The Will of God is a Dangerous Paradise

Thursday is for Discipleship

I used to give a talk on the will of God based on answering four basic questions. The title of the talk was: “The Will of God is a Dangerous Paradise.” The idea was that the will of God may seem frightening but in reality, nothing is better or more fulfilling than the will of God. The questions:

  1. How can I maximize my life for Jesus Christ? [This is the focus issue. Every Christian’s answer to this question is basically, “My life will be maximized for Christ when I organize my life to live passionately for and like Jesus.” In other words, ‘When I am most satisfied in Jesus God will be most glorified in my life’ (with a nod to John Piper). This question doesn’t get you very far but it does create a ‘pathway’ on which the discovery of God’s will can be made.]
  2. What responsibilities do I need to take on in order to maximize my life for Christ? [This question gets at the things we already know to do but aren’t doing at the moment. It gets at the obedience issue. John 14:21 makes it clear that faithfulness to what we already know to do is a key ingredient to Christ revealing any more of himself or his will to us. If we want to know the will of God, we have to get serious about obedience.]
  3. What training/education do I need to get in order to maximize my life for Christ? [This question gets to the patience issue. Paul had his time in the Arabian desert. Moses had 40 years developing a Jewish identity, 40 years becoming a leader before he finally led the Israelites out of Egypt. Jesus took over thirty years before he started his public ministry and almost 2000 years have passed since he promised to return. God isn’t in a hurry. As a friend of mine says, “A call to ministry is a call to prepare.”]
  4. What can I do, in my current situation/location, given my personality/gifts/abilities/spiritual gifts etc., that no one else can or is doing? [Do that thing. This is the initiative issue.]
The great thing about these questions is that they can never be fully answered this side of heaven and they can’t be answered without a pattern of life committed to growing in three areas:
  • Greater growth in grace and knowledge in Christ Jesus and His word.
  • Greater obedience to what God has already revealed in his word.
  • Greater love for the mission of God (the missio dei) on the earth.
Get a pen. Get your Bible. Begin the discovery. Nothing that the greatest being in the universe has in store for you can fail to be an adventure. 

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