Why am I here?
The answer to this question proves to be one of the deepest longings of our hearts. We seek to find our purpose in many things—relationships, gender, a career, school—but the answer lies not in these things; the answer lies in a Person.
Before the beginning of time, God had a plan. This plan would require his only Son to come to the earth in human form and die the death of a criminal on a cross for the sake of paying for the sins of all who believe—past, present, and future. This plan was perfect, and yet holds so much mystery. This was God’s sovereign plan, and it is still unfolding to this day—until Jesus returns to unite all things to himself. Out of the life, death, and resurrection of God’s Son, Jesus Christ, our purpose is born.
Understanding God’s Sovereign Calling
Colossians 1:16 says, “For by him all things were created, in heaven and on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or dominions or rulers or authorities—all things were created through him and for him.” When we trust in Jesus as our Savior, we are given a new purpose and a new identity. We belong to Christ, therefore, our lives and our plans are his. From this verse, we can see that man was created for a purpose, and that purpose is to glorify God with our lives. But we aren’t left to figure this out on our own.
Let’s take a look at Deuteronomy 29:29:
“The secret things belong to the LORD our God, but the things that are revealed belong to us and to our children forever, that we may do all the words of this law.”Deuteronomy 29:29
Here we see the difference between God’s sovereign will (the secret things), and his moral will (the revealed things). It’s so important for us to understand the difference, because, try as we might, we may never be able to understand the sovereign will of God. It’s a secret to us. But God has given us his revealed will, his Word, to guide us and help us as we go throughout our lives. Second Peter 1:3 says, “His divine power has granted to us all things that pertain to life and godliness . . .” In his Word, we are given the ability to know how to think and act in a way that glorifies God. But what about the more mundane aspects of our lives? We all have questions like these: “What career path should I take?” “Should I go to college?” “Is now the time for us to have kids, or do we need to wait?” and then, ultimately, “How will I know that the decision I make will glorify God?”
Understanding God’s Moral Calling
Discerning the will of God begins with a transformed mind, one that has had its desires refocused by the Holy Spirit. Romans 12:2 says, “Do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewal of your mind, that by testing you may discern what is the will of God, what is good and acceptable and perfect.” The only way that our minds can be transformed is by meditating on the Word of God. God has given us all that we need in his Word to obey him and glorify him in our decisions. The better we know and understand the Word of God, the easier it will be to make decisions that align with his will for us. Second Timothy 3:16-17 says, “All Scripture is breathed out by God and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, and for training in righteousness, that the man of God may be complete, equipped for every good work.” So, when we reach a crossroads in our life and we need to make a decision, we should approach it prayerfully, acknowledging that God is ultimately sovereign, but also looking to his Word for guidance.
To understand if the decision we’re making is glorifying God, we can ask ourselves this question: “Are either of the options I’m considering explicitly discouraged or forbidden by Scripture?” If neither are, then the next step would be to prayerfully consider both options further, asking the Lord to close or open doors. Seek advice from older and wiser brothers and sisters in Christ who will help to point you in the right direction. Whenever I’m trying to make a decision, I will sometimes use Philippians 4:8 to help discern if my options are honoring the Lord. The verse says, “Finally, brothers, whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is just, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is commendable, if there is any excellence, if there is anything worthy of praise, think about these things.”
If after further prayer, guidance from other trustworthy sources, and no apparent reason for the decision to be sinful, then you are given the freedom to choose either one, and then trust the Lord with the rest of the process.
God’s Omniscience and Our Free Will
Nothing that happens in our lives, including our decisions, is a surprise to the Lord. It’s part of the mystery of his omniscience, and something that we will never fully understand. There’s a reason why understanding the balance of our free will and God’s sovereignty has been a topic of study for centuries. Ultimately, what matters is that we are seeking to glorify the Lord in everything we do. First Corinthians 10:31 says, “So, whether you eat or drink, or whatever you do, do all to the glory of God.” When we seek to live out this verse in every aspect of our lives, prayerfully considering any decision that we make, then we can rest peacefully in the sovereignty of God in our decisions.
Photo credit: Emilee Carpenter
Elizabeth is recently married and is from Cleveland, Ohio. She is currently working to be certified in biblical counseling, and works in youth ministry at her church. She has been a blogger since 2017 and runs an Instagram page called Binding the Word, where she seeks to encourage women to store up God’s Word in their hearts, to understand more of who he is, and to exemplify Christ in their daily lives.