Again, read the first two before this one. I will be reversing the order on this as well.
Years ago I attnded a retreat weekend, part of which was concerned with knowing the will of God. The speaker claimed there were three signs to look for in discerning His will. The call of God is persistent. That is, it will not be a one-off ambiguous statement, like a pagan oracle or a divination. Those who seek, find. Second, it is usally a call downward in the eyes of the world. Not because God is always interested in making our situation more humble, but in making us more humble, which usually entails going against worldly ambitions.
I forget what the third sign was. Sorry. There's an outside chance Michael will remember. Mike?
It’s the first that I want to attend to anyway. The call of God is persistent. My 70’s Jesus-freak culture tended more to the constant anxiety or wondering whether God had called us to something we had missed. It goes with a soulwinner theolgy somewhat. If you miss your chance, people die that night and go to hell, brother. There would be “a really anointed speaker” somewhere, but you had something else planned. If it was something secular, of course, the opinion around the table would be that got was calling you to go hear that speaker, while the movie or changing your oil was a temptation of the devil. But even that simple division would soon fall apart, because as a Jesus freak your other activities were often spiritual as well. Go to the speaker or work on your testimony? Speaker, testimony? Speaker, testimony? What does God want me to dooooo? I don’t know, I don’t know.
I bring up the extreme to illustrate my point about The Cost. What are we to do with ourselves? Where should we go?
I have found that the will of God comes and finds me much of the time. There is value to prayerful seeking, but often, the next possible act of generosity, the next learning experience, the next project…comes and sits on your porch, waiting for you to come home.
Perhaps one could say that the call of God is suited to you and your task. Paul had a dream about a Macedonian, and recognized God's call. (FWIW, I don't see any further references to detailed guidance: no instructions on which ship to take, which town to visit or how long to spend there; just go and do it. "Sergent, get that flagpole up!")
On the other hand, Gideon, who was told to risk the lives of thousands of his countrymen, asked for and got verification. (And got some more detailed instructions later.)
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