The devotional book I am following this year is A Guide to Prayer for All Who Walk with God, published by Upper Room Books.
Today I read this devotion by E. Glenn Hinson. It recalled to me the many people I have met over the years who had been told that not only must they determine God's will for their life in order to please him, but that they also must make sure they are in the "center" of God's will. There is a teaching out there that only by finding and staying in "the center" of God's will will one make God happy, and only then will God bestow all the blessings he desires that person to have. Many people seem to take this to mean a happy, long life with a trouble-free family and a settled, prosperous existence. I've seen more than one person agonize over how to find this "center" and then remain in it to gain God's maximum favor and approval. They never seem to be able to rest in God's grace; instead they are always worried they've strayed from the "center."
Hinson sees it differently:
Many conceive of the will of God as a track laid out before them which, if they will get on it and stay on it, will assure that their lives run smoothly, but, if they jump off the track, will bring only sadness and despair and lead ot wreck and ruin. Others think of the will of God as a blueprint which, if properly read and followed, will help them build a sturdy house in which they may live safely and happily.
The Apostle Paul gave a different twist to this concept. In his letters, the will of God, what pleases God, or what is acceptable to God has to do with what kind of persons we are, with attitude and outlook. God wants us to be persons who live our lives from the vantage point of a covenant with God through and in Jesus Christ, conscientized and sensitized and tenderized by love, making the very best decisions we can make in the circumstances in which we find ourselves.
| A Guide to Prayer for All Who Walk with God |
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