Ask most Christians about God’s will for their lives, and you see a mixture of fear and challenge cross their face. Fortunately, there’s help. John Ortberg is a pastor at Menlo Park Presbyterian Church in Menlo Park, California. He is the bestselling author and has developed a process for dealing with restlessness.
“I think very often when God is at work in somebody it’s like going all the way back to Genesis and creation. God is storing over the deed. There will be in somebody’s spirit the sense of restlessness; the sense that I feel like things are kind of stagnated. I feel like there’s something more out there that God might have for me. But often, that could be inconvenient or disruptive or scary. We will say no to it and will try to distract ourselves. We will pursue comfort instead.”
If you have those stirrings of restlessness and of longing, lean into them. Listen to them. Talk to God about them. But don’t try to solve it in the next half hour. Open your spirit and your heart. See if God isn’t at work saying, I’ve got something more for you.
But how do we get to a place where we can open the door and let God in?
“When we think about the will of God and wanting the will of God, these three steps are wonderful in that process. Sometimes I can say to myself, I want the will of God for my life when what I really want is my own agenda. What I really want is just a guarantee that would say, This job will make you successful, or This relationship will make you happy. That’s not primarily God’s will. That’s my will and we are always tempted to try to use magic or superstitious means to get an inside track on the future that can serve us.”
(A) abandon your old life.
“Following the will of God or going through those open doors He has for me isn’t about my own agenda or my own life. That’s where abandon comes in. It starts with abandon. I actually have to abandon my own life. I need to let go of my demand from God for security and comfort, for wealth or fame – whatever it is. I actually have to let go of what it is that I think I’ve got to have for my life to be happy and meaningful.”
(B) believe God’s promises are trustworthy.
“Believe that God actually has an open door! I think a lot of people struggle here. People think, That’s not for me, it’s for somebody else; the Apostle Paul or the Apostle Peter, Beth Moore or Max Lucado, but not me. What I have to come to believe is that there’s a God that is concerned about my life and He has something for me to do.”
(C) commit to a new journey.
“Then commit. Committing is really critical because it’s not enough to say, I believe that in an abstract way. I’m actually going to have to make some decisions. I’m going to have to make commitments that involve my money. I will have to make commitments that involve my time. I will have to make commitments that will involve me stepping in to do something – to volunteer, to lead, to serve in a way that’s going to be scary to me.”
Key Scriptures: Revelation 3:7-8
Featured Songs: Simplicity by Rend Collective; Whole Again by Lincoln Brewster; Guardian by Worship Central
This program has been previously aired.