God’s Prescriptive Will
Author: Josh Langford // Men’s Group // Senior
For this reason, since the day we heard about you, we have not stopped praying for you. We continually ask God to fill you with the knowledge of his will through all the wisdom and understanding that the Spirit gives, 10 so that you may live a life worthy of the Lord and please him in every way: bearing fruit in every good work, growing in the knowledge of God.
What is God’s will for my life? This is a popular question asked among Christians in college. I’ve asked it many times myself. As we transition into adulthood we are all faced with two daunting challenges: what will I do with my life? and what role will God have in my life? These challenges are accompanied by many other questions like: Is there something specific God wants me to do with my life?—a specific college, job, place, spouse, etc.
After my freshman year of college I was presented with two options of how to spend my summer. I was either going to work as an intern at an engineering firm or work as a counselor at a summer camp. I remember struggling over this decision. I wondered if there was a right and wrong choice. If God’s will was for me to choose one of them and if I made the wrong choice then would the rest of my life be thrown off of God’d ideal path for how my life should go?
Later on I was introduced to the concept of God’s prescriptive will. This is the idea that God’s will is more about how you make your decisions rather than the specific decisions you make. Thinking about God’s will in this way, when presented with the decision of intern or camp counselor, God’s will for my life is not that I choose one over the other, instead God’s will is that in whichever choice I make I live as a loving and faithful witness of Christ.
Colossians has some wisdom to share about God’s will. Paul prays that the church in Colossae would know God’s will so they may have fruitful and faithful lives that please God. Perhaps God’s will for you isn’t a specific college, job, or place. Rather, maybe God’s will is that in whichever college, job, or place you choose, that you would “live a life worthy of the Lord and please him in every way: bearing fruit in every good work, growing in the knowledge of God” (Col 1:10)