God's Permissive and Perfect Will

July 6, 2013

Sometimes I just find myself feeling ineffectual, lacking, and stuck in a void. Quite literally speaking this is true. It's true for all of us. We are all useless and ineffective and worth nothing than to be burned up in eternal wrath. But this is not what I am speaking of. I got to thinking on Proverbs 16:9, which states "The heart of man plans his way, but the Lord establishes his steps." And yet I also dwell on Romans 8:28 "And we know that for those who love God all things work together for good, for those who are called according to his purpose." I am stuck between that gray area of our free will vs. what He has predestined for us. We all hear God has a plan and will for our lives, but how do you go about seeking that? I have passions and desires that I would love to pursue, but are those God's will, even though He will direct my steps as Proverbs 16:9 states?

Right now I feel stuck. I am in college pursuing a degree for a career that quite honestly, I don't know that I want. I am content with the career path that I have chosen, and I believe I would probably even enjoy it, but it's not really what I want. And that's the problem, because it's not about what I want, it's what God wants. But does God want this for me? I chose to go to college and chose a career all at the drop of a hat because I was stuck going nowhere and had to go forward somewhere in life. Right now I see how God has used it for good, as college has provided me with a stable job as an NAC, which pays the bills right now and provides me a place to live. If it weren't for that I may have been forced to move back to Wyoming, or somewhere where I would be dependent of someone else, so for that I am extremely grateful. But I am not one of those people who say "if you don't go to college you won't amount to nothing in life" because that is very much not true.

What I am getting at is do I still continue on this path? I am paying hundreds of dollars every quarter for classes on a career that I am not sure I even want anymore. And eventually, I will have to move away to finish my degree at a four year university. But I don't want to move as I believe God still as use for me here, but for what?

I wish, as probably most of us do, that sometimes the clouds would part and God would speak exactly what He wants you to do, but that's not how He works, we must walk by faith. But I want to be sure that those steps I am taking are in His perfect will. I believe God has two wills: His perfect will and His permissive will. God has His perfect will for our lives; what He has designed for us. And there is His permissive will; when He simply honors what we have chosen out of our free will despite what He wants. I want God's perfect will, not His permissive, because sometimes His permissive will can have it's consequences.

Take King Hezekiah for example, whom God had ordained to die at a specific time by His perfect will, but King Hezekiah begged God to live so He granted him 15 extra years (Isaiah 38). After he was healed he had his son Manasseh, who ended up leading God's people into great sin which led God to pronounce His judgement, as well as Manasseh himself shedding blood of many innocent lives (2 Kings 21). If Hezekiah would have allowed God to take Him at His perfect will, then Manasseh never would have been born to lead them astray. Hezekiah's offspring and nation paid the price for his choice. I have to discern which of my passions are simply just my passions, and which ones are from God that should be pursued. I want to be sure it is God's perfect will.

Pursuing a degree as a drama teacher was a logical, simple choice at the time. I have a passion for theatre, I would probably like the job, and it would allow me to reach out to teenagers for the sake of the Gospel. But have I ever really had a passion for being a drama teacher? Well, no. I always saw myself using my passion for theatre in other areas. Yes, ultimately I want to use it as a ministry tool, but I still don't see how God wants me to do that. If he wants it to be used as a career in teaching drama, then so be it. But I honestly believe that if this is really what God had for me than there would be a strong passion for pursuing it but at the same time strong passions can be misleading, and pursuing passions can lead to dead ends, as they have for me in the past. passions that at the time I was so certain was in God's will, which is another reason why I find myself stuck and confused. I don't want to continue to pursue my passions and desires if they are all going to lead to dead ends. I want my steps to be lead by God.

Perhaps that is what I was truly lacking when pursuing those previous passions and desires that lead to such dead ends. Walking blind is one of the hardest things to do, I know it is for me. If there is one gift of the spirit I wish I had, I wish it was an extra measure of faith, because I could sure use it. Forgive me if this was redundant.

I hope some of you can relate. I just sat at my computer and started to just write my thoughts. I guess that feeling of lacking I mentioned in the beginning was my faith. That is what I am lacking God cover my eyes so I see no more and lead me by your grace. Faith needs to be blind and yet I keep looking for answers. Grant me the faith and patience to fall into your perfect will as I pursue my path of life blindly by your grace.

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