It’s no coincidence that I am finishing up a sermon series this week on “Inquiring of God.” Back in September I began this series of messages that was intended to encourage us all to earnestly inquire (seek) of God on the everyday things of life…you know, the essentially non-moral thingslike where should I live? What house should I buy? Which job should I take? and a thousand other questions that make up the majority of our daily decisions.
The traditional evangelical position on knowing the will of God in these matters has been three-fold 1. Scripture 2. Common Sense 3. Prayer. But I’m not entirely comfortable with this neat little triad, for the human mind is capable of rationalization that knows no limits. For example, if common sense were held on an equal level with Scripture and Prayer, then no one on the planet would ever attempt anything very hard or dangerous. Why? Because it doesn’t make any human sense.
Yet the Bible is filled with people who lived by faith…that is, living daily in the assurance of things hoped for, but not seen. Abraham left his homeland, his family, and everything familiar to him to follow the call of God to a foreign land of which he knew nothing. When Jesus called his disciples to follow after him, some of them literally dropped what they were doing and followed after him.
Throughout the ages many courageous missionaries have left earthly comforts and extended family behind in order to share and live out the good news of salvation through Jesus Christ with peoples who have not yet heard this good news.
I’m not suggesting that common sense is not a grace of God that should be included in making decisions. That would be dumb. I just don’t think common sense should be the guiding force in decision making in the non moral matters. After all, what if it is God’s design for your life to take a serious cut in pay in order for you to do something you believe God has made you to do? If common sense were the guide we would never step out of our comfort zones in any regard.
I don’t know. I just think there is more to knowing God’s will than Scripture, Common Sense, and Prayer. Jacob wrestled with God [some kind of theophany…visible manifestation of God’s presence] until he received a blessing (Genesis CH. 32).
In this matter we are facing I too want want to have the same kind of certainty in this decision that Jacob had in wrestling with God. Genesis 32:29 says “…and there he blessed him.” Jacob got what he desperately wanted..the blessing of God.
As I attempt to practice what I preach in these days I find it easier to preach. And though we have no clear sense yet of the decision we must make we will continue to ask, seek and knock on heaven’s door believing by faith and the promises of God’s Word, that He delights in giving good gifts to those who ask Him (Matthew 7:11). Thanks for knocking with us!