Last week I was thinking that the Lord’s will for individual believers is rather wide. Or at least, wider than we typically allow ourselves. It’s not a straight line to walk, but a circle in which to play.
This applies, I believe, to the what of God’s will. Those aspects of our unforeseen and unwritten futures, which we might describe as “destiny,” are left open for the individual to explore. There is leeway in this aspect of God’s will for lateral movement. A particular choice may arise between A and B, and we ought not to think that, say, A is right and B is wrong. Rather, both are good, but will lead us toward different ends. The Lord’s will, in terms of individual destiny, is not binary.
On the other hand, the how of God’s will may very well be more restrictive. That is, we may again be presented with two choices: A and B. Neither is wrong or improper and the Lord will be equally pleased with either avenue. Whether we choose A or B, however, the Lord would expect His children to pursue their choice in a particular way, that is, with the character of Christ.
As an analogy, we could think of the Lord’s will as a coin or some other flat object. Place a quarter on the table and look down at it. You’ll see a circle, naturally. In terms of God’s will, you’re looking at the what of God’s will, the destiny discussed above. There is room to move about in that circle. It’s not like a tightrope, but an arena in which to play and experiment.
View the coin from the side and things appear quite different. It is flat, thin, narrow. This, we might say, is the how of the Lord’s will for your life. The way that you conduct yourself as you explore your destiny ought to resemble a certain prescribed model, that is, the sacrificial life of the firstborn from among the dead.
To put it succinctly, whatever we choose to do, we ought to do it as Christ would have. On this there are no options.