Knowing God’s will has been a keen interest for believers for centuries.
You’d think we would have it figured out by now. But the answer eludes us. We are not sure. So we keep peering into the mist.
What if that is intentional?
Perhaps God wants us to search …
Are the three models exclusive? Do we have to pick?
Actually, there is a way to incorporate the strengths of all three models:
The Blueprint Model
There are some things that are already decided, and we have no say in them:
- The Eternal Plan that God put in place before creation. He does not ask us for our opinion about this. It is going to happen. Period.
- There are some things in our own lives over which we have no say:
- You were born into a certain family, at a certain time, in a certain place, with a certain biological sex. These are given, and cannot be changed. Efforts to resist these foundations result in massive conflict and pain.
- You have certain gifts and talents. You will do well to work in alignment with your natural talent. You can work hard at math, but if it is not your natural bent you will always find it hard.
- You live at a certain time in history. There’s no other option except in science fiction movies.
So yes, we have to work within the blueprint we are given.
The Wisdom Model
God has given the Scriptures to us to instruct us. The stories and commands shape our paradigm of who God is, who we are, how the world works. We are explicitly told to learn wisdom from the Scriptures because it will guide us through life.
The Bible is amazingly practical, full of proverbs and instructions on moral living. Many of life’s decisions are already clear just from learning the ways of God in Scripture.
So yes, we are to study the Scriptures and live our lives in accordance with this revelation.
The Discernment Model
But then there are the decisions we are faced with that have no moral factor to them. Should we do this or that? Go here or there? Is God interested in these decisions?
Yes! In fact, spiritual maturity is our going deeper into the mystery that Jesus invited his disciples:
- “I am in you, and you are in me, and I am in the Father” (John 14.20)
- Now that’s incredibly interactive with God himself. This is a mystery I have felt drawn into, especially in my latter years of walking with God. This, I believe, is part of what many of us experience as the deeper shift in spiritual understanding and experience that comes in the second half of life.
- “I pray also for those who will believe in me through their message, that all of them may be one, Father, just as you are in me and I am in you. May they also be in us so that the world may believe that you have sent me” (John 17.20-21).
- And this deeper journey into God includes interaction with fellow believers. As I search out others who are on this same spiritual journey I’m finding with them a depth of relationship that is truly life-giving.
A New Way of Living
Paul called this “Living in the Spirit.” It is a lifetime of learning, exploring and experiencing life as God intends. As you increasingly learn this way of living, you enter “the kingdom of heaven,” and you will know for yourself what the Scriptures describe:
- Your ears will hear a word behind you, “This is the way, walk in it,” whenever you turn to the right or to the left (Isaiah 30.21)
- The mind of man plans his way, But the LORD directs his steps (Prov 16.9)
- I will instruct you and teach you in the way which you should go; I will counsel you with My eye upon you (Psalm 32.8)
Once you experience this way of living, you will never want to go back!
Question: How are you finding “second half spirituality?” How is your experience of God changing for you?