Have you ever given God a blank check? Imagine signing a check that says “Pay to the order of God.” Then, instead of writing in some dollars and cents, you leave those lines open. God gets to fill in what He wants. In a sense, when we come to Christ and receive His salvation, that is what we’re doing. We’re saying, God you can have whatever I have. But, since we can’t offer God whatever we have and then live according to our own way of doing things, part of that giving everything to God means we want to do God’s will. We want to give Him that blank check.
Those of us who came to Christ at an early age may not have understood the life-long implications of our decision. I invited Him into my life when I was seven years old. I didn’t think about the decades of life that lay before me. Folks converted as adults perhaps understand and feel more keenly what it means to give God their lives now and into the future. Whatever the age when the Lord claimed us, we have come to understand that to be a child of God involves seeking and doing God’s will. (If that wasn’t part of your thinking originally, I hope you have come to the place of wanting to live God’s way for God’s purposes in your everyday life.)
But what is God’s will? We often discuss, read, even fret about God’s will in this decision or that. But here is another perspective. Can it be that God’s will might be for you and me to recognize this life, the life we are presently living, is the best life He can give us in light of our decisions and our circumstances? To believe this we have to think about God’s purposes in our life. What is He trying and wanting to do? We have to recognize, too, how our past decisions and our present circumstances shape the way we live today. God’s purposes in our lives include developing us in such a way that we grow up into Christ, enabling and leading us to live our lives to God’s glory, and to serve God in His Kingdom. But what about the other things I mentioned, decisions and circumstances? How do they work together with God’s purposes to, in some way, make this life the best life God can give us right now?
Think for a moment about how your decisions have brought you to this point in your life. You can probably see a mixture of good and bad decisions, of important and unimportant decisions, of insignificant decisions which directed your life one way or another. You can see how your life today is based in part on decisions you made. Making wise decisions in the past about finances may have enabled you to live comfortably today. Poor decisions in relationships, vocation, self-care may restrict or inhibit the lifestyle you now live.
While past decisions may affect present and future circumstances, that isn’t the whole story. Genetic predispositions, diseases, handicaps of various sorts, the moral and physical environment we live in, lack of opportunities, responsibilities forced upon us all these and more can restrict the way we live. We may long for health, freedom, and a new start; but here and today is where we live not having any of these. Or it may be our circumstances help us to live the Christian life, care for others, and glorify God.
Why does God not intervene in our decisions and circumstances and thus change our lives? God is sovereign with all authority and all wisdom. He knows the present, the past, and the future. And the truth is sometimes He does intervene. But God has a way of respecting our human decision-making capabilities. That may be part of our growing up in Christ, learning to make decision that reflect God’s thinking. So, while sometimes God makes the right decision clear to us; sometimes He seems to say “your call,” then graciously works with us however we choose.
If you and I have come to understand the God is good and that He loves us, perhaps we can accept the fact that God has given us this life as the best life available given who we are and where we are. Does that mean we do not try to change our circumstances? No. Does it mean we should not try to deal with the painful “fallout” of past decisions? No. It means that we trust God either to take away what handicaps or inhibits or to imbed His word in us, “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness” (2 Cor. 12:9 ESV).