ordinary obedience is the key to unlocking the beautiful, purposeful life you always wanted.
DO NOT CONFORM TO THE PATTERN OF THIS WORLD, BUT BE TRANSFORMED BY THE RENEWING OF YOUR MIND. THEN YOU WILL BE ABLE TO TEST AND APPROVE WHAT GOD'S WILL IS - HIS GOOD, PLEASING AND PERFECT WILL. -ROMANS 12:2
How can I know God’s will for my life?
I know there are so many of you reading this on the edge of your seat. You want to know what in the world you’re supposed to do with your life. You’re asking really big questions like, “Is this the right person for me? Is this the right job? The right school? The right city? The right time to have kids?” The list goes on… And yes, our verse has very real answers for you—not specific answers to your particular questions, but answers on how to find those answers. We’re all dying to know what God wants us to do with our lives! So let’s find out how we can know his will.
We discover God’s will through ordinary obedience.
Okay. I know you didn’t see that one coming. Obedience? Really? Yup. It might sound crazy, but I assure you, ordinary obedience is the key to unlocking the beautiful, purposeful life you’ve always wanted. And I can’t wait to give you the goods on how this all works out. Remember our last devo on this verse? We learned how our transformation is a work of the Holy Spirit, but we must participate in that work. Another way to fashion “participation” is by calling it obedience. It looks like saying “no” to the tempting patterns of the world and saying “yes” to patterns of renewing our minds. Plain old, ordinary obedience is how we allow the Holy Spirit to transform us. We obediently set aside time to renew our minds, and when we do, the Holy Spirit makes us more and more into people who look like Jesus.
People who look like Jesus want to live in God’s will.
So, let me just break this down a bit. Our verse tells us, “Do not be conformed to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. THEN you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is, his good, pleasing and perfect will.” Do you see that? When we obediently and regularly reject the world and renew our minds, we are transformed. And when we’re transformed, THEN we can “test” God’s will and “approve” it. Transformed people try out God’s will and say, “Yes, that’s what I want to do!” What might have seemed a bore or a chore to us, looks pleasing and good. Why? Because we’re aligning ourselves with God each and every day. We aren’t just rubbing the crystal ball when we need direction, we’re pursuing a real relationship, getting to know our God, what he loves and what he’s like. We’re seeing first hand how his perfect plan plays out in every chapter of his book. And we start to want that plan to work out in our own lives.
(CONTINUED FROM ABOVE)
God’s plan for our ordinary.
I know you still have that big, burning question about what to do with your life. We’ll get there, I promise. But first, I want to show you how following God’s will in the ordinary is far more important than following him in that one big question. You see, mostly we follow God’s will (or don’t) unintentionally every single day. 99% of what we do isn’t something we ask God for his will on. We don’t ask God for his will about whether we should respond in agitation or kindness when someone steps on our toes. We just react. And if we respond in agitation, we don’t ask God if it’s his will whether we ask for forgiveness. Again, we either feel conviction, or we don’t. But, I can assure you of this, when I’m walking in the Spirit, renewing my mind daily, I’m far more likely (and quick about) seeking forgiveness than when I’m not. I bet you can relate. This may not be some grand answer to that burning question about whether you should take the path on the right or on the left. But, I will say this: all of these little ordinary decisions over time more profoundly affect our life’s trajectory than the one big split in the path. So, I’d rather get the ordinary 99% of my life right than that one big decision any day. Thankfully however, we don’t have to choose between the small and the big. We can know God’s will for both.
Now, for that big, fat, burning question.
What does God want you to do? If you’re in the regular practice of renewing your mind and rejecting the things of the world, you’re at an advantage here. You’ve practiced for this test! You’re more aware of God’s will and more accustomed to choosing to live in it (imperfectly, of course). But if you aren’t so practiced, all is not lost! In fact, there’s no better time to start than right now. So, whether you're well-practiced or a beginner, let's run that decision through the lens of our verse. First, are you rejecting the pattern of the world in your decision? In other words, does your decision reject: selfishness, greed, pride, irritability, self-righteousness, recklessness, meanness, or any other inherent wrong? Second, does your decision look like Jesus (like the kind of decision a transformed person would make)? Does your decision promote love, generosity, kindness, compassion, unity, peace, joy, laughter, and good? And finally, does your decision reflect the “good, pleasing and perfect” kind of plan God has for you? Anything short of these things simply cannot be God’s will for you.
What if I still don’t know what to do?!?!?
Let’s say you’ve run your decision through the filter of our verse and are left with two equally good choices. Or, maybe you feel like God’s asking you to do something really hard or to make a big sacrifice. Or, perhaps you just want some kind of affirmation or further guidance. You’re not alone in making your decision. God didn’t just give you the Holy Spirit to guide you. He’s also given you his people—people who know and love him, people who’ve made similar decisions, people with wisdom and good counsel, people with an objective perspective on your situation, people who long to walk with you through your process and help you figure it out. Seek out those kind of people. Ask them to meet with you, pray with you, and help you come to peace with your decision. And here’s one final thought, God wants you to succeed. He’s on your side. Even if you make a bad decision, he’s always right there to pick you up and get you going on the right path again. He’s just that kind of God. And as we (you and I, both) keep on renewing our minds, he will keep on transforming us so we can walk in step with him in our ordinary and in our extraordinary.
What does ordinary obedience look like in your life?
Do you have patterns of renewal? Do you think it’s more important to follow God in the day-to-day or in the big decisions we make? Why?
Who can you invite into your decision making process?
Thanks for reading,
Meet Natalie,Dwell co-founder
Hi there, I'm Natalie! I'm so glad you're here. I'd love to connect with you to hear more about what God is doing in your life!
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