The million-dollar Christian question: how can I know God’s will for my life? Have you ever asked yourself that question or a variation on it? I went through a pretty decent season of throwing darts at the board and hoping some would stick. I thought, maybe I should go on a mission, maybe God wants me to go to seminary, maybe I need to volunteer my time at a shelter. While all of these ideas are good and all of these plans could show our love for a good God, if we don’t know what He wants from us, are we wasting our time, energy and God-given gifts?
About six years ago I was out with friends when one of them shared she had dumped cable. My first instinct was sheer panic. How will she get her news every day? What will she do with all her extra time? After I got over that nonsense, I convinced my husband to cut the cord which dumped our major cable channels but left us with Netflix. This put me in a poverty of TV shows as I was a huge reality show enthusiast. After much searching, I found the British Baking Show. Not only does it give me delusions of grandeur about my own baking abilities, but it also makes me hungry. The deal with every episode is a three-bake challenge. One small bake, one technical bake and one showstopper. They can practice the small bake and showstopper, but the technical bake needs to be done on the fly. As I watched it this week, I heard one contestant tell the judges she practiced so much she had pie coming out of her ears. That’s a lot of practice.
She made pie after pie after pie so by the time she got to the tent she had perfected not only the flavor and look of the pie, but she has also been able to shorten her time cooking it to keep it within the boundaries of the competition. She knew oven temperature, the ingredients, the amount of kneading, the right measurements of spices, the bake time. Do you see where I’m going? This is only for a pie! Imagine using these same techniques to do what Paul tells Timothy in his second letter. 2 Timothy 2:21-22: Therefore, if anyone cleanses himself from these things, he will be a vessel for honor, sanctified, useful to the Master, prepared for every good work. Now flee from youthful lusts and pursue righteousness, faith, love and peace, with those who call on the Lord from a pure heart (NASB). Once you know Jesus, He wants you to pursue His righteousness. Practice until righteousness is coming out of your ears. Read your bible every day, all of it. Pray to Jesus every day. Put Jesus first in all relationships and in all things every day. Pursue righteousness like this contestant would bake pies.
But what if you come across a situation that might not have “biblical advice”? Say you get offered a job and wonder if you should take it or not. If you pursue God’s righteousness, faith, love and peace with a pure heart on a regular basis those decisions will come easier to you because you will recognize God. Just like when our contestant has to do an unknown, unpracticed technical bake, she can be confident that she knows how to make a flaky pie crust because she did it in her practiced pies. And maybe the fruit is different but it’s still fruit and she’s used fruit before. We can be confident in God’s will because we’ve been with Him. God loves us. He wants us with Him all the time and always wants what’s best for us. Seek Him out, and when you hear Him, follow His commands and He will lead you for the rest of your life.