The other day I was asked by a reader, “How can I figure out God’s will for my life?” He was talking about where should he live, what should he do for a job, how should he be investing, etc, etc. I was reminded of a story I heard a few years ago about the death of Walter Houston. “Who is Walter Houston?” you may be thinking…
The headline read:
MAN, 91 DIES WAITING FOR THE WILL OF GOD
TUPELO: Walter Houston, described by family members as a devoted Christian, died Monday after waiting 70 years for God to give him clear direction about what to do with his life.
“He hung around the house and prayed a lot, but just never got that confirmation,” his wife Ruby said. “Sometimes he thought he heard God’s voice, but then he wouldn’t be sure, and he’d start the process all over again.”
Houston, she says, never really figured out what his life was about, but felt content to pray continuously about what he might do for the Lord. Whenever he was about to take action, he would pull back “because he didn’t want to disappoint God or go against him in any way,” Ruby says. “He was very sensitive to always remain in God’s will. That was primary to him.”
Friends say they liked Walter though he seemed not to capitalize on his talents.
“Walter had a number of skills he never got around to using,” says longtime friend Timothy Burns. “He worked very well with wood and had a storyteller side to him, too. I always told him, ‘Take a risk. Try something new if you’re not happy,’ but he was too afraid of letting the Lord down.”
To his credit, they say, Houston, who worked mostly as a handyman, was able to pay off the mortgage on the couple’s modest home.”
Not too far from reality
Though this is a fictitious story from Lark News, the sad thing is I can really see this happening to many Christ-followers. Many of us become paralyzed as we sit and wait for God to do something miraculous. We sit and wait for God’s bailout, His amazing sign to us that this is what He wants us to do. He will certainly reveal exactly what He wants us to do right? That confirmation we have been waiting for will finally arrive right?
God doesn’t always work that way. He can certainly provide signs and confirmations and often He does. Yet sitting around and waiting for a miracle can be dangerous. God is still in the miracle business but He most often works through those in motion! Are you moving forward or are you stuck in neutral?
Many of us theologically believe that we won’t move forward until God confirms this or that. We paint God into a corner and wait for Him to answer us on our terms…We can use God as a scapegoat for not moving ahead.
He wants us to take the first steps. Could Peter have walked on water if he stayed in the boat? Could David have defeated Goliath if he was too afraid for battle? Far too many Believers are trapped into thinking God has a specific plan for their life, that He mysteriously hides the details, and it’s our life long journey to solve the riddle. How cruel would that be? I mean He knows exactly what we should do yet He speaks in codes and we have to try to solve the mystery and play detective until the case is solved?
God does have some specific instructions that we follow in His Word. Above all, He wants us to be holy and follow after Him. He wants a relationship with us. Other than that, the truth remains that He has already revealed through the Bible everything He wants us to know about Him and how we should live our lives. We have the responsibility to make wise choices and decisions. As long as our goal is to become holy, the details of where we live, what we do for a career, who we marry, on and on, matter much less. I believe, it is better to be holy and walk forward then to sit idle and wait for God to work. He is always at work ready to bless the steps we take…
What are your thoughts? Am I off base here in any way?