Monday, April 26, 2010

God's Universal and Individual Will

Bobby and three other senior boys in the church youth group had decided to celebrate their upcoming graduation by backpacking into the mountains for three days of fishing and fun. They decided to invite Doug Shaw to go with them. Doug and his wife, Jenny, were the volunteer youth leaders in their church. After a long day of backpacking, dinner and a great time talking, a lull hit the conversation. Bobby asked, "Doug, how did you decide what your career would be, where you would go to college, stuff like that?" Smiling he responded, “You mean how did I discover God's will for my life when I was your age?" Bobby was glad the others could not see his embarrassment.

“First, I want to share something with you about God's will that I learned from my pastor. It really helped me get from where I was to where I am today." He continued, "God reveals His will for us throughout the Bible. There are two levels of God's will. The first is God's will for everybody, or as my pastor called it, God's universal will. Then there's God's will for each individual. A lot of people want to know God's will for them individually but ignore God's universal will. That's a big problem. Why should God reveal His specific will for us if we are not obedient to His universal will? For example, we know it's God's will that everyone develop a consistent attitude of prayer and fellowship with Him. Can you guys think of others?" "Love one another," Bobby said. “Obey your parents?" Ian offered.

Doug nodded, "When I was a junior, I went to my pastor and asked him how I could tell if God wanted me to go college. He asked me if I had trusted Christ as my Savior, if I was obeying my parents, if I was staying pure sexually. I guess I looked kind of shocked at the questions. The pastor said, “If you're not committed to obeying God's universal will, there's no point in seeking His specific will.” I never forgot that. The key to finding God's specific will for our lives is to faithfully obey what He has already given us to do. And to remember that His will quite often is revealed day by day, not all at once.”

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