s will? The root problem is that you doubt God’s love. The Bible says, “There is no fear in love. But perfect love drives out fear” (1 John 4:18a). We always get into trouble when we doubt God’s love, because when we don’t trust him, we don’t obey him.
Psalm 37:23-24 says, “The steps of a man are established by the Lord …. When he falls, he will not be hurled headlong, because the Lord is the One who holds his hand” (NASB).
God’s will is an expression of his love. When you don’t understand what God is doing, have patience. God knows what’s best for you. You can’t see the end result, but he can. God’s path may be a path of pain, but all those delays and difficulties and problems are building character in your life.
Talk It Over
- How would you respond to the question, “Why do bad things happen to good people?”
- What have you been waiting on God to do in or bring into your life? What do you think he wants you to do about it?
- What do you think this statement means: “God’s will is an expression of his love”?
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This devotional © 2016 by Rick Warren. All rights reserved. Used by permission.